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Temperature's Rising aired from September 1972 until August 1974 on ABC.

ABC evidently had a good deal of faith in this medical comedy, trying three different casts and formats in two years before finally giving up!

For the first season, the show was set at Capital General Hospital in Washington, D.C., presided over by no-nonsense chief of surgery, Dr. Vincent Campanelli ( Jamed Whitmore) and his all-nonsense staff. The latter consisted of: prankster Jerry Noland ( Cleavon Little), a free-swinging product of the ghetto and the hospital's chief bookie; sexy young nurse Annie Carlisle ( Joan Van Ark); her mischievous companion Mildred MacInerny ( Reva Rose), Student Nurse Ellen Turner ( Nancy Fox) ,and Dr. David Amherst ( David Bailey), the handsome love interest of practically every female in the place! There were also the patients: the old codger who liked to drag-race in his wheelchair, the paranoid young man who wanted his medication pre-tasted and then slipped under the door, etc...

The program returned for its second season re-titled The New Temperatures Rising Show, with new producers and almost completely recast. Capital General was now a private hospital, run by penny-pinching Dr. Paul Mercy ( played by Paul Lynde) and owned by his meddlesome mother, Martha ( Sudie Bond), who was permanently in residence and who kept calling her son via a beeper on his belt. Miss Tillis ( Barbara Cason) was the efficient accountant, and Dr. Axton ( Jeff Morrow), the cheerfully fraudulent surgeon who had recently published two books, Profit in Healing and Malpractice and Its Defense. Only intern Jerry Noland remained from the first season.

The second version of Temperatures Rising was no more successful than the first, however, and lasted only through mid-season. Apparently, viewers did not appreciate seeing doctors as the butt of comedy. The show did come back for another short run in the summer of 1974, with more new episodes, and still more changes in cast and plot. This time the meddling mother was gone, and Dr. Mercy ran the place with the help of his sister, Edwina ( Alice Ghostley). Intern Jerry Noland was back, along with a couple new nurses.

The third time was not the charm, however. Temperatures Rising was finally cancelled once and for all after the summer of 1974 run.

Here is Cleavon Little's Obituary from The New York Times

Cleavon Little, Award-Winning Actor, Dies at 53

Published: October 23, 1992

Cleavon Little, the actor best remembered for his role as a black sheriff hired to save a redneck town in Mel Brooks's 1974 comedy "Blazing Saddles," died yesterday at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 53 years old.

He died of colon cancer, said David C. Pollick, his publicity agent in Los Angeles.

Mr. Little also won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical in 1970, when he starred in "Purlie." More recently, he co-starred with Judd Hirsch in "I'm Not Rappaport," Herb Gardner's 1986 play about two irascible octogenarians who meet on a bench in Central Park.

"He called me Wednesday to say goodbye," Mr. Hirsch said yesterday in an interview. He and Mr. Little were together in the show for three years on Broadway and on tour. "We teased each other for years in 'Rappaport,' and I said to him, 'You have to get well so we can tour again.' He was a wonderful actor and a classy man, and I so regret we couldn't have made another tour."

Mr. Little was born in Chickasha, Okla., on June 1, 1939. He was a 1965 graduate of San Diego College and a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. He made early stage appearances at the La Jolla Playhouse in California, and moved to the New York stage, appearing through the years in such Off Broadway productions as "MacBird!," "Keyboard," "The Resurrection of Lady Lester" and "The Great McDaddy" as well as "Scuba Duba," a production in which he and Mr. Hirsch first acted together in 1967. He made his Broadway debut in 1968 in "Jimmy Shine."

That same year he also played a hip Hamlet in the New York Shakespeare Festival production. His other Broadway credits included "Narrow Road to the Deep North" (1972) and "All Over Town" (1974).

Mr. Little starred in the television series "Temperature's Rising," "Baghdad Cafe" and "True Colors," and made many television films, among them "Separate but Equal" opposite Sidney Poitier. He won an Emmy Award as a guest star in Mr. Hirsch's series "Dear John."

In addition to "Blazing Saddles," Mr. Little appeared in more than a dozen films, including "Arthur 2 on the Rocks," "Toy Soldiers," "Cotton Comes to Harlem," "Vanishing Point" and "Once Bitten."

He is survived by a daughter, Adia Millett-Little of Los Angeles; his father, Malchi Little, and stepmother, Ruby Little, both of San Diego; two sisters, Rosemarie Martin and DeEtta West, and two brothers, Everett and Roy Little, all of Los Angeles.

