27 May 2000 | raysond
The most successful of the Don Fedderson produced family sitcoms...My Three Sons
A TV Classic in the golden age of early 60's sitcoms that became creator-executive producer Don Fedderson's most successful show that became second only to "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" as the longest-running sitcom series in television history spanning 12 seasons and 380 episodes airing from September 29,1960 until April 13,1972 with repeated episodes airing from April 20,1972 until August 24,1972. The series first aired on ABC's Thursday night prime time schedule producing 153 black and white episodes from September 29, 1960 until May 20,1965. Then after it was canceled by ABC in 1965 the series was picked up by CBS for the next seven seasons in color for 227 episodes from September 16,1965 until April 13,1972. CBS also aired various episodes in repeats for it's daytime line-up for one season in September,1971 that featured various seasons in color. "My Three Sons" won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series in 1962 and was nominated for three Prime Time Emmys in 1961,1968 and 1969. The show's sponsors throughout it's run where during the earlier years The Chevrolet Motor Division where you saw Chevrolet products featured in various episodes and during the closing credits. Other sponsors were General Motors Division, The Quaker Oats Company, Ralston-Purina, and in it's final season the sponsor was The Ford Motor Company(Lincoln-Mercury Division).
Of all the cast members that were associated with the show only actors Fred MacMurray(Steve Douglas),and Stanley Livingston(Chip Douglas) remained throughout it's entire run. William Frawley(Bub O'Casey) appeared in 165 episodes; William Demarest(Charley O'Casey) appeared in 215 episodes. Tim Considine(Mike Douglas)appeared in 185 episodes; Don Grady(Robbie Douglas)appeared in 357 episodes;Barry Livingston,the brother of Stanley Livingston(Ernie Thompson-Douglas)appeared in 206 episodes; Tina Cole(Katie Miller Douglas)appeared in 134 episodes;Beverly Garland(Barbara Harper Douglas)appeared in 74 episodes; Dawn Lyn(Dodie Harper Douglas)appeared in 73 episodes;Ronne Troup(Polly Williams Douglas)appeared in 36 episodes. Tramp the Douglas' family dog was in all 380 episodes of the series throughout it's run.
The series revolves around Steve Douglas(Fred MacMurray)who was a widower and aeronautical engineer with three sons that consisted of the oldest(Mike),the middle-child(Robbie),and the youngest child(Chip)and their maternal grandfather(Bub O'Casey)who was the housekeeper and the family dog in their suburban household in fictional Bryant Park. Then numerous changes began to take when the series went from ABC to CBS. The first color telecast saw the marriage of the oldest son Mike to his college sweetheart Sally. And by the show's eighth season on CBS(when the show moved from Thursday nights to Saturday nights)saw the family's adoption of Ernie and also midway through the season saw Robbie's marriage to his college sweetheart Katie. That same season also saw the family moving from Bryant Park to North Hollywood where Steve has been offer a new position at his place of employment. Season 9 saw the birth of Robbie's wife Katie with three sons. Season 10 sees Steve Douglas walked down the aisle of martial bliss when he marries Barbara Harper and also brings along her daughter Dodie from a previous marriage. And during the show's 12th and final season(when CBS moved the series from Saturday nights to Monday nights in a later time slot opposite ABC's Monday Night Football)saw the youngest Chip also marrying his high school sweetheart Polly Williams.
When "My Three Sons" ended it's astounding run in 1972 after 12 seasons and 380 episodes it marked the end of an era in family situation comedy series where it was taken over during the 1970's with the landscape of prime time television changing it's programming to urban dramas and gritter police shows. The show that replaced "My Three Sons" on CBS in the fall of 1972 was "The Bill Cosby Comedy Hour"