In the Beginning (TV series)

In the Beginning
Genre Sitcom
Created by Norman Lear
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 9 (4 unaired) (list of episodes)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) TAT Communications Company
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network CBS
Original release September 20 – October 18, 1978

In the Beginning is an American sitcom created by Norman Lear and produced by his Tandem Productions company that aired on CBS from September 20 to October 18, 1978.


The series was a semi-update of the film Going My Way, centered around conservative priest Father Cleary and liberal, streetwise nun Sister Agnes (known as "Aggie") running a ghetto mission together in Baltimore.[1]

While Aggie was from the area and enjoyed the assignment, Father Clearly had difficulty dealing with her (frequently referring to her as "Atilla the Nun"), as well as the neighborhood prostitutes, hustlers and winos.[2] The show was cancelled after its first five episodes aired.



Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"TBATBASeptember 20, 1978 (1978-09-20)
A conservative priest and a liberal nun open up a mission together.
2"What's It All About?"Doug RogersPatt Shea,
Harriett Weiss
September 27, 1978 (1978-09-27)
Aggie has feelings for a travelling musician.
3"Father Cleary's Crisis"Doug RogersLeonara ThunaOctober 4, 1978 (1978-10-04)
Father Cleary is passed over for monsignor.
4"The Good Thief"Will MackenzieJoseph BonaduceOctober 11, 1978 (1978-10-11)
A neighborhood kid is accused of stealing from the church.
5"Aggie's Love Story"Doug RogersPatt Shea,
Harriett Weiss
October 18, 1978 (1978-10-18)
Aggie and Cleary attempt to start a sex education class for the kids who come to the mission.
6"The Poker Game"Randy WinburnRon BloombergN/A
Aggie and Lillian raise money for the kids' camping trip by playing poker.
7"The Kook"Bob LallyMichael MorrisN/A
8"Well Healed"Marc DanielsStephen A. MillerN/A
9"Wedding for Thee"Doug RogersCharles Stewart,
Arthur Phillips


First developed in 1977, the series was originally intended as a starring vehicle for Broadway actress Priscilla Lopez, and was to have been titled Aggie, after her character. However, McLean Stevenson was later added to the cast, and in addition to the title change, it also moved the show's focus from its original premise of Aggie against the establishment to Aggie and her battles with Father Cleary.[3]

In the Beginning also marked McLean Stevenson's second attempt at a successful post-M*A*S*H vehicle. However, the series fared even worse than his short-lived 1976 sitcom The McLean Stevenson Show and was cancelled after only 5 of its 9 episodes had aired.


  1. Staff. "In the Beginning Cast and Details". TV Guide. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  2. Sitcomsonline. "In the Beginning - McLean Stevenson and Priscilla Lopez". Sitcomsonline. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  3. Sitcomsonline. "In the Beginning - McLean Stevenson and Priscilla Lopez". Sitcomsonline. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
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