The Paper Chase became a television series on CBS in 1978-79. It lasted a year. The next year the entire series was rebroadcast on PBS, the first time a network had transferred to PBS.

In 1983, Showtime brought the show to cable. Hart continued to study at Harvard Law School. Osborn had begun writing of the show while it was on CBS.

When it went to Showtime, he became the chief writer, creating all the new characters, as Hart had become a second year student and joined the law review. The show did well on Showtime, and Hart continued to study law until 1986 when he finally graduated.