As a follow-up to his hit 60’s sitcom Family Affair, Brian Keith teamed up with Shelley Fabares to play father and daughter pediatricians in The Little People. Dr. Sean and Dr. Anne Jamison’s mission was to care for Hawaii’s ‘little people’ at the children’s clinic they ran on Oahu’and to enjoy all the exotic locales they could.
After one season of doing just that, the show’s premise changed somewhat, and the title along with it. The Little People became The Brian Keith Show, and new cast members made their way into the two Jamison doctors’ lives. The uptight allergist Dr. Chaffee now shared office space at the clinic, finding Sean’s ‘ber-casual way of conducting things more than a little disconcerting. Wealthy widow Mrs. Gruber, who played the owner of the clinic, was also introduced for extra dilemma potential.
In this show, Keith seemed to avail himself to looser, more visual comedy than he did on Family Affair. Clad always in bright Hawaiian shirts, he played the ukulele, tried his hand (well, his hips, actually) at hula dancing, and fed his parrot with chopsticks.
The Brian Keith Show was created by Garry Marshall, the writer/producer/director/actor responsible for shows like Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, to name just two. And Keith himself served as a producer. His real-life wife, Victoria Young, played the wise-cracking Nurse Puni, who was often jealous (wink wink!) when her boss Dr. Jamison went on dates with the pretty local Hawaiian girls. Bobby Keith (the little son of Brian and Victoria) could also be seen in some episodes, making this show even more of a family affair than Keith’s last.
USA / NBC – Warner Bros / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 September 1972 – 30 September 1974
Brian Keith as Dr. Sean Jamison
Shelley Fabares as Dr. Anne Jamison
Victoria Young as Nurse Puni
Michael Gray as Ronnie (1972-73)
Steven Hague as Alfred Landis (1972-73)
Sean Tyler Hall as Stewart
Roger Bowen as Dr. Austin Gruber (1973-74)
Nancy Kulp as Mrs. Gruber (1973-74)