Saturday, April 3, 2010

John Forsythe: Bachelor Father

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Bachelor Father is an American sitcom starring John Forsythe that appeared on all three national television networks between 1957 and 1962. Bachelor Father debuted in the fall of 1957 on CBS. The series was produced by Forsythe's "Bachelor Productions" in association with MCA's Revue Studios.
Bachelor Father followed the adventures of Bentley Gregg, a wealthy bachelor attorney living in Beverly Hills who assumes the responsibility of raising his niece, Kelly (Noreen Corcoran), after her parents die in an automobile accident. Other members of the Gregg household include houseboy Peter Tong (Sammee Tong), teenage neighbor and Kelly's boyfriend, Howard Meechum (Jimmy Boyd) and Jasper, the dog. Plots centered on Bentley's adjustments to his new role as an adoptive parent, Bentley's search for the right woman to share his life, Kelly facing the usual problems of adolescence and young adulthood as she goes from high school to college, and, less often, Peter's misadventures with some financial scheme. In its final season, they storylines led to Kelly's impending marriage to Bentley's junior partner, Warren Dawson, portrayed by Aron Kinkaid. The series ended prior to the wedding. One hundred fifty-seven episodes were aired. The program never finished any of its five seasons in the top 25 in the ratings.
The series' pilot episode was originally presented on General Electric Theater (as "A New Girl in His Life") on May 26, 1957. The program was first telecast on CBS on September 15, 1957. It originally aired on Sunday evenings on alternating weeks with The Jack Benny Program opposite NBC's Sally and ABC's Maverick. The show moved to NBC on Thursday nights in June 1959 and concluded its run on the network in September 1961. The series moved on to ABC on Tuesday nights in 1961 for its final season.The last episode ran September 25, 1962. It was primarily sponsored by American Tobacco (Hit Parade, Tareyton cigarettes) throughout its original run.
After Bachelor Father, Forsythe appeared in two other sitcoms, The John Forsythe Show on NBC (1965-1966) and To Rome with Love on CBS (1969-1971), also featuring Walter Brennan as Forsythe's father-in-law. Thereafter, he starred in two highly successful drama series, Charlie's Angels and Dynasty, both on ABC.

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