Here is James Whitmore's Obituary

James Whitmore
Prolific American character actor, he played 146 film and TV parts over 58 years

Mon 9 Feb 2009 19.01 EST
First published on Mon 9 Feb 2009 19.01 EST

James Whitmore, who has died of lung cancer aged 87, was known as "the supporting actors' Spencer Tracy" because of his professionalism and resemblance to the star. "I certainly wasn't the idol of millions. I just happened to get good parts," Whitmore once declared. "And so I wasn't worried ... because I could see these character parts stretching on into the dim days of the future." The short and stocky Whitmore, with his pugnacious face and gruff manner, often relieved by a wry smile, was a familiar face in 146 film and television parts over 58 years. In addition, he had a great success in one-man stage shows, impersonating Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt and Will Rogers. "I didn't think I could conceivably carry an evening by myself. I had difficulty holding the attention of my family," Whitmore joked.

He could also claim to have helped James Dean, who studied acting with him in Los Angeles, on the way to stardom. In 1951, Whitmore introduced Dean to "method acting" and advised him to go to the Actors Studio in New York. "I owe a lot to Whitmore," Dean said in a 1955 interview. "He told me I didn't know the difference between acting as a soft job and acting as a difficult art."

The son of the local park commissioner in White Plains, New York, Whitmore initially set out to become a lawyer when he gained a football scholarship at Yale University in 1938. He participated in college dramatics before interrupting his studies to join the US Marine corps when the US entered the second world war. While serving in the forces, he began his performing career with a USO tour through the south Pacific. After his discharge, he returned to New York to study acting at the American Theatre Wing and the Actors Studio, which he helped found.

In 1947, he made his Broadway debut in the military drama Command Decision, won a Tony in the first of many roles as a sergeant and, two years later, he earned his first Academy award nomination (and a Golden Globe) as best supporting actor for another sergeant in William Wellman's epic, Battleground (1949), only his second feature role. "The guts, gags and glory of a lot of wonderful guys!" read the publicity, with Whitmore typifying the toughness of the 101st Airborne division trapped during the siege of Bastogne.

Whitmore's first film was The Undercover Man (1949), in which he was well cast as a henchman of Glenn Ford's gang boss, which led to John Huston's masterful noir The Asphalt Jungle (1950), in which he is compelling as a hunchbacked getaway man. He also narrated Huston's Red Badge of Courage (1951), filling in the gaps in the story created by MGM's scissor-happy editors.

The studio gave Whitmore a few leading parts in their second features as ordinary Joes including Wellman's The Next Voice You Hear (1950). His wife was played by Nancy Davis, the future Mrs Reagan.

For the next few years, Whitmore was very active at MGM in supporting roles, most notably as Mario Lanza's sergeant in Because You're Mine (1952), and doing a comic duet (with Keenan Wynn) as Runyonesque gangsters advising Howard Keel to Brush Up Your Shakespeare in Kiss Me Kate (1953). It took Whitmore many weeks to learn the steps of the show-stopping number.

Whitmore was in uniform for the first four movies he made for Warner Bros in two years after moving there in 1954. He was also swallowed by a 12ft ant in Them! (1954). He had another rare lead in Don Siegel's Crime in the Streets (1956), very adroit as a sympathetic social worker. He was also excellent in Face of Fire (1959), based on Stephen Crane's story The Monster, as a much-loved handyman who gets hideously disfigured, and as a reporter in Black Like Me (1964) who takes drugs to pass for black in the south to experience racial prejudice. Numerous more conventional roles as army officers or western sidekicks, notably the knife thrower in Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) and Admiral Halsey in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) followed.

One of his greatest triumphs was in the theatre as Truman in Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975). Whitmore was Oscar-nominated when it was filmed, uncannily capturing the essence of the president with humour and emotion. He was also remarkable in Will Rogers' USA (1974) and as Roosevelt in Bully (1977). Other stage roles included Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond and Joe Keller in Arthur Miller's All My Sons (which he recreated on television in 1986).

In 1994, in The Shawshank Redemption, he became known to a new generation as the prison librarian, unable to function on the outside. In 2000, the ever-energetic Whitmore won an Emmy as outstanding guest actor in the TV law series The Practice, and was nominated for Mr Sterling (2003) as the father of a US senator.

Whitmore is survived by his third wife, whom he married in 2001, and by his three children by his first wife, one of whom is the actor and television director James Whitmore Jr.

• James Whitmore, actor, born 1 October 1921; died 6 February 2009

To watch some clips from Temperature's Rising go to

For an episode guide go to

For more on Temperature's Rising go to

For an episode guide go to

For a Paul Lynde Site go to

For a Page dedicated to Joan Van Ark go to

For some Temperature's Rising-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to

To watch the opening credits go to and and
Date: Mon January 5, 2004 � Filesize: 28.8kb � Dimensions: 414 x 250 �
Keywords: Temperature's Rising


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