Adventures of Champion

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Rancher KIDS: Ricky (Barry Curtis) (12) WHERE’S MOM?: Don’t know. Where’s Dad, too? STAND-IN “MOM”: Champion (?) Hey who’s ripping whom off here? This show, produced by Gene Autry as a “vehicle” for his Wonder Horse, Champion, sounds pretty much like the plot of Fury (above). Get this: out west, Ricky North lives on his uncle’s ranch, and …

Family Affair

Jim 1950s - 1960s

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) 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 Dennis O’Keefe Show

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Hal Towne (Dennis O’Keefe ) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Newspaper columnist KIDS: Randy (Rickey Kelman) (10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Sarge (Hope Emerson) / Housekeeper Classic elements of TV Single Dad shows abound in this series — Dad, a newspaper columnist (watch how often THAT career pops up in TV Single Dad shows) has a bulldog …

Flipper

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly) / Widower (?) DAD’S JOB: Park Ranger KIDS: Sandy (Luke Halpin)(15), Bud (Tommy Norden)(10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead, maybe. STAND-IN “MOM”: either oceanographer Ulla Norstrand (Ulla Stromstedt) or Flipper (?) (Suzy the Porpoise) Porter Ricks is the reason real-life Dads don’t get custody very often. Sandy and Bud were never were seen in school, never did …

Brave Eagle

Jim 1950s - 1960s

KID: Keena (Keena Nomkeena) / Foster son WHERE’S MOM?: Don’t know. STAND-IN “MOM”: Morning Star (?) (Kim Winona) Brave Eagle’s girlfriend A “now, with-it” western, told from the point of view of the Native Americans. Brave Eagle had to lead his tribe in simple survival and run-ins with the white man and other Indians. Kinda like Captain Kirk with teepees …

The Second Hundred Years

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: 19th Century Gold Miner KIDS OF DAD #1: Edwin (Arthur O’Connell) (81!) DAD #2: Edwin Carpenter (Arthur O’Connell) / Widower DAD #2’S JOB: Unknown – e-mail me if you know. KIDS OF DAD #2: Ken (also Monte Markham) WHERE’S MOM?: Both Moms are dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Colonel Garroway Luke Carpenter was a gold prospector in Alaska in the …

My Three Sons

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Aerospace Engineer KIDS: Mike(Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady), Chip (Stanley Livingston), Ernie (Barry Livingston) (I know it’s four, read on) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead for quite some time / Ernie was adopted when his missionary parents moved to China (!) STAND-IN “MOM”: “Bub” O’Casey (William Frawley) / “Uncle Charley” O’Casey (William Demarest) Face it, this show could be called …

King Kong

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Ape Scientist KIDS: Bobby (10), Susan (9) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead, maybe. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown Rankin-Bass updated the King Kong story in this briefly-lived cartoon. In this incarnation, King Kong makes friends with the Bond family on the island of Mondo, an island near Indonesia. Bad guys were always gunning for Kong and his friends, so most of the …

The Great Gildersleeve

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1955 Syndicated DAD: Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman) / Single DAD’S JOB: Water Commissioner of Summerfield KID: Marjorie Forrester(Stephanie Griffith), Leroy Forrester(Ronald Keith) / Niece & Nephew WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. So’s Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”: Birdie Lee Coggins (Lillian Randolph) / Housekeeper Technically, this show started before WWII — but it was a *radio* show when it began in 1941. …

The Guns of Will Sonnett

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Retired cavalry scout KIDS: Jeff Sonnett (Dack Rambo) (19) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. But that’s not important. STAND-IN “MOM”: Will Sonnett — the grandfather. Let’s return to a familiar storyline — Grandpa raises the kid when the parents are dead/missing (see The Ed Wynn Show for details). In this western, Jeff Sonnett’s dad, who is also Will Sonnett’s son, …