Father Knows Best

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Father Knows Best
Jane wyatt robert young.JPG
Robert Young and Jane Wyatt as Jim and Margaret Anderson
Created byEd James
Directed byPeter Tewksbury
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes203
  • Murray Bolen
  • Ken Burton
  • Fran Van Hartesfeldt
Running time26 minutes
Production companiesRodney-Young Productions
Screen Gems
DistributorScreen Gems
Sony Pictures Television
Original network
  • CBS (1954–1955, 1958–1960)
  • NBC (1955–1958)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 3, 1954 (1954-10-03) –
May 23, 1960 (1960-05-23)

Father Knows Best is an American sitcom starring Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapin. The series, which began on radio in 1949, aired as a television show for six seasons and 203 episodes. Created by Ed James, Father Knows Best follows the lives of the Andersons, a middle-class family living in the town of Springfield. The state in which Springfield is located is never specified, but it is generally accepted to be located in the Midwestern United States.[1]

The television series debuted on CBS in October 1954. It ran for one season and was canceled by CBS but picked up by NBC, where it remained for three seasons. After cancellation by NBC in 1958, the series returned to CBS, where it aired until May 1960.


The episode from the radio version, "A Carnival In Town"

The series began on August 25, 1949 on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as the General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson) and Kathy (Norma Jean Nilsson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran, and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954.

On the radio program, the character of Jim differs from the later television character. The radio Jim is far more sarcastic and shows he really rules over his family. Jim also calls his children names, something common on radio but lost in the TV series. For example, Jim says, "What a bunch of stupid children I have." Margaret is portrayed as a paragon of solid reason and patience, unless the plot calls for her to act a bit off; for example, in a Halloween episode, Margaret cannot understand how a table floats in the air. But that is a rare exception.

Betty, on radio, is portrayed as a status-seeking, boy-crazy teenage girl. To her, every little thing is "the worst thing that could ever happen." Bud, on radio, is portrayed as an "all-American" boy who always seems to need "just a bit more" money, though he receives $1.25 (nearly $14.00 in 2021) per week in allowance. Bud is expected to always answer the phone, which he hates. He is also shown as a somewhat dim boy who takes everything literally; for example, Jim might say, "Go jump in the lake," to which Bud would reply, "Okay, Dad; which lake should I go jump into?" He also uses the phrase "Holy Cow!" to express displeasure. On radio, Kathy often is portrayed as a source of irritation. She whines, cries and complains about her status in the family. She often is a source of money for her brother and sister, although she is in hock several years on her own allowance.

In an interview published in the magazine Films of the Golden Age (Fall 2015), Young revealed about the radio program: "I never quite liked it because it had to have laughs. And I wanted a warm relationship show.... When we moved to TV I suggested an entirely new cast and different perspective."[2]

Television series[edit]

The May 27, 1954 episode of The Ford Television Theatre show was called "Keep It in the Family." This 26-minute episode stars Robert Young as Jim Warren, head of the Warren family. With him was wife Grace (Ellen Drew), older daughter Peggy (Sally Fraser), younger daughter Patty (Tina Thompson) and son Jeff (Gordon Gebert). Developed by Young and his partner Eugene Rodney, it was intended as a pilot for a Father Knows Best television series.[3] In the episode, Peggy dreams of making it as an actress, but a talent scout who has raised her hopes just wants people for his acting school.

Of the radio cast, only Robert Young remained when the series moved to CBS television:

The Andersons – top from left: Elinor Donahue, Robert Young, Jane Wyatt – bottom: Lauren Chapin, Billy Gray
Jim with daughter Kathy, 1957

The series premiered on October 3, 1954 on CBS, where it aired Sundays at 10:00 p.m. (ET). Lorillard's Kent cigarettes sponsored the show in its first season and Scott Paper Company became the primary sponsor when the series moved to NBC in the fall of 1955, where it aired Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. (ET) for the next three seasons. Scott Paper remained as sponsor even after the show returned to CBS in September 1958, where it aired Mondays at 8:30 p.m. (ET) for the last two seasons, with Lever Brothers as an alternate sponsor from 1957 through 1960. A total of 203 episodes were produced, running until September 17, 1960, and appearing on all three of the television networks of the time, including prime-time repeats from September 1960 through April 1963.

As before, the character of Margaret was portrayed as a voice of reason, but Jim's character was softened to that of a thoughtful, yet Caspar Milquetoast-type father who offered sage advice in response to his children's problems. Jim was a salesman and manager of the General Insurance Company in Springfield, while Margaret was a housewife. Their home was located at 607 Maple Avenue. One history of the series characterized the Andersons as "truly an idealized family, the sort that viewers could relate to and emulate."[4] As the two eldest children aged from teenager to young adult, Betty (1956) and Bud (1959) graduated from high school and attended Springfield Junior College.

Vivi Janiss played the part of Myrtle Davis in 11 sporadic episodes from 1954 to 1959.

Father Knows Best had become so ingrained in American pop culture as its idyllic presentation of family life that in 1959, the U.S. Department of the Treasury commissioned a special 30-minute episode of the show titled "24 Hours in Tyrant Land".[4] Never aired on television, the episode—distributed to schools, churches and civic groups—promoted the purchase of savings bonds.[4] The episode was later included on the Season 1 DVD.

Young left the series in 1960 at the height of the show's popularity to work on other projects, but reruns continued to air in primetime for another three years, on CBS from 1960 to 1962 and on ABC from 1962 to 1963. Following that, reruns were shown on ABC-TV in the early afternoon for several years.

On November 22, 1963, at 1:42 p.m. EST during a rerun of the third-season episode "Man About Town" on several ABC affiliates, mostly in the Mountain Time Zone (WABC-TV in New York was airing a local repeat of The Ann Sothern Show), ABC News broke into the program with the first bulletin of the news of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.

The façade of the Anderson house depicted in the series' opening credits is the same structure used as Mr. George Wilson's home in the television series Dennis the Menace and again, in remodeled form, as Captain/Major Anthony Nelson's residence in I Dream of Jeannie. Originally built in 1941 during the production of a series of Blondie movies, this theatrical property continued to serve for many more years as part of the backlot of Columbia Pictures (now Warner Brothers Ranch in Burbank, California). The house can also be seen in both its familiar Father Knows Best style and later renovated variations in episodes of Hazel, Bewitched, The Monkees, The Partridge Family and in numerous other television comedies and dramas.

1977 reunion movies[edit]

Cast photo from Father Knows Best Reunion. Standing, from left: Elinor Donahue, Robert Young and Jane Wyatt. Seated: Lauren Chapin and Billy Gray.

The TV cast reunited for a pair of TV movies on NBC: Father Knows Best Reunion on May 15, 1977 and Father Knows Best: Home for Christmas on December 18, 1977. In the 17 years since the series had ended, the characters of Betty and Bud had both married and had families of their own. Betty was the widowed mother of two girls, Jenny (Cari Anne Warder) and Ellen (Kyle Richards), while Bud and his wife Jean (Susan Adams) were the parents of a son, Robert "Robby" (Christopher Gardner). Kathy had become engaged to a doctor, Jason Harper (Hal England).[5]

List of episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1954–55)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Bud Takes Up the Dance"James NeilsonStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperOctober 3, 1954 (1954-10-03)
Bud asks a girl named Marcia to go to a dance with him – his first dance, and his first date. He is trying to learn how to dance from a book over 50 years old. When his family finds out, he is embarrassed. Jim goes to talk to Marcia and it turns out she doesn't know how to dance either. He teaches her how. Betty helps Bud learn some dance steps.
22"Lesson in Citizenship"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 10, 1954 (1954-10-10)
Jim, dismayed at his children's laziness, lectures them in the importance of good citizenship and cheerful volunteering. When each of them later heed his advice and try to do their part in the community, their efforts end up complicating his own life in unexpected ways. But, in the end, all of his complications wind up helping many people. Eddy Waller appears as Will Potter, a man who gets one of Jim's suits.
33"The Motor Scooter"William D. RussellStory by: Dick Conway & Paul West, Teleplay by: Harry Clork & Sumner Arthur LongOctober 17, 1954 (1954-10-17)
Jim purchases a motor scooter for Bud for $50. Margaret does not want him to have it because she doesn't believe he is responsible enough. Jim backs down and sells it to a Fred Hartley for $40. Meanwhile, Betty wants to wear a low-cut dress and Jim is against that. Bud winds up buying the scooter from Mr. Hartley for $30 because Mrs. Hartley didn't want her son to have it.
44"Football Tickets"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 24, 1954 (1954-10-24)
Jim has an extra ticket for the big football game, and since Margaret cannot go, Betty is chosen. A friend of Jim's visits him and says he will buy insurance from Jim if he gets the extra ticket, so Jim has to tell Betty she cannot go. Margaret suggests Jim give his ticket to the friend and Betty can still go. The only problem is the tickets are in a shirt that was sent to the laundry. Mix ups ensue, but eventually Betty, Bud, Kathy, the friend and Jim wind up at the game.
55"Live My Own Life"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersOctober 31, 1954 (1954-10-31)
Tired of being told what to do by his parents, Bud announces he is moving out. Bud finds a place to stay and thinks he will enjoy his independence. But, he almost immediately regrets his decision. Bud and the family have to find a way for him to move home again without hurting anyone's pride.
66"Grandpa Jim's Rejuvenation"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Phil DavisNovember 7, 1954 (1954-11-07)
Jim gets invited to play badminton with friends and starts to remember (with rose-colored glasses) his youth and college days. But then he looks at his children and sees how fast they are growing up. Now, he feels very old and that his best days are behind him. Margaret and the children hatch a plan to make him feel young again. Donald Curtis appears as Eddie Gilbert, an old friend of Jim's.
77"Bud's Encounter with the Law"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersNovember 14, 1954 (1954-11-14)
Kathy plays with the new washing machine and keeps throwing everything in it. She puts Betty's items for her "Girls in Government Club" in and they get ruined. Kathy also puts the mail in, including a letter to Bud from the police. Bud thinks he's in trouble because he took some old oil drums from an alley to make a raft. After a lot of panic, it turns out he left his wallet at the police station when he got his bike license. Stafford Repp appears as a policeman.
88"Thanksgiving Day"William D. RussellStory by: Ed James, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperNovember 21, 1954 (1954-11-21)
The family prepares for Thanksgiving. Kathy has to write a poem for a school project. She is selected as the winner in her class and the family is proud. Jim goes really overboard in his thought that there is a future celebrity in the family. But when Betty reads the poem, Jim thinks it is not as good as it should be and Kathy is upset.
99"Second Honeymoon"Peter TewksburyPaul WestNovember 28, 1954 (1954-11-28)
Jim and Margaret plan a second honeymoon trip, and decide Betty and Bud are old enough to watch the house and Kathy by themselves. However, they are suspicious when the children are anxious for them to be out of the house, with Betty even saying she'll just cancel her date. So off Jim and Margaret go, although on the drive out of town they are already missing the kids. The boy Betty broke the date with keeps calling her, so she decides to stop answering the phone. Worried when no one picks up the phone, Margaret and Jim race back home, only to find everything is fine. Back at the lodge Jim and Margaret are now enjoying the rustic room they booked, and out from an adjoining room come Betty, Bud and Kathy to say goodnight.
1010"Typical Father"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperDecember 5, 1954 (1954-12-05)
Jim is obsessed with the idea that his 17-year-old daughter might elope. Betty and her co-star in the school play, Armand, are rehearsing the play, which has an elopement as part of the plot. When Betty gets a road map and a suitcase for props for the play, Jim jumps to the wrong conclusion. Jim follows Armand to the Justice of the Peace, where he and Margaret find Armand acting as a witness as his father officiates at a wedding. Embarrassed, Jim and Margaret return home to be confronted by Betty and have to explain where they were.
1111"Margaret Goes Dancing"William D. RussellRoswell RogersDecember 12, 1954 (1954-12-12)
Margaret's friend Myrtle (Vivi Janiss) tells her that she and her husband Ed (Robert Foulk) are taking dance lessons. Thinking that they are in a rut, Margaret tries to trick Jim into lessons, but he finds out the plan from Myrtle's husband. Jim doesn't want to go, so he goes to the club instead, where he has a boring time. Margaret goes to the dance lesson, which is a bit too much for her. They both realize they liked their life the way it is.
1212"The Christmas Story"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersDecember 19, 1954 (1954-12-19)
Upset with his children's materialistic approach to the holiday season, Jim insists the family drive to the mountains to chop down the family Christmas tree. Their car gets stuck in a snow drift far from the nearest phone. The Anderson family takes refuge in a mountain lodge closed for the season and are befriended by a man named Nick (Wallace Ford), apparently the caretaker, who teaches the Anderson children the delights of a simple holiday. When ranger Les Turner (William Traylor) shows up, the family finds out that Nick is a vagrant and shouldn't be there. Jim talks the ranger into letting everyone stay and to not let Nick know they know his secret.
1313"Sparrow in the Window"Peter TewksburyPaul WestDecember 26, 1954 (1954-12-26)
Kathy finds an injured bird outside one of the windows at home. She brings it in to nurse it back to health. Everyone in the family also helps care for the bird and at the same time, the healing helps themselves.
1414"Boy's Week"William D. RussellStory by: Ed James, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperJanuary 2, 1955 (1955-01-02)
Kathy is accused of breaking a neighbor's window for the third time in the month, but she claims she didn't do it. Jim gets a ticket for parking in front of a driveway, but he claims he didn't do it. For a school project, Bud's class is given jobs in the real world. Bud is Traffic Court Judge for the day – the day that Jim goes in to fight his ticket.
1515"A Friend of Old George's"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperJanuary 9, 1955 (1955-01-09)
It's Kathy's birthday and she tries to find the cake and presents before the celebration. A man named Lyle (Parley Baer) shows up claiming to be a friend of Jim's old friend George. Now that he's here, they can't seem to get rid of him. Kathy thinks he is ruining her party. Jim finds a way to get Lyle to leave and they rush off to the circus. But when they get there, it is sold out. Lyle shows up and it turns out he's the circus manager. He gets tickets for the family.
1616"Bud the Snob"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersJanuary 16, 1955 (1955-01-16)

Everyone at school thinks Bud is a snob because he does not talk to a lot of people. It is actually because he is terribly shy, especially around girls. But when Bud wears a Halloween mask he has all the confidence he needs. Bud talks Jim into hosting a masquerade party at home to show his friends he is not a snob. When the mask goes missing, Jim tricks Bud by pretending to draw a mask on his face with makeup.

