Mr. Novak

September 24, 1963 – August 31, 1965
(60) 1/2 hour episodes (two seasons)
in B&W   on NBC
Created by: E. Jack Neuman
Produced by: Joseph Calvelli and MGM Television


  • James Franciscus   —   John Novak
  • Dean Jagger   —   Principle Albert Vane (Season 1)
  • Burgess Meredith   —   Principal Martin Woodridge (Season 2)

Other cast that appeared in 2 or more episodes

  • Charles Briles   —   Ken
  • Vince Howard   —   Mr. Pete Butler
  • Marjorie Corley   —   Miss Dorsey
  • Beau Bridges   —   Jaylee Bartlett
  • Walter Koenig   —   Alexsei Dubov
  • Edward Asner   —   Harmon Stern
  • Martin Landau   —   Robert Coolidge
  • Shelley Fabares   —   Dani Cooper
  • Johnny Crawford   —   JoJo Rizzo
  • Don Grady   —   Hank Nelby
  • Bonnie Franklin   —   Sally
  • Cloris Leachman   —   Dorothy Hummer
  • Tommy Sands   —   Gary Lewin



John Novak (James Franciscus) just got his first teaching job at a Los Angeles high school. He is young, idealistic and dedicated to keeping his students in school and actually teaching them something.

His boss, Principle Vane (Dean Jagger) doesn’t always approve of Novak’s methods but he admires his dedication to the students and his ethics. Principle Vane gets promoted out of the series in season 2 (Dean Jagger leaves the show for another opportunity) and Principle Woodridge (Burgess Meredith) takes over.

This show reflected the high moral standards of the day. Mr. Novak was intelligent, principled and ethical. He truly cared for his students educational needs and constantly strived to get them to do the right thing wether it be in or out of the classroom.

Video Clip of Mr. Novak


James Franciscus died in 1991 of emphysema, he was 57
Dean Jagger also died in 1991 from heart disease, he was 87
Burgess Meredith died in 1997 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, he was 89

60s tv

1960s tv - mr novak

1960 television drama

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Buy Mr. Novak on DVD

This show has not been released on DVD, when it is I will post it here.