Consider the differences between the Seventies Single Dad shows and the shows of the preceding two decades. The classic focus of TV Single Dad shows had been directed on the relationship between Dad and his kids. This decade concentrated more on the career activities of the Dad (and in some cases, the children!), without much emphasis on the struggling developmental relationships with the children.
- Getting Together
DAD: Bobby Conway (Bobby Sherman) / Single older brother
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 3 months. There was a small hit song to come out of this series: “Jennifer,” which climbed the charts around Thanksgiving, 1971.
- Nanny & The Professor
DAD: Professor Howard Everett (Richard Long) / Widower
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 thinly-veiled ripoff of Disney’s Mary Poppins, with the added spin of a Single Dad in the mix.
ABC ran the boards in the early 70’s with multitudes of single and recombinant TV parent sitcoms such as The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, and the aforementioned Getting Together.
A slight casting irony – – TV Single Dad Richard Long was returning to television after a four-year run on one of the most famous TV Single *Mom* shows: The Big Valley.