Maximum Bob
The show's titlecard, showing characters Wanda Grace, Leanne Gibbs, "Maximum" Bob Gibbs, Kathy Baker and Sheriff Gary Hammond
GenreComedy drama
Based onMaximum Bob (novel) by Elmore Leonard
Developed byAlex Gansa[1]
ComposerDavid Schwartz
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7
Executive producers
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseAugust 4 (1998-08-04) –
September 15, 1998 (1998-09-15)

Maximum Bob is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on ABC from August 4 until September 15, 1998.[2] Starring Beau Bridges, the show was based on Elmore Leonard's 1991 novel of the same name.[3][4]


The series centered on Bob Gibbs (played by Bridges), an ultra right-wing judge known for giving the maximum sentence to defendants. Other characters included the judge's psychic wife Leanne (Kiersten Warren) who channels the spirit of a young slave girl named Wanda Grace (Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly); a widower sheriff with a knack for ballroom dancing; and Kathy Baker, a comely spitfire public defender (Liz Vassey) from Miami. The storylines served mainly to introduce the cast of eccentric characters, and were set in the fictional backwoods Florida town of Deepwater.

Judge Gibbs' young wife performed in a mermaid show until she nearly lost her life to an alligator, after which she abruptly retired from the business and can no longer even go in her swimming pool. Baker comes to Deepwater on a case and becomes a romantic target for the local sheriff, as well as a potential conquest for the always lustful judge. The show also includes a family of inbred, myopic, dysfunctional people with a criminal bent.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
1"Pilot"Barry SonnenfeldAlex GansaAugust 4, 1998 (1998-08-04)475130
Public defender Kathy Baker visits the small Florida town of Deepwater to defend a young client being used as a pawn by a politically minded judge. She stumbles onto the town's many peculiarities including a criminally minded backwoods family, an abusive deputy, alligators running rampant, and a crazed environmentalist, all presided over by an eccentric judge, "Maximum" Bob Gibbs.
2"Wandalust"John David ColesStory by : Alex Gansa & Topper Lilien
Teleplay by : Alex Gansa
August 11, 1998 (1998-08-11)467201
Bob "borrows" a convict from the prison to serve as his personal gardener, leading to problems when Wanda Grace chooses him to be her first love. Leanne willingly donates her body for Wanda's use. Bob bursts in, leading to a large manhunt and a kidnapped baby.
3"Bay of Big's"Marc BucklandTheresa RebeckAugust 18, 1998 (1998-08-18)467203
Bob enjoys the satisfaction when he busts he ex-wife Rosellen for smuggling Cuban cigars into the country. His satisfaction is short-lived when two federal agents arrive, claiming that Rosellen is a federal operative. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Bob spies on Rosellen and in the process gets captured and held hostage by Cuban Freedom Fighters. Meanwhile, in another part of Deepwater, Kathy and Sheriff Hammond practice for an upcoming dance contest.
4"A Little Tail"Todd HollandMolly NewmanAugust 25, 1998 (1998-08-25)467204
Kathy represents a man being refused a job as a mermaid. Dirk and Bogart Crowe refuse to return their pet manatee to its rightful owner. Kathy represents her estranged husband Kevin after he is brought before Judge Gibbs for traffic violations. Kevin tries to convince Kathy he is a changed man.
5"Good Dog Karl"Elodie KeeneRick ClevelandSeptember 1, 1998 (1998-09-01)467205
Kathy befriends a dog that saved her life. Meanwhile, the whole town is up in arms over a beast of some sort that attacked a young woman, biting off three fingers. According to witnesses (the Crowe family) the beast was either a Gatorman or the Okeechobee Wolfman. Judge Gibbs hires an exorcist to cast out Wanda Grace.
6"Dead Babe Walking"Félix Enríquez AlcaláStory by : Rick Kellard & Bob Comfort
Teleplay by : Rick Kellard
September 8, 1998 (1998-09-08)467202
Bob falls for Angelyne, a born-again death row inmate. After 'Old Sparky' blows a fuse, Bob works with Kathy to find a way to let the prisoner off the hook. Meanwhile, Inez Crowe comes to work as Leanne's personal aide.
7"Once Bitten..."Kenneth FinkRoger GarrettSeptember 15, 1998 (1998-09-15)467206
Judge Gibbs' gubernatorial campaign is temporarily derailed by allegations of sexual assault leveled by a former intern. Elvin Crowe and Sheriff Gary hunt down Sonny and another convict after the two break out of prison.


  1. ^ Boedeker, Hal (August 4, 1998). "Clever Fun to the Max". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Johnson, Allan (August 4, 1998). "Florida Judge "Maximum" Bob Gibbs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Gold, Scott (August 3, 1998). "Palm Beach County Finds Itself in 'Deep Water' Tuesday Night". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin (August 20, 2013). "Elmore Leonard dies: The crime writer's TV hits and misses". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2021.