I'm going to take an excursion from my series about TV theme songs to talk a little
bit about "My Three Sons"
Two major cast members of it have died within the last two days:
Don Grady, who played the original Number Two Son, and Doris Singleton, who
was a great character actress, and played two major recurring roles.
She had enough screen time during the series that she could be considered a regular.
I was never a big fan of "My Three Sons"
It was softball comedy.
The kind of show that Mel Brooks used to refer to as a "hummer".
It would be on in your house, you wouldn't be paying attention to it, and all
of a sudden you'd hear this noise.
A humming sound.
And you'd say to yourself "What's that humming sound?
And you'd realize that it was coming from the TV set.
And you'd go over to the set and shut it off.
I suppose it had a certain charm.
But not the kind of charm that would make you laugh out loud.
I don't know if this is common knowledge, but "My Three Sons" began a precedent
on how shows were shot.
In order to land Fred MacMurray to play the lead, they really had to twist his
He simply did not want to devote that much of his year to commit to a TV series.
The producer, Don Fedderson, came up with a unique solution.
He promised MacMurray that he wouldn't have to spend more than three consecutive
months a year on the series.
The rest of the year, he could goof off, or make Disney movies, or whatever else
he wanted to do.
So all 39 episodes of the season wold be pre-prepared, and they scheduled all of
His closeups, masters, would be shot during those three consecutive months.
So a lot of time was spent for the other actors talking to MacMurray's character,
when in reality, they were talking to the dialogue coach.
When Brian Keith signed on to do "Family Affair", with the same producer, he
agreed, with the proviso that he have the Fred MacMurray deal.
He was acquiesced to.
And, of course, it looked it.
We have not heard the end of "My Three Sons".
It will show up again when we get back to the "TV theme songs" series.
My book,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at email@example.com.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."