Note: Most of the scenes shot in this episode were later reused in the season five episode 11 also called "Bud the Snob." The only things added were a new introductory scene and closing scene.
1717"The Promised Playhouse"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersJanuary 23, 1955 (1955-01-23)
To get Kathy to take medicine, Jim promises he would sleep with her in a play house. A month later, Jim is telling the family how important it is to keep a promise. Jim forgot about his promise to Kathy. Kathy builds a play house and now Jim must reluctantly keep his promise. Vivi Janiss and Robert Foulk appear as Myrtle and Ed Davis.
1818"Jim, the Farmer"William D. RussellRoswell RogersJanuary 30, 1955 (1955-01-30)
Stressed out from the daily grind at work, Jim decides to quit the insurance business. He talks his friend Lloyd (John Alvin) into running his office. Jim plans to move out West, and run a farm – much to the dismay of his family. Jim keeps calling the office asking how Lloyd is doing and his secretary keeps saying just great. Even though in actuality, things are a mess. After a long talk with the office cleaning lady (Mary Young), Jim realizes his place is there.
1919"Father of the Year"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersFebruary 6, 1955 (1955-02-06)
The local newspaper is hosting a Father of the Year contest. Betty, Bud, and Kathy want to nominate Jim. Jim finds out and is overjoyed that his children want to submit an entry. But the kids cannot think of anything to actually write. Jim later puts his foot down on some of the things the children want to do. The children eventually realize that Jim is doing it for their own good and they write a very nice entry.
2020"The Mink Coat"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersFebruary 13, 1955 (1955-02-13)
Jim calls a family meeting because there has been too much spending recently and they must cut expenses. Just when he tells everyone to save money, Jim gets a deal on a mink coat. He buys it, but then has to justify his purchase to the kids. Though Margaret loves the coat, she feels she would be showing off when she wears it. A Mrs. Morell (June Vincent) sees Margaret in her coat, and proceeds to ask Jim for a large donation for the Women's League. Will the coat cause more problems than it's worth?
2121"The Matchmaker"William D. RussellStory by: Ed James, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperFebruary 20, 1955 (1955-02-20)
Margaret's cousin Louise is visiting. The Andersons have a dinner party for Louise (Lyn Guild) and her boyfriend Tom (William Hudson). Margaret hopes Tom will propose to Louise. Margaret does everything to make the mood romantic, despite the children's interruptions. In the end, it's Louise who proposes to Tom.
2222"Bud the Bridesmaid"William D. RussellStory by: Ed James, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperFebruary 27, 1955 (1955-02-27)
Margaret's cousin Louise is getting married. The wedding preparations are underway with food, chairs, flowers and more. Jim is starting to get concerned about the price. Louise is nervous and Tom is weary. Louise and Tom have an argument and say the wedding is canceled. Margaret comes up with a plan to get them back together.
2323"Proud Father"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperMarch 6, 1955 (1955-03-06)
Jim runs into Roger Garland (John Gallaudet), an old friend, who brags about his family members and all their achievements. Bud is afraid of a school bully, Kathy is worried about a loose tooth, and Betty is afraid she'll forget a dance routine. Jim tells them that they can't be afraid and must stand up to their problems. Margaret volunteers Jim to MC the performance, but he says he's not a public speaker and if his kids can't stand up for themselves, he can't either. The children confront their fears.
2424"Father Delivers the Papers"William D. RussellDane Lussier & Roswell RogersMarch 13, 1955 (1955-03-13)
Mr. Collins (Dabbs Greer), the newspaper route manager, tells Jim that Bud is slacking in his paper delivery route. Bud has every excuse as to why he cannot do it and says the people on the route can be quite difficult. The manager gives him one more chance. Bud is unable to finish the route due to minor injuries. Jim tries to finish the route for Bud, even though it is raining. Jim comes to realize that Bud may have been right about the route.
2525"No Partiality"William D. RussellStory by: Cally Curtis & Virginia Lindsey, Teleplay by: John Kohn, Alan Woods & Roswell RogersMarch 20, 1955 (1955-03-20)
Kathy is upset because all she seems to get are hand-me-downs. Jim and Margaret decide to treat her with more equality in privileges. When Betty wants to invite a boy to dinner, Kathy invites a boy first. Turns out it is the same boy. When the boy shows up, the girls battle for his attention. Jim has to come up with a way to make them both happy.
2626"Close Decision"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMarch 27, 1955 (1955-03-27)
Margaret is upset that Bud is not doing his chores lately. Bud wants to go play in a baseball game, but Margaret puts her foot down and says he must rake the leaves first. When Jim finds out that the team is losing, he sneaks Bud out to go play. The team almost wins, but in the final play of the game there is a question of whether Bud tagged the player out at home. Admitting he didn't tag the player costs them the game, but he gains the respect of many for telling the truth.

Season 2 (1955–56)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
271"Art of Salesmanship"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersAugust 31, 1955 (1955-08-31)
Jim believes that Bud has no drive. Bud wants to sell gravy boats which he thinks will be an easy sell. Jim thinks it's great that Bud wants to do something on his own. Bud soon learns there is more to selling than just asking people to buy. Jim helps him learn some selling tips. But, Bud still has a hard time. Jim realizes he's pushing Bud too hard to be the salesman that he is.
282"Father's Private Life"William D. RussellRoswell RogersSeptember 7, 1955 (1955-09-07)
Jim thinks the children ask him to solve their problems too much. He decides they need to start finding their own solutions, so he can have some time to himself. Meanwhile, Kathy and her friend Patty have taken a cardboard cutout from a movie theater. She's afraid she'll get into big trouble and writes a note saying she's going to hide out somewhere. Jim has a change of heart and decides he would rather have the children share their problems with him.
293"Lessons in Civics"William D. RussellStory by: Ed James, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperSeptember 14, 1955 (1955-09-14)
The town is undergoing new construction, and when Jim learns the old meeting hall is being torn down, he is upset. It is a memorial for the town since it has so much history. The children in their own way try to stop the building from being torn down. Kathy writes a letter to the mayor and repeats some unkind things Jim said about him. When at the Mayor's to apologize, Jim is volunteered into helping plan a new park where the building can be moved to.
304"First Disillusionment"William D. RussellRoswell RogersSeptember 21, 1955 (1955-09-21)
Bud wants to apply for a job in a sports department. His resume has some embellishments, but his father tells him to only tell the truth. When he applies, he does not get the job because his friend Eddie (Peter Miles) has embellished his resume and been hired. Bud is now upset with Jim, because honesty got him nowhere. Bud finds out that Eddie got fired because the store found out he lied on his resume.
315"Woman in the House"William D. RussellRoswell RogersSeptember 28, 1955 (1955-09-28)
Virge (Harry Hickox), an old friend of Jim's visits him at work and announces he and his wife Jill (Mary Webster) have moved to Springfield. Jim & Margaret invite the couple to dinner. While Virge is well liked and enjoyed, his wife is quite obnoxious and not so pleasant. Virge has to leave town for a few days and he asks Jim if Jill could stay at his place. Margaret just can't seem to get along with Jill. But when Margaret finds out that Jill doesn't have any friends and has a hard time making them, Margaret has a change of heart.
326"New Girl at School"William D. RussellRoswell RogersOctober 5, 1955 (1955-10-05)
A new family moves into the area. They have a son Kathy's age and a daughter Bud's age. Kathy and Grover become friends. Bud and his friend Joe both like April. Turns out April is a flirt who tries to get all the boys to do her bidding, especially Bud. Bud falls for April until he figures out that she is using him.
337"Kathy Makes Magic"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein & Roswell Rogers, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersOctober 12, 1955 (1955-10-12)
Kathy trades her skates for a friend's magic set, and then believes she can make anything disappear or change appearance as long as she waves the magic wand. When she does magic while Bud and his friend Joe try smoking cigars, she thinks she made Bud sick. After she finds out that Joe is also sick, she believes it's her fault even more. Questions are answered when Jim finds the cigar butts. Harry Antrim appears as Dr. Conrad.
348"Advantage to Betty"William D. RussellRoswell RogersOctober 19, 1955 (1955-10-19)
A newspaper reporter (Charles Tannen) takes pictures and writes an article for the paper on the girls' tennis team. The picture used is of Betty, the least talented member of the team, and it looks like she is a champion player. Betty is not happy because teammate Eula's picture should have been used as she is team captain and a great player. Betty then gets invited to a sports writers' banquet, but is unsure about it. Jim helps the girls to become friends and to get Eula to go to the banquet.
359"The Big Test"William D. RussellRoswell RogersOctober 26, 1955 (1955-10-26)
Bud studies a lot for a test. For once, he knows the material and does well on the test. Since this is a change from his previous tests, the teacher assumes he must have cheated. An even more important test is coming up. The teacher thinks Bud may have seen the test questions ahead of time. Bud gets an almost perfect paper and is again suspected of cheating. Jim finds a way to prove Bud didn't cheat.
3610"Father is a Dope"William D. RussellRoswell RogersNovember 2, 1955 (1955-11-02)
Jim watches a family sitcom on television and thinks the father is portrayed as an idiot who needs his wife always to save the day. The next day, Jim suspects his own family is trying to show Jim how much Margaret has to save the day. Jim wants to go on a hunting trip, but all these little family problems come up. Jim believes Margaret is staging all of them. In the end, Jim stays home. But was it really Margaret's doing? Robert Foulk appears as Ed Davis, Jim's friend and hunting partner.
3711"The Spirit of Youth"William D. RussellDorothy CooperNovember 9, 1955 (1955-11-09)
Bud thinks his parents are old, but Jim & Margaret do not feel old. Jim receives an invitation for his college reunion. Jim & Margaret attend the reunion. They realize that while they are not old, they are not teenagers and are glad of it.
3812"Bud, the Ladykiller"William D. RussellSumner Arthur Long & Dorothy CooperNovember 16, 1955 (1955-11-16)
A classmate named Dora calls Bud because she has quite a crush on him. He is rude to her because she is the least popular girl in school and considered a nerd. Jim tells Bud that he has to apologize. Bud tries, but the girl does not accept his apology and tells him off. To make her feel better he asks her to the prom and talks her up to all his friends. In the end, Dora decides to go to the prom with someone else and Bud now knows what it's like to be rejected.
3913"Margaret's Premonition"William D. RussellRoswell RogersNovember 30, 1955 (1955-11-30)
Margaret has a few lucky coincidences about things she thinks about and things that happen. Everyone tells her she has premonition and she starts to believe it. Jim needs to go out of town for an insurance deal and Margaret has a bad feeling about it. She tries to get him to call it off. When Jim insists on going, Margaret goes behind his back and has the meeting postponed. It turns out the road Jim was going use was washed out in a storm and it's a good thing he didn't go.
4014"Stage to Yuma"William D. RussellStory by: Marvin De Vries, Teleplay by: D.D. BeauchampDecember 7, 1955 (1955-12-07)

Robert Young plays the role of Tate Ibsen, one of the passengers riding a stagecoach through Arizona in the year 1860. One passenger named Duece (Rayford Barnes) has been convicted of murder and is handcuffed to a deputy. Tate Ibsen's plan to spring him loose before they reach the Yuma Penitentiary runs into complications when the stage is attacked by Indians. Despite not being trusted, Ibsen manages to still save the lives of a school teacher named Miss Quimby and a young boy named Porfio.

