The Courtship of Eddie's Father

ABC (ended 1972)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 3 : Ep 23

    We Love Annie

    Aired 3/1/72

  • S 3 : Ep 22

    Time For a Change

    Aired 2/23/72

  • S 3 : Ep 21

    In the Eye of the Beholder

    Aired 2/16/72

  • S 3 : Ep 20

    A Little Help From My Friend

    Aired 2/9/72

  • S 3 : Ep 19

    It's All Write With Me

    Aired 2/2/72

  • Cast & Crew
  • Bill Bixby

    Tom Corbett

  • James Komack

    Norman Tinker

  • Kristina Holland

    Tina Rickles

  • Brandon Cruz

    Eddie Corbett

  • Miyoshi Umeki

    Mrs. Livingston

  • show Description
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father debuted in the fall of 1969 on ABC and was one of only a couple sitcoms to debut that season. The other most popular one was The Brady Bunch. The series centered around Tom Corbett, a magazine publisher and widower, with a young son, Eddie Corbett. Tom was in charge of the motherless household but Eddie was determined to find a wife for his dad and constantly tried to pair his father up with prospective brides. The deep, real-life friendship that existed between Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz translated into a warm, believable portrayal of father and son in the series. With patience and understanding, Tom guided his small son through the difficult life lessons of growing up. And often, Eddie taught his father a memorable lesson or two. James Komack, producer and co-star of the series, admitted that as the series progressed, it became less about Tom's constant courtship of women and more about "the courtship of father and son - their love affair." Others in the cast included Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper, Norman Tinker, a photographer who worked with Tom, and Tina, Tom's secretary. Although Mrs. Livingston was always referred to as their housekeeper, she actually served as a mother figure to Eddie. Her most important roles in the household were as a nanny and confidant to him. He was anxious for a new mother, yet very devoted to Mrs. Livingston. The opening and closing segments of each show were called "Peanuts". Eddie and Tom were filmed from a distance at a location such as the beach or the amusement park. Topics for these "Peanuts" in the first season ranged from discussions about Eddie's possible future mother, to light-hearted conversations connected with their leisure activities. By the third season, many of the topics were more complex, such as discussions about democracy, and when a boy becomes a man. Theme Song: "Best Friend" Written by: Harry Nilsson Sung by: Harry Nilsson Harry also performed very short accompaniments to many selected episodes. NOTE: The series was based on the 1963 movie of the same name, starring Glenn Ford and Ron Howard. First Telecast: September 17, 1969 Last Telecast: June 14, 1972 Episodes: 73 Color Episodes ABC Broadcast History September 1969-September 1970----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. September 1970-September 1971----Wednesdays----7:30 p.m. September 1971-January 1972----Wednesdays----8:30 p.m. January-June 1972----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or Better) Never ranked above 25moreless

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (29)

    • Mrs. Livingston Little Boy Blue, Come blow your spoon. Eddie: The cow and the farmer, Jumped over the moon.

    • Norman (mistakenly to Dolly): Mrs. Livingston, I Presume. This line becomes the title of the first episode.

    • Tom: (to self, rehearshing how he's going to tell Norman he's fired.) I keep sticking my neck out, you keep chopping off my head.

    • Eddie: (to Tom, during closing "Peanuts" segment.) You know, Dad, when I stop to think about it, I got more than most kids. Most kids just have a father-father. I have a father who's my best friend.

    • Eddie: It's not how you play the game, Mrs. Livingston, it's how I win and you lose.

    • Tom (to Miss Allen, who has just told him her first name is Kerry, like the county in Ireland): My name is Tom... like in "peeping."

    • Eddie (to Mrs. Livingston, when she asks him if he likes Lynn): I don't mean I don't like her, I mean I don't like her. You know what I mean?

    • Eddie (to Lynn): I remember all of Dad's girls.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (105)

    • In a pattern that would be repeated throughout the series, Tom always calls Mrs. Livingston by her last name (What is her first name anyway?), and she always calls him "Mr. Eddie's Father".

    • Eddie and Tom take a tour of the MGM studios in this episode. The series was filmed in Studio 22 on the MGM lot. In the first season, Brandon would frequently wander away from the set between "takes" and get lost on the huge lot. A cast or crew member would have to go find him. He was nicknamed "Mile-away", since he was usually a mile away when he was needed.

