THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER (ABC 1969-72) Bill Bixby, Brandon Cruz, Miyoshi Umeki
This ABC series was based on a novel by Mark Toby and the 1963 film about a widower raising his young son alone. There was a simple charm to this series that viewers responded to favorably, despite lukewarm reviews by critics.
The show centered on widower Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby), a handsome, thirty-something Los Angeles magazine publisher. Following the death of his wife Helen, Tom is left to raise his six-year-old son Eddie (Brandon Cruz). Eddie wants a new mother, so to that end, he cleverly manipulates his father's relationships with women, sometimes even trying to set his father up to fall for women Eddie knows and likes.
The father-son duo's domestic arrangements are managed, with great discretion, by their Japanese housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki). Her sage advice adds to the comedic mix in situations where she looks after Eddie. Mrs. Livingston addresses her employer, Tom, as "Mr. Eddie's Father."
Also appearing in the series were Tom’s secretary Tina Rickles (Kristina Holland), and his friend, photographer Norman Tinker (James Komack).
During its three-season run, many familiar or up-and-coming actors who guest-starred on the show went on to become successful stars, including: Jodie Foster, Sally Struthers, Bruce Kirby, Pat Harrington Jr., Diana Muldaur, Willie Aames, Warren Berlinger, Suzanne Pleshette, Yvonne Craig, Cicely Tyson, Richard X. Slattery, Tippi Hedren, Trisha Noble, John Fiedler, Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Jacobi, Will Geer, Bill Dana, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Ronny Graham, Lori Saunders, Ann Prentiss, Ron Ely, Carol Lawrence, George Takei, Pat Morita, Erin Moran, and Sammy Davis Jr.
Comedy producer and actor James Komack served as both the creator and the executive producer of the show. In 1970, Bill Bixby made his debut as a director, going on to direct eight episodes of the series.
The show was cancelled in 1972, when Bixby had a falling out with Komack over the show's direction. Many of the later episodes focused on Norman, Tom, and Eddie rather than on the relationship between Tom and Eddie.