Note: Robert Young opens the show by saying... "For tonight only, while the family's on vacation, we have the opportunity to present a special program. It's a dramatic story set in Arizona in the year 1860. In a few seconds, when again we meet, I'll be one of five passengers riding the stage to Yuma, which happens to be the title of our story."
4115"Bad Influence"William D. RussellStory by: Herman J. Epstein, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersDecember 14, 1955 (1955-12-14)
Bud starts hanging out with Arty, a new friend from school. Arty keeps giving Bud gifts and Margaret is suspicious as to how Arty's getting them. Bud wants to buy a frogman outfit, but doesn't have the money. Arty takes money from Kathy's piggy bank to give to Bud. When Margaret finds out, Bud takes the blame. Other things happen that make Jim think Bud is behind them. When Arty sees how Bud stuck his neck out for him, Arty admits to it all.
4216"Betty Hates Carter"William D. RussellRoswell RogersDecember 28, 1955 (1955-12-28)
Betty is horrified when her father sets her up on a blind date with Carter Mawson (Robert Easton), the son of one of Jim's business associates. Betty plans to make sure the date is a bad one, but she finds she is actually starting to like Carter. However, Betty pretends to not like him. When a dinner dance comes up, Betty sets Carter up with a friend of hers, Janie Little (Cindy Robbins), thinking he likes her more. Janie realizes how much Betty really likes Carter, so she tells him she is sick and that he should take Betty.
4317"Jim, the Tyrant"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Herman Epstein & Roswell RogersJanuary 4, 1956 (1956-01-04)
Jim comes home after a very bad day at work. Wanting to tell the family about his day, he is miffed when they ignore him. He starts complaining about everyone and everything around the house. The next day Kathy breaks a window and spills Betty's perfume when everyone ignores her. She is so afraid of what Jim will do. It is now up to Jim to calm Kathy down and explain to her how a family works when it is out of harmony.
4418"Betty's Brother"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Paul WestJanuary 11, 1956 (1956-01-11)
While Kathy is proud of her big sister Betty, Bud has to always follow in her footsteps at school and he finds it hard to do. Everyone expects more of Bud because Betty always gave so much. Bud starts to do worse in his classes. The family tries hard to help Bud gain some confidence. Betty comes up with the solution. Sam Flint appears as Mr. Armstead, the principal. Claudia Bryar appears as Miss Woodruff, Bud's teacher.
4519"Betty Earns a Formal"William D. RussellPaul WestJanuary 18, 1956 (1956-01-18)
It seems like only bills are coming in the mail, and everyone is asking for money. When Betty asks for money to buy a dress for a country club dance, Jim tells her to earn the money herself. After speaking with Mr. Fredericks (Grandon Rhodes), whose daughter just got married and moved away, Jim has a change of heart about the dress. Betty says "no thank you" when Jim offers to buy the dress. She has gotten a job and won't let anyone know where.
4620"The House Painter"William D. RussellRoswell RogersJanuary 26, 1956 (1956-01-26)
The Andersons hire Mr. Everett (Parker Fennelly) to paint the house. Jim and Margaret have a discussion about whether someone does the job for the money or for the sense of accomplishment and integrity. They make a bet to see who is right. Jim then asks Mr. Everett to use cheap paint on the house, knowing his integrity would not let him do it. Everett says OK, but what Jim doesn't know is that Everett is not happy about it and still buys the good paint.
4721"Bud, the Wallflower"William D. RussellPaul WestFebruary 1, 1956 (1956-02-01)
Bud is upset that none of the girls asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. He feels he has become unpopular. Bud decides to plan a camping trip the same day as the dance as a way to show he does not care. Bud's friends that were to go camping with him, back out when they are asked to the dance. Now, Bud feels worse than ever. It turns out a girl named Wanda gave Kathy a note asking Bud to the dance, but Kathy forgot to give it to him. Before it's too late, Kathy remembers.
4822"The Bus to Nowhere"William D. RussellRoswell RogersFebruary 8, 1956 (1956-02-08)
Betty is depressed and finds everyday events dull. She is not sure what she is looking for. Betty hears Bud read a paper he's written about a bus that goes nowhere. She decides to go to the bus station and take a trip to wherever nine dollars will get her. While there, she helps an old man (John Qualen) who has gotten off at the wrong stop and is lost and confused. In doing so, Betty feels much better about herself.
4923"Kathy, the Indian Giver"William D. RussellKay LenardFebruary 15, 1956 (1956-02-15)
Kathy trades her baby doll for a neighborhood friend's baby sibling. Jim tries to explain to Kathy that one can't trade human beings, but she doesn't understand. Even Bud and Betty try to make Kathy feel better, but she says all she wants is her baby. In the end, Kathy realizes she was being stubborn and apologizes.
5024"The Historical Andersons"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein & Roswell Rogers, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersFebruary 22, 1956 (1956-02-22)
Bud has to write a paper on a historical figure from the Revolutionary War. Jim suggests an ancestor – Major Nathaniel Anderson, and says he must be important if he was a major. Bud tells everyone at school about the famous relative. It becomes a very big deal in the school and the town. Bud then researches, and finds the Major was a minor in the war.
5125"The Grass is Greener"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperFebruary 29, 1956 (1956-02-29)
Jim is excited to tell his family that his college friend Charlie (Frank Wilcox) is being interviewed on television. Charlie is quite successful. The more Jim talks about Charlie's success, the more Jim feels he is not a success. Charlie comes by the house and tells Jim what a wonderful life he must have. In the end, Jim realizes he has everything he wants. Paul Harvey appears as Mr. Gribble, another man who makes Jim feel unsuccessful.
5226"The Persistent Guest"William D. RussellPaul WestMarch 7, 1956 (1956-03-07)
Bud has a new friend named Fred Wyman who helps tutor him in algebra. When Fred stays over at the Andersons, he never seems to want to go home. The Andersons find out the boy is homeless and has no money. Jim introduces Fred to Lou (Ray Walker) and Grace (Virginia Christine) Miller, a couple who have been wanting a boy like Bud. The Millers instantly know that Fred is the boy for them.
5327"Family Reunion"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMarch 14, 1956 (1956-03-14)
Margaret's family is planning a reunion. While Margaret is excited, Jim and the children are not. They all make excuses to not go because it is boring. An irritated and disappointed Margaret says they will not go. Jim must now figure out a way to let Margaret know they're sorry and convince her to go. Lillian Powell appears as Cousin Ione.
5428"Family Dines Out"William D. RussellStory by: Herman Epstein & Roswell Rogers, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperMarch 28, 1956 (1956-03-28)
Betty promises a wealthy friend that her family will attend an exclusive charity dinner. Jim is not interested in going because he thinks Betty just wants to show off. After realizing Betty is in a bind, Jim agrees to go. Meanwhile, Bud needs the family to eat at the modest drugstore counter where he has just gotten his first job on the same night. How will the Anderson's resolve this dilemma?
5529"Bud, the Boxer"William D. RussellStory by: Ben Gershman & Paul West, Teleplay by: Paul WestApril 4, 1956 (1956-04-04)
Bud tries to avoid Eddie Jarvis, a bully at school, but Jim tells Bud he cannot avoid his problems forever. Jim suggests the boys get in a boxing ring and have a clean fight. Bud loses the fight. Jim talks Bud into talking some boxing lessons. Next time Bud fights Eddie he wins, and joins the boxing team. Soon, Bud starts to get a big head and wants to take on the high school champion. This time Bud doesn't do as well.
5630"Betty, Girl Engineer"William D. RussellRoswell RogersApril 11, 1956 (1956-04-11)
Betty's school hosts a career day where the students can sign up to intern at a job. Betty says she wants a civil engineer position. On her first day, she meets Doyle Hobbs (Roger Smith), the head surveyor. He gives Betty a hard time as he believes a woman's place is in the home. An angry and frustrated Betty leaves the job site. Doyle comes by the Anderson house to see Betty and it seems she has given up the idea of engineering.
5731"The Martins and the Coys"William D. RussellPaul WestApril 18, 1956 (1956-04-18)
Jim has an argument with Frank Tyler (Tris Coffin) about his insurance which was cancelled. Jim and Mr. Tyler decide they no longer need to contact each other and their friendship is over. However, Betty is dating Frank's son Bob. The situation is awkward. Both families insist that Jim and Frank should make up, which they eventually do. Ann Doran appears as Frank's wife, Dorothy.
5832"Dilemma for Margaret"William D. RussellKay LenardApril 25, 1956 (1956-04-25)
Margaret is to give a speech on child guidance. Jim tells her to speak about how well she has raised her children. A high school club initiation prank lands Betty on the wrong side of the law. Jim and Margaret find out Betty was involved. Margaret tells Betty that unless she tells Principal Armstead (Sam Flint), she would tell the PTA she couldn't give the speech. Betty does the right thing and talks to the principal. Eilene Janssen appears as Evelyn, Betty's friend who was in on the prank.
5933"Hero Father"William D. RussellStory by: Dorothy Cooper & Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperMay 2, 1956 (1956-05-02)
Baseball star Duke Snider and his All-Stars are touring the country and all the guys are hoping they would stop in Springfield and give an exhibition game. Bud says his father might be able to convince Duke to stop. Jack Bramer (Kenneth Tobey) is the father of Sandy (Tommy Ivo), one of Bud's friends. He offers Jim the money up front that would be needed to get the All-Stars to appear. But, Jack wants a political favor in return , which Jim refuses to do. When Jack finds out that Jim has taken the blame for the game falling through, he has a change of heart.
6034"Father, the Naturalist"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMay 9, 1956 (1956-05-09)
Kathy must complete a nature folder for a school club by the next day. Jim and Kathy head outside to explore and search nature. Kathy accidentally leaves the folder out in the forest. Feeling bad, Jim goes out in the middle of the night to try and find the folder.
6135"The Ten-Dollar Question"William D. RussellStory by: Barbara Avedon, Teleplay by: Barbara Avedon & Dorothy CooperMay 16, 1956 (1956-05-16)
One of the kids is suspected of stealing $10 that all were hoping to win in an anti-snitching contest that Jim started. Jim becomes increasingly disappointed when none of the children confesses. Then, to make things even more confusing, each of the children tells Jim they took the money to cover for each other. Turns out that Margaret found the money and put it back in Jim's wallet. Wilson Wood appears as a delivery man. Frank Sully appears as a waiter.
6236"Adopted Daughter"William D. RussellStory by:
Roswell Rogers and Carl Herzinger
Teleplay by: Roswell Rogers
May 23, 1956 (1956-05-23)
Alicia May, one of Kathy's classmates, is adopted and it gets the other classmates to wonder who else might be adopted. Kathy finds a receipt from an adoption agency and is sure it refers to her. Believing that the family is going to kick her out, Kathy runs away. She goes to Alicia May's house and tells her she's adopted as well. Alicia May tells Kathy that adopted children are special, because they were chosen.
6337"Betty's Graduation"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMay 30, 1956 (1956-05-30)
Betty's high school graduation is approaching and there is a lot to do. Betty starts to think the best days of her life are now over and does not want to graduate. With the help of Margaret's diary, Jim convinces Betty that the best things are ahead for her.

