Sunshine

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1975 DAD: Sam Hayden (Cliff DeYoung) / widower DAD’S JOB: Composer/Singer/Odd Jobs KIDS: Jill (Elizabeth Cheshire) (5) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead STAND-IN “MOM”: Nora (Meg Foster) / neighbor Getting Together returns. How about a one-man Partridge Family, with Dad taking the Shirley Jones role, and the one kid doesn’t sing? Okay, that’s stretching a bit. Dad is raising his stepdaughter, …

The Cop and the Kid

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Police officer KIDS: Lucas Adams (Tierre Turner) (11) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead STAND-IN “MOM”: Brigid Murphy (Patsy Kelly) – Frank’s mom. One of the Things Wrong with the Seventies was the “Chico & the Man Syndrome” — the shows where white foster parents raise minority “street-wise” kids. This show was typical of the syndrome. Frank Murphy was a cop …

The Texas Wheelers

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Layabout KIDS: Truckie (Gary Busey) (24), Doobie (Mark Hamill) (16), Boo (Karen Obediear) (12), T.J. (Tony Becker) (10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown Wow. Mark Hamill and Gary Busey in a SITCOM – with Jack Elam as a dad! This show was ripe with interactions between the kids and their no-account dad. Picture Fred Sanford with 4 …

Love Boat

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Your Ship’s Captain (according to the credits) KIDS: Vicki Stubing (Jill Whelen)(10) WHERE’S MOM?: Showgirl girlfriend – left when daughter was a baby. STAND-IN “MOM”: none Vicki, the near-invisible daughter on Captain Stubing’s Love Boat, was a throw-away, forgettable character. No probing episode focused on the relationship between Vicki and her dad was ever aired. Then again, when …

Paper Moon

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1974 DAD’S JOB: Con Man KIDS: Addie Pray (Jodie Foster) (8) WHERE’S MOM?: Missing – Dead maybe. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown From the movie of the same name. Dad was a con man who sold Bibles in depression-era Kansas. Addie was his world-wise 13-year-old daughter who was actually a lot tougher than Dad. Mostly operating outside the law, they did …

Sanford & Son

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Junk Dealer KIDS: Lamont (Demond Wilson) (almost 30) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead a few years. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page) / aunt Fred Sanford pushed the limits of role reversal in the TV Single Dad framework. Fred’s world was basically financed by his son, Lamont. Lamont had no love for the situation he found himself in …

Nanny & The Professor

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1970-71 DAD’S JOB: Math Professor KIDS: Hal(David Doremus) (12), Butch (Trent Lehman) (8), Prudence (Kim Richards) (5) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead a few years. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Phoebe Figalilly (Juliet Mills) – “Nanny” Nanny & The Professor represented a “last hurrah” for Sixties-style TV Single Dads; in fact, it barely made it into the Seventies. The story was a …

Getting Together

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1971-1972 DAD’S JOB: Songwriter KIDS: Jennifer Conway (Susan Neher) (12) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – so is Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”: Rita (Pat Carroll) / Landlady A spin-off of another single-parent show (The Partridge Family), this “vehicle” for teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman put him as guardian of his 12-year-old sister, Jennifer. Unlike its successful parent series, Getting Together came apart after …

Stagecoach West

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1960-1961 DAD’S JOB: Stagecoach Driver KIDS: David Kane (Richard Eyer) (13) WHERE’S MOM?: Unknown STAND-IN “MOM”: Possibly Luke Perry (Wayne Rogers) / Stagecoach Co-pilot Uh, this is kinda like Love Boat on a stagecoach, and without the comedy. Simon and Luke drove the stagecoach between California and Missouri, and Simon’s son travelled with them. Maybe someday they’ll make a …