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After a long time stint for the his own television series,"Make Room
For Daddy",which ran on two networks(ABC and CBS)from 1953 until
1965,it wasn't until six years later that singer,comedian,actor Danny
Thomas made a triumph comeback to prime-time television,and this time
around it would be a follow-up to that successful series. The sequel to
the series "Make Room For Daddy" titled "Make Room For Granddaddy", was
Thomas' return to the ABC-TV network. The series ran for one season on
ABC from the premiered episode on September 23,1970 to the final
episode of the series on September 2,1971. The series was produced
under the successful team of Sheldon Leonard,who again served as
executive producer and co-producer of the series along with his partner
and business associate Ronald Jacobs,and Richard Crenna(who was the
former star of The Real McCoys)also produced the show,who by the way
not only produced it,but directed several episodes along with director
John Rich. The series was excellent by the way that before it left the
air in 1971,it was nominated for an Golden Globe for Best Actor(Danny
Thomas)in a comedy series.
This time around the half-hour sitcom again featured Danny Thomas as Danny Williams,the show business entertainer who became somewhat of a grandfather between the two series. Many of the old "Make Room For Daddy" troupe from the original series were on hand,and the last time audiences saw them was in classic black and white from the original series(1953-1965),and this time around the cast is back and in full color. The original cast members that were back were Marjorie Lord (Kathy Williams,Danny's wife),Rusty Hamer(Danny's son,Rusty),Angela Cartwright(Linda),Sid Melton(Charlie Halper),and Hans Conried(Uncle Tonoose). Actress Sherry Jackson(seen in the premiere episode) as Danny's older daughter Terry Johnson,who by the way wanted to leave her young son with Danny and Kathy while she visited her serviceman-husband who was overseas in Japan. It is only in the first episode where we would see the last of actress Sherry Jackson in this series. In this new version,the two children have grown up right before our eyes,with Rusty Hamer's character of Rusty who is now in college as a medical student at a prestigious university,and Angela Cartwright's character of Linda,the youngest daughter of Danny's is away at boarding school.
Other regulars on the series included Michael Hughes as Michael,Terry's son;former NFL-great(and sister to actress Pam Grier) Rosey Grier as Rosey Robbins,Danny's pianist;and Stanley Handelman as Henry,the elevator operator and engineer in Danny's apartment building. Actress Jana Taylor was occasionally featured as Rusty's wife,Susan. As far as the singing and the entertainment was concerned,it was Danny Thomas at his usual self with some of the singing and dancing talents that were featured on the show. This also serves as with some of the special guest stars that were on the show which featured actress and comedienne Lucille Ball(as Lucy Carter aka for The Lucy Show?),along with others like singing sensation Davy Jones(of the musical groups The Monkees),and Motown legend Diana Ross. Not to mention several from Don Rickles,Morey Asteradam(for The Dick Van Dyke Show),and Milton Berle,and not to mention appearances from Sammy Davis,Jr. and Joey Bishop.
Since it lasted one season,only 32 episodes were produced for this series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing this series back in 1970 and '71, knowing there had
been the original series. I found it a decent show, and of course, it
was more "mod" looking than the original, which I think had been in
reruns when I was a kid.
The show struck me as low-key, and it may have been something of an anachronism, which may explain why it only ran one season. By this time, Danny Thomas' daughter, Marlo, was finishing HER show, "That Girl." Still, it seemed like a really decent effort, and for what was an update of a 1950s comedy, it seem to make a fine transition. Kudos to casting such people as Rosie Grier, as well as old standbys Hans Conried and Sid Melton.
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