Season 3 (1956–57)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
641"No Apron Strings"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersSeptember 16, 1956 (1956-09-16)
Bud has a new girlfriend named Georgia (Denise Alexander). Georgia is getting a little upset because it seems every time she wants Bud to be with her, he has to run an errand for his mother. To prove he can do what he wants, he makes a date with her for Friday night. What Bud forgets is that it is the same night as his mother's birthday party. Frank Puglia appears as Mr. Amaldi, Georgia's father.
652"Never the Twain"Peter TewksburyPaul WestSeptember 19, 1956 (1956-09-19)
A cowboy named Utah (John Smith) that Betty met on a dude ranch over the summer is stopping in Springfield on his way to Chicago. He was everything Betty dreamed about and she has incredible memories of their time together. But, when he shows up, he is not the man Betty remembered. Jim explains to her how time can build up an image of someone and she should hold on to those memories. A Flashback is used to show how they met.
663"Betty Goes to College"Peter TewksburyStory by: Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Dorothy Cooper & Roswell RogersSeptember 26, 1956 (1956-09-26)
Jim & Margaret take Betty to State University, to look things over. It is the same college that Jim and Margaret went to and they expect Betty to go there as well. Betty, however, announces she wants to stay in town and go to the junior college with her friends. Dean Walton (Ray Collins) helps Jim to understand that Betty needs to make her own choice.
674"Man About Town"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperOctober 3, 1956 (1956-10-03)
Bud's friend has his cousin Marissa coming to town. Marissa (Kathleen Case) is older than Bud, but he wants to go out with her. He pretends to be older so he seems more sophisticated. When Marissa wants to go to a night club, Bud does not have enough money and is not old enough to get in. Jim suggests they double date so he can get into the club. The Great Merado (Philip Van Zandt), a mind-reader at the club, picks Bud and reveals all.
685"The Homing Pigeon"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 10, 1956 (1956-10-10)
After several test runs with his pigeon Charlie, Bud sends him on a 500 mile trip and waits for him to return home. Meanwhile, Betty announces she is moving into an apartment with a friend of hers named Jean. Will Betty and the pigeon both return home?
696"Spaghetti for Margaret"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 17, 1956 (1956-10-17)
Margaret wins a raffle: free spaghetti dinner once a week for a year. Also, Jim's old friend Harper (Herb Butterfield) visits. Years ago Harper sold a piece to a magazine, quit teaching, and was determined to start enjoying the good life as an author. He has interesting stories to tell but never had success. In his mind, he keeps believing that some day someone will throw him a banquet to celebrate his writings. Margaret arranges to get all her free meals on one night and throws a banquet for Harper.
707"Betty's Birthday"Peter TewksburyStory by: Herman Epstein, Teleplay by: Dorothy CooperOctober 24, 1956 (1956-10-24)
It's Betty's 18th birthday. Everyone makes an extra effort to get Betty presents. After hearing a lecture a school, Betty decides it's primitive to give gifts and she tells the family she doesn't want any presents. Betty comes to realize what joy the family gets from giving her the gifts. Eleanor Audley appears as a saleslady.
718"Bud, the Millionaire"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 31, 1956 (1956-10-31)
Bud feels he is being underpaid in his allowance, and he has to work to earn it. Jim decides to teach him a lesson by giving him $10 a week and the stipulation is he can only use it on himself. Bud finds having money does not buy friends. Plus, Jim's birthday is coming up and Bud wants to get him a present, but he can't use the money he was given. Bud learns it's no fun having money if you didn't work for it and you can't share it with others.
729"The Old Days"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperNovember 7, 1956 (1956-11-07)
Jim & Margaret plan to go to the PTA costume party. They were going to wear clothes from their youth that was stored in the attic, but Betty said they would look ridiculous. They decide to wear the clothes kids wear now-a-days to the party. At the party, Jim explains to Betty that every generation has different styles and we should except that. When Jim and Margaret come home they find Betty and Bud dressed in their old clothes from the attic.
7310"Whistle Bait"Peter TewksburyPaul WestNovember 14, 1956 (1956-11-14)
Betty becomes jealous of a new girl in school named Diane Mills (Mary Ellen Kay), who is getting whistled at by all the boys. Betty wonders why no one will whistle at her. Betty, as freshman counselor, is assigned to help Diane make friends and she is not happy about it. Diane asks Betty why none of the other girls will talk to her. Betty comes to realize that Diane is really a nice person and they become friends.
7411"The Great Guy"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersNovember 21, 1956 (1956-11-21)
Bud and Kippy go to work at a newspaper company. Their boss, Sinclair Bruder (Whit Bissell), is a real tough taskmaster. Bud would like to quit, but he can't because he made such a big deal out of getting a job to his parents. After telling Mr. Bruder off, Bud believes he's going to be fired. Turns out Mr. Bruder recommends Bud for a better position, because he knows he's a good worker and not a quitter. Bud turns the job down, because he's says he wants to stay with Mr. Bruder.
7512"The Family Goes to New York"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperNovember 28, 1956 (1956-11-28)
Jim is hesitant to let Betty go to New York alone, but Margaret convinces him to let her go. Betty is going to NY to help her friend Barbara (Ann Baker) on her wedding day. Betty and Barbara are wined and dined by Barbara's rich Aunt Martha. Imagine the family's surprise when a picture of Betty and best man Tony show up in the newspaper. Tony has been showing Betty the town and she starts to fall for him. Jim and Margaret go to NY to check up on Betty. While out to dinner, they see Tony with another girl. Betty realizes he was just being a nice guy and she let her emotions get the better of her.
7613"Betty Goes Steady"Peter TewksburyRoswell Rogers
Based on an Article by: Cameron Shipp
December 5, 1956 (1956-12-05)
At college, Betty is enjoying the social life and is going steady with a casual acquaintance named Roger Kohlhoff. Betty is happy to follow the social rules for acceptance by the college's "In Crowd" that dictates who's acceptable & who's not. Bud works on the high school paper and brings home Mr. Beekman (Robert Vaughn), the paper's adviser. Mr. Beekman encourages Ralph Waldo Emerson's philosophy of asking "Why?" of anyone or anything that demands unquestioning obedience. At first this doesn't sit well with Betty, but then she comes to realize Beekman was right.
7714"The Good Prospect"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 12, 1956 (1956-12-12)
Jim meets Aldus Lydum (Don Beddoe) while visiting his friend Virg Carlson (Harry Hickox), and thinks this might lead to a new insurance client. Aldus invites Jim & Margaret to visit he and his wife that night. Mr. Lydum acts as if everyone is a long-standing friend and that he has a lot of money. He agrees to sponsor Bud's bowling team and to buy boxes of donuts from Kathy, but at first doesn't come through. Mrs. Lydum tells Jim and Betty that Aldus is a loving man, but his fault is that he likes to feel important. In the end, he keeps his promise to the two children.
7815"The Angel's Sweater"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 19, 1956 (1956-12-19)
Kathy is certain that the Andersons' Christmas Eve will be ruined by the visit of spinsterish Aunt Neva (Katherine Warren). After a water pipe bursts, Jim calls Mister Fixit (Ludwig Stössel). Kathy learns a valuable lesson when she stops pouting long enough to listen to a Christmas story told by the elderly repairman. The story is about the greatest gift, which is love. Kathy finds it in her heart to tell Aunt Neva she loves her.
7916"The Promising Young Man"Peter TewksburyPaul WestDecember 26, 1956 (1956-12-26)
John Seastrom, Jim's boss, asks Jim if he can show John's son Elwood (Richard Crenna) how to sell insurance. Jim agrees, and when Elwood shows up, the family finds him to be very charming and a lot of fun. However, his carefree nature and non-committal attitude leave Jim wondering if he can hold any job. Jim learns that these traits actually make Elwood sociable enough to work with clients. Willis Bouchey appears as Emmet Ward, one of Jim's clients.
8017"Margaret Hires a Gardener"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 2, 1957 (1957-01-02)
Margaret hires a very special gardener named Frank (Natividad Vacío). However, the more Jim tries to find out how much Frank will charge and how long things will take, the less is actually answered. Jim decides that they have to let Frank go, but before Jim can tell him, Frank winds up in jail. The police thought Frank was taking flowers from a public park. With Jim's help, it is found out that he was actually planting the flowers.
8118"Swiss Family Anderson"Peter TewksburyPaul WestJanuary 9, 1957 (1957-01-09)
Jack Griffin (Nelson Leigh), a friend of Jim's, is trying to talk Jim into buying an island that he owns. The family talks about how their home is outdated and falling apart. They go to visit the island and while there, their untied boat drifts away. They spend the day in a beat-up old shack. During the night Ranger Malone (Don C. Harvey), who found their empty boat, comes to rescue the family. Once back home, they realize their old house isn't so bad after all.
8219"Brief Holiday"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 16, 1957 (1957-01-16)
Margaret gets tired of all the housework and demands of the children, expecting her to do their every whim. She decides to take a day off. She goes to a ritzy part of town, where she buys a hat, eats lunch at a French restaurant and has her portrait painted by a street artist (John Banner). When she returns home, the entire family wonders why nothings been done. Jim's imagination runs wild as he wonders why Margaret suddenly ran out. Margaret for her part feels frustrated that Jim doesn't believe her simple and honest explanation for her actions. In the end, Jim comes to understand. Vivi Janiss appears as Myrtle, Margaret's friend.
8320"The Lawn Party"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 23, 1957 (1957-01-23)
Bud wants to have a lawn party at the Anderson's home the next day. Bud expects Jim & Margaret to do the work, without the teens even helping. Jim tells Bud if he can't get some of the other parents to help, then he cannot have the party. At first, no one volunteers. Then Mr. Messner (Fred Sherman), Mrs. Watkins (Paula Winslowe) and a bunch of other parents show up. Some of the parents comment on how the Anderson house is the place everyone would like to be at.
8421"Short Wave"Peter TewksburyPaul WestJanuary 30, 1957 (1957-01-30)
Bud buys a shortwave radio and, while showing it off to the family, hears a distress call. A family had become caught in a tropical storm while offshore in their cabin cruiser, and the father was unable to transmit his desperate call for help to the Coast Guard ... leaving the Andersons as possibly the family's only hope.
8522"Carnival"Peter TewksburyPaul WestFebruary 6, 1957 (1957-02-06)
Burt (Dick Foran), a carnival hustler, manages to fleece Bud out of six dollars he was supposed to use to get Jim's pants from the tailor. Bud and Kippy go back to Burt the next day and ask him how he manages to get people to spend their money. They wind up getting jobs at the carnival. Bud starts to enjoy the carnival lifestyle of tricking people out of their money. Bud was supposed to get paid the next day, but when he shows up, the carnival is gone.
8623"Betty and the Jet Pilot"Peter TewksburyPaul WestFebruary 13, 1957 (1957-02-13)
Lt. Charles Baron, a jet pilot, encounters problems when flying over Springfield and loses his helmet. Bud finds the helmet and the family decides to find the pilot and return it. Betty and Charles start dating and Betty falls in love with him. Charles learns there's a chance he will be transferred to Alaska. If he doesn't go, he would like to marry Betty. The next day at 9 o'clock Betty will find out his fate. Ken Mayer appears as Colonel Shaine.
8724"Trip to Hillsborough"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 20, 1957 (1957-02-20)
Bud and Kippy want to travel for new experiences and write exciting stories. They want to go to Hillsborough by themselves and stay over night. Jim and Margaret agree since both boys will be there. Kippy backs out at the last minute, so Bud winds up going by himself. Bud doesn't find all the excitement he thought he would. Horace McMahon appears as the truck driver who gives Bud a ride. Percy Helton appears as the Desk Clerk. Madge Blake, Ralph Sanford and Cheerio Meredith appear as hotel guests.
8825"An Evening to Remember"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 27, 1957 (1957-02-27)
Cornel Wilde has a car accident while traveling through Springfield. The person who hit his car just happens to be Myron Hansen (Lloyd Corrigan), a client of Jim's. Due to a mix up with Jim's secretary, Cornel shows up at the Anderson home. While waiting for Jim to arrive home, the rest of the family falls all over him. Margaret invites him to stay to dinner and he agrees much to the excitement of all the Andersons. Jim discovers that Mr. Hansen has decided to make a 'killing' by embellishing the events and getting a big pay day from the movie star. Jim puts a stop to this and a grateful Cornel agrees to babysit with Kathy when the regular sitter cancels. The rest of the family leave to go to their respective commitments, but one by one each returns home early to spend the evening with their guest.
8926"Bud Buys a Car"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 13, 1957 (1957-03-13)
Bud wants to buy a used car from a friend of his. Jim gives his approval, but Margaret is against it. Bud brings the car home and it is quite a wreck. Plus, Bud feels that no one cares or is as excited about it as he is. When Margaret and Betty see how hard Bud is working on the car, they feel sorry for him and decide to help.
9027"Safety First"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 20, 1957 (1957-03-20)
Bud's unsafe driving habits at cross walks gets him into trouble with the law. To make matters worse, his father has just been appointed chairman of the city's safe driving campaign. Jim has to figure out how make Bud understand that he can't be that careless. Jim talks the Judge into making Bud a Crossing Guard for a day. Ethel May Halls appears as Mrs. Brian, the crossing guard.
9128"Bud, the Hero"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMarch 27, 1957 (1957-03-27)

Bud stops a bank robbery without realizing it and completely by accident. Everyone thinks he was quite brave and is considered a hero. Bud has no problem bragging to his friends about how he did it. But, when he is asked by Reverend Swain to relate his story in church, he confesses that he really didn't do anything heroic.

Note: Jim Anderson (Sr.) breaks the "fourth wall" explaining how the story evolved.
9229"Betty, the Track Star"Peter TewksburyPaul WestApril 3, 1957 (1957-04-03)
Betty is one of three girls in the finals for Flower Queen of Springfield and she is getting a lot of attention. Elvia Horsen, captain of the girls' track team, asks Betty to pose for a picture with the team to get some publicity. During the photo shoot, Elvia sees Betty run and wants her to join the team. Betty reluctantly agrees, knowing that the track meet is within minutes of the Flower Queen judging. She wins the race, and the team hustles her off to get dressed for the judging. With the teams help, Betty also wins the Flower Queen pageant.
9330"The Spelling Bee"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 17, 1957 (1957-04-17)
Kathy is to compete in the school spelling bee, so Betty gives her a penny that she says is good luck. She wins, but now is scared because she must compete in the county championship. She feels better when she remembers her lucky penny. Once there, Kathy meets Mara (Beverly Washburn), another girl who is competing. Kathy lets Mara wear one of her dresses. Kathy can't find her lucky penny and is scared. Mara finds the penny in the dress and Kathy manages to get it back. Feeling bad for Mara, Kathy loses on purpose.
9431"Bud, the Philanthropist"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 27, 1957 (1957-04-27)
Bud donates 10 dollars towards a fund for a sick classmate in Sunday School, but none of his friends saw him do it. Betty finds out from the Sunday School teacher that the boys raised $10.39. Kippy gets credit for Bud's donation and Bud is upset. Knowing he should not brag of his good deed, Bud tries to find another way to get credit. Not knowing that Bud was the one to put in the money, Kippy confesses to Bud that he didn't do it. Bud has the chance to take the credit, but he doesn't.
9532"Baby in the House"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMay 1, 1957 (1957-05-01)
A friend offers Betty a ticket to a play she wants to see on the same night she has a baby-sitting job. Margaret and Jim say they will babysit so she can go to the play. At first Margaret and Jim enjoy having an infant in the house again. But, then things start to get a little hectic. Bud finds the baby annoying and Kathy gets jealous. Gloria Henry appears as Mildred Harris, the baby's mother.
9633"Class Prophecy"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMay 8, 1957 (1957-05-08)
Henry Pruett (Harry Townes), a high-school honors classmate of Jim's, comes to visit with his wife Julie (Betty Lou Gerson). Jim remembers hearing that Henry at one time was attending medical school, but he is evasive and uneasy when asked about his career. It turns out he is a lowly salesman of kitchen utensils. When Jim finds out, he must find a way to let Henry know it's OK.
9734"The Art of Romance"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMay 15, 1957 (1957-05-15)
Jim's advice to Bud about playing cat-and-mouse with Judy (Joan Freeman), a girl he wants to take to the prom, almost backfires. Meanwhile, Betty gives Judy advice on how to get Bud. But, in the end she accepts his invitation.
9835"Margaret Disowns Her Family"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMay 22, 1957 (1957-05-22)
Margaret decides to sell the old baby crib. A couple who are expecting their first child show up to buy it. They are young as well as being nervous about being parents. It does not help that Margaret is having a bad parenting day and is really irritated with the family. The young mother begins to have doubts about her coming baby and her marriage. Margaret has a long talk with her and eases her doubts. Christine White appears as Esther, the expecting mother.
9936"Grandpa Retires"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMay 29, 1957 (1957-05-29)

The Andersons visit Margaret's family. Her father (Ernest Truex) feels his health is failing and he needs to sell his business to retire. Jim learns that Grampa keeps delaying selling his print shop. The father is stubborn about every aspect, and Jim finds out why. Sylvia Field appears as Margaret's mother. Herbert Anderson appears as Verle Wisman, the man buying Grampa's business.

Note: Sylvia Field and Herbert Anderson would go on to work together in the Dennis the Menace TV series.
10037"Shoot for the Moon"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJune 5, 1957 (1957-06-05)
Margaret hires a man named Sageman (Royal Dano) to chop wood for their fireplace. He only wants to be paid in meals. He also shows an interest in helping the Andersons with their problems. Sageman quietly shares his views of life with the Anderson's and inspires them all. Robert Foulk appears as Ed Davis, Jim's business associate.

