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The Courtship of Eddie's Father is a Americanmarker television comedy-drama based on the 1963 movie of the same name, based on a book written by Mark Toby, which had gained some respect in theaters. It was directed by James Komack and tells the story of a widower Bill Bixby who was a magazine publisher, and Brandon Cruz as the titular son who believes his father should marry and manipulates situations surrounding the women his father is interested in.

The series debuted on September 17, 1969, and was last broadcast March 1, 1972, on ABC, replacing the Here Come the Brides series. ABC had acquired the rights to do a weekly television comedy-drama, dealing with a young, single father, trying to raise a young son while pursuing a social life.

Series stars Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz are the only two actors to appear in every episode of the series. Miyoshi Umeki appeared in all the Courtship episodes, with the exception of 7, for a total of 66/73 episodes.


Comedy producer James Komack, also served as both the creator and the executive producer of the show. The television show's theme song, "Best Friend", was written and performed by Harry Nilsson, and was played over opening credits showing Bixby and Cruz in various happy moments. The song has often been used since as an iconic indication of father-son bonding.


The show centered on Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby), a handsome, thirtyish magazine publisher and widower from Los Angelesmarker who had shouldered the responsibility of raising his freckled-faced, six-year-old son, Eddie (Brandon Cruz), who often cleverly manipulated his father about getting a new wife, shortly after the death of Eddie's mother and Tom's wife, Helen. Tom's domestic arrangements were managed, highly competently, by his Japanese housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki), who was diplomatic and full of sage advice and would also look after Eddie, especially his dirty work. Mrs. Livingston is best remembered for the way she addressed Bixby's character as "Mr. Eddie's Father." Tom worked with Tina Rickles (Kristina Holland) who was his secretary at a magazine company. Norman Tinker (James Komack), who was the head of another family, worked as a radical photographer at the same company, and would also become Eddie's occasional uncle.

In 1970, Bill Bixby made his debut as a director, going on to direct several episodes of the show.

The show was canceled in 1972 when Bixby had a falling out with producer James Komack on the direction of the show. Many of the later episodes focused on Norman, Tom, and Eddie rather than on the relationship between Tom and Eddie. Years after the show was canceled, the show became quietly popular in reruns in syndication, WWOR's EMI Service, ABC Family (formerly Family Channel), TNT, ME-TV and VisionTV.

Guest stars

During its three season run, many familiar or up-and-coming actors who guest-starred on the show went on to become successful stars, among those appearing in Courtship episodes: Sally Struthers, Bruce Kirby, Pat Harrington, Jr., Diana Muldaur, Willie Aames, Warren Berlinger, Suzanne Pleshette, Yvonne Craig, Cicely Tyson, Richard X. Slattery, Tippi Hedren, Pat Delaney, John Fiedler, Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Jacobi, Jodie Foster, Will Geer, Bill Dana, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Ronny Graham, Ann Prentiss, Ron Ely, Carol Lawrence, and George Takei. Future Happy Days stars Pat Morita and Erin Moran also made guest appearances. Sammy Davis, Jr. made a cameo appearance where he played an insurance man, along with Bixby's then-wife Brenda Benet who made a cameo appearance as Tom's girlfriend.


Rejected series

In 2003, filming began on a new television pilot which starred Ken Marino and Josh Hutcherson, but it was not picked up by a network. The child star of the previous series, Brandon Cruz, played a supporting role.

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