In 1969, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father debuted on ABC. Based on a 1963 movie starring Glenn Ford, Eddie revolves around a handsome magazine publisher named Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby). He’s a widower and is raising his six-year-old son, Eddie (Brandon Cruz), who often attempts to find his father a new mate. Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki), their Japanese housekeeper, helps to look after Eddie and tries to keep him out of trouble.
The show was created and executive produced by James Komack. He also co-starred on the show as Norman Tinker, Tom’s best friend and a photographer at the magazine. Komack went on to create Chico and the Man and Welcome Back, Kotter and is credited with launching the careers of Freddie Prinze and John Travolta.
Prior to Eddie, Bixby was already a household name from starring in My Favorite Martian on CBS. He became a very busy TV director in later years and also starred in shows like The Incredible Hulk and Goodnight, Beantown. He directed 30 episodes of Blossom in two seasons and passed away from complications of cancer just six days after he completed his last.
Many episodes of Eddie begin with father and son talking about simple things and innocent pleasures of life, often while walking on the beach together. While some of the Eddie plots are typical of the shows of that time, the TV series is perhaps best remembered for the close connection between Tom and Eddie. That’s not surprising, especially when you find out that Bixby and Cruz had a special relationship off-screen as well.