Season 4 (1957–58)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1011"Follow the Leader"Peter TewksburyPaul WestSeptember 25, 1957 (1957-09-25)
Bud is extremely excited for the new school year to start. He is, however, shocked to find a very popular teacher has not returned but has been replaced by a Mr. Beckman (Wright King). The rest of the class wants to make trouble for Beckman, but Bud stands up and shows he is willing to accept the new man and help him win the confidence of the rest of the class.
1022"The Awkward Hero"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 2, 1957 (1957-10-02)
Betty is excited to be chosen as a tutor for the football team. Her enthusiasm fades when she is teamed up with Muley Orkin, a socially awkward young man. Muley has concentration issues and is clearly infatuated with Betty. After a game Muley stops by and asks Betty to a dance, but because she already has a date, she turns him down. When a group of girls visit the house looking for Muley, Betty decides she needs to protect Muley and agrees to change her plans and go with him. At the dance Muley begins have a change of heart over Betty whom he sees becoming more like his mother. Eventually Muley sees Shirley (Anne Whitfield) at the dance and abandons Betty for her.
1033"The Good Neighbour"Peter TewksburyAndy WhiteOctober 9, 1957 (1957-10-09)
Margaret receives the title deeds to a second property. Jim suggests she take responsibility for it and rent out the property. They meet the neighbor, Mr. Boomhauer (Joseph Sweeney), who is a very unpleasant man. He serves Margaret with court papers after she begins work on the property that endangers his rose garden. Even though the court rules in her favor, Margaret comes to a compromise with Mr. Boomhauer.
1044"Bud, the Executive"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 16, 1957 (1957-10-16)
Jim talks Bud into joining the school committee for the yearly picnic. He ends up being put in charge. At first Bud thinks everything is running smoothly and gets a big head. When others do not pitch in and get their jobs done, and with the family's encouragement, Bud tries to get things done himself.
1055"Sentenced to Happiness"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 23, 1957 (1957-10-23)
The Anderson's former gardener returns for a visit to get help with his new job. Frank is going to be a gardener for a government building but first has to pass a civil service exam. The Judge says that if he does this and becomes responsible, he will be happy. The Anderson's pitch in to help him study, but it isn't always so easy. In the end, maybe this new job is not the key to his happiness.
1066"Mother Goes to School"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 30, 1957 (1957-10-30)
Problems arise when Margaret enrolls in Betty's junior college English class. Betty is so embarrassed, she puts in for a transfer to another class. Margaret feels she is doing something wrong and that Betty now dislikes her. Kathy says something to Bud that gives Margaret the answer. Charles Meredith appears as Prof. Brown.
1077"The Indispensable Man"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteNovember 6, 1957 (1957-11-06)
Bud tries out for the football team as a kicker and gets accepted. He even gets his picture in the paper. Bud now thinks he can do just about anything. But when he breaks one of the team rules, he is suspended from playing one game — a really important game. When the team wins without him, Bud thinks he is now worthless. The Coach tells Bud that it took a big man to admit he broke training and he's still on the team. Charles Tannen appears as the photographer.
1088"Kathy's Big Chance"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersNovember 13, 1957 (1957-11-13)
Everyone in Kathy's class has to write a civil war essay. The essays will be entered in a contest and the winner will meet Greer Garson, who is in town for the premier of her period-piece civil war movie. Kathy is one of the finalists in the contest, but she comes down with the measles and can't go to the hotel where Greer is staying. Jim goes and tries to get Greer's autograph, but isn't able to get it. Much to Kathy's joy, when Jim comes home, he brings Greer with him.
1099"Margaret Learns to Drive"Peter TewksburyPaul WestNovember 20, 1957 (1957-11-20)
When there is nothing to eat for breakfast, the kids think Jim should get upset. They think he is just too reasonable and are surprised at how infrequently Jim and Margaret quarrel. However, when it is time to teach Margaret to drive, he is not as reasonable. Jim and Margaret have a fight over the lesson and the children realize it's nicer to have Dad reasonable. Jim gets Margaret a driving instructor.
11010"Way of a Dictator"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 4, 1957 (1957-12-04)
Bud is annoyed at Kathy being irresponsible, and tells Jim and Margaret they need to be firm with her. Jim and Margaret decided to let him have a chance at child-rearing. Bud finds out that Kathy has broken Betty's good pen. He tells her he won't let Betty know as long as she does whatever he says. The parents wonder how Bud has gotten Kathy to be so good. Jim and Margaret find out that Bud has been blackmailing Kathy and turn the tables on him.
11111"Mr. Beal Meets His Match"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 11, 1957 (1957-12-11)
Betty reads a story she wrote for school involving her family. In the story a devil named Harry Beal (John Williams) gives Bud a set of books that will give the family anything they wish for. Kathy and Bud make wishes that come true. Jim finds out that payment for the wishes are the person's souls. Jim fights Harry and agrees to give his soul in exchange for his kids. But will the family let him sacrifice his soul?
11212"Kathy Makes a Wish"Peter TewksburyPaul WestDecember 25, 1957 (1957-12-25)
Kathy makes a wish on an old horseshoe that she'll get a pony, and she'll name him Cookie. The next day a pony shows up at the house, but it belongs to a man who takes pictures with it. Kathy believes it's hers but Margaret tells Kathy that she should let the man use the pony for a while. Kathy wishes that Cookie would come back to her and it does, but only because it found something to eat at their house. Jim convinces Kathy that Cookie isn't hers and the man lets the horse spend the night with Kathy.
11313"Man with a Plan"Peter TewksburyAndy WhiteJanuary 1, 1958 (1958-01-01)
Bud is thinking of joining the Army after he is out of high school in two years. Margaret starts treating him with exceptional kindness because she will lose her son. Bud misleads Sally, a girl he is interested in, about signing up for the Army. She believes he is leaving soon and wants to throw him a going-away party. Bud has to go to the party and explain how he is not really leaving. Jim and Margaret show up and to help Bud out; Margaret says she won't let Bud enlist until he finishes school.
11414"Big Sister"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 8, 1958 (1958-01-08)
Betty becomes a counselor for a 3-day summer camp – the same camp Kathy is attending. Betty finds out Kathy has been reading her diary and is furious. At camp, Betty makes it perfectly clear to Kathy that she's playing no favorites with her. And, with that, she really lays down the law and puts the screws to Kathy. Kathy has had enough and takes off to walk home. Betty, realizing that she has been too hard on her, goes to find Kathy. Florida Friebus appears as Mrs. Ellis, the camp director.
11515"Calypso Bud"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 15, 1958 (1958-01-15)
Bud gets a set of bongo drums from his friend Claude. He envisions himself as a musician that all the girls will love. However, his practice drives the family crazy. Bud wants to take his drums to an upcoming party, hoping to show up Kippy and his magic act. But, he runs into Jeanie, who doesn't know that Bud has the bongos now. She wonders if Bud could ask Claude not to bring the bongos as he's so bad at them. A disappointed Bud decides not to go to the party. Jim figures out a way for Bud to go to the party—with his bongos.
11616"Father's Biography"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 22, 1958 (1958-01-22)
Kathy has written, as a class assignment, an unintentionally humorous biography about Jim. A PTA presentation has been arranged at Kathy's school for her to honor him. Kathy is excited to have her father attend. Jim must choose between the PTA meeting and an important business meeting, both scheduled for the same night. Jim leaves the business meeting and goes to be with Kathy. In a fantasy sequence, Jim must explain to St. Peter (Robert Warwick) why he made his choice. George N. Neise appears (uncredited) as John Rosser of the Commerce Committee.
11717"The Rivals"Peter TewksburyPaul WestJanuary 29, 1958 (1958-01-29)
Marge Corbett (Barbara Eden), a friend of Betty's, seems to juggle boyfriends all the time. Betty starts to wonder why Ralph, her constant boyfriend, seems to be the only one after her. Betty gets asked out by Doyle Hobbs (Roger Smith), an old acquaintance, and decides to try the exciting life with two boyfriends. A problem arises when the two men find out Betty made a date with both of them for the same night.
11818"Bud, the Mind Reader"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 5, 1958 (1958-02-05)
Bud goes to see a performance of The Great Endor (Henry Corden), a mind-reader. Bud decides to try his hand at mind-reading. Meanwhile, Betty hopes to go to Washington D.C. for a debating contest, but is upset when she doesn't get picked. Bud and Kippy want to see a show and then go out with some chorus girls. Jim forbids it. Bud sneaks out to tell Kippy he can't go and sees Betty and Ralph outside the theater. Back home, Margaret gets a call that Betty can go on the trip. They must find her quickly. How can Bud let them know where Betty is, without getting in trouble?
11919"Margaret's Other Family"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 12, 1958 (1958-02-12)
Jim worries that Margaret is spending a lot of time helping Mr. Kermit (Henry Jones), a furniture maker, and his wife (Nora Marlowe). She is doing errands, chores and housework for them. The family feels Margaret is being taken advantage of. When Jim goes over to speak to Mr. Kermit about it, he finds out that Mr. Kermit has been building Margaret a chaise longue as a thank you.
12020"The Trial"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 19, 1958 (1958-02-19)
Mr. Grouseman, the Andersons' neighbor, accuses Bud of causing property damage because his jacket was left in the yard. Bud denies doing the damage but evidence points to him. Betty says it is circumstantial evidence and says the family should hold a trial. During the trial, Mr. Grouseman comes over with a neighbor of his who claims to have actually seen Bud in the alley by Grouseman's house. Bud tells his side of the story, but no one believes him. A phone call changes everything.
12121"Revenge is Sweet"Peter TewksburyPaul WestFebruary 26, 1958 (1958-02-26)
Betty is excited about a date with Allan Wickett, a popular and classy guy at college. She is worried that Bud will embarrass her. Turns out Bud already met the family and did them a favor. Mr. Wickett (Frank Albertson) tells Betty he would like to have Bud over for a dinner party as a 'thank you' for his help. Betty doesn't want Bud to know the party is for him. But, when he finds out, Betty is afraid of how he'll act. Carole Wells appears as Sharon Wickett, Allan's sister.
12222"Country Cousin"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 5, 1958 (1958-03-05)
Bud and Betty's cousin Millie (Susan Oliver) is coming for a visit. Betty is upset to share her room and have a country bumpkin in town. Jim tells Betty she has to help Millie make friends. Betty still finds Millie to be a "hick' but the boys all think she's charming. Millie accidentally hears Betty insult her, and Betty feels just terrible. This gives Betty a whole new outlook on things. Beverly Long appears as Grace. Harold Lloyd Jr. appears as Joel.
12323"Poor Old Dad"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMarch 12, 1958 (1958-03-12)
Jim surprises Bud with a new hunting rifle and promises to take him hunting for the weekend. Bud wonders if they really will go on this trip together, because in the past, their dates were often interrupted by Margaret and the girls. No sooner does Jim give Bud his word when Margaret asks Jim to drive her to visit an ailing relative who lives out of town. Bud makes an observation: women seem to have their men henpecked, especially "Poor Old Dad". Bud believes that men might be better off by themselves. It is something Jim's friend Wes Coglan (Bartlett Robinson) says that makes Bud change his mind.
12424"Betty's Crusade"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMarch 19, 1958 (1958-03-19)
The insurance company where Jim works is buying a new building for expansion. The building is called Hanno's (Ludwig Stössel). It is a local hangout for Betty's college, and the students love it. The students campaign to stop the sale of the building and repair the old building. They come up short of the money needed and Betty asks Jim to tell Hanno. When Jim talks to Hanno and sees the history of the place, he decides to help Betty with her crusade.
12525"Young Love"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 26, 1958 (1958-03-26)
Bernice, a classmate, has a crush on Bud, but he thinks of her as just a friend. Bud develops a crush on Marion, a woman who is older, but she does not think of Bud that way. Bud now feels the pangs of unrequited love. But, in the end, Bud comes to realize how special Bernice is.
12626"Tell It to Mom"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 2, 1958 (1958-04-02)
Betty confides in Margaret that she is hiding skates for a friend of hers named Evelyn. Evelyn doesn't want her mother to know that she is going skating with a new boyfriend. Kathy confides in Margaret that she ruined the skates Betty hid. Bud confides in Margaret that he broke a pair of binoculars that he saw Jim hide. Bud finds the skates and sells them, hoping to raise money for new binoculars. While Betty is looking for the skates, Bud confides to Margaret what happened to them. In front of the family and Evelyn, Margaret reveals everyone's secrets and straightens the whole mess out.
12727"A Friend in Need"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperApril 16, 1958 (1958-04-16)
A highly trained dog escapes from Prof. van Deering's traveling medicine man show truck when he gets arrested. The dog shows up at the Anderson home and becomes an instant favorite of the family, much to the regret of Jim. He knows that 'Duchess' is obviously owned by someone who cares very much for her, and tries to find the owner. The dog is so well behaved that Jim begins to fall under her spell. Meanwhile, Prof. van Deering gets out of jail and drives around town trying to find her. Duchess hears the music from his truck and runs to him, much to the sadness of the Anderson's.
12828"A Medal for Margaret"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 23, 1958 (1958-04-23)
Bud wins awards from track, and the family talks about all the medals, ribbons, and plaques stored in drawers. They decide to build a trophy case. Everyone has something to give – except Margaret. Margaret's friend Myrtle suggests she takes some lessons and then enter a fly fishing contest. She decides to do it and keeps it a secret from the family. The family finds out, but doesn't say anything. The day before the contest, Margaret sprains her arm. To cheer her up, the family performs a version of "This Is Your Life" in her honor.
12929"The Weaker Sex"Peter TewksburyPaul WestApril 30, 1958 (1958-04-30)
With all of Betty's male friends out of town, she does not have a date for the town fair. Marty Kramer, a new neighbor's daughter, tells her friend Alice that she will be able to talk Bud into taking her. Bud hears about this and says that no female is going to tell him what to do. But, Marty manages to sweet talk Bud into it. Jim and Margaret tell Betty to use the same method that Marty did to talk Don Kramer, the neighbor's son, into taking her.
13030"Jim, the Answer Man"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMay 14, 1958 (1958-05-14)
Jim has a lot of work to complete before he has to leave town for a business trip. While he tries to work, it seems everyone in the family needs just a few minutes of his time. As he is about to leave for the train, Kathy has one more major problem for him to solve. Will he be able to do it and be on time for the train?
13131"Bud Quits School"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMay 21, 1958 (1958-05-21)
Bud interviews Herman Bernard (Stephen Chase), a businessman, for a school project. He finds out that Herman never finished high school and yet is a very successful man. Bud believes he can do what Herman did, and decides to quit school. When Bud goes to ask Herman for a job, Herman's secretary (Adrienne Marden) subtly convinces him to stay in school. Meanwhile, Betty is running for sophomore class president, but loses. Both children come home dejected. Betty and Bud try to cheer each other up.
13232"A Matter of Pride"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJune 4, 1958 (1958-06-04)
Bud is voted the most popular boy in school and thinks he has to keep up appearances. He wants new clothes for the upcoming Awards picnic. Bud buys a pair of shoes that are too small, but he really likes them. At the picnic, Joyce, the girl he took, has him doing all the events and dances. He gets embarrassed when the shoes hurt his feet at the award ceremony and he can't make it to the stage. Jim has a solution to the problem. Martin Balsam appears as the teacher giving out the awards. Anne Helm appears as Carol Bostic, the most popular girl.
13333"Betty Finds a Cause"Peter TewksburyPaul WestJune 11, 1958 (1958-06-11)
After attending a lecture at school, Betty is enthused about making a difference in the world. Betty's decides to help the neighborhood by getting neighbor Mr. Emery (Basil Ruysdael) to cut a hedge that is a blind spot and causes accidents. Betty goes to Mr. Emery and states her case, but he doesn't care. She goes to him for several more days with different tactics to no avail. Disillusioned, Betty finally gives up. Mr. Emery comes by and tells Betty he doesn't want to see her give up her ideals and agrees to cut the hedges.

