Show Type: Sitcom
First Telecast: September 29, 1960
Last Telecast: August 24, 1972
Music Theme: "Theme from My Three Sons," by Frank DeVol
September 1960 - September 1963, Thursday 9:00-9:30 on ABC
September 1963 - September 1965, Thursday 9:30-9:00 on ABC
September 1965 - August 1967, Thursday 8:30-9:00 on CBS
September 1967 - September 1971, Saturday 8:30-9:00 on CBS
September 1971 - December 1971, Monday 10:00-10:30 on CBS
January 1972 - August 1972, Thursday 8:30-9:00 on CBS
Steve Douglas..... Fred MacMurray
Mike Douglas (1960-1965)..... Tim Considine
Robbie Douglas (1960-1971)..... Don Grady
Chip Douglas..... Stanley Livingston
Michael Francis "Bub" O'Casey (1960-1965)..... William Frawley
Uncle Charley O'Casey (1965-1972)..... William Demarest
Jean Pearson (1960-1961)..... Cynthia Pepper
Mr. Henry Pearson (1960-1961)..... Robert P. Lieb
Mrs. Florence Pearson (1960-1961)..... Florence MacMichael
Hank Ferguson (1961-1963)..... Peter Brooks
Sudsy Pfeiffer (1961-1963)..... Ricky Allen
Mrs. Pfeiffer (1961-1963)..... Olive Dunbar
Mr. Pfeiffer (1961-1963)..... Olan Soule
Sally Ann Morrison Douglas (1963-1965)..... Meridith MacRae
Ernie Thompson Douglas (1963-1972)..... Barry Livingston
Katie Miller Douglas (1967-1972)..... Tina Cole
Dave Welch (1965-1967)..... John Howard
Dodie Harper Douglas (1969-1972)..... Dawn Lyn
Barbara Harper Douglas (1969-1972)..... Beverly Garland
Steve Douglas Jr. (1970-1972)..... Joseph Todd
Charley Douglas (1970-1972)..... Michael Todd
Robbie Douglas (1970-1972)..... Daniel Todd
Fergus McBain Douglas (1971-1972)..... Fred MacMurray
Terri Dowling (1971-1972)..... Anne Francis
Polly Williams Douglas (1970-1972)..... Ronne Troup
This long-running family comedy had a Disney flavor to it. Fred MacMurray and Tim Considine had starred together in the hit Disney movie The Shaggy Dog, and Don Grady was a former Mickey Mouse Club mouseketeer. Even little Stanley Livingston was a show-business veteran, having appeared in several episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.
The "family" in this case was all-male. Steve Douglas, a consulting aviation engineer, lived with his children at 837 Mill Street in a medium-sized Midwestern city. A widower, he seemed to spend more time raising his three sons than he did at his job, what with the usual growing pains of boys just beginning to date, going on camping trips, and the other "adventures" of middle-class suburbia. Steve also spent a good deal of time fending off attractive women, who wanted to marry him and take over that lovable, ready-made family. Steve's father-in-law was "Bub" O'Casey, a lovable old coot who lived with them and served as a kind of housekeeper to the clan. When he left after five seasons to take a trip to Ireland (William Frawley, seriously ill, left midway through the 1964-1965 season), he was replaced by his brother, Uncle Charley, a retired sailor whose crusty disposition masked a soft heart.
Others joining the cast in the early years were: Sally, Mike's girlfriend and later fiancée (the first serious romance he had had since his infatuation with the "girl next door," Jean Pearson); Robbie's friend Hank; and Chip's pals, Sudsy Pfeiffer and Ernie Thompson. Tramp was the family dog.
When the series began in 1960, the boys were aged 18 (Mike), 14 (Robbie), and 7 (Chip). By the start of the 1965-1966 season when the show moved from ABC to CBS, Tim Considine had grown out of the role as oldest son and wanted out of the series. In the first CBS episode, Mike and Sally got married and moved east so that he might accept a job teaching psychology on the college level. To re-establish the "three sons," Steve subsequently adopted the orphaned Ernie. Things went along much as before for the next two seasons.
In the fall of 1967, Steve moved the family from the Midwest to North Hollywood, California, where his job had taken him. Although the adjustment was not completely pleasant - many of the Douglasses' new acquaintances were not too friendly at first - there were good sides to the move. Robbie fell in love with Katie Miller, one of his fellow students at college, and their romance blossomed into marriage before the end of the season. Katie was played by actress Tina Cole, who had been seen, over the previous few seasons, in a number of "high school girl" roles on My Three Sons. In the fall of 1968, the newlyweds discovered that Katie was pregnant and during that season she gave birth to triplets, Steve Jr., Charley, and Robbie II - three sons, of course. In 1969, new love finally came to father Steve in the person of widow Barbara Harper, one of Ernie's teachers. They were married during the season and Barbara's young daughter, Dodie, joined the family. Even Chip (who was by now 17) got into the act, eloping with his college girlfriend, Polly Williams, in the fall of 1970.
As if the sprawling family had not gotten big enough already, Steve's cousin, Fergus McBain Douglas, arrived in the fall of 1971 in search of a wife to take back home to Scotland. A nobleman in his native land, Lord Fergus fell in love with cocktail waitress Terri Dowling. She felt inadequate to go back to Scotland as royalty, but was eventually persuaded.
In its later years, as the size of the family on My Three Sons grew and separated into individual households, episodes could no longer include the entire group. More and more often, they dealt with the specific problems of only a part of the large cast of regulars, with different members taking the spotlight from week to week.
From December 1971 until a few weeks after the series ended its prime-time run. CBS ran repeat episodes in its daytime lineup.