The Tom Ewell Show

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The Tom Ewell Show
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Madelyn Martin and
Bob Carroll, Jr.
Starring Tom Ewell
Composer(s) Jerry Fielding
Rudy Schrager
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 30
Running time 24 mins.
Production company(s) Ewell-Carroll-Martin
Four Star Productions
Original channel CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 27, 1960 (1960-09-27) – May 9, 1961 (1961-05-09)

The Tom Ewell Show is an American television situation comedy that aired on CBS during the 1960-61 television season.


Tom Ewell stars in this half-hour sitcom as Tom Porter, a real estate agent whose entire life, away from the office, was dominated by females:[1]

  • Family-dog Mitzi

Recurring characters included Norman Fell as co-worker Howie Fletcher, heavy-set actor Barry Kelley as friend Jim Rafferty, and child-actor Vance Meadows as a neighborhood youngster.

List of episodes[edit]

# Episode Name Original air date
1 "Tom Cuts Off the Credit" September 27, 1960
Tom cuts off the wife and daughters from credit cards and the family checking account in order to teach them a lesson about finances.
2 "Debbie Takes Up the Tuba" October 4, 1960
Daughter Debbie starts taking tuba lessons, annoying the entire family.
3 "The Safety Lesson" October 11, 1960
Tom, upset at always being the family chauffeur, tries to teach his wife how to drive a car. Junius Matthews (best known as the voice of Rabbit in Disney's Winnie the Pooh movies) guest-stars as an elderly man.
4 "Tom Takes Over" October 18, 1960
This Pilot episode, in which Tom's wife Fran gets appendicitis, shows Tom taking over the housework.
5 "Tom Puts the Girls to Work" November 1, 1960
Tom finds part-time jobs for his daughters, who rebel against the idea. Billy Mumy guest-starred as a young boy.[2]
6 "The Second Phone" November 15, 1960
Tom is pressured to get another phone for the house.
7 "The Handwriting on the Wall" November 22, 1960
The daughters behave badly and try to hide the results.
8 "The Spelling Bee" November 29, 1960
In an episode about his daughters competing in a spelling bee, Tom dreams how it would be to have three sons instead of three daughters.[2]
9 "Site Unseen" December 6, 1960
Dick Powell guest-star in this episode in which the actual Four Star Studios production lot is used as part of a story involving a important real-estate deal.[2]
10 "The Friendly Man" December 20, 1960
Ernest Truex and Mildred Dunnock guest-star as Mr. and Mrs. Steckel.
11 "Salesmanship Lesson" December 27, 1960
Tom and the girls learn a lesson in sales.
12 "Advice to the Lovelorn" January 3, 1961
Whit Bissell and Ray Stricklyn guest-star.
13 "Try It on For Size" January 10, 1961
Tom has to explain how he ended up buying something he didn't want in the first place.
14 "No Fun in the Sun" January 17, 1961
Robert Hastings guest-stars.
15 "Mr. Shrewd" January 24, 1961
John Dehner and Herbie Faye guest-star.
16 "The Middle Child" January 31, 1961
Debbie is upset she'd not treated the same as her younger sister or her older sister.
17 "The Trouble With Mother" February 7, 1961
Mother-in-law isn't satisfied with her life.
18 "A Fellow Needs a Friend" February 14, 1961
Alan Reed Jr. (son of actor Alan Reed) guest-starred as a teenage boyfriend of Carol who becomes Tom's football-watching buddy.[2]
19 "Out of Left Field" February 21, 1961
Baseball causes strife.
20 "Storm Over Shangri-La" February 28, 1961
Tom's pending real-estate deal may leave three elderly ladies (Katherine Squire, June Walker, and Isabel Randolph) homeless.
21 "I Don't See It" March 7, 1961
Alice Ghostley played eccentric painter Lavinia Barrington, and Robert Emhardt played villainous Orville Bostwick.
22 "The Old Magic" March 14, 1961
John Emery plays Tom's old college buddy, Jack Hunter, who invites Tom and his wife to a wild Hollywood party. Former "Miss Iceland" Sirry Steffen and character actor Fay Roope also appear as party guests.
23 "Mrs. Dynamite" March 21, 1961
24 "The Prying Eye" March 28, 1961
George Fenneman appear as Randy Rambo, and Jean Carson as a girl named Diane, the target of a neighborhood Peeping Tom. But, though it is definite that actress Grace (Gillen) Albertson appears as Sally Gallagher, it is not clear whether Frank Albertson (Grace's husband), or Jack Albertson (brother of series star Mabel Albertson) appears in the role of Sally's husband Al Gallagher.
25 "The Chutney Caper" April 4, 1961
Alice Ghostley returns in a different role, as Tom's eccentric sister Polly.[2]
26 "Put It On, Take It Off" April 11, 1961
Eleanor Audley plays Madame Defarge.[2]
27 "Big Brother" April 18, 1961
Child-actor Pat Close guest-stars as an orphan taken in by Tom for Big Brother Week
28 "Handy Man" April 25, 1961
29 "Passenger Pending" May 2, 1961
30 "Never Do Business with Relatives" May 9, 1961

Production notes[edit]

The Tom Ewell Show was created by Madelyn Martin and Bob Carroll, Jr. (of The Lucy Show fame), and produced by Tom Ewell's own production company (in partnership with Martin and Carroll, and with Four Star Productions).

Broadcast schedule[edit]

The thirty episodes of the show were broadcast 9–9:30 PM (EST) on Tuesday nights in the United States from September 27, 1960 through May 23, 1961 on the CBS network. Eight of the episodes were shown as summer repeats in the same timeslot from May 30, 1961 through July 18, 1961. This series was sponsored alternately by The Quaker Oats Company and Proctor and Gamble.

Critical reception[edit]

TIME magazine said:[3]

"The Tom Ewell Show (CBS) leads a relentless parade of situation comedies, all designed to show that American family life is as cute as a freckle on a five-year-old. The show, which might also be titled Father Knows Nothing, presents the comic with the excavated face as a bumbler named Potter who is trapped in the customary format: Harassed Man Beaten Down by Wife, Three Daughters, Mother-in-Law. In the opening episode, Ewell could find no better way to outsmart his spendthrift women than closing his bank account and ruining his own credit. For those who may have tuned out early, the women were all set to start spending again."


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim and March, Earl (2007) "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946–Present", Random House, ISBN 0-345-45542-8, pp. 1047-48
  2. ^ a b c d e f The Tom Ewell Show webpage on the Classic TV Archive website
  3. ^ Online archive of TIME Magazine, "Show Business: The New Shows" TIME (October 10, 1960)

External links[edit]