Episodes: 27 known (half-hour)
TV show dates: November 22, 1953 — May 23, 1955
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Leon Ames, Lurene Tuttle, Ralph Reed, Steven Terrell, Ronald Keith, B.G. Norman, Freddy Ridgeway, Harvey Grant, Freddie Leiston, Malcolm Cassell, Dorothy Bernard, Marion Ross, and Bob Lemond.
TV show description:
During the 1920s, Clarence Day Jr. wrote numerous nostalgic articles about his life for The New Yorker. They were so popular that the stories led to a best-selling novel, a successful play — it ran on Broadway for nearly eight years and 3224 performances — and a major motion picture starring William Powell. The stories also led to a live television show.
Set in New York City during the 1880s, the series tells the story of Clarence Day Senior (Leon Ames), a stern but loving Victorian father. His wife is Vinnie (Lurene Tuttle) and together, they have four red-headed sons — Clarence Junior (Ralph Reed, then Steven Terrell), Whitney (Ronald Keith, then B.G. Norman, then Freddy Ridgeway), Harlan (Harvey Grant), John (Freddie Leiston, then Malcolm Cassell).
Day is very traditional and rules his house with an iron hand but also loves and cares for his family deeply. He treats them fairly and, as a result, wins their lifelong respect.
Other characters include Margaret (Dorothy Bernard, the only castmember who’d been in the play) the maid and Nora (Marion Ross). The announcer is Bob Lemond.
Father Goes Gallivanting
There are no details available about the last episode’s storyline.
Photoplay by Katharine B. Day, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse.
First aired: May 23, 1955.
Behind the Scenes
Despite being seen in black and white by most viewers, this live series was actually broadcast in color beginning in September 1954. It was also the first color show produced in Hollywood.
Ezra Stone produced the TV series. At the insistence of Mrs. Clarence Day Jr., a special consultant on the show, all of the actors playing the Day family had to have red hair.
What do you think? Do you remember this TV show? What do you like or dislike about it?