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The Trials of O'Brien 

A flamboyant, Shakespeare-quoting, New York City defense attorney always seems to get into trouble.


Gene Wang




1966   1965  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Peter Falk ...  Daniel O'Brien 22 episodes, 1965-1966
Joanna Barnes ...  Katie / ... 13 episodes, 1965-1966
Elaine Stritch ...  Miss G 13 episodes, 1965-1966
David Burns ...  The Great McGonigle / ... 13 episodes, 1965-1966


A flamboyant, Shakespeare-quoting, New York City defense attorney always seems to get into trouble.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

18 September 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trials of O'Brien See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(22 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in The Perfect Pitch (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Show, Finished last
22 January 2003 | by joesanchez58See all my reviews

Peter Falk portrayed a maverick defense attorney with great zest. Elaine Stritch was his secretary, Joanna Barnes his ex wife with whom he was on very good terms, and the scene stealer was David Burns as the Great Mc Gonigle ( name borrowed from a WC Fields flick ). I can't recall any specific episodes except the show was set in New York City, the script ahead of its time, the acting superior, the stories always believable and interesting, and the theme music was outstanding. Burns/Mc Gonigle was Falk/O'Brien's leg man. He wore an old overcoat and seemed to be chained to bulging leather briefcase, the old fashioned type with the metal three position latch across the top. O'Brien would need some piece of information and invariable Mc Gonigle would reach into some deep recess of his bag and whip out the perfect document. I remember Falk/O'Brien one time remarking as if in wonder, "Don't ever lose that bag." That year Trials of O Brien finished dead last in the Prime time Nielson ratings ( something like 67th out of 67 shows). But to me it was one of the best things ever on TV, which is probably why I have watched perhaps two weekly series of any kind since ( the other being The Wonder Years).

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