Friday, November 14, 2014

A Classic Reborn: Make Room For Granddaddy (1970)

Danny Thomas had, you would think, settled quite nicely into being just a producer after his last series, alternately titled, The Danny Thomas Show or Make Room For Daddy, had ended in 1964. Thomas was teaming with Aaron Spelling, who came over from Four Star, and the two had a pair of modest successes, The Guns of Will Sonnett and The Mod Squad, the latter of which was on the air when Thomas returned to primetime himself in 1970 with the sequel to his seminal sitcom.

Make Room For Granddaddy continued the story of the Williams family, six years after the first series ended. Angela Cartwright had been available since Lost In Space ended two years earlier, for example. The funny thing is, the gang had gotten back together for a couple of reunion projects, the last of which, also titled, Make Room For Granddaddy, had aired on CBS in 1969. Thomas didn't like the timeslot the network offered him, and since he already had a business relationship with ABC through his partnership with Spelling, took Granddaddy there.

Sid Melton (Charley) came over from Green Acres, which was also in its final season. Sherry Jackson (Terry) only appeared in the opener, to drop off her son (Michael Hughes), leaving the lad in her parents' care. The fact that across the board, the networks were purging shows that were skewing older and/or rural areas, doomed Granddaddy, despite Thomas pulling out all the stops. His guest list included Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, and, in this episode, from January 1971, Lucille Ball.

Thomas would have 1 more series, the sitcom, The Practice, a few years later, but that, too, was a failure.

No rating. I have no memory of seeing this show.


magicdog said...

I never got to see this series though I had heard about it. I think the problem was the networks, as always are going after the younger demographic and Danny Thomas (and entertainer Red Skelton who was on TV at the same time) tended to skew older.

I suppose it didn't help that there wasn't much difference between the two shows - it more or less just picked up where the original left off. The kids are older, most everyone is sporting a new hairstyle and 70s fashions, and the occasional celeb happens by.

I noticed Lucy is playing her "Here's Lucy" incarnation, "Lucy Carter". I didn't know the shows shared a universe.

hobbyfan said...

As I noted, "Granddaddy" was meant for CBS, but they dissed Thomas by offering him what he called a "quiet" slot. Lucy's appearance was written with the idea that this was to be on CBS, instead of ABC. Lucy's last series would air on ABC some 15 years later.