It's a Great Life
|It's a Great Life|
|Also known as||The Bachelors|
|Created by||Dick Chevillat
|Written by||Dick Chevillat
|Directed by||Christian Nyby|
|Theme music composer||David Rose|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||78|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||September 7, 1954– June 3, 1956|
It's a Great Life (also known in syndicated reruns as The Bachelors) is an American situation comedy which aired on NBC from 1954 to 1956. Frances Bavier, six years before being cast as Aunt Bee[note 1] in CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, played a somewhat similar role as Mrs. Amy Morgan, the owner of a boarding house.
Frances Bavier stars as Mrs. Amy Morgan, the owner of a boarding house. Harry Harvey portrayed Mr. Russell, a neighbor. Two of her tenants are returning World War II veterans, played by William Bishop and Michael O'Shea in the roles of Steve Connors and Denny Davis, respectively. The former servicemen portray vacuum cleaner salesmen. James Dunn played Amy's brother-in-law, Earl Morgan, something of a deadbeat often pushing "get-rich-quick" schemes to entice Steve and Denny. Dunn's role was loosely comparable to that of Edgar Buchanan as Uncle Joe Carson in CBS's rural comedy, Petticoat Junction, starring Bea Benaderet as Carson's sister, Kate.
Steve and Denny are single in the series and in their spare time seek the companionship of women, including Amy's beautiful daughter, Cathy "Katy" Morgan played by Barbara Bates. Bates appeared in twenty-six episodes. Guest stars included Parley Baer, Madge Blake, George Chandler, Phyllis Coates, Angie Dickinson, King Donovan (six episodes as Chris Norman), Richard Deacon, Hope Emerson, Douglas Fowley, Joseph Kearns, Nancy Kulp, Joi Lansing, Barbara Nichols, Doris Packer, Maudie Prickett, Tyler McVey, William Schallert, Randy Stuart, Lyle Talbot, Dolores Fuller, and Mary Treen.
The series was filmed at Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California. David Rose, also the arranger for The Red Skelton Show, is particularly cited for his theme music composition on this series. In its first season, It's a Great Life aired at 10:30 p.m. EST Tuesdays opposite CBS's See It Now. In the second season, the series was switched to 7 p.m. EST on Sundays preceding Frontier western anthology series on NBC. With the switch in time, it aired opposite the second season of Lassie on CBS.
- "It's a Great Life Episodes". tvguide.com. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
- Tucker, David C. (2010). Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television: Thirty Sitcoms That Faded Off Screen. McFarland & Company. pp. 80–86. ISBN 978-0-7864-4466-3. Excerpt available at Google Books.
- Tucker, p. 82. Excerpt available at Google Books.
- "Comedy Time". TVParty.com. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, p. 415
- "It's a Great Life". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- seen in 1 episode in non-speaking role as woman in mink coat
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, appendix with network television schedule.