Thinking about Marlo Thomas reminded me of Make Room For Granddaddy, one of the rare times a long-running television program returned to primetime - Make Room For Daddy aka The Danny Thomas Show ran for 11 years, 1953-1964, first on ABC then on CBS.
The success of Make Room For Daddy on CBS no doubt helped persuade ABC to greenlight a sitcom starring Thomas' daughter Marlo, an unknown actress. That Girl debuted in 1966 and, even though it never finished in the top 25, it was a was a comparative hit for a network in dire need of a popular programs.
In the meantime, Danny Thomas produced two Make Room For Daddy reunion shows with the original cast, he was the first to do so. In 1969 the one-hour special Make Room For Granddaddy aired on CBS, picking up the story of the Williams family 3 years later. It earned boffo ratings so CBS happily offered Danny Thomas a weekly slot for the updated series. Thomas agreed but ultimately decided against it when he saw the lousy timeslot CBS had in mind.
As before, the success of That Girl had to factor into ABC's decision to pick up Make Room For Granddaddy for the fall of 1970. The original cast all returned including Marjorie Lord as wife Kathy and Angela Cartwright as daughter Linda but Rusty Hamer as son Rusty was rarely seen and a new redheaded grandchild living in the Williams household was added for the cute factor. Secondary characters played by Sid Melton and Hans Conried were occasionally seen along with new regular Rosie Greer as Danny Williams' new pianist.
Old school guest stars like Lucille Ball and Bob Hope turned up most weeks which gave the series a Here's Lucy feel, that show was a top ten hit on CBS.
Despite a prime timeslot, airing between Courtship of Eddie's Father and Room 222, the series was a flop and was pulled before the end of the season.
Here's the fall preview:
And here's the theme, notice the 'modern' graphics.
Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 10:02am
The That Girl theme, one of my all time faves, got a makeover for season 5, its last. Lyrics were added but I wasn't too fond of them - "She's everything that every girl should be?" Really? Because Ann Marie was a bit of a dip.
Speaking of which, here's a makeup test (no audio) from That Girl with Marlo Thomas trying on different wigs. Check out the second one.
Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 8:37am
Some time ago someone contacted me about doing a Romper Room retrospective for PBS to run during pledge time. Great idea. But did it ever happen?
A while back I commented on The Price Is Right's Drew Carey's lack of excitement when a contestant won the Showcase with a perfect bid. You can see it here. Justin Kaplowitz points out an article - in Esquire of all places - on a contestant who rocked that game show to the core. It's a great read with lots of insight into the making of an iconic TV show. Like, did you know Bob Barker had insisted the show be vegetarian with no fur or meat?
Anyone remember After Dark magazine? I still have a few copies somewhere. It freaked me out!
Britain's oldest working television set, from 1936, has sold at auction for a whopping £16,800. And it still works!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:25am
ONE OF THE GREATS!
TV writer Madelyn Pugh Davis has died, she and her partner Bob Carroll wrote many of my favorite Lucy episodes. They had been out of Lucy's employ for some time when they returned to pen this classic episode of Here's Lucy with guests Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor.
Friday, April 22, 2011 - 9:45am
FOOD WONDERFUL FOOD
Two: His right hand chef boasts of the ingredients in his latest Buitoni snack: "....not as much starch ......more marinara- ha...ha.... (oh, someone needs a breath freshener, groans Mr. Buitoni).
Seriously, these two commercials are such understated, comedic gems. Sadly, there is some firm named Macxxxx or something who owns them and won't release them without $$$, I think. You'll find them if you google around. But please try your best. The world really needs to enjoy them.
Thanks for the suggestion Gregory. I wasn't able to locate those long gone classics but Buitoni Instant Pizza is defunct here but still going strong... in Italy. Looks tasty!
Which brings me to one of my favorite subjects - fast food. For a skinny guy I eat a lot, or I should say I eat about half of what I order and waste a lot of fast food. The portions are too big! I feel bad about throwing away food but I figure the only thing worse I could do with it is consume it.
Why isn't there a decent pizza either in the frozen section or for delivery? I mean, there are amazing local spots, in every city I suppose, but no good national chains. Pizza is ridiculously inexpensive to make so why can't any of the national chains even come close, in terms of taste, to my neighborhood place? And is it possible to get a pizza delivered for less that $18? When you add the delivery charge - how dare they! - the tax and tip no matter how low the price point is it will be right around $20 minimum. It gets on my nerves - a $5.99 pizza from Papa Johns or wherever - but you have to order two, right?
The best frozen pizza I've had in a while were 4 individual small pizzas for really cheap at Wal-Mart. I threw on some good mozzarella, basil, jalapenos, bacon and it made for a great pizza, surprisingly. I need to get some more of those. I was addicted to Taco Bell's Mexican pizza for a while, I still enjoy it every once in a while.
I wrote here recently about my search for a great roast beef sandwich. I also hunger for a delicious Caesar salad and good tasting soups. There was a place in LA on the corner of 3rd Street and Crescent Heights called Sadie that had the best Caesar salad dressing I've ever had and the finest homemade soups. When I worked down the block I was there almost every day, they also had an amazing array of classic candies that you don't see anymore. That charming gift shop disappeared in 1998, it was gone by the time I returned in 2002 replaced by a Men's Wearhouse or something. Here's an article on the store. Here's to the Sadie lady Joan wherever you are, and to the lady who had the Rainbow Sandwich Shop for a brief time in the early 1980s in Century City, the best roast beef sandwiches I ever had.
Since Sadie I've only had one Caesar salad that's come close, with the strong taste of anchovies, and that's at a local pizza joint called Sticks & Stones. I say close but still not anchovies enough for me. I normally detest Tomato soup but a local chain Mellow Mushroom has a tasty Tomato with lots of garlic, their bean soup is good too. Sometime I'll make do with Panera Bread's soups but they come in a big bag, not made fresh. They used to be better I think, especially their French Onion which is a real mess. When I started getting the 'Pick Two' it was around $6.50 now it's about $10.00!
Friday, April 22, 2011 - 9:45am
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 12:49pm
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