Twelve episodes of 'Kate McShane' was made in 1975 including the pilot, of which 10 went on air. Initially the series was about John McShane but the studio insisted on the character being a heroine. Creator E. Jack Neuman recounted, "The idea for 'Kate McShane' was born out of my negative feeling that most television heroes are rudderless. They have no families. They are either divorced or conveniently widowed. They are really half-people, and I've always deplored the fact that none of them ever telephones his mother to say, 'I won't be home for dinner.'" Dr Herbert Hendin wrote the book 'The Age of Sensation' made the observation, "Young people (in 1975) often find their emotions are painful. So to avoid them, they either try to limit their emotional involvement in a very controlled way or they try to escape from emotion through what I call 'fragmented sensory experience,' in which you treat life like a series of one-night stands. You don't look for meaning, significance or continuity. It's a movement in 2 directions: One into a kind of mechanical re-existence and the other into a kind of sensory stimulation...People tend to blame this on a mechanistic society to some extent. My own feeling is that, rather than the machine doing this to people, young people wish they had the same control over their emotions as a machine has."
Anne Meara remembered, "Well the script was actually written for a man described as a tall Kennedy-esque character and they made it a woman...She has a brother who was a priest..But she has no love life. She was like, you know, a nun." Jack McQueen emphasized, "This is not a business, now, where you come out at the start of the season and say, 'Wow! Whoopee! Have we got a new genre!'" David Harmon added, "The producer can't afford to gamble. He doesn't have the time. When the schedule isn't announced until early May and the show has to be in production by June 20, he has to buy immediately and hope the writer can deliver. He knows that if the first 2 or 3 shows don't make it, he may be canceled in January." Robert Foster remarked, "Writing is the one really great variable that can affect the success or failure of a show. If the writing isn't good, the show won't be; if the writing is good, you've got a chance." Sam Denoff made known, "The pilot doesn't say everything. And because it is a pilot, you might have made mistakes that you want to correct. So we explain all that afterwards. We tell them in what areas we want stories, what direction we want the show to take, what characters we want to stress. Sometimes we may have made cast changes since the pilot, either because an actor or character didn't work out, and we'll tell them about that." E. Jack Neuman confessed, "I did the pilot film under protest, and Anne knew it. I think her attitude was, 'I’m going to show this s.o.b.,' and rightly so."