Season 5 (1958–59)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1341"Vine Covered Cottage"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersSeptember 15, 1958 (1958-09-15)
Betty's boyfriend Ralph is about to start a great new job and asks Jim for permission to propose to her. Ralph tries to ask her, but there are too many family interruptions and he feels Betty is just not interested. Betty learns from Ralph's mother that he has decided to turn down the job and move to the west coast. Betty convinces Ralph to stay, but they both come to realize that they would ruin a great friendship by getting married.
1352"Be Kind to Bud Week"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersSeptember 22, 1958 (1958-09-22)
Betty has to write a report of a literary figure who benefited from the help of a sibling. This gets Betty to wondering if she should be nicer to Bud. Naturally, Bud can't figure out the sudden sweetness from his sister. Betty is babysitting for someone, but has a chance to speak to a Dr. Runeberg (Wendell Holmes) about a scholarship. Betty's friend Judy (Beverly Long) was going to help, but now can't. Through a misunderstanding, Bud is asked to help and now he suspects the hidden motive behind Betty's change. After causing Betty to miss the interview, Bud goes out of his way to make things right.
1363"Kathy's Romance"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersSeptember 29, 1958 (1958-09-29)
Kathy makes a big announcement – she has a boyfriend named Burgess Vale (Richard Eyer). But, every time Kathy invites Burgess over, he seems more interested in Jim than her. Kathy is irritated that Jim gets all the attention and Jim is not thrilled that Burgess is constantly bothering him. Mrs. Vale stops by Jim's office and thanks him for being so nice to Burgess, as his father is away often. Jim realizes he was hard on Burgess and makes amends.
1374"Voice from the Past"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperOctober 6, 1958 (1958-10-06)
Bud is nominated the head of the decorating committee for homecoming week. He wants a new approach from other years. He wants to build a satellite rocket on a statue in front of the school. Jim warns him not to be disrespectful of the statue. Bud finds Jim's old school yearbook and sees Jim played pranks when he was in school. So, Bud initially decides to go along with his plan, but later realizes Jim was still right. Bud and Jim come up with a compromise idea.
1385"Frank's Family Trees"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 13, 1958 (1958-10-13)
The Anderson's gardener, Frank, says he has no family to visit, so he spends his vacation working on the Anderson's yard. Kathy feels sorry he has no one in his life. Frank does not want her to feel bad, so he makes up a family. Frank comes up with a solution involving the Anderson kids when Jim has trouble lining up entertainment for his insurance convention.
1396"Always Plan Ahead"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 20, 1958 (1958-10-20)
Weary of their children's last minute crises from poor planning, Jim and Margaret cook up a scheme to return the favor. They tell the children they are going to the State Fair for two days. Of course, Jim knows that all the children already have plans. Things backfire when the kids change their plans and can now go. Jim, knowing he has to work, has to find a way to explain how they can't go. When Jim sees how much effort the children made planning how to make trip, he decides his work can wait.
1407"Second Wedding"Peter TewksburyPaul WestOctober 27, 1958 (1958-10-27)
When Betty discovers that her parents never had a church wedding, she prods Jim and Margaret to renew their vows on their anniversary. Betty begins to fear that Jim and Margaret might not want the children around for their wedding. That they would want this special time to themselves. Her parents convince her that is not the case.
1418"Bud, the Caretaker"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersNovember 3, 1958 (1958-11-03)
Bud runs into problems when he agrees to watch the home of Mr. Whitcomb (John McIntire), a neighbor who has gone out of town. He is also given charge of watching Mr. Whitcomb's car. Bud is only to start the car every few days and not drive it around town. But he drives it to impress a new girl and the car gets scratched. The family pitches in to help Bud make things right before the neighbor returns.
1429"Betty, the Pioneer Woman"Peter TewksburyBen GershmanNovember 10, 1958 (1958-11-10)
It's time for Springfield's Founder's Day celebration. Betty and a chauvinistic Tom Wentworth (Dick York) plan to recreate the pioneer trek of his ancestors, but it proves to be more difficult than they anticipated. Tom gives Betty a hard time the whole way. They are a couple miles from the finish, when Tom injures his foot. Betty pulls him in the cart the rest of the way by herself. William Schallert appears as Mr. Jennings, a reporter.
14310"Fair Exchange"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersNovember 17, 1958 (1958-11-17)
The family hosts exchange student Chanthini (Rita Moreno) from India. She will spend a weekend at the Anderson home with her classmate Betty. The family struggles to make her welcome, but succeed only in making her feel like an outsider. Bud does something that makes her feels like one of them.
14411"Bud, the Snob (Flashback)"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersNovember 24, 1958 (1958-11-24)

Everyone at school thinks Bud is a snob because he does not talk to a lot of people. It is actually because he is terribly shy, especially around girls. But when Bud wears a Halloween mask he has all the confidence he needs. Bud talks Jim into hosting a masquerade party at home to show his friends he is not a snob. When the mask goes missing, Jim tricks Bud by pretending to draw a mask on his face with makeup.

Note: The show is told in flashbacks. Most footage is from season one episode 16 also called "Bud the Snob". It includes a new introductory scene and closing scene.
14512"Margaret Wins a Car"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteDecember 1, 1958 (1958-12-01)
Margaret buys a raffle ticket to help the local orphanage, and wins an expensive car. When publicity shots are taken, Mr. Griffin (George Mitchell), the orphanage handyman, reprimands Margaret for having so much and not giving more to the orphanage. Turns out the orphanage car won't run, so Margaret volunteers to take the children on a picnic in her car. Betty, Bud and Kathy are very upset because they wanted to take a drive in the car. Later that day Mr. Griffin drops off a purse that Margaret left behind and tells the three children how lucky they are to have parents like theirs. Feeling ashamed, they suggest to Margaret that they sell the car, buy two cheaper cars and give one to the orphanage.
14613"The Great Experiment"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperDecember 8, 1958 (1958-12-08)
Jim attends a meeting where Dr. Melton's (Philip Bourneuf) topic is to get more out of life and find out what is going on in their world. He becomes enthused and tries to pass this philosophy on to his family. Jim believes that his children are victims of routine and they need to show some genuine curiosity when facing their day-to-day lives. Bud's math teacher Mr. Paulson finds a way to get Bud and Kippy interested in math and science. A janitor (Vladimir Sokoloff) at the concert hall gets Betty to hear an orchestra that isn't there. Kathy rescues some baby Robins.
14714"The Christmas Story"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West
Screenplay by: Roswell Rogers
December 15, 1958 (1958-12-15)

The Anderson's are preparing for the holidays. As they decorate the tree, they recall the story of how they managed to get snow bound in a cabin while going to cut down their own tree.

Note: This episode features footage from "The Christmas Story" season 1 episode 12. Wallace Ford appears as Nick (archive footage). William Traylor appears as ranger Les Turner (archive footage). A departure from the usual closing credits, this show plays Christmas-themed music while the credits run.
14815"The Basketball Coach"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 22, 1958 (1958-12-22)
Bud and his friends ask Jim to take over coaching their basketball team after their previous coach leaves town due to work. But when the former coach returns to town, Bud can't find a way to break the news to his dad. Then, when the team loses its sponsor, Jim comes up with a way to make everyone happy.
14916"Kathy, Girl Executive"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 29, 1958 (1958-12-29)
The family puts money into a family "corporation" to help finance a power mower for Bud's mowing business. Kathy is voted president of the corporation, over Bud's objections, and is thus in charge of managing the funds. But when Bud expects to be paid his salary, Kathy must confess that she spent the money on a present for her young boyfriend Burgess (Richard Eyer). In the end, it all works out when the boy returns the present and it can then be returned for the cash.
15017"The Good Samaritan"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperJanuary 5, 1959 (1959-01-05)
Bud has a school assignment to do a good deed for someone unknown. Bud and Kippy attempt to help a family being evicted from their home, but it almost turns to disaster when a stranger steals the family's furniture. Luckily, the furniture is recovered. Bud then tries to help Mr. Brown (John Harmon), the father, find a job but his effort is initially rebuffed. Eventually Mr. Brown shows up at the Anderson home to apologize and reveals that he has taken the job Bud helped him to find. Forrest Taylor appears as a painter who helps Bud.
15118"The Ideal Father"Peter TewksburyPaul WestJanuary 12, 1959 (1959-01-12)
The Andersons are getting their kitchen repainted. Meanwhile, Jim purchases items for the children that they have been wanting, but the next day they all forget his birthday. Jim and Margaret decide they want to go out that evening. They need someone to baby sit Kathy. Margaret gets upset that the other two children can't help because of their alternative plans and they keep asking for more favors. Betty finds Margaret's birthday card to Jim, and now the children feel horrible. Parker Fennelly appears as Charlie the painter, who winds up coming to the rescue.
15219"Big Shot Bud"Peter TewksburyBen GershmanJanuary 19, 1959 (1959-01-19)
Margaret does a favor for Bud and he wants to give her a thank you gift. He buys perfume using Sunday School money because he knew his boss will pay him later that day. However, the boss is out of town and Bud needs the money the next morning. Bud doesn't want his mother to find out what happened. Betty lets it slip to Margaret and Jim that Bud needs the money. Bud gets another job for the day to earn the money, but they can't pay him right away either. Jim comes up with a way to help Bud, while hopefully not letting on they know about his problem.
15320"Hard Luck Leo"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 26, 1959 (1959-01-26)
Jim's cousin Leonard (Arthur O'Connell) visits so he can look for a job in Springfield. Leonard is known as Hard Luck Leo. Despite job and apartment leads from the family, nothing seems to works out. Betty comes to believe Leonard doesn't want anything to work out and is just there to sponge off the family. Margaret confronts him about it and he leaves. Leonard comes back weeks later to tell the family he has a job and found a place to live.
15421"Bud, the Campus Romeo"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteFebruary 2, 1959 (1959-02-02)
While at the malt shop, Bud overhears three girls talking about him, all wanting to ask him to the "Girls Ask Party". He starts thinking he is a real catch and wants to play the odds. The girls decide to start an "Anti-Bud Campaign". Janet Mason (Pamela Lincoln) really wants to go with Bud, but is feeling the pressure from the other girls. Janet does call Bud and they go to the party. Once there, the other girls tell Janet she now cannot be a "Pom Pom". Bud comes to her defense and tells the girls that he begged Janet to go with him.
15522"Crisis Over a Kiss"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteFebruary 9, 1959 (1959-02-09)
Bud is out on a date with Joyce Kendall (Roberta Shore). After Bud comes home from the date, he sees Jerry Preston (Ron Ely), one of Betty's boyfriends, trying to kiss Betty against her wishes. He comes to the rescue, but Betty really did not want to be rescued. Bud now tries some of the "romantic man" moves he learned from Jerry on Joyce. Bud winds up in another situation where he has to come to Betty's aid with Jerry. Bud apologizes to Joyce for trying those romantic moves. Robert Brubaker appears as Mr. Kendall, Joyce's father.
15623"Kathy Grows Up"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 16, 1959 (1959-02-16)
Kathy is tired of being treated as a child. She tries including herself on dates with her brother and sister. Betty and her boyfriend agree to take Kathy and her friend Burgess to dinner with them, but the plans fall through and Kathy is crushed. Margaret suggests to Jim that he take Kathy to the Club's Annual Affair for the wives instead of her. Once there, Kathy realizes that the grown up life is maybe not for her just yet.
15724"A Man of Merit"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 23, 1959 (1959-02-23)
Jim hears he may be awarded the Chamber of Commerce's Hall of Merit. He is excited and starts preparing his acceptance speech. Margaret hears the same information and starts making celebration plans. In the evening, everyone waits for word of his being selected. They are to receive word by 9 o'clock, but the telegram never comes. Much later that evening, a neighbor comes by with the telegram. It had been delivered to his house by mistake.
15825"Betty Makes a Choice"Peter TewksburyPeter TewksburyMarch 2, 1959 (1959-03-02)
Betty wants to audition for a dance part in a college production. She hesitates when she realizes that one of the other girls is a more talented dancer. Jim talks Betty into auditioning, because otherwise she'll never know. After the other girl wins the part, Betty discovers that the other girl has worked tirelessly to perfect her dancing ability. Miriam Nelson appears as Miss Harris, the woman in charge of the auditions.
15926"It's a Small World"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperMarch 9, 1959 (1959-03-09)
Jim is asked to be a speaker at an Insurance Convention and asks Margaret to go with him. Margaret has a commitment to the Woman's Club Charity Luncheon and has to stay home. While there, a Marta Evans (Kristine Miller) invites Jim to a party in the next room. He tells her about his family and graciously declines. Plans later change and Margaret is able to go to NY. Confusion arises as Jim and Margaret try to meet up. Louise Lorimer appears as Mrs. Stockdale. Philip Tonge appears as the Hotel Manager.
16027"Two Loves Has Bud"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMarch 16, 1959 (1959-03-16)
Bud is upset when his girlfriend Joyce (Roberta Shore) breaks up with him, until he meets Sandra (Jenny Maxwell) another girl whose family is moving in next door. Things get complicated when Joyce decides that she has made a mistake and wants to get back with Bud. The two girls soon find out that Bud is trying to see both of them at the same time. Eventually, they demand that Bud make a choice. Margaret comes up with a solution to Bud's problem.
16128"An Extraordinary Woman"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperMarch 23, 1959 (1959-03-23)
Jim becomes fascinated by a book sent to him through the mail. He and Margaret then realize that the book has been written and sent to them by Mary Lou Brown (Constance Ford), an old college friend , who is now a doctor and has spent time in Africa. Margaret is a little envious and always feels she came in second place to Mary Lou. When Mary Lou comes to Springfield to visit, she discovers that Jim and Margaret have the one thing she is missing in her life – a happy home and family.
16229"The Art of Romance (Flashback)"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 30, 1959 (1959-03-30)

The show is told in flashbacks to the time when Bud needed advice on how to convince Judy (Joan Freeman) to go to the prom with him. At the same time, Judy is asking advice from Betty on how to get Bud to ask her out.

