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Never-married attorney Bentley Gregg took on the task (with help from his "houseboy", Peter) of raising his young niece Kelly, after her parents died in an accident. The job was easier when Kelly was a little girl, but now she's in her teens, and beginning to date and venture into the adult world, while Bentley continues to juggle his career, looking after Kelly, and his own romantic life. Written by
This was one of the best of the family-oriented sitcoms that premiered in the late 1950's and continued that streak until the early 1960's. And also the first ever sitcom that John Forsythe did for television and that would continued onward toward his astounding career. The series "Bachelor Father" was just that: a wholesome sitcom series that featured the easy natural charm of a young John Forysthe and the essential sweetness of his "getting into one situation after another,and managing to get herself into problems",teenage niece,caused this series to be a major hit and making John Forysthe a beloved fixture in America.
Produced by Everett Freeman and Harry Ackerman,"Bachelor Father" was one of those sitcoms that appeared on all three major television networks between 1957 and 1962. The series produced 157 episodes,all in classic black and white and was produced by Revue Studios/MCA-TV Universal Television. Actually the series premiered on CBS-TV from September 15,1957 until June of 1958,which lasted one season on the network. Then in June of 1958,the series moved from CBS over to NBC where it concluded its run on the network for three seasons ending in September of 1961. In September of 1961,the series moved from NBC over to ABC for its final season ending in 1962. The final episode of "Bachelor Father" ended on ABC on September 25,1962. Originally,the series itself ran for five seasons on all three major television networks.
This classic series,which is nowadays rarely seen or broadcast in repeats,had a premise that was similar(My Three Sons,The Courtship of Eddie's Father,Family Affair,and Nanny and the Professor)...a single individual and his niece whom he was raising were people you'd like to know-the very definition of gentility,charm,restraint-even Kelly whose problems and situations were never due to her own outrageousness,but simply her age. "Bachelor Father",however,followed the misadventures and situations of Bentley Gregg(John Forysthe),a wealthy bachelor attorney living in a exclusive penthouse complex in Beverly Hills. Gregg assumes the responsibility of raising his niece Kelly(Noreen Corcoran),after her parents were killed in an automobile accident. Other members of the Gregg household include the Chinese housekeeper and Bentley's personal assistant Peter Tong(Sammee Tong),the next door neighbor and Kelly's boyfriend,Howard Meechum(Jimmy Boyd)and the family dog,Jasper. Plots were centered on Bentley's adjustments to his new role as an adoptive parent,Bentley's search for the right woman to share his life,while Kelly deals with the usual problems of adolescence and young adulthood(and throughout the course of the series)and she goes from high school to college,and less often Peter's misadventures with some financial scheme or to make a play for attractive woman to be attached to Bentley.
Forsythe's well-dressed handsomeness,his distinguished voice,his movement and the affluence of his character gave this series an upper middle class reassurance that was unlike any other family oriented series of his day. However,the series ran five seasons in which the program never finished any of the seasons in the top 25 ratings. Had this series went into its sixth season for the 1962-63 season(which it never happened)plots would have undoubtedly extended to Kelly's impending marriage to Bentley's junior partner and seeing Kelly's graduation episode from college and her entrance into womanhood. The series ended prior to either the wedding or the college episode. After "Bachelor Father" ended in 1962, John Forysthe would return to another sitcom three years later with his own sitcom series "The John Forysthe Show"(NBC-TV:from September 13,1965 until March 1,1966),which was short-lived and another family oriented sitcom "To Rome With Love", produced by Don Fedderson(of My Three Sons and Family Affair)for CBS which lasted two seasons from 1969 until 1971.
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