Father Knows Best

CBS (ended 1960)
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  • show Description
  • Father Knows Best was the classic wholesome family situation comedy. It was set in the typical Midwestern community of Springfield, where Jim Anderson was an agent for the General Insurance Company. Every evening he would come home from work, take off his sport jacket, put on his comfortable sweater, and deal with the everyday problems of a growing family. In contrast to most other family comedies of the period, in which one of the other parents was a blundering idiot, both Jim and his wife Margaret were portrayed as thoughtful, responsible adults. When a family crisis arose, Jim would clam the waters with a warm smile and some sensible advice. When Father Knows Best went on television in 1954, the three children were aged 14 [Bud], and 9 [Kathy]. As the seasons passed two of them graduated from High School, first Betty [1956] and then Bud [1959]. Neither left home, howevery, both electing to go to Springfield's own State College. The Andersons were truly an idealized family, the sort that viewers could relate to and wish to emulate. The children went through the normal problems of growing up, included those concerning school, friends, and members of the opposite sex. They didn't always agree with their parents, but the bickering was miminal, and everything seemed to work out by the end of the half-hour. Father Knows Best began as an NBC radio series in 1948, with Robert Young in the starting role. He was the only member of the radio cast that made the transition to TV in 1954. The TV series was not partculiarly successful at first and CBS cancelled it in March 1955. A flood of viewer protests demanding that the program be reinstated and moved to an earlier time slot so that the whole family could watch it, prompted NBC to pick it up for the following season with an 8:30 p.m. started time. Father Knows Best prospered for the next five years.moreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 7 : Ep 2

    Home for Christmas

    Aired 12/18/77

  • S 7 : Ep 1

    Father Knows Best Reunion

    Aired 5/15/77

  • S 6 : Ep 32

    Betty's Graduation

    Aired 5/23/60

  • S 6 : Ep 31

    Not His Type

    Aired 5/16/60

  • S 6 : Ep 30

    Bud Lives It Up

    Aired 5/9/60

  • Cast & Crew
  • Robert Young

    Jim Anderson

  • Robert Foulk

    Ed Davis (1955-1959)

  • Elinor Donahue

    Betty "Princess" Anderson

  • Jane Wyatt

    Margaret Anderson

  • Sarah Selby

    Miss Thomas

  • Photos (1)
  • Top Contributor
  • laurameyer

    User Score: 134

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • "...We keep throwing difficult choices in your path to test you, and it's the decisions you make that shape you into what you are." --St. Peter "A man could be great and lonely, OR he could be ordinary and have the warmth of companionship." --Jim Anderson

    Notes (24)

    • This is the only episode where Robert Young, a chain-smoker in real life, smokes on the show.

    • No Guest Stars wwere listed for the episode.

    • Later re-run / re-cut

    • This episode was repeated during the summer of 1957 (8/28/57) by ABC-TV under the series title Moment of Decision, a collection of reruns primarily from Ford Theatre.

    • Guest star Roger Smith went on to co-star in the popular TV series "77 Sunset Strip" during the 1960s. In 1965, he was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a muscle disorder, which forced him to retire from professional work. He married his second wife, singer/actress/dancer Ann-Margret, in 1967 and became her personal manager. The longevity of their marriage is one of the few successful Hollywood marriages that exist today.

    • Later re-edited

    • The episode had no guest stars in it.

    • The "Mr. Beal" of the title's episode is Nick Beal, portrayed by Ray Milland, reprising his role of the Devil's agent from his 1949 film noir, Alias Nick Beal.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (3)

    • At the beginning of this episode look for a very young Frank Bank, better known as Lumpy Rutherford on the Leave It To Beaver series. He is sitting at a lunch table with Bud.

    • This episode aired on WABC-TV and several other ABC affiliates at 12:30 PM CT on 11/22/1963, and was interrupted by ABC's bulletins about the shooting of President Kennedy.

    • In the scene in which Bud is washing the gas station window, the window is covered with suds and water, but when he and Bill turn to survey other work that needs done, the window is suddenly totally clear.

    Allusions (1)

    • The Mr. Beal of the episode title is Nick Beal, portrayed by Ray Milland, reprising his role of the Devil's agent from his 1949 film noir, Alias Nick Beal.

  • Fan Reviews (6)
  • "Father knows best" location discovered 10.0

    By bluekaiser, Jul 02, 2013

  • Mom's Place is...

    By wifeandmom, Jan 31, 2013

  • They should make a remake of this show or just replay the original...

    By LilsZoo, May 11, 2006

  • A great old-school family show.

    By vicmackey31, Apr 19, 2006

  • Father Knows Best is a classic

    By rikisue, Sep 17, 2005