Academy Award winner Dean Jagger appeared as Novak's principal, Mr. Vane; he was replaced in the second season by Burgess Meredith. The show was a who's who of famous guest stars, both young – Tony Dow, Johnny Crawford, Beau Bridges, Kim Darby, Walter Koenig (aka Chekhov from Star Trek), Tommy Kirk, Shelly Fabares, Tommy Sands, Don Grady – and older – Ed Asner, Martin Landau, Cloris Leachman, Lillian Gish, Edward Mulhare, Eddie Albert. More importantly, the show tackled real world problems in an intelligent and at times fearless manner, tackling issues such as teen pregnancy, improper relationships betwen teachers and students (with both male and female teachers involved), drug abuse, teen drinking, sex education, race relations – and it didn't talk down to the teens who were supposed to be its audience. In more than one instance it drew fire from those who didn't like its message; one episode in particular, about a young black girl threatened for attending Novak's high school, drew large volumes of hate mail from those who disliked it's "pro-Negro" message.
In the end, though, despite being an ex-Korean War fighter pilot (seeing friends die in the war prompted Novak's career choice), Mr. Novak just couldn't win the ratings war against Combat!, its time slot competitor. The show is not yet available on DVD, although it's rumored that Warner Archive ( http://www.facebook.com/warnerarchive) may release it soon. In the meantime, some portions of episodes can be viewed on Youtube at the links below.