"How to Marry a Millionaire" began airing in syndication on October 1957 as one of the first series based on a feature film. It marked the fifth series filmed by 20th Century Fox, who made a number of series based on their films. The sitcom ran for 52 episodes over two seasons. It wasn't widely seen then and remains a rather obscure series, only recently made available in a nice but no-frills, inexpensive MOD release of both seasons.
The series stars Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") in her first recurring television role as Loco Jones. Rounding out the starring roles are Merry Anders as Mike McCall and Lori Nelson as Greta Hanson (replaced in season two by Lisa Gaye). Like the popular film it was based on, three lovely young ladies move to Park Avenue in New York City determined to find a rich husband. The episodes follows their misadventures trying to meet someone while at the same time avoiding eviction from their posh penthouse. There were some interesting guest stars throughout the series (Morey Amsterdam, Richard Deacon, Ted Knight, and especially Werner Klemperer, twice). The series was canceled after 13 episodes of its second season.
Reflecting upon the series after just watching every episode, "How to Marry a Millionaire" had moments of fine comedy writing, but was more often than not predictable- a mere footnote of 50s sitcoms. When you have a talent like Morey Amsterdam disappear in his lone appearance, you have to question the writing. For a long stretch of the series it felt predictable like "Gilligan's Island", without much comedy. (You know they're not going to achieve their goal when you're watching an episode.) But, there are episodes I'll enjoy watching again and as a fan of classic television, I'm happy to have it in my collection.
The clear pleasure was the zany comedy of Barbara Eden's beautiful but ditzy Loco. Nearly all of the comedy came from her. ("For the Love of Art" was a favorite. In one scene, Loco is trying to impress without her glasses and browsing through an art gallery admiring how realistic this one painting was... She was unknowingly looking out the window.) Merry Ander's Mike was given virtually no character development, just a straight-faced de facto leader of the trio. Lori Nelson's Greta was also a serious character, but given more to be likable. In short, for the characters of Mike and Greta, landing a millionaire was no laughing matter. I liked the gorgeous Lisa Gaye's brief, but wholesome character. Thanks for the entertainment girls.