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Nanny and the Professor
Genre Situation comedy
Created by AJ Carothers
Thomas L. Miller
Starring Juliet Mills
Richard Long
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 54
Producer(s) Charles B. Fitzsimons
Running time 30 min.
Original channel ABC
Original run January 21, 1970 – December 27, 1971

Nanny And The Professor is a U.S. fantasy situation comedy created by AJ Carothers and Thomas L. Miller for 20th Century Fox Television. During pre-production, the proposed title was Nanny Will Do.[1] The series first aired on January 21, 1970, on ABC and was last telecast on December 27, 1971. The series enjoyed initial success due to its Friday night timeslot when it was scheduled between The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, which were similar shows, aimed largely at young children and pre-teens. Ratings suffered in the third season when ABC moved the series to Monday night opposite Gunsmoke and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. After it was canceled, the show had a brief run in syndication.



Playing upon the popular successes of Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and other magical nannies of literature, this TV series posited another ostensibly magical British Nanny taking care of a family in need of direction. However unlike the candid magicality aforementioned, this nanny's paranormal nature was much more suggestive and non-committal as to whether she was or wasn't magical. The Nanny's wards as well as the audience were always left with the question of Figalilly's abilities unanswered.

The series starred Juliet Mills as Nanny Phoebe Figalilly, Richard Long as Professor Harold Everett, and Elsa Lanchester as Aunt Henrietta. Figalilly was apparently psychic, and had regular flashes of what was often more than intuition (she frequently knew who was ringing the doorbell before the bell even rang). There was the vague suggestion that she may have been at least several hundred years old and more than human, which the children thought they discovered in an episode after they saw a photo of Phoebe that looked like it was taken a century earlier.

Figalilly watched over Professor Everett and his three children: Hal, the intellectual tinkerer, played by David Doremus, Butch, the middle child, played by Trent Lehman, and Prudence, the youngest, played by Kim Richards. Patsy Garrett had the recurring role of nosey neighbor Mrs. Fowler. Midway through the brief first season, a yellow 1930 Model A Ford, "Arabella," joined the series.

Nanny's Relatives

From time to time, some of Nanny's relatives dropped by the Everett home for a visit. They include:

  • Uncle Alfred (portrayed by John Mills, Juliet Mills' father), an eccentric who enthralls the Everett children with his wonderful stories and human flying act in his visit in "The Human Fly".
  • Aunt Justine (portrayed by Ida Lupino) and Aunt Agatha (portrayed by Marjorie Bennett), two of Nanny's loveable aunts who draw a mob of reporters, touries and Flem Libbers when they descend on the Everetts, quite literally, in a balloon in "The Balloon Ladies".
  • Uncle Horace (portrayed by Ray Bolger), Nanny's roguish uncle, an old charmer, just back from the South seas, finds himself in great demand as rainmaker in Nanny's drought-stricken town during his visit in "South Sea Island Sweetheart".
  • Aunt Henrietta (portrayed by Elsa Lanchester), an eccentric grand dame who arrives in town with her circus and a disturbing premonition that Nanny's about to be carried off by a mustached stranger in "Aunt Henrietta's Premonition". She later appeared in "Aunt Henrietta and the Jinx" during a battle between reason and superstition and returned again in "Aunt Henrietta and the Poltergeist" helping to get rid of a ghost.
  • Aunt Arabella, Nanny's aunt and inspiration for the nickname of Nanny's antique 1930 Model A automobile in "Nanny on Wheels".
  • Nanny had a lookalike great-aunt (never seen) who lived to a ripe old age (she was born in October - a Libra).
  • During Nanny's wedding to Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh, she found a note from her mother tucked in her great-great-great grandmother's wedding gown that told her to only marry if she was truly in love.


Nanny and the Professor first aired during the 1969/1970 television season and was broadcast over three seasons until its cancellation midway through the 1971/1972 season. The first season (consisting of 15 episodes) and the second season (consisting of 24 episodes) are presently available on Hulu. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which produced the show, has not released the series on DVD.


  1. ^ Weiner, Ed; Editors of TV Guide (1992). The TV Guide TV Book: 40 Years of the All-Time Greatest Television Facts, Fads, Hits, and History. New York: Harper Collins. p. 174. ISBN 0-06-096914-8.  

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