By the time Perry Mason rolled into its third season in the fall of 1959, the series was the 10th most popular program in America, and the uncontested leader in its Saturday night timeslot--despite formidable competition from the upstart NBC western Bonanza. Ironically, Perry Mason would ultimately wither on the vine in its ninth season when once again CBS moved it opposite the by-now extremely profitable Bonanza, but that was still several years in the future. Ratings and popularity, aside, the series' star Raymond Burr and his costars Barbara Hale, William Hopper and Ray Collins had ample reason for complaint this season, thanks to a corporate decision by parent network CBS. In March of 1960, William Talman, who played defense attorney Mason's friendly adversary, prosecutor Hamilton Burger, was hauled into jail for throwing a wild party (marijuana may or may not have been involved). Though Talman was never charged with anything, the network invoked the "morals clause" in his contract and fired him on the spot. Only the combined protests of the cast members--led by Burr, who threatened to quit the show if Talman wasn't reinstated--and tons of supportive fan mail compelled CBS to reverse its decision in December of 1960. By this time, however, Talman had missed several episodes (most of which were seen in the series' fourth season). March 1960 Talman had his wild party. Fay Wray murdered in "The Case of the Watery Witness," "The Case of the Lucky Legs," in "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor," Burger asks Mason's help to clear an old friend on a murder charge. Otherwise, things moved smoothly on the series, with Perry Mason consistently proving the innocence of his clients and and exposing the real murderer on a weekly basis. Also, as in previous years, Season Three had its share of noteworthy guest performers, ranging from old-timer Francis X. Bushman to comparative youngsters Barbara Bain, Bert Convy and future Oscar winner Louise Fletcher.