5 January 2009 | rcj5365
John Forysthe's second sitcom was good,until the unthinkable happened
Some three years after the success of "Bachelor Father",actor John Forsythe returned to series television in this short-lived comedy series that ran for one season on NBC. "The John Forysthe Show" starred John Forysthe as Air Force Major John Foster,who was a bachelor all of his life and his dealings with women had been exclusively social. When he retired after the Air Force,he became the headmaster of the Foster School,an exclusive San Francisco school for girls that he had recently inherited from his aunt Victoria. Helping him run the school was a former Air Force sergeant and friend,Ed Robbins(Guy Marks). The clash of these two men with an alien environment produced unexpected results. Hilarious hijinks soon followed. The misunderstandings between them are Miss Culver,the school principal (British actress,Elsa Lanchester),along with Miss Culver's assistant Miss Wilson(played by Ann B. Davis,of "Love That Bob" and also later on as Alice the Housekeeper of the "Brady Bunch" fame),were frequent and often hilarious especially for a short-lived comedy series that was very family-oriented during the mid-1960's even though it was very short lived.
And what made this show interesting was having John Forysthe's own daughters,Brooke(aged 11),and Page(aged 14)playing the actresses who were students at the school. This short-lived series was Mr. Forysthe's second sitcom which was in color that stayed around a full season and was produced under his production company in association with MCA-TV/Universal Television for NBC-TV from September 13,1965 until March 1,1966. Originally 22 episodes were made of this series. When the show was cancelled in March of 1966,NBC repeated these 22 episodes until its demise on August 29,1966. The show was also a magnet for other actresses who made their mark on this series: Peggy Lipton(future Julie on "The Mod Squad"),Pamelyn Ferdin(of "Lassie",and was a huge child star who would go on to bigger and better fame during the next decade),and Tracy Stafford,who were also students at the prestigious school.
What killed off this sweet,wholesome family oriented show? By March of 1966,someone who was behind this series(John Forysthe? The Producers? NBC?)had the not-so-bright-jettison idea to turn this family comedy sitcom by having John Forysthe's character go from a sweet natured headmaster of a girls school into a international man of mystery? There was a change in the format of this sitcom with the producers having The Foster School as being no longer the center of attention as John and Ed became world-travel agents for the U.S. Government--using the school as base from which they could start or end their adventures. Was they trying to emanulated the success of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E?" Why did the producers try to kill off a good wholesome family sitcom by turning it into something they knew the concept was not going to work? The missions were not heavy-cloak-and dagger stuff,but were definitely more serious,and sometimes having John Forysthe fall into the hands of some beautiful girl in order to save the world. The results were not very good and the show never made toward its second season. However,John Forysthe would try this again in another wholesome family oriented series,"To Rome With Love",which was produced by Don Fedderson of "My Three Sons",and "Family Affair" fame for CBS(1969-1971).