    • Brandon's mother once mentioned in an interview that he was not interested in watching the pilot the night it originally aired. His favorite rock band was appearing on another channel at the same time, and he wanted to watch that instead! This intense interest in rock music at a young age foreshadowed his future career - he would grow up to be the frontman in several punk rock bands, including Harmful If Swallowed, Twister Naked, Ugly Truth, Dead Kennedys, and Dr. Know.

    • Brandon looks about a year younger in this pilot episode than he does in the next several episodes. (Many months elapsed between the filming of the pilot and the filming of the next few episodes of the first season, which were ordered after ABC bought the series.)

    • In an online chat on "Password" in 1998, Brandon Cruz recalled his audition for "The Courtship of Eddie's Father". He was barely six, and couldn't read very well yet. Instead of having him read from a script, the casting directors asked him to walk across the room, turn around, and say, "Daddy, I love you." He delivered the line so well, he melted the hearts of everyone in the studio, especially Bill Bixby and James Komack. Brandon delivers a nearly identical line in the same way in the 1st (pilot) episode, in the scene in which Eddie tries to get his dad's attention while he's doing work he brought home from the office.

    • Tom plunks out several measures of a classical tune on the toy piano in Eddie's classroom.

    • Eddie's version of the game "Doctor": Sometimes somebody comes into the doctor and says, "I'm sick," and the doctor says, "Stay in bed, and drink lots of fluids." Other times, somebody comes into the doctor and says, "I'm sick," and the doctor says, "I'm sorry, today's Wednesday. Come back tomorrow!"

    • Eddie is in 1st grade.

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    Trivia (22)

    • "Wakata" means "I understand" in Japanese; "Mata Asita" means "See you tomorrow."

    • The morning after Dolly has spent the night with the Corbetts, Eddie is seated at the breakfast table sipping orange juice. He is telling Mrs. Livingston about the talk he and his dad had the night before about why Eddie can't invite young ladies to stay with them. When he gets to the line "Actually, he couldn't explain it," Brandon lets out a small burp at the word "explain" - then continues delivering the line as if nothing had happened!

    • Eddie (who is frequently well-dressed in little suits in the 1st season) commits a "fashion faux pas" in the first scene by wearing bright red socks with orange pants!

    • After Eddie comes home roughed up from a fight, he and Tom have a talk in Eddie's bedroom. Tom wants to know if the kids are giving him a hard time because Tom's taking out his teacher. "Sometimes," Eddie answers. "Like this afternoon?" Tom presses. Eddie hesitates for several seconds, starts to say "well", but apparently Brandon has forgotten his line, so Bill repeats his, probably to prompt him. This time, Eddie replies, "Yeah."

    • In the first scene, Eddie is explaining what made Karen throw up at school. He repeats the word "how": "She was just showing the class how - how she could spin around 100 times without getting dizzy."

    • Although Eddie is supposedly in 1st grade, the equipment in his classroom looks like it belongs in kindergarten: a toy piano, plastic stacking rings, and other toys.

    • In a scene near the end of the episode, Eddie says the word "detergent" very carefully - it was probably hard for Brandon to pronounce, especially with all those missing teeth!

    • As Eddie is going out the door to school, Tom is trying to cheer him up by telling him about the nice report he received from his teacher. He's doing well at "sandbox" and "fingerpainting". Eddie is in 1st grade, though. Shouldn't Tom be more concerned with how Eddie's doing in reading and math?

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    Allusions (5)

    • The title alludes to a quote attrtibuted to Welsh journaist Henry Morton Stanley, who upon finding medical missionary David Livingstone, assumed missing in Central Africa, is alleged to have uttered, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

    • Mrs. Livingston: Miss Hello Dolly gets no eggs. I have only four and you needed five. The film version of Hello Dolly premiered the same year The Courtship of Eddie's Father debuted on TV.

    • (title of episode 7): Guess Who's Coming for Lunch?
      This title is a reference to the 1967 movie, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier.

    • Tina: "I'm going to learn how to encounter. It's like group therapy - we get together and tell each other our problems."
      Encounter groups (unstructured psychotherapy groups in which participants increase their self-awareness by freely verbalizing and responding to emotions) were developed in the 1960's. After Tom tells Tina that a bully has been pounding on Eddie, Tina analyzes the problem in "encounter group" fashion, and tells him that Eddie may have an abnormal need for punishment.

    • Blooper : the mic boom accidently comes down into the camera shot in top left corner at 12min 36 sec into episode when Tom and Norman are discussing ghosts with Eddie in the photography room.

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Really want to see this..

    By samanthablue794, Aug 19, 2014

  • One of the best from the '70's..!

    By tomk773, Mar 18, 2009

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