Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Forgotten TV: Ichabod & Me (1961)

Robert Sterling (ex-Topper) returned to television in 1961's Ichabod & Me, a CBS entry from Revue. The show had a strong creative pedigree in executive producers Joe Connolly & Bob Mosher (Leave it to Beaver), whose Kayro Productions packaged the show with JaMco (Jack Benny's company), which also packaged Checkmate that same year.

Sterling played Robert Major, editor of the Phippsboro Bulletin, a weekly newspaper in the fictional New Hampshire town. George Chandler was Ichabod Adams, the owner, who was now a municipal commissioner, whom Major often sought for advice. Jimmy Mathers, the real-life brother of Beaver star Jerry Mathers, played Major's young son, Benjie. Hank Simms, later the voice of Quinn Martin Productions, is the announcer.

Spun off from a pilot episode that aired on GE Theatre, Ichabod lasted one season, despite having Red Skelton as a lead-in. Maybe this sample episode will explain why.

The 1961-2 season was also the 2nd & last for Checkmate, leaving Benny with just his self-titled sitcom on CBS for a couple more years. Connolly & Mosher followed up Ichabod with another 1-season wonder, the animated Calvin & The Colonel for ABC, before landing the cult classic, The Munsters (1964-6), also for CBS. Reta Shaw is better remembered for her later work on The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. Burt Mustin was also appearing on Beaver, and was a reliable supporting player on countless sitcoms & dramas for years.

Rating: B.

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