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The Tycoon is a 32-episode Americanmarker situation comedy television series broadcast by ABC. It starred Walter Brennan as the fictitious businessman Walter Andrews. As chairman of the board of the Thunder Corporation that he founded but no longer actively runs, Brennan plays an eccentric and cantankerous millionaire (when such persons were much fewer in number) with a common touch who helps promising persons in need. The series aired with new episodes at 9 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday from September 15, 1964, until April 27, 1965. It continued in reruns until September 7, 1965. The program did not develop sufficient audience, presumably because viewers may have preferred the versatile Brennan as the bucolic Grandpa Amos McCoy in his earlier ABC and CBS sitcom The Real McCoys (1957–1963). After The Tycoon floundered, Brennan returned to ABC two years later in a more homespun role , a western The Guns of Will Sonnett with costar Dack Rambo.

Jerome Cowan and Van Williams costarred with Brennan in The Tycoon. Cowan played Herbert Wilson, a by-the-book "bean counter" who decried Brennan’s questionable expenditure of company resources. Williams starred as young executive Pat Burns. George Lindsey, later with The Andy Griffith Show, appeared in a few episodes of The Tycoon as Tom Keane. Van Williams had earlier appeared as Ken Madison in two ABC detective series Bourbon Street Beat with Richard Long and Andrew Duggan and in Surfside 6 with Troy Donahue. Later would star in The Green Hornet, also on ABC.

The first episode of the series is entitled “Horatio Alger Again”, and the last is called "Honest Man". In between, the series featured episodes as “Walter Gets Fired”, “Talent Scout”, “Baby Tycoon”, “No Place Like Home”, “Mr. Wilson in Retirement Land”, and “A Slight Case of Merger”.

The Tycoon and its lead-in McHale's Navy starring Ernest Borgnine, were scheduled opposite The Red Skelton Show on CBS and Robert Vaughn’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E.mystery series on NBC. In the 1965–1966 season, ABC replaced The Tycoon with Burl Ives in O.K. Crackerby! about the supposedly richest man in the world, and that venture also flopped.

The Tycoon, produced by Danny Thomas and Aaron Spelling, had a good time slot, having preceded the new nighttime soap opera Peyton Place (Top 20) and David Janssen’s returning The Fugitive (Top 10) on ABC. Like Robert Young who failed with CBS’s Window on Main Street in the aftermath of his successful Father Knows Best, Brennan similarly fell short with The Tycoon. In the same season, the venerable George Burns also failed with his unconventional sitcom Wendy and Me with Connie Stevens, Ron Harper, and J. Pat O'Malley.

References

  1. The Tycoon - TV.com
  2. "The Tycoon" (1964) - Full cast and crew
  3. Van Williams at Brian's Drive-In Theater
  4. Television in 1964 / 1964-1965 TV season
  5. 1964–1965 American network television schedule


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