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.