There's been many a show built around a star whose best work has been as part of an ensemble, but was proven unable to carry a show on his own. It happened to Tim Conway time and again in the post-McHale's Navy era. It also happened to Paul Lynde. Twice.
It was 1972. Bewitched had ended its run after 8 seasons, and was now running in daytime repeats six days a week on ABC. Lynde, appearing on Hollywood Squares over on NBC, was tapped to star in his own series after gaining iconic status as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched. He was clearly a favorite of Elizabeth Montgomery and her then-husband, William Asher, who'd formed their production company, Ashmont, toward the end of Bewitched's run, and their first post-Bewitched project cast Lynde in a very common domestic sitcom, one whose roots extended a decade.
The Paul Lynde Show actually begins with the 1962 movie, "Howie", a little known feature film based on a Broadway play. The Ashers and Lynde revisited the concept with this series, in which Paul Simms (Lynde) must navigate matters with his son-in-law, the aforementioned Howie (John Calvin). Nice idea, but one problem. It was airing opposite Adam-12 and The Carol Burnett Show. Ballgame.
The series lasted exactly 1 year, but Asher wasn't giving up on Lynde just yet. After James Whitmore was bounced from Temperatures Rising, another Ashmont series, the next season, Lynde was brought on board to replace him, playing a completely new character. Didn't help, as Rising, headlined by Cleavon Little, was another bust.
Here's the open to The Paul Lynde Show:
It wasn't long after that Lynde wound up doing commercials for Manufacturers Hanover Trust bank in New York. Go figure.
No rating. Never saw the show.