Saturday, June 29, 2013

Classic TV: My Three Sons (1960)

Don Fedderson's most successful series had to be My Three Sons, which lasted 12 seasons (1960-5 on ABC, 1965-72 on CBS). If you have never seen this show, you don't know what you're missing. Today, Me-TV owns the cable rights to the show, airing early in the morning Monday-Friday. I recommend checking it out.

Anyway, Sons marked the series debut of film veteran Fred MacMurray ("Double Indemnity", the original "Absent-Minded Professor"), cast as widower Steven Douglas, who had enough to deal with as his three boys, Mike (Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady, ex-The Mickey Mouse Club), & Chip (Stanley Livingston) were growing up. William Frawley (ex-I Love Lucy) was cast as "Bub" O'Casey, who served as the boys' housekeeper for the first few years. Failing health forced Frawley to leave the series, with William Demarest brought in as Bub's brother, Charley, for the rest of the run.

Grady wasn't the only one with a Disney connection. Considine appeared in the Spin & Marty serials on Mickey Mouse Club, but wasn't a full Mouseketeer, like Grady was. Of course, as noted, MacMurray had made the original "Absent Minded Professor" for Disney, and it's sequel, "Son of Flubber". Some of you may have heard that MacMurray also was reputedly the model for Fawcett's take on Captain Marvel, later acquired by DC, but that's kind of hard to prove, to tell you the truth.

Like many sitcoms of the day, Sons was repurposed in daytime reruns for a time near the end of its run, which is where I first became acquainted with the show. That just doesn't happen anymore as today's comedies are picked up not only for syndication distribution, but cable networks get their share of the action, too.

Here's the intro:

Perhaps the best thing about the show is Frank DeVol's kickin' theme song.

Rating: A-.


magicdog said...

I used to watch this show in Ch. 5 in NY when it was in syndication - the B&W eps were never shown however, so I was surprised to learn years later that Considine was part of the cast as a different son. It was also rather petty that Considine was all but forgotten once he left the show.

This show as also my introduction to MacMurray as a performer - so I was stunned to see his earlier films like, "Double Indemnity". I'd always known him as the sweet, patient Steven Douglas!

I do think the show ran way too long - they really should have called it quits by the time the triplets were born ("My Three MORE Sons!") and Robbie was banished off screen to South America Steven remarried, while Chip got married while still a teen!

hobbyfan said...

MTS was also my intro to Fred MacMurray. I've never seen "Double Indemnity", but I referenced the Disney movies 'cause I have seen those, and they maintained the MTS image he created.

Let's not forget that MacMurray would later play a dual role as Steve's Scottish cousin (with another actor, Alan Caillou, doing the voice-dubbing since MacMurray couldn't effect a perfect Scottish brogue). Trippy, no?