Series: Father Knows Best

Father Knows Best was the stereotypical 1950s Dom Com TV show about the average American home with 2.5 children.

Robert Young played Jim Anderson, an insurance agent; Jane Wyatt (who would later go on to play Spock's mother Amanda in the original Star Trek) was Jim's wife, Margaret; Billy Gray played Bud, the wisecracking teenager son; Elinor Donahue as the typical teenager daughter, Betty; and Lauren Chapin as the youngest girl, Kathy (nicknamed "Kitten").

The story revolved around the various issues the family got involved in. It is also noteworthy for being a complete subversion of the trope it supposedly represents. The radio show it was based on (and which featured a completely different cast apart from Young) wasn't Father Knows Best but Father Knows Best? Note the question mark. And in the TV series the mom, just like today's sitcoms, often got the better of her husband and son. In the radio show she was definitely closer-to-Earth.

This is the show that put Robert Young onto the map as a famous actor, long before his portrayal as a doctor and the title character in Marcus Welby.

Since the show was made during the 1950s, it never dealt with anything controversial.

A pair of reunion movies featuring the TV cast were made in 1977.

This Work Contains These Tropes:

  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: By the end of the show in 1960, Lauren Chapin was almost 15 but Kathy was still wearing little girl's dresses and hairstyle.
  • Standard '50s Father
  • Uncancelled Father Knows Best was officially cancelled after its first season on CBS. NBC picked it up and had a healthy run.
  • Girl of the Week: Boy version. On the radio show, Betty seems to have a new boyfriend or love interest every couple of episodes.