The popular CBS series starred Newhart as Robert Hartley, a Chicago psychologist. The show divided most of its action between the character's home life and work, with Suzanne Pleshette as Hartley's occasionally sarcastic wife Emily, and Bill Daily as their neighbor, inept airline navigator Howard Borden. At the medical complex where Hartley had his psychology practice, Marcia Wallace played his receptionist, Carol, and Peter Bonerz appeared as Jerry, a dentist who shared the office suite. Two of Hartley's more memorable regular patients were the exceptionally mean-spirited Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley) and the milquetoast ex-marine Emil Peterson (John Fiedler). Most of the situations involved Newhart's character playing straight man to his wife, colleagues, friends and patients.