Note: This footage is from Season 3 Episode 34.
16330"Formula for Happiness"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperApril 6, 1959 (1959-04-06)
Jim has a strange dream in which he is giving a speech to the President on television, presenting a "formula for happiness" that he has composed. Suddenly a mysterious intruder named Charles Barter (Jonathan Harris) invades the TV studio and makes the formula disappear. Jim is baffled about what this dream might mean, and even more so when parts of the dream start to come true in real life. This includes an actual Charles Barter (Alexander Lockwood) showing up to the house looking for the formula. Thanks to Kathy, Jim gets all the answers. Abraham Sofaer appears as a U.N. Diplomat.
16431"Bud and the Debutante"Peter TewksburyPaul WestApril 13, 1959 (1959-04-13)
Bud's car breaks down and Molly Quinn (Adrienne Hayes) passes by and offers him a ride. The next day, Bud is driving Molly's expensive car and going places paid for by Molly. Jim talks to Bud about not taking advantage of Molly just because her family is rich. Bud says that it's not that, it's just that he can't afford the places he thinks she'll like. Bud winds up in an embarrassing situation when he tries to impress Molly and some of her friends. Molly tells him that she just wants to be with him and it doesn't matter what they do or what he can afford. Barbara Woodell appears as Mrs. Quinn, Molly's mother.
16532"The Promised Playhouse (Flashback)"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West, Teleplay by: Roswell RogersApril 20, 1959 (1959-04-20)
A flashback show about building a playhouse for Kathy and keeping promises, first aired Season 1, Episode 17.
16633"The Meanest Professor"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 27, 1959 (1959-04-27)
Bud is stuck with having to write an article for the school year book about Professor Stark (Jack Raine), a teacher he doesn't like. He decides to interview a bunch of people to see what they say about him. Bud talks to the Janitor (Charles P. Thompson) who says there is no man he has more respect for than Stark. He talks to another man (Hugh Sanders) who says he owes his success in business to Stark. Even Stark's landlady sings his praises. Margaret invites Stark over for dinner, were he accidentally finds an insulting paper Bud had earlier written about him. Bud finds out that Stark is not as upset about the paper as Bud thought he would be. Bart Patton appears as Freddy. Sue England appears as Marge, an Office Girl.
16734"Live My Own Life (Flashback)"William D. RussellStory by: Roswell Rogers & Paul West
Teleplay by: Roswell Rogers
May 4, 1959 (1959-05-04)

A flashback show. When Kathy is tired of being told what to do, Jim tells the story about when Bud was tired of being told what to do by his parents. Bud announces he is moving out.

Note: Most of the footage first aired Season 1, Episode 5.
16835"Bud Has a Problem"Peter TewksburyStory by: John Elliotte
Teleplay by: John Elliotte & Roswell Rogers
May 11, 1959 (1959-05-11)
Bud is not doing well in physics this year in school. He blames Doug Graham (James Douglas), the teacher. When Betty starts dating the teacher, Bud thinks his grade will improve because they are going out. Some of the students start joking about how Doug is going to be Bud's brother-in-law. Doug and Betty decide to stop seeing each other for a while. Bud speaks to Mr. Armstead (Sam Flint), the principal, about dropping the physics class. Doug comes to the house and tells Bud he will not let Bud drop the class and will work with him instead. Bart Patton appears as Freddy.
16936"The Great Anderson Mystery"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMay 18, 1959 (1959-05-18)
The Andersons are all entranced in a television mystery show when a tube blows in the back of the TV before the show ends. With the unknown end of the show, the family tries to figure out what happened based upon what they already watched. While they are acting their story out, things suddenly start disappearing and they find open windows. The family starts to believe there may be someone else around and become frightened. Turns out Kathy has the answer. Peter Forster appears as the Inspector, Hillary Brooke appears as Mrs. Carter, and Arthur Gould-Porter appears as Mr. Dawkins, characters in the TV show.
17037"Margaret Goes Dancing (Flashback)"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMay 25, 1959 (1959-05-25)

A flashback show. Margaret wants Jim to take her dancing. She tries to trick him into dance lessons.

Note: Most of the footage first aired Season 1, Episode 11.
17138"The Gold Turnip"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJune 1, 1959 (1959-06-01)
Bud gets ready to graduate from school. He is annoyed at doing the same activities and ceremonies as every other graduation class. He fights against all the traditions everyone follows and refuses to wear a cap and gown at the ceremony. Bud even decides not to go to the graduation. Mr. Messner (Ed Prentiss), Claude's father, comes by to borrow a camera and tells Jim that these graduations are really for the parents. Bud overhears and decides to go, realizing that there is something to be said for tradition.

Season 6 (1959–60)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1721"A Day in the Country"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 5, 1959 (1959-10-05)
The Andersons are heading up to Lemon Falls for an annual reunion with Margaret's side of the family. Jim and the kids don't like these obligatory get-togethers and they think they are terribly corny. Margaret becomes upset, as it's all too clear what her husband and children think of her family. Jim finds a shortcut on a map they can travel to Margaret's family home. It is a rarely traveled road and their car breaks down. Jim has to walk a couple of miles to a gas station to get help. But it looks as if the Andersons will miss the reunion, and Margaret begins to suspect that Jim is just a little bit happy about it. A Mrs. Laveer (Claire Du Brey) drives by and agrees to take the family to Lemon Falls while Jim stays behind. Margaret comes back with the kids just as the gas station truck shows up. Olin Howland appears as Ed, the gas station attendant.
1732"Bud Branches Out"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 12, 1959 (1959-10-12)

Bud goes to college orientation. He thinks he walked into his Trigonometry class, but it is actually a French class. Once he sees Miss Luvois (Roxane Berard), the attractive French teacher, he decides to stay in the class. Bud develops a crush on the teacher, and starts to snub his girlfriend Joyce (Roberta Shore). Joyce has Miss Luvois give Bud a note inviting him to dinner. Bud thinks the teacher is inviting him. He goes to Miss Luvois' house and sees she has a boyfriend. Realizing how silly he's been, he goes back to Joyce.

Note: Betty's pony tail finally returns in this episode. Betty had short hair beginning in season four in the episode "The Awkward Hero." She is not seen with longer hair again until this one. In an interview Elinor Donahue gave, she states the producers gave her a clip on pony tail that she was able to keep once the series ended.
1743"The Gardener's Big Day"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 19, 1959 (1959-10-19)
Governor Bradbury is coming to town to dedicate a local park. The Anderson's gardener is chosen as the official greeter to the Governor when he arrives. When Fronk (Natividad Vacío) shows up for rehearsal, Mr. Garrett (David White), head of the committee, does not want Fronk since he is Mexican. Jim insists they keep Fronk and guarantees things will be fine. The day of the ceremony, Garrett comes to the house and once again says he does not want Fronk. Fronk overhears the whole thing and leaves. The kids find him at the last minute and he greets the Governor. Fronk gives a different speech than the one planned and the Governor is very moved by it. Ned Wever appears as the City Mayor.
1754"The Impostor"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersOctober 26, 1959 (1959-10-26)
Betty returns a defective radio to a store and mistakes a customer for the store owner. She leaves without realizing Tom Cameron (Robert Reed) is a customer. The store owner gives Tom a replacement radio, and he takes it to Betty without correcting his identity. Turns out Tom is the son of a friend of Jim's. Jim is helping Tom get settled in the office next to his. Tom continues to call Betty, but can't bring himself to tell her who he really is. Still thinking he is the store owner, things go along fine, until another misunderstanding causes Betty to be angry with Tom again. Jim finds out about the identity problem and straightens everything out with Betty.
1765"Bud Plays It Safe"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteNovember 2, 1959 (1959-11-02)
Bud tries out for a position on the football team and bemoans the fact that Coach Harper (Lloyd Nolan) does not notice him. Betty tells Bud that Sally, the coach's daughter, likes him. Bud decides to ask Sally on a date as a way to get close to the coach. Jim is not happy about Bud using the girl. Bud makes the team and everyone teases him that it was only because of Sally. He now feels terrible and must confront her and tell her the truth. Because of his honesty, things work out in the end.
1776"Bicycle Trip for Two"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersNovember 9, 1959 (1959-11-09)
Kathy does an inspection of the house for fire safety. The attic does not pass the test. Jim & Margaret start a clean up and find things from their younger days. They decide to take the same bicycling trip they did when they were teenagers. But, every time Jim turns around, something goes wrong to delay the trip. Meanwhile, Bud is trying to think of somewhere different to take Joyce. Jim suggests to Bud that he should take Joyce on the trip and make a memory of his own.
1787"First Disillusionment (Flashback)"William D. RussellRoswell RogersNovember 16, 1959 (1959-11-16)

Kathy needs to write a story illustrating a proverb. In flashbacks, Bud tells Kathy about the time he thought about lying to get a job as a stock clerk.

Note: This footage is from Season 2 Episode 4.
1798"Margaret's Old Flame"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperNovember 23, 1959 (1959-11-23)
Listening to a radio broadcast of the homecoming gathering, Margaret gets very sentimental about those old days. Jim on the other hand, is happy to be in his comfortable home in the present. She regrets getting older and remembers their college years, dating, and previous boy- & girl-friends. Margaret gets flowers from a mysterious former boyfriend. Meanwhile, Jim is getting a little irritated with Margaret and Betty's constant talk about old boyfriends. At the homecoming dance, Margaret is supposed to have the first waltz with the mystery man. Jim tells her that it was him that sent the flowers and Margaret says she knew it all along. Lester Vail appears as Mr. Thorne, the Florist.
1809"Kathy Becomes a Girl"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteNovember 30, 1959 (1959-11-30)
Kathy doesn't seem to be getting along with the other girls in junior high. Kathy thinks that she's a misfit and that everyone hates her. Margaret tells Kathy that she might want to act more like a girl than she has been. Margaret and Betty give Kathy a make-over. Jim plans a surprise party for Kathy and invites a bunch of boys. Jim tells Kathy how to make boys interested in her. Kathy pretends to sprain her ankle and all the boys fawn over her.
18110"Bud, the Willing Worker"Peter TewksburyPaul WestDecember 7, 1959 (1959-12-07)
Bud tries to talk Jim into buying a boat, but Jim says he has to earn his own money to buy it. Meanwhile, Betty is infatuated with Bill Shappard (James Franciscus), a gas station owner. Jim tells Bud he will match dollar for dollar what Bud earns, if he gets a job at the gas station without letting Bill know he is Betty's brother. Bud gets the job on a trial basis, which means Betty has to put dates with Bill on hold. When Betty sees how hard Bill is making Bud work, she starts to get upset with Bill. Turns out all that hard work pays off when Bill makes Bud his assistant manager.
18211"Turn the Other Cheek"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperDecember 14, 1959 (1959-12-14)
Jim acts as a mentor to Bart Holden, a new young insurance agent, and asks him over for dinner. Meanwhile, Kathy feels double-crossed by her friend Patty, because she went after Kathy's boyfriend. Jim tells Kathy to turn the other cheek. Margaret tells Jim that she found out Bart was double-crossing him by going after a client that Jim wanted. Jim's code of ethics prevents him from telling the client what Bart is doing. Because they both turned the other cheek, Jim gets the client and Kathy gets her boyfriend back.
18312"Good Joke on Mom"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersDecember 28, 1959 (1959-12-28)
Margaret gets a letter about a Children's Clinic being built and that she is the General Chairman of the Building Committee. She believes it to be a mistake, but when her family ridicules the idea and her skill, she gets quite upset. Margaret finds out from Myrtle the reason she was picked was more for publicity, so she decides to accept the job. Myrtle says she'll help Margaret fool the family about the job, to teach them a lesson. Margaret pretends to hire a Mr. Carlson (Howard Petrie) to be the general contractor. Things go on for awhile, until Jim runs into Mr. Carlson and finds out Margaret is not running the whole project. Jim tells Bud and Betty that they should play along with the joke for now. It's not until Kathy brags about her mother to her friends in school, that the others have to come to the rescue.
18413"Betty's Double"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperJanuary 4, 1960 (1960-01-04)

Betty wins a lookalike contest due to her close resemblance to a popular movie star named Donna Stuart. The prize: a trip to Hollywood. Betty gets more than she bargained for when she passes herself off as Donna. She learns a hard lesson in Hollywood about the gap between appearances and reality. William Joyce appears as himself. Joan Tompkins appears as Mildred, Margaret's friend.

Note: Elinor Donahue plays a dual role as Betty and Donna.
18514"Father, the Naturalist (Flashback)"William D. RussellRoswell RogersJanuary 11, 1960 (1960-01-11)

Kathy must complete a nature folder for a school club by the next day. Jim and Kathy head outside to explore and search nature. Kathy accidentally leaves the folder out in the forest. Feeling bad, Jim goes out in the middle of the night to try and find the folder.

