DAD: “Uncle Bill” Davis (Brian Keith) / Single(!)
DAD’S JOB: Construction Engineer
KIDS: Cissy (15), Buffy & Jody (6)
WHERE’S MOM?: Mom & Dad are dead – Uncle Bill was DAD’S brother
STAND-IN “MOM”: Mr. French (Sebastian Cabot)
Arguably the most famous TV Single Dad show, this one’s got it all: the foreign butler who needs to remind Uncle Bill how to be a parent, the perfectly precocious kids, the fabulous bachelor pad, etc.
Doesn’t the apartment remind you of the “penthouse view” Eva Gabor had in Green Acres?
This show also illustrates a certain “mood” of a few Single TV Dad shows:there is a distinct, though ethereal melancholy about the show, especially in scenes featuring Uncle Bill, where the pathos of not having a mom keeps being harped upon. Family Affair, along with The Farmer’s Daughter and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, placed a downbeat mood on the narrative not evident in other contemporary shows such as Batman or Flipper.