Perry Mason is an American legal drama series originally broadcast on CBS television from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner. Many episodes are based on stories written by Gardner.
Perry Mason was Hollywood's first weekly one-hour series filmed for television, and remains one of the longest-running and most successful legal-themed television series. During its first season, it received a 10th Primetime Emmy Award nomination as Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Dramatic Series, and it became one of the five most popular shows on television. Raymond Burr received two Emmy Awards for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Barbara Hale received an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Mason's confidential secretary Della Street. Perry Mason and Burr were honored as Favorite Series and Favorite Male Performer in the first two TV Guide Award readers' polls. In 1960, the series received the first Silver Gavel Award presented for television drama by the American Bar Association.
Perry Mason has aired in syndication in the United States and internationally ever since its cancellation, and the complete series has been released on Region 1 DVD. A 2014 study found that Netflix users rate Raymond Burr as their favorite actor, with Barbara Hale number seven on the list.
The New Perry Mason, a 1973 revival of the series with a different cast, was poorly received and ran for 15 episodes. In 1985, Burr returned to play Mason in a successful series of Perry Mason television films airing on NBC. A total of 30 films were made; Burr starred in 26 of them before his death in 1993.