Monday, May 23, 2011

Meredith Baxter & David Birney in Bridget Loves Bernie (1972)

Obscurity factor: 9

I've been getting lots of good suggestions for posts from friends lately. This one comes from my new friend Damon. Bridget (Baxter) is from a wealthy Irish Catholic family while Bernie (Birney)  is Jewish, with parents who own a delicatessen. When the two fall in love, they must surmount the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of their disparate backgrounds and faiths. What could have been a hum-drum, ordinary sit-com is made charming and entertaining by the talented cast, which includes Audra Lindly, David Doyle, Bibi Osterwald, Harold J. Stone and Ned Glass and writer/creator Bernard Slade.

This series has the distinction of launching not only the marriage of the two lead characters, but the two lead actors a well - Meredith Baxter became Meredith Baxter Birney soon after the show was canceled. It's not available on DVD, but several episodes are available on Daily Motion and YouTube. Above is part one of the pilot.

Obscurity factor 9 (not on DVD, remembered only as the show that paired Baxter and Birney)


  1. My family adored this when I was a kid. My mother really related to it, because she was not Jewish when she and my father married (she later converted). The show also has the distinction of being the highest-rated show ever to be canceled. I was browsing through Meredith Baxter's autobiography in the bookstore recently, and her recollections about this series are very interesting. Apparently CBS got tired of all the protests about the show, and used the excuse of it losing too much of "All in the Family's" lead-in to cancel it. I believe it was #4 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1972-73 season.

  2. It was a charming show, and I have a similar background - my father is Jewish and my mother isn't...

  3. I'm curious Ben, do you think it was marriage to Mr. Birney that inspired Ms. Baxter to jump to the other side of the fence, and stay there???

  4. Casting aspersions? I've heard that David was very supportive...