How to Marry a Millionaire (TV series)

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How to Marry a Millionaire
Genre Sitcom
Written by Dick Conway
Bob Fisher
Everett Greenbaum
John Kohn
Howard Leeds
Seaman Jacobs
Roland MacLane
Milton Pascal
Harvey Orkin
Si Rose
Margaret Schneider
Paul Schneider
Leo Solomon
Directed by Danny Dare
Jerry Hopper
Lester Vail
Peter Tewksbury
Bernard Wiesen
Starring Lori Nelson
Merry Anders
Barbara Eden
Lisa Gaye
Theme music composer Alec Compinsky
Composer(s) Leon Klatzkin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 52
Production
Executive producer(s) Irving Asher
Nat Perrin
Producer(s) Ben Feiner, Jr.
Paul Jones
Nat Perrin
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 24 mins.
Production company(s) 20th Century-Fox Television
National Telefilm Associates
Distributor National Telefilm Associates
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run October 7, 1957 (1957-10-07) – August 20, 1959 (1959-08-20)
Chronology
Related shows How to Marry a Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire is an American sitcom that aired in syndication from September 1957 to August 1959. The series is based on the 1953 film of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall.

The series stars Lori Nelson, Merry Anders, and Barbara Eden. Lisa Gaye joined the cast in the second season after Lori Nelson left the series. How to Marry a Millionaire was the first series that Barbara Eden was featured in as a regular cast member. Eden would go on to play one of her more notable roles, "Jeannie" in the NBC sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.[1] During the series' first season, Eden was billed third. After Lori Nelson left the series, Eden was billed first.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Season one[edit]

The series follows the adventures of three 20-something women: a ditzy, "Miss Magoo"-esque model named Loco Jones (Eden); the level-headed but wise cracking secretary Michelle "Mike" McCall (Anders); the sophisticated quiz show hostess Greta Hanson (Nelson). The three concoct a scheme to land a rich husband by placing themselves in same social scene as rich bachelors. Loco, Mike and Greta rent a pricey penthouse apartment together at the Tower House on Park Avenue. While their address may be ritzy, the women struggle to make the rent and are constantly faced with the threat of eviction and barely make ends meet.

In the series' initial episodes, Dabbs Greer portrayed Mr. Blandish, the Tower House's building manager. Joseph Kearns was later cast as the building manager, Augustus P. Tobey. Mr. Tobey would routinely threaten the women with eviction and complain about their inability to pay their rent on time. Also appearing in a recurring role was Jimmy Cross, the building's elevator operator Jesse Flouge.

The pilot episode, "The Penthouse", was shot in Spring 1957 and debuted on October 7, 1958. Lori Nelson appeared as Greta, however, Loco was played by Doe Avedon (ex-wife of photographer Richard Avedon) and Charlotte Austin portrayed Mike. After testing approximately 70 actresses for the roles of Loco and Mike, Avedon and Austin were replaced by Barbara Eden and Merry Anders who remained with the series for the rest of its run.[3]

Season two[edit]

How to Marry a Millionaire was generally well received by audiences and a second season was ordered. However, Lori Nelson's character was written out and a new character was added to the cast. According to Merry Anders, the series' entire first season, 39 episodes, was shot before the series debuted on television. Before the series even aired, Nelson gave an interview where she expressed her displeasure in her role on the series. Nelson felt that her character was not as well developed or as individualized as the Loco and Mike roles. Both characters were clearly defined by their film counterparts (Loco Jones was a combination of the Monroe and Grable roles while Mike was based on Bacall's character). Anders stated that when the series' production company, National Telefilm Associates, got wind of the interview they decided to replace Lori Nelson with a new actress.[4] Nelson later said she chose to quit the show stating, "I felt that I was the biggest of the three actresses in terms of star status...I felt that I needed to move on. I didn't need to be stuck in that little series that was in syndication."[5]

After Nelson's departure, her character was written out by having her marry a gas station owner and relocate to California. The first episode of the second season, "Cherchez la Roommate", deals with Loco and Mike trying to find a suitable replacement for Greta or face eviction. Mr. Tobey is delighted that he finally has a legitimate reason to throw the women out and gives them one week to find a new roommate or get evicted. After a disastrous attempt to find a new roommate through a want ad in the newspaper, Loco and Mike are introduced to Gwen Kirby (Lisa Gaye), a new girl in town who needs a place to live. After Loco and Mike get Gwen to promise to help with their plan to get one of them married to a millionaire, Gwen becomes the third roommate.

The second season comprised 13 episodes. How to Marry a Millionaire was later canceled.

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Episodes[edit]

First season[edit]

The first season of How to Marry a Millionaire premiered in October 1957 and ended in July 1958, after 39 episodes.[2]

  • "The Penthouse" (Pilot)
  • "Subletting the Apartment"
  • "To Hock or Not to Hock"
  • "It's a Dog's Life"
  • "The Cruise"
  • "The Brat"
  • "Loco the Heiress"
  • "Alias the Secretary"
  • "The Sea Island Story"
  • "Society Mother"
  • "Tom, Dick, and Harry"
  • "Good Time Charlie"
  • "The Bird Man"
  • "The Fourth Girl"
  • "For the Love of Art"
  • "The Playwright"
  • "Youth for the Asking"
  • "Loco Leaves Home"
  • "The Maid"
  • "The Yachting Party"
  • "The Utterly Perfect Man"
  • "Loco and the Cowboy"
  • "Loco v. Wall Street"
  • "For the Love of Mink"
  • "Operation Greta"
  • "A Job for Jesse"
  • "Day in Court"
  • "A Man for Mike"
  • "The Truthivac"
  • "The New Lease"
  • "Situation Wanted"
  • "Loco and the Gambler"
  • "The Big Order"
  • "The Shortshop"
  • "Greta's Big Chance

Second season[edit]

The abbreviated second season lasted 13 episodes. The second season aired from October 1958 to August 1959. The series was on hiatus from January to June 1959.[2]

  • "Cherchez la Roommate"
  • "What's Cooking with Loco?"
  • "Guest with a Gun"
  • "Hit and Run"
  • "Three Stacked Stockholders"
  • "Gwen's Secret"
  • "Loco, the Teenager"
  • "The Seal Who Came to Dinner"
  • "The Method"
  • "The Golf Tournament"
  • "The Comic"
  • "A Husband for Julia"
  • "Love on Approval"

Production notes[edit]

How to Marry a Millionaire was one of the first television series filmed by Twentieth Century Fox.[6] The series was executive produced by Nat Perrin and Irving Asher, and produced by Ben Feiner, Jr. and Paul Jones.[7]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ (Tucker 2010, p. 63-64)
  2. ^ a b c Classic TV Archive: How to Marry a Millionaire
  3. ^ (Tucker 2010, p. 64)
  4. ^ (Magers 2004, p. 15)
  5. ^ (Tucker 2010, p. 65–66)
  6. ^ (Brooks 2007, p. 642-643)
  7. ^ (Tucker 2010, p. 61)

References[edit]

  • Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-49773-2
  • Magers, Boyd; Fitzgerald, Michael G. (2004). Westerns Women: Interviews With 50 Leading Ladies Of Movie And Television Westerns From The 1930s To The 1960s. McFarland. ISBN 0-786-42028-6.
  • Tucker, David C. (2010). Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television: 30 Sitcoms That Faded Off Screen. McFarland. ISBN 0-786-44466-5.

External links[edit]