Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-151 Bachelor Father

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Episode Description:

Bachelor Father was an American sitcom starring John Forsythe, Noreen Corcoran, and Sammee Tong. The series first premiered on CBS in September 1957 before moving to NBC for the third season in 1959. The series' fifth and final season aired on ABC from 1961 to 1962. A total of 157 episodes were aired. The series was based on "A New Girl in His Life", which aired on General Electric Theater on May 26, 1957.

Bachelor Father is the only primetime series ever to run in consecutive years on the three major televisions networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC).

Bachelor Father follows the adventures of Bentley Gregg, a wealthy bachelor attorney living in Beverly Hills who assumes the responsibility of raising his niece, Kelly (Noreen Corcoran), after her parents died in an automobile accident. Other members of the Gregg household include houseboy Peter Tong (Sammee Tong), teenage neighbor and Kelly's boyfriend, Howard Meechum (Jimmy Boyd), Kelly's best friend, Ginger Farrell (Bernadette Withers) and Jasper, the dog.

Plots center on Bentley's adjustments to his new role as an adoptive parent, his search for the right woman to share his life, Kelly facing the usual problems of adolescence and young adulthood and her ritual of passage from high school to college, and, less often, Peter's misadventures, his family, love life and financial schemes. In its final season the storylines led to Kelly's impending marriage to Bentley's junior partner, Warren Dawson, portrayed by Aron Kincaid. However, Kelly is dating a different man by the series last episode with no marriage plans. Dawson's character is dropped after several episodes, without explanation.

One hundred fifty-seven episodes were aired. The program never finished any of its five seasons in the top 25 in the ratings.

Forsythe has noted that casting for the main characters took considerable effort. The role of Kelly had been auditioned and an actress selected. Then actor Ronald Reagan suggested Noreen Corcoran for the role, believing her to be a 'typical teenager' and closer to what a normal 13-year old was like. Forsythe agreed and hired her.

Casting his houseboy was also difficult with Forsythe finally selecting Sammee Tong based primarily on his experience as a comedian. Forsythe believed much of the success of the program resulted from the interaction between Tong and himself, and that Tong was gifted with great comic timing. He also stated that Tong's character was unique for the time and that he was not the "typical" Asian house servant. Several of the programs plots center around Tong, many dealing with his attempts to improve his position in life. Although none ever pan out (much like Gregg or Kelly) he does develop as a character through the life of the program.

The Bentley Gregg character was based, according to Forsythe, on two well-known Beverly Hills bachelors at the time. He combined their names and used it for his own in the program. Because of the implication in the program of Gregg's aversion to marriage no serious thoughts were given to casting a 'regular' or steady woman for him. Instead Gregg is forever dating different women, with only a handful ever getting a 'second' date with him.

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-151 Bachelor Father.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:15

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,331,757,608 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 13:11

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