Thursday, December 04, 2014

Make Room For Granddaddy, "A Hamburger For Frank"

“A Hamburger for Frank”
November 18, 1970
Starring Danny Thomas, Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright, Michael Hughes
Special Guest Star: Frank Sinatra
Guest-Starring Michael French, Cara Peters, Lorna Denels
Music: Earle Hagen and Carl Brandt
Executive Script Consultant: Frank Tarloff
Associate Executive Producer: Ronald Jacobs
Executive Producer: Danny Thomas
Producer: Richard Crenna
Writer: Bernie Kahn
Director: Danny Thomas

Six years after MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY ended its eleven-year run, Danny Thomas brought the series back to prime-time in the fall of 1970. Most of the original cast came to ABC with Thomas, except for Sherry Jackson, who appeared in the pilot as older daughter Terry just long enough to drop off her son Michael (Michael Hughes) and run off to be with her soldier husband serving overseas.

Otherwise, MAKE ROOM FOR GRANDDADDY wasn’t much different than the original show. Thomas was still nightclub entertainer Danny Williams (by this time, James MacArthur was playing a different Danny Williams on HAWAII FIVE-0) with Marjorie Lord as his wife Kathy, Angela Cartwright (who had done LOST IN SPACE in the interim) as daughter Linda, and Rusty Hamer as son Rusty. One major difference would be Thomas’ use of his famous friends as guest stars. Diana Ross, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Sid Caesar, and Milton Berle stopped by the Williamses, and the “Hamburger” in this episode belonged to Frank Sinatra.

Bernie Kahn’s script is low on plot. Basically, Frank Sinatra comes to the Williams house for dinner, and Linda and Kathy get all nervous and tongue-tied and fawn all over him. Sinatra is a good sport, not that it would be a real imposition to play a legend and kiss a beautiful girl in a fantasy sequence. Even though he is just playing himself, it was a rare occasion that Sinatra acted in episodic television, making “A Hamburger for Frank” something of an historic occasion. By the way, Thomas directed the episode using the name “Amos Jacobs,” the American version of his Lebanese name.

GRANDDADDY didn’t pull in many viewers on Wednesday night opposite the hit THE MEN FROM SHILOH, and a move to Thursdays against IRONSIDE, the season’s fourth biggest hit, didn’t help keep it on the air beyond its one and only season.


RJR said...

The Men from Shiloh was the renamed final year of The Virginian and decidedly not a hit. I think the next time Frank did episodic t.v. was an episode of Magnum 1987.

hobbyfan said...

Granddaddy couldn't be opposite Room 222---they were on the same network (ABC), and if memory serves, would be coupled together on Thursdays.

Marty McKee said...

hobbyfan: You are correct. GRANDDADDY was bundled between COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER and ROOM 222 on Wednesdays and went against SHILOH and CBS' flop STOREFRONT LAWYERS.

RJR: SHILOH was the 18th most popular series of the 1970-71 season after being out of the Top 30 the year before. That's an incredible accomplishment for a 90-minute series in its ninth season--so much so that I'm not sure why NBC cancelled it. My guess is that Drury and McClure didn't want to do a tenth season. But SHILOH was definitely a hit (its weak competition probably helped).

Anonymous said...

Why is this site never updated?

RJR said...


I bow to your research. Adding Lee Majors a s "Tate" sure didn't help, either. Although he did have 3 shows of his own that last more than 100 episodes.


Grant said...

Speaking of ROOM 222, Angela Cartwright looks more than a little like Karen Valentine in that photo.