(Above: the Anderson family, 1954. Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Father Knows Best on Father’s Day. Who could argue with that?
Certainly not Antenna TV, which will show 34 episodes of the classic 1950s sitcom this Sunday from 5 am to 10 pm ET.
Robert Young stars as Jim Anderson, dispenser of wise advice to his three kids, Betty, Bud and Kathy (Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin). Young and Jane Wyatt, who plays Jim’s equally wise wife Margaret, won three Emmy Awards apiece for their performances.
Antenna TV’s event is officially titled “Father Knows Best 65th Anniversary Father’s Day Marathon,” because the series began 65 years ago in 1954. It ran for 203 episodes over six seasons, half on CBS and half on NBC.
One special show was not part of those 203 episodes. Titled “24 Hours in Tyrant Land,” it depicted how the Cold War era, all-American Anderson family would fare under a dreaded dictatorship. Produced for the US Treasury Department the episode was only shown in schools, churches and other public spaces, according to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 – Present.
Here it is:
Father Knows Best regularly airs on Antenna TV weekdays 9 am, Saturdays at 2:30 am and 7 am, and Sundays at 7am. You can watch Antenna TV for free with an antenna hooked to your TV set, and find your local channel number via the network’s Channel Finder.
Here’s another Father Knows Best rarity: a 1956 cast commercial for Scott Towels:
For much more on this seminal series, including original sponsored openings from each season and video of a 1963 daytime rerun on ABC being interrupted by news of the JFK assassination, visit FatherKnowsBest.com.
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