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TV

Father Knows Best (CBS-NBC 1954-1963, Robert Young, Jane Wyatt)

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Many classic sitcoms were well-loved by their fans, but very few were so popular they actually stayed in the upper rungs of the prime time ratings through years of reruns. Father Knows Best belonged in that exclusive latter category. Lead actor Robert Young left the show in 1960 to pursue other roles, but CBS (and later ABC) continued to successfully play reruns of the show for another three years. That fact provides a good illustration of just how much the show’s fans loved Father Knows Best.

Robert Young originated the role of Jim Anderson on the radio in 1949, and he was the only member of the radio cast that was retained when the show was transformed into a television program. Jim was an insurance salesman who lived with his family at 607 South Maple Street in Springfield, Ohio. Margaret was his wife and the family homemaker. Betty was the eldest daughter, who was referred to as ‘Princess’ by her father. Bud was the early-teenage son, and Kathy (nicknamed ‘Kitten’) was the youngest daughter.

Every night, Jim would come home from work, don a comfortable sweater, and find out what the rest of his family had done during the day. There were always day-to-day problems for the members of the family, but Jim always faced them down with a smile. Even for an insignificant dilemma, Jim would summon up the strength to see the situation through to a resolution. For example, when Kitten lost a prized doll (certainly not insignificant to her), Jim took out his umbrella and searched tirelessly through the rainy night until he found it.

The show was well-liked from the start but was not an immediate hit due to its initial time slot of 10 p.m. on Sunday night. In fact, CBS cancelled the show after its first season. However, NBC took notice when viewers flooded CBS with mail asking for the series to be revived, and the crafty network picked the show up. They placed it in an 8:30 p.m. slot on Wednesday nights and the show took off quickly, becoming a television institution. It would eventually run on all three networks before finally being cancelled in April of 1963.

Father Knows Best continues to charm viewers both new and old today in syndication. It remains popular today because the Andersons practically defined television’s ‘ideal family.’ Both Jim and Margaret were sensible, mature adults who could take care of a problem with a mixture of compassion and good advice. Their children occasionally disagreed with their parents, but were always polite and well-mannered. The problems they faced were always solved by the end of the episode, and the family truly loved one another. As long as television viewers have families of their own, the love the family this Anderson family shared will continue to inspire them.

In 1976 there was a surprise TV Movie revival called The Father Knows Best Reunion bringing back all the series regulars and then the following year there was a second catch up called Father Knows Best: Home For Christmas.

production details
USA / CBS – NBC – Rodney- Young / 191×25 minute episodess / Broadcast 3 October 1954 – 1960

Producers: Eugene B. Rodney, Robert Young

cast
Robert Young as Jim Anderson
Jane Wyatt as Margaret Anderson
Elinor Donahue as Betty Anderson
Billy Gray as Bud Anderson
Lauren Chapin as Kathy Anderson
Jimmy Bates as Claude Messner; Bud’s friend
Paul Wallace as Kippy Watkins; Bud’s friend
Yvonne Lime as Dotty Snow; Betty’s friend
Robert Foulk as Ed Davis; Jim’s neighbor
Vivi Janiss as Myrtle Davis; Ed’s wife
Roberta Shore as Joyce Kendall; Bud’s girlfriend
Robert Chapman as Ralph Little; Betty’s boyfriend
Tina Thompson as Patty Davis; Kathy’s friend
Reba Waters as Patty Davis (2)
Sue George as April Adams; Bud’s friend
Richard Eyer as Burgess Vail; Kathy’s friend
Richard Eyer as Grover Adams; April’s brother
Peter Heisser as Joe Phillips; Bud’s friend
Sarah Selby as Miss Thomas; Jim’s secretary
Sam Flint as Hubert Armstead; high school principal

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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TV

Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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