Day in Court (ABC, 1958-1965)
Day in Court was an American dramatized court show that ran from October 13, 1958 until February 1965. Airing five days a week, it presented viewers with as realistic as possible a look at how real trials are conducted and decided. Re-enactments of the defendants and witnesses were done by actors. The lawyers made their arguments in front of real judges. Judge Edgar Allan Jones Jr. (who had a real law degree and is pictured above) presided on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Actor William Gwinn presided on Tuesday and Thursdays.
Day in Court was TV’s top ranked show. When it slipped to number two behind soap opera General Hospital, ABC decided to turn Day in Court into a soap opera. Jones quit the show in 1964. By the next February, ABC had pulled the plug on the show entirely. Day in Court had two spin-offs: Accused (which Jones also presided on) and Morning Court. Both these shows were also on ABC.