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Family Affair (TV Series 1966–1971) Poster

(1966–1971)

Trivia

Very often Buffy was shown with her 'Mrs. Beasley' doll. That became the highlight of the show so much a line of replica Mrs. Beasley dolls was launched. It sold well, and continued to for years after the series' cancellation.
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In the episode that Buffy broke her leg, Anissa Jones had really broken her leg and the writers came up with the script for that episode in one day.
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When Sebastian Cabot unexpectedly became ill during the first season, he was replaced by John Williams. It was explained that Giles French was summoned to England by the Queen, and his brother Niles filled in at the Davis' doorstep.
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Producer Don Fedderson insisted that the character of Buffy remain perpetually six years old, even as Anissa Jones, the actress playing her, grew into her teens. In promotional appearances, Jones was still required to bind her chest and carry the Mrs. Beasley doll.
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Cissy, Buffy and Jody were living in Terre Haute, Indiana, where Bill and his brother grew up, before moving in with Bill and French.
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The series had a 60 day production schedule. However, Brian Keith would film his scenes in 30 day blocks, much like how Fred MacMurray did while filming "My Three Sons (1960)." That meant that the other actors would film their scenes around his. This was done in order to free Keith for any film roles that might come up.
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The show almost moved to ABC following its cancellation, but the idea was nixed because that network already had a show with a similar theme, "The Brady Bunch (1969)."
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Interestingly, the show was set in the same television "universe" as My Three Sons (1960) and To Rome with Love (1969) due to the fact that all three shows were produced by the same production company. In fact, the characters of Mr. French, Buffy and Jody made a crossover appearance on "To Rome with Love". However, none of the cast from "Family Affair" ever appeared on "My Three Sons".
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Even though the series was still relatively popular during its final season, it still was canceled as part of the infamous "Rural Purge" when CBS decided to cancel all of their rural and family oriented shows in favor of edgier programming.
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Aired in repeats on CBS Daytime from 7 September 1970 to 12 January 1973.
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The French-dubbed version made in Paris had changes for the characters' first names. Though Brian Keith's "Uncle Bill" remained unchanged (and was part of the French version's TV title), the children would be renamed: Fanfan (Buffy), Jacky (Jody) and Cecile (Cissy). Mr. French's name would be also be changed to the friendly name of "Mr.Felix".
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Though Cissy was mentioned to be 15 years old in the second episode, the actress playing the role, Kathy Garver, was in her 20s throughout the run of the series.
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When Buffy shows up to live with Uncle Bill in the pilot episode her doll, Mrs. Beasley didn't have eyeglasses. From the second episode on, she wore them.
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The trio are the children of Bill Davis' brother, Bob Davis, and his wife Mary Patterson. They were introduced with the surname Patterson so presumably they were under the care of Mary's relatives before moving in with Bill.
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L.M. Van Doren, President, National Society of Professional Engineers, 1968, consulted for the series.
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Thus being a very popular doll adored by fans of the series, Mrs. Beasley did have a different name in the French version: "Mademoiselle Pétronille", which sounded charming as well.
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Debuted on CBS on 12 September 1966. Last telecast: 9 September 1971.
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Bill Davis and his family live in Manhattan at 600 E. 62nd Street.
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In the first season, Cissy is said to be 15 years old, and the twins 5 (although season 5 opens with the fifth anniversary of their arrival in New York, and a few episodes later Jody is said to be 9). In reality Johnny Whitaker was 6, Anissa Jones 8, and Kathy Garver 20. Garver and Whitaker were both born on December 13.
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Jamie Farr plays a random hippy who wanders into Cissy's friends' apartment in the Flower Power episode.
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Ironically, while he was starring as the all American clean as a whistle Jody Davis on Family Affair, Johnny Whittaker also starred as a boy possessed by the Devil in Something Evil.
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Kathy Garver and Johnny Whitaker (Cissy and Jody) would be the lone survivors from the series for more than 20 years after. The two would get into a "family feud" of sorts, and the two survivors spent many years not talking. The feud was fueled by the belief on Kathy Garver's part that she had set up many auditions and interviews for her co-star Whitaker to appear in other shows and commercials, and he was not sufficiently grateful. The two did a staged reunion on Oprah many years later, which can be accessed on YouTube.
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In early episodes, Johnny Whitaker (as Jody) spoke with a pronounced lisp, a character trait that was dropped as the series progressed.
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In real life "Jody" and "Cissy" share the same birthday which is December 13th.
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Several of the plot lines of Brady Bunch were borrowed from a similarly themed show about step families of the 60s and 70s: Family Affair. The Grand Canyon episode where Bobby and Cindy get lost in the Grand Canyon was inspired by Lost In Spain, a Family Affair episode where Buffy and Jody get lost in Spain. The My Fair Opponent episode where Marcia makes over a homely classmate is a copy of Buffy's Fair Lady, where Buffy does the same. Hello, Alice Goodbye, and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, both episodes where Alice plans to quit the Bradys were both inspired by a number of Family Affair episodes where Mr. French plans to quit his butlering job with the Davises. The episode "The Drummer Boy" where Bobby is rejected from the Glee club auditions is a copy of the episode "The Unsound of Music" where Buffy is almost cut from Girls' Glee club. The episode "The Private Ear" where Peter tapes the other Bradys and gets in trouble was inspired by a similar episode "The Jody Affair" where Buffy and Jody tape record Mr. French. The episode "Our Son, The Man", where Greg makes himself over into a 70s hipster is modeled after an episode of Family Affair called "Flower Power" when Cissy adopts a hippy look as well. The "Kitty Carry-All is Missing" episode where Cindy loses her doll is inspired by "Lost in Spain" and various other Family Affair episodes where Buffy loses her doll, Mrs. Beasely, as well. "Double Parked", the episode where Carol and the Brady kids protest against Mike's firm which threatens to bulldozer over a park the kids play at; is a reworking of "You Can Fight City Hall", which has the Davis family fighting a plan to build over a park the kids play at. "Today, I am a Freshman", which has Marcia trying to be accepted in the snotty Boosters clique at Westdale High, is very similar to "The Joiners" which has Uncle Bill trying to help Buffy join a similarly mean girl type clique at her school. Also both the "Our Son, The Man" episode, and the "Room at the Top" episode, which have Greg trying to get his own apartment or his own room, are like "Flower Power" which also follows Cissy trying to get her own apartment. And "Hello, Alice, Goodbye", which has maid-friend Kay telling Alice not to get too close to the Brady kids, is like "A Nanny for All Seasons," which has Mr. French giving the Davis kids the cold shoulder because his friends pressure him to, and in a recent interview on Fox Family Affair star Kathy Garver said the whole Cindy Brady character was closely modeled off of Buffy Davis, wearing the same pig tails and mini skirts, and carrying her famous doll. On the Brady Bunch, it was Kitty Carry All, and on Family Affair it was Mrs. Beasely. After season 6, in 1971 when CBS was in the process of cancelling Family Affair, as part of their famous "Rural Purge", where they cancelled all rural and country themed programming as well as all 1950s style family programs. At that point Don Fedderson started shopping Family Affair around to the other networks to pick it up, and ABC did option to pick up the series, but they ended up dropping the series because, coincidentally, they thought it was too much like "The Brady Bunch", the current sitcom on their schedule about a large step family.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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