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  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 3, 1954
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
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  • Summary: 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 comfortableFather 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.
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  • Genre(s): Comedy
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