Note: The show is told in flashbacks. Most footage is from Season 2 episode 34. It includes a new introductory scene and closing scene.
18615"Bud Hides Behind a Skirt"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteJanuary 18, 1960 (1960-01-18)
Bud makes Betty take the rap for his reckless driving, because if he gets another ticket, he will loose his license. Betty learns that she has been elected to be chairman of the Safe Driving Campaign. She can't let the student council learn that she got a ticket. Bud dresses like a girl and goes to the Clerk (Forrest Lewis) to pay the ticket. The council finds out about the ticket anyway and asks Betty to resign. Bud admits to Margaret and Jim that he was the one driving. Bud goes to the Judge (Larry Gates) to explain what really happened and straighten everything out.
18716"Togetherness"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersJanuary 25, 1960 (1960-01-25)
An insurance magazine is going to interview the Andersons for an article in the magazine. The story will focus on their family unity and solid family life. Unfortunately, when Mr. Buford (Don Keefer), the reporter, shows up, the family is not displaying much unity. Mr. Buford makes a second appearance and things aren't any better. Bud accidentally destroys some college party decorations. The family gets together to make some new ones. Mr. Buford comes in and sees the family working together. He finally has his story.
18817"Second Best"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 1, 1960 (1960-02-01)
Betty is upset that she is never the best at anything. She takes up the sport of fencing. Betty wants to enter a tournament and come in number one. Meanwhile, she has been baby-sitting a little boy named Gordon. His parents are away and he has been staying with his Aunt. Betty promises Gordon that one night they will camp out in the backyard. The night of the tournament, Betty gets a call that Gordon will be leaving in the morning to meet up with his parents. He would like to do the camping get-together now. Betty decides Gordon is more important than the tournament. Ralph Faulkner appears as Betty's Fencing Instructor.
18918"Kathy's Big Deception"Peter TewksburyPaul WestFebruary 8, 1960 (1960-02-08)
It seems that all of Kathy's friends have a boyfriend for the community picnic. She has a crush on George, one of her classmates, but does not think he likes her. George actually likes Kathy, but he can't think of a way to talk to her. Kathy is in her room crying because she thinks she's ugly. Betty walks in and to save face, Kathy says she had a fight with her boyfriend George. Kathy now has to play along with her lie. Bud finds out and helps Kathy and George really get together.
19019"Cupid Knows Best"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersFebruary 15, 1960 (1960-02-15)
The Anderson's gardener, Frank, is lonely but is interested in a woman named Elana (Estelita Rodriguez). She works at her Mama's (Katina Paxinou) flower shop. Betty decides to help him by writing love letters to her, pretending she is Frank. Without Betty knowing, Frank adds a picture of Jim to one of the letters. Jim goes to the flower shop and thinking he is Frank, Mama asks him all sorts of questions. When Jim mentions he is married, Mama throws him out of the store. Elana is heartbroken. Frank just happens to be in the back of the store and consoles her. They wind up getting together.
19120"The Big Test (Flashback)"William D. RussellRoswell RogersFebruary 22, 1960 (1960-02-22)

Bud studies a lot for a test. For once, he knows the material and does well on the test. Since this is a change from his previous tests, the teacher assumes he must have cheated. An even more important test is coming up. The teacher thinks Bud may have seen the test questions ahead of time. Bud gets an almost perfect paper and is again suspected of cheating. Jim finds a way to prove Bud didn't cheat.

Note: The show is told in flashbacks. Most footage is from Season 2 episode 9. It includes a new introductory scene and closing scene.
19221"Jim's Big Surprise"Peter TewksburyDorothy CooperFebruary 29, 1960 (1960-02-29)
Jim tells the family to be home at 4:00 for a big surprise. As the family waits for the announcement, everyone has their own idea of what it will be. Each thinks it will be something that benefits just them. Like a new car, a swimming pool, a trip to Hawaii or a maid. It turns out the surprise is that Jim is to be given the Gold Key Award from the Chamber of Commerce for being Father of the Year. Jim senses everyone's disappointment. He tells the children he can't give them those things because he wants to give them a college education. The family each find a way to make it up to Jim. Marion Ross appears as Miss Abrams, Kathy's swimming teacher.
19322"Time to Retire"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteMarch 7, 1960 (1960-03-07)
Jim must tell Arthur (Charlie Ruggles), a co-worker in the insurance company, that he has to retire as he has reached retirement age. Jim invites him to dinner with the Andersons and Arthur is full of energy. Jim can't bring himself to tell Arthur that evening. The next morning, Jim's secretary asks Arthur how his retirement party went, not knowing Jim didn't mention it. Arthur then goes missing. Bud finds him at his cabin and tells him that he is still useful. Arthur comes back and tells Jim that he is opening up his own office and Bud is coming to work for him.
19423"Bud, the Speculator"Peter TewksburyPaul WestMarch 14, 1960 (1960-03-14)
Bud begs Jim to lend him fifty dollars to purchase some stock in a new copper mine company. After two weeks, he has tripled his money. Jim advises Bud to sell the stock and take his profit. When Bud goes to the company office to sell his stock, he finds that they have moved out. Bud now needs to find a way to pay Jim back on time. Betty offers to loan him the money, but he says he must get out of his problem on his own. Without him knowing it, Betty helps Bud anyway. Eddie Foy III appears as a Delivery Boy.
19524"The $500 Letter"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersMarch 21, 1960 (1960-03-21)
The Andersons receive a $500 check in the mail. Mr. Kroegman, a former neighbor, wants to thank an Anderson for a kindness done to him once several years ago. The only thing is, his letter cuts off just as he is about to say which of the Andersons did the good deed. The family tries to remember who might have done a favor for him, and what the favor was. Each proceeds to ransack his or her memory, showing some less commendable character traits as they do so. A special delivery letter arrives from Kroegman with the missing pages of the original letter, revealing who the Good Samaritan was.
19625"Adopted Daughter (Flashback)"William D. RussellStory by:
Roswell Rogers and Carl Herzinger
Teleplay by: Roswell Rogers
March 28, 1960 (1960-03-28)

Kathy reminisces with Mother and Bud about the time she once thought she was adopted. Alicia May, one of Kathy's classmates, is adopted and it gets the other classmates to wonder who else might be adopted. Kathy finds a receipt from an adoption agency and is sure it refers to her. Believing that the family is going to kick her out, Kathy runs away. She goes to Alicia May's house and tells her she's adopted as well. Alicia May tells Kathy that adopted children are special, because they were chosen.

Note: The show is told in flashbacks. Most of the footage first aired Season 2, Episode 36. It includes a new introductory scene and closing scene.
19726"Family Contest"Peter TewksburyStory By: John Elliotte
Teleplay By:
John Elliotte & Roswell Rogers
April 4, 1960 (1960-04-04)
Hoping to win a free trip to Hawaii, the Andersons enter a family-photo contest. Betty takes an anniversary picture of Mr. and Mrs. Henslee (Stuart Erwin and Hanna Hertelendy). Jim and Betty are introduced to the Henslee's children which includes an adopted Korean boy named Toby (Warren Hsieh). Betty then takes a picture of the whole family. Jim thinks the Henslee's should enter the contest as well. Kathy, thinking that the Henslee's are sure to win, tears up the picture. Kathy feels horrible and confesses to Betty. Betty is able to make another print of the picture in time to enter the contest. The Henslee's win the contest.
19827"Love and Learn"Peter TewksburyRoswell RogersApril 11, 1960 (1960-04-11)
Bud resists his mother's plea for him to boost his English grades by being tutored after school. But, he changes his mind when he learns that one of the available student-tutors is Nelda Freemont (Diana Millay), a good looking girl he's interested in. Bud keeps trying to romance Nelda, but she keeps their sessions on a professional level. Frustrated that he isn't getting anywhere with Nelda, Bud suggests to Jim and Margaret that they find another tutor. Jim comes up with a way for Bud and Nelda to see eye to eye.
19928"Blind Date"Peter TewksburyPaul WestApril 18, 1960 (1960-04-18)
Rudy Kissler (Hampton Fancher) is a waiter at the soda shop and he is a bit clumsy. Betty is embarrassed when her friends make fun of Rudy because they think he is inferior to them. She chastises her friends and leaves the soda shop. Meanwhile, Betty learns she is a finalist for the Campus Queen Contest. Her friends decide to play a joke on Betty by setting her up on a blind date with Rudy. Betty decides to get even with her friends by bringing Rudy to every function at the school. Betty's friend Judy Clauson (Beverly Long) tells her that she is ruining her chances to win the contest by having Rudy around. Rudy tells Betty he loves her and Betty feels horrible for leading him on. To make matters worse, her friends tell Rudy that it was all a joke. Betty apologizes to Rudy and says she values his friendship. After she is crowned Campus Queen, Betty asks Rudy for the first dance.
20029"Betty's Career Problem"Peter TewksburyJohn ElliotteApril 25, 1960 (1960-04-25)
Betty is about to graduate from college and hoping to win the Scholastic Achievement Award. Cliff (Jim Hutton), another student who is an achiever like Betty, wins the award. Cliff comes by the house and invites Betty to dinner. He tells Betty the only reason he won is because she was so smart and he had to work extra hard. Betty tells him she wants nothing to do with him. Now, they are both up for the same job after their graduation. As the competition heats up, they realize that they really like each other. Jack Davis appears as Mr. Kimbrough from Gorman's Dept. Store.
20130"Bud Lives It Up"Peter TewksburyAlfred Lewis Levitt & Helen Levitt as
Tom & Helen August
May 9, 1960 (1960-05-09)
Determined to get to Chicago and renew his acquaintance with attractive Nancy Millbrook, Bud is able to join the University debating team just in time for a trip there. Bud learns that he can simply sign for his hotel expenses while representing the University. That evening he asks Nancy to join him at the hotel's upscale restaurant and nightspot. The extravagant date results in a total bill in excess of $185. Once home, Bud learns that the University is denying payment on his tab and that his debate team may never be invited again. His debate teammates advise him that he will likely be expelled unless he is able to find a way to pay the bill himself. Bud decides to sell his car, but, after confiding to Jim about his problem, the two work out a solution.
20231"Not His Type"Peter TewksburyStory By: John Elliotte
Teleplay By:
John Elliotte & Roswell Rogers
May 16, 1960 (1960-05-16)
Diane's (Diana Millay) boyfriend George (Carleton Carpenter) shows an interest in Betty and asks her out. He feels Diane is too domineering and breaks up with her. Not knowing that George asked Betty earlier, Diane suggests that maybe Betty go out with him so he would get things out of his system. Betty at first does not want to come between Diane and George. But after he asks her again, she agrees to go out with him. While on their date, both George and Betty come to realize that George should be with Diane.
20332"Betty's Graduation (Flashback)"William D. RussellRoswell RogersMay 23, 1960 (1960-05-23)

Jim discusses a letter from Kathy's school where they report Kathy is not passing her math class. Kathy tells her father that she is not really wanting to graduate from junior high school as it is the happiest time of her life. Jim recalls the story of when Betty didn't want to graduate from high school.

Note: The show is told in flashbacks. Most footage is from Season 2 episode 37. It includes a new introductory scene and closing scene.

Home media[edit]

Shout! Factory has released all six seasons of Father Knows Best on DVD in Region 1. Season 5 and 6 were released as Shout! Select titles, available exclusively through their online store. Season 5 was re-released on April 11, 2017.[6] Season 6 was re-released on July 18, 2017.[7]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released the first two seasons on DVD in Australia.[8][9]

DVD Name Ep# Release Date
Season One 26 April 1, 2008
Season Two 37 November 11, 2008
Season Three 37 June 9, 2009
Season Four 33 March 23, 2010
Season Five 38 August 17, 2010dagger
April 11, 2017 (re-release)
Season Six 32 April 19, 2011dagger
July 18, 2017 (re-release)

dagger – Shout! Factory Exclusives title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store


  • In a September 2010 episode of the CBS daytime television series The Young and the Restless, newlyweds Billy and Victoria Abbott (portrayed by Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle, respectively) buy a house (exterior located on old Columbia Movie Ranch that was actually used in Father Knows Best and I Dream of Jeannie) that replicates the interior of the Anderson home on a sound stage. They watch Father Knows Best on DVD and often call each other "Jim" and "Margaret." At her wedding, which takes place in the house, Victoria chooses a 1950s-style white dress. Judge Anderson, the minister who marries the couple, was played by Donahue.

The town of Springfield in the Simpsons is named after the fictional town in the series https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2012/04/10/150386471/doh-springfield-in-simpsons-was-in-creators-home-state-all-along#:~:text=AP-,Matt%20Groening%20has%20revealed%20the%20location%20of%20the,life%20home%20of%20The%20Simpsons.&text=Ay%20Caramba!,TV%20show%20Father%20Knows%20Best.

Nielsen ratings[edit]

The series finished in the Nielsen ratings at No. 25 for the 1957–1958 season, No. 14 for 1958–1959 and No. 6 for 1959–1960.[10]


Father Knows Best aired in the 1980s on Superstation WTBS and in the 1990s on The Family Channel. The show also aired on TV Land from 1998 to 1999 and 2002–2004. Reruns of Father Knows Best have aired on Antenna TV as part of that channel's regular programming schedule since January 3, 2011, and it also aired weekday afternoons on digital subchannel ME-TOO in Chicago. Father Knows Best is currently broadcast weekday mornings on fetv, GAC Family and GAC Living. It is also available for free streaming on the Vudu and Amazon Prime Video services.



  • "Shout! Factory Store". Los Angeles: Shout! Factory. 2011. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  • "Father Knows Best – Collector Helps Shout! Include Lost 'Playground' Episode On DVDs!". TVshowsondvd.com. Vancouver: Pacific Online. January 13, 2008. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.


  1. ^ Father Knows Best (radio). December 20, 1948. Pilot Episode.
  2. ^ Bawden, James (Fall 2015). "Robert Young – Family Man". Films of the Golden Age (82): 18–31.
  3. ^ "Father Knows Best- History". Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1999). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (Twentieth Anniversary ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 338.
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1993). Television Character and Story Facts: Over 110,000 Details From 1,008 Shows, 1945–1992. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. Inc. ISBN 0-89950-891-X.[page needed]
  6. ^ General 'Wide' Retail Release for 'Season 5,' Starring Robert Young Archived January 10, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ 'Wide' General Retail Release for 'Season 6,' The Show's Final Season Archived April 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Father Knows Best – Season 1 Archived December 30, 2012, at archive.today
  9. ^ Father Knows Best – Season 2 Archived July 29, 2012, at archive.today
  10. ^ "ClassicTVHits.com: TV Ratings". www.classictvhits.com. Retrieved October 21, 2018.

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