Many Happy Returns (TV series)

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Many Happy Returns
Created by Parke Levy
Starring John McGiver
Elinor Donahue
Mark Goddard
Elena Verdugo
Mickey Manners
Theme music composer David Rose
Parke Levy
Composer(s) Pete Rugolo
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26
Producer(s) Parke Levy
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Lindabob Productions
MGM Television
Original network CBS
Picture format Black and White
Original release September 21, 1964 – April 12, 1965

Many Happy Returns is an American sitcom that ran on CBS for twenty-six episodes, from September 21, 1964 to April 12, 1965, under the sponsorship of General Foods.


The show stars character actor John McGiver. Known for his emphatic, precise, dogmatic bearing and firm command of the English language, McGiver played the part of a widower, Walter Burnley, the manager of the complaints department at the fictitious Krockmeyer's Department Store in Los Angeles.[1]

Elinor Donahue played McGiver's daughter, Joan Randall. Mark Goddard played Joan's husband, Bob Randall.[2] The Randalls' daughter, Laurie, was played by Andrea Sacino. Elena Verdugo (Marcus Welby, M.D.) played complaint department employee Lynn Hall.

Others on the series were Richard Collier as Harry Price, Jesslyn Fax as Wilma Fritter, and Mickey Manners as Joe Foley, all cast as store employees. Character actress Doris Packer played the role of Cornelia. Russell Collins was cast as Burnley's demanding, often unreasonable boss, Owen Sharp.[3]


The program was directed by Gene Reynolds, who later went on to work on several episodes of M*A*S*H. Episode titles of Many Happy Returns include:[4]

  • "Many Happy Returns" {pilot episode} (September 21, 1964)
  • "Walter Meets the Machine" (September 28, 1964)
  • "It Shouldn't Happen To A Dog" (October 5, 1964)
  • "Bye Bye, Cupid" (October 12, 1964)
  • "Burnley At the Bridge" (October 19, 1964)
  • "Joe's Place" (October 26, 1964)
  • "The Best Seller" (November 9, 1964)
  • "Mother Burnley's Chickens" (November 16, 1964)
  • "Krockmeyer on Avon" (November 23, 1964)
  • "East Is West" (November 30, 1964)
  • "The House Divided" (December 7, 1964)
  • "The Fashion Show" (December 14, 1964)
  • "The Shoplifter" (December 21, 1964)
  • "The Surprise Visit" (December 28, 1964)
  • "Taming of the Beast" (January 4, 1965)
  • "No Nose Is Good Nose" (January 11, 1965)
  • "Foster Father of the Bride" (January 18, 1965)
  • "The Diamond" (January 25, 1965)
  • "Three on a Honeymoon" (February 1, 1965)
  • "Pop Goes the Easel" (February 8, 1965)
  • "The Krockmeyer Caper" (February 15, 1965)
  • "Big White Lie" (March 8, 1965)
  • "Idol Threats" (March 22, 1965)
  • "A Date for Walter" (March 29, 1965)
  • "The Woodsman" (April 5, 1965)
  • "It’s a Gift" (April 12, 1965)


Many Happy Returns was technically the successor to The Danny Thomas Show (for the same sponsor), which stopped production in 1964 after eleven years on the air, first on ABC, then on CBS. It aired at 9:30 Eastern on Mondays opposite the short-lived sitcom The Bing Crosby Show on ABC and The Andy Williams Show, alternating weekly with The Jonathan Winters Show, on the NBC schedule. Many Happy Returns theoretically benefited from having followed The Lucy Show on CBS. It preceded the drama Slattery's People.[5]

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