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Grandpa Goes to Washington is an American comedy-drama series that aired on NBC on Tuesday nights from September 7, 1978 to January 16, 1979.[1] The series was very short-lived, as it was cancelled after a run of only 11 episodes. After Grandpa Goes to Washington's cancellation, no re-runs of the show have been aired by NBC, and it has also never seen a home media release.

Grandpa Goes to Washington
Grandpa Goes to Washington.jpg
StarringJack Albertson
Larry Linville
Sparky Marcus
Patti Deutsch
Composer(s)Artie Butler
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes11
Executive producer(s)Richard P. Rosetti
Leonora Thuna
Producer(s)Robert Stambler
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 7, 1978 –
January 16, 1979


The series centered on Joe Kelley, a political science teacher who was forced to retire when he turned 66, who then got himself elected to the U.S senate in spite of his not having any political experience. He won the election when the other candidates for office were tarnished by scandal. Kelley's style was unusual. He drove himself in an old Volkswagen (as opposed to being driven in a limousine), for relaxation he played the drums, and his earnest pledge was "Honesty in Government". He received his political information from former students, whom he considered his "friends in low places". His aim was to make the country a better place to live.

The senator lived with his son, Air Force General Kevin Kelley; Kevin's wife, Rosie; and their two children, Kathleen and Kevin, Jr. Joe thought Kevin was dull, bland and empty-headed (he called him, "My son, the Fathead'). Kevin tried to interfere with his father's position as a Senator, increasing the tension between them. Also seen was Madge, Joe's secretary, and Tony, Joe's aide. Another character was Patti who was played by comedian Patti Deutsch.


Episode listEdit

Series # Episode title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Richard CrennaLane Slate & Noel BaldwinSeptember 7, 1978 (1978-09-07)
Retired college professor Joe Kelley is drafted to run for the U.S. Senate after the incumbent withdraws following the exposure of his affair with a stripper
2"Birthday Party"Michael CaffeyRichard FreimanSeptember 19, 1978 (1978-09-19)
Kelley introduces a motion to investigate the spending of $27,000 for the President's birthday party at the same time his granddaughter is set to date the President's son.
3"Kelley Inherits Tony"Herbert KenwithEmily Levine & Harry CauleySeptember 26, 1978 (1978-09-26)
Kelley is joined by his predecessor's legislative assistant in his struggle to introduce a bill that would prevent the firing of federal employees who are living together without being married.
4"Kelley at the Bat"Larry ElikannLane SlateOctober 3, 1978 (1978-10-03)
Kelley matches wits with a crooked land developer to save the baseball field used by his grandson's little league team.
5"Kelley's Best Friend"Paul StanleyLeonora ThunaOctober 24, 1978 (1978-10-24)
Kelley's oldest friend comes to Washington, supposedly to attend a convention, but instead intends to persuade the senator to do a political favor for him.
6"The Senator's Widow"George TyneHarry SpaldingOctober 31, 1978 (1978-10-31)
A widowed interim senator shows more interest in Kelley than in politics when he asks her for her support of a bill.
7"The Leak"Larry ElikannJohn DunkelDecember 5, 1978 (1978-12-05)
Kelley lands in trouble when information in his personal files is published before it can be verified.
8"A Star is Dead"George TynePaul West, Bruce A. Taylor, Harry Cauley, R.F. Siemanowski & Lane SlateDecember 12, 1978 (1978-12-12)
Kelley tries to help a silent screen star prove that a Social Security computer mistakenly declared her dead.
9"The Red Hot Gift"Allen BaronJohn DunkelDecember 26, 1978 (1978-12-26)
Kelley and his son are accused of accepting political favors after a new Rolls-Royce with the keys in it and a note saying "for your pleasure" is found in the senator's driveway.
10"Grace"Joseph PevneyBarbara Avedon & Barbara CordayJanuary 9, 1979 (1979-01-09)
While Kelley stirs up trouble on Capitol Hill with his Domestic Security Bill, his friend Grace is arrested for trying to help him.
11"The Union Boys"Larry ElikannPaul WestJanuary 16, 1979 (1979-01-16)
Kelley calls for an investigation into the activities of a powerful union leader.[2]


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (8th ed.). New York: Ballantine. p. 482. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1418. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.

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