Star power can’t save a dull show. This offering from Jackie Cooper Productions has Jackie as a County Agriculture Agent and Babara Stanwyk as his invaluable aide Abby Rayner. Barbara Luna is his secretary and Robert Lansing is Eric Sloane the head of the farmer’s co-op. Ken Berry before going the comedy route in “F Troop” plays Otis Sorenson,a scientist. Beverly Garland is Eric’s wife Nan. Howard Duff appears as Abby’s estranged husband and R.G.Armstrong is farmer Zack Laird.
Calhoun helped Zack lease some land from Eric for a citrus grove. Zack’s farm was blown away and Calhoun just likes to help people. A year goes by and then blight is discovered in some of Zack’s trees. Eric wants to burn the grove down as a safety measure before it spreads. Maybe the fact that a frozen food plant may need that patch of land for its building could have something to do with clearing it. That plot line isn’t developed.
Abby invited her estranged husband Sid to come into town. They haven’t seen each other in eight years. Sid left her and was going through a playboy stage. Now he’s fifty and says his oats have been sown. She seems ready to hold off on a divorce and keep him around. This whole scenario seems like filler.
Calhoun wants to investigate every possible solution before Zack’s grove has to be destroyed. Eric is pushing to have him agree to the burn and says it’ll probably cost Calhoun his job if he doesn’t stay out of the way. Zack has a wife and two kids and Calhoun digs in until all avenues have been explored.
The farmers are running out of patience and are ready to take matters into their own hands. Eric is leading the effort. Things get ugly when the farmers and Eric show up at Zack’s place along with a bulldozer. Zack holds them off with a shotgun. Calhoun and Abby arrive on the scene.
The ending does have some realism about it which gives the show credibility. Maybe if it had been a half hour instead of an hour it might have slipped onto a prime time schedule…at least for a little while.