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The Hathaways
Format Situation comedy
Starring Peggy Cass
Jack Weston
Mary Grace Canfield
Harvey Lembeck
Barbara Perry
Theme music composer Herbert W. Spencer
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) Robert Sparks
Producer(s) Ezra Stone
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Screen Gems
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Original run October 6, 1961 –
March 30, 1962

The Hathaways is a 26-episode situation comedy which aired on ABC from October 6, 1961, to March 30, 1962, starring Peggy Cass and Jack Weston as suburban Los Angeles "parents" to a trio of performing chimpanzee. Weston portrays Walter Hathaway, a real estate agent. Cass is his wife Elinore, the "mother" and booking agent to the Marquis Chimps, named Candy, Charlie, and Enoch. The chimps had earlier appeared on CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show and did some commercials in 1960.[1]

Supporting roles were filled by character actress Mary Grace Canfield as Mrs. Amanda Allison, a housekeeper; Barbara Perry as Elinore's friend and neighbor, Thelma Brockwood, and Harvey Lembeck as Jerry Roper, the theatrical agent of the chimps.

The premiere episode is entitled "Love Thy Neighbor": the Brockwoods decide to purchase the house next door despite reservations about the chimps being their neighbors too. Joe Flynn, guest-starred as Freddie Winkler in the third episode "Walter Takes a Partner", which aired on October 20. Vaughn Taylor played a veterinarian Dr. Dorsey in "Candy's Tonsils" on November 10. Other episodes were entitled "The Hathaways Sleep Out", "Grandma's Lamp", "TV or Not TV", "The Practical Joker", "Help Wanted", "The Shrewd Trader", "A Man for Amanda", and the series finale, "Elinore's Best Friend".

Ratings for the Screen Gems series were so low that ABC had largely to self-sponsor the program (although the series was sponsored on alternate weeks, throughout most of the season, by Ralston-Purina). The writers were Tom Adair and James B. Allardice. Some of the directing was handled by Richard Kinon.[2] The series followed another short-lived ABC series, Straightaway starring John Ashley and Brian Kelly as race-car enthusiasts. It preceded the popular cartoon series The Flintstones. Its principal competition was the Clint Eastwood western series Rawhide on CBS.

Despite the lack of television success, The Hathaways produced a comic book of the chimpanzees in 1962.

Reception

Later-day television critics Castleman and Podrazik (1982) have called The Hathaways "possibly the worst series ever to air on network TV", criticizing the production, scripts, acting, the "utterly degrading" premise, and the overall "total worthlessness" of the program.[3]

References

  1. ^ TVparty, The Hathaways: http://www.tvparty.com/fall61.html
  2. ^ Geocities, The Hathaways:http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Stage/2950/US/Comedy/Hathaways.htm
  3. ^ Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 147-153. ISBN 0-07-010269-4.  

External links

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