(CBS 11) – This coming September 29, 2020 will mark the 60th anniversary of the TV show “My Three Sons.”
The show starred Fred MacMurray, Tim Considine (1960-1965), Don Grady, and Stanley and Barry Livingston (brothers in real life). William Frawley was cast as “Bub” O’Casey from 1960-1965 until he left and then passed away shortly thereafter. William Demarest took over from Frawley as “Uncle Charley” O’Casey until the end of the show’s run.
MacMurray, Frawley and Demarest had all been theatrical film actors (with Frawley appearing in vaudeville as well).
MacMurray played mainly bad guys in the 1930s and 1940s (“Double Indemnity”), as well as appearing as tough guys in westerns during the 1950s. He later starred in more light hearted movies released in the 60s by the Walt Disney Company. He was also one of the wealthiest actors in Hollywood. Frawley and Demarest were character actors in the movies before moving to television, typically playing tough guys talking tough.
The premise of the show was simple: a widower named Steve Douglas (MacMurray), raising three kids while holding down a full-time job that also required traveling.
Steve was an aeronautical engineer but the audience saw him more at home raising the kids than working, while the O’Caseys’ ran the day to day operations of the house and the kids. During its network run, the show aired in black & white on ABC from 1960-1965. By the fall of 1965, the show went all color and moved to CBS until it ended in 1972.
There were 380 episodes made, of which the first 184 (if my math is correct) were in black and white on ABC. When the show moved to CBS, it went color on September 16, 1965 in an episode called “The First Marriage” with the oldest son Mike getting married to his long -time girlfriend Sally Ann, played by actress Meredith MacRae (daughter of actor Gordon MacRae), who was actually born in Houston on a military base. This was the last episode that Tim Considine was seen in.
I had the local TV syndication rights to the show when I was with KXTX from 1984-1987 but in that day, only the color episodes were licensed for local TV syndication.
The black and white episodes aired on Nickelodeon and later MeTV, which you can watch here in Dallas on KTXA 21.2. The MeTV airings represent the first time these had ever been seen over the air on broadcast television since 1965.
Enjoy this MeTV promo for the show featuring Stanley and Barry Livingston!