×

Thicker Than Blood: The Larry Mclinden Story

A custody battle between a couple who never married results in California law redefining the term "parent" in the true-story-fictionalized "Thicker Than Blood: the LarryMcLinden Story." That groundbreaking court decision is hidden in a vidpic in which important points may have remained on the cutting-room floor.

With:
Cast: Peter Strauss, Rachel Ticotin, Bob Dishy, Brenda Bazinet, Damir Andrei, Jacob Zelik Penn, Lynn Whitfield, Susan Hogan, Carolyn Dunn, John Robinson, Patricia Gage, Mark Wilson, Booth Savage, Maia Filar, Tara Charendoff, Gil Filar , Anthony Dean Rubes, Graham McPherson, Elizabeth Lennie, Marion Gilsenan, Ian Neeson, Sherry Miller, Suzanne Cyr, Victoria Snow, Janet Lo, T.W. Schroeder, John Nelles, Maureen MacRae, Ray Kahnert, Michael Gencher, Kevin Zegers, George Cox, Michelle Moffat, Jeffrey Snape.

A custody battle between a couple who never married results in California law redefining the term “parent” in the true-story-fictionalized “Thicker Than Blood: the LarryMcLinden Story.” That groundbreaking court decision is hidden in a vidpic in which important points may have remained on the cutting-room floor.

Securities broker McLinden (Peter Strauss) and Diane Middleton (Rachel Ticotin) are experiencing a rocky affair when Diane announces that she’s pregnant. “Is it mine?” asks Larry, who may not be too suave but may be, as it turns out, prescient.

When it’s discovered that infant Larry Jr. has traces of cocaine in his blood , the romance is over. Except Larry — now far more enthusiastic about parenthood — wants custody of the child, whom Diane has taken to Florida. Larry’s attorney (Lynn Whitfield) sues, and a custody arrangement is set up, which Diane soon breaks, explaining that her son needs more time with her. Then she marries David Meadows (Booth Savage), and tells Larry that the two will try to adopt Larry Jr.

As the fight drags on, Diane surprises everyone by suddenly claiming, contrary to everything she’d said before, that Larry is not the child’s biological father. Then things get really complicated.

Title and casting lead to belief that sympathy is supposed to be with McLinden, but in Judson Klinger’s diffuse script, Larry is dumb as a stump.

Some viewers may decide that the best choice would be for the court to assign Larry Jr. to a foster family. Instead, judge (Patricia Gage) comes up with a new term, “psychological father,” awarding Larry primary custody.

Everybody plays this in deadly earnest among generic Toronto locations. Michael Dinner’s rote direction shows no energy; tech credits are routine.

Popular on Variety

Thicker Than Blood: The Larry Mclinden Story

(Sun. (6), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in Toronto by Alexander/Enright & Associates. Executive producers, Dan Enright, Les Alexander; co-executive producer, Harvey Kahn; producer, Julian Marks; co-producer, Judson Klinger; director, Michael Dinner; script, Klinger.

Crew: Camera, Rene O'Hashi; editor, James Austin Stewart; production designer, Tony Hall; sound, Urmas Rosen; music, Johnny Harris.

Cast: Cast: Peter Strauss, Rachel Ticotin, Bob Dishy, Brenda Bazinet, Damir Andrei, Jacob Zelik Penn, Lynn Whitfield, Susan Hogan, Carolyn Dunn, John Robinson, Patricia Gage, Mark Wilson, Booth Savage, Maia Filar, Tara Charendoff, Gil Filar , Anthony Dean Rubes, Graham McPherson, Elizabeth Lennie, Marion Gilsenan, Ian Neeson, Sherry Miller, Suzanne Cyr, Victoria Snow, Janet Lo, T.W. Schroeder, John Nelles, Maureen MacRae, Ray Kahnert, Michael Gencher, Kevin Zegers, George Cox, Michelle Moffat, Jeffrey Snape.

More TV

  • Judith Light'Transparent' TV show Musical Finale,

    'Transparent' Team Talks 'Transformative Energy' of Trans Community

    As Amazon Prime Video prepares to send off “Transparent” with a musical finale movie on Sept. 27, the cast and creative team behind the show are hoping the impact of a character such as Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) will not be overshadowed by the controversy that the actor who portrayed Maura caused. “I believe that [...]

  • Cherry Jones

    Cherry Jones Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actress Emmy

    Cherry Jones won the 2019 guest drama actress Emmy for her work as the titular character’s mother, Holly Osborne, in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This was Jones’ second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. Interestingly, both noms were for her work in the second season of the dystopian streaming series. After a few [...]

  • Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden

    Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden Girls'-Style Comedy for Netflix

    Jane Lynch and Cyndi Lauper just wanna have fun. The comedian and the 1980s music icon have joined forces to star in a new comedy project that may be heading to Netflix. Lynch let it slip backstage at the Creative Arts Emmys that she and Lauper will co-star in a comedy that she described as [...]

  • Luke Kirby71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts

    Luke Kirby Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actor Emmy

    Luke Kirby has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actor Emmy for his role as the real-life comic Lenny Bruce on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Kirby’s first-ever Emmy attention. He was nominated against a slew of “Saturday Night Live” players (Robert De Niro, John Mulaney and Adam [...]

  • Bradley Whitford photographed at the PMC

    Bradley Whitford Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actor Emmy

    Bradley Whitford won the 2019 guest drama actor Emmy for his role of Commander Joseph Lawrence on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whitford joined the cast of the streaming dystopian series at the end of its second season, in episodes that were released after the close of the 2018 Emmy eligibility window. The Television Academy agreed [...]

  • TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    Amazon’s “Transparent” will have a chapter, or a section of one, in some to-be-written history of television, in part thanks to how brazen and how daring its ideas were for its moment. Some of those were ideas that came to seem simply logical in retrospect: The show was a pathbreaker for trans representation onscreen, casting [...]

  • Jane Lynch NBC Relatively Happy

    Jane Lynch Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actress Emmy

    Jane Lynch has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actress Emmy for her role of comic Sophie Lennon on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Lynch’s second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. However, it is her fifth Emmy overall, after winning a short form statue in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content