Meet Mr. McNutley

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Meet Mr. McNutley
Ray Milland Phyllis Avery Ray Milland Show 1954.jpg
Ray Milland and Phyllis Avery
Also known as ''The Ray Milland Show
Meet Mr. McNulty''
Genre Sitcom
Created by Joe Connelly
Bob Mosher
Written by Kitty Buhler
Joe Connelly
Lou Derman
Albert Lewin
Bob Mosher
Directed by Charles Barton
Jules Bricken
Ted Post
Starring Ray Milland
Phyllis Avery
Lloyd Corrigan
Minerva Urecal
Composer(s) Leroy Anderson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 75
Producer(s) Joe Connelly
Bob Mosher
Charles Barton
Harry Tugend
Running time 24-26 minutes
Production company(s) Revue Productions
Distributor MCA Television
Original network CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 17, 1953 (1953-09-17) – May 19, 1955 (1955-05-19)

Meet Mr. McNutley (later retitled The Ray Milland Show) is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS Television from 1953–1955, with Ray Milland in the role of fastidious Professor Ray McNutley, the head of the English Department at the fictitious Lynnhaven College for girls. Phyllis Avery portrayed McNutley's wife, Peggy.[1]

The half-hour series aired on Thursday evenings opposite Groucho Marx's NBC program, You Bet Your Life.[2] The show aired concurrently on radio during its first season.[3] Both versions were sponsored by General Electric, and originally presented under the umbrella title of The General Electric Comedy Theatre.

First season[edit]

In the premiere episode on September 17, 1953, McNutley, as an "absent-minded professor", goes on a hunting trip, having forgotten that he has hired a young female assistant to work with him. He falls into a duck pond fully clothed. In another early episode, the absent-minded professor is a scoutmaster. While hiking, he falls into a bear trap on a lake and become the object of an all-night search... Later episodes, however, do not stress the absent-minded angle.[1]

In the episode "The Perfect Marriage", the college dean decides that Ray and Peggy, being an apparently model couple, can help another faculty couple resolve marital differences. In a heart-warming episode, McNutley finds a baby boy in his automobile and takes the child to an orphanage. In the episode "House Party", the professor learns that his students generally regard him as an "old cornball". He invites them to his house to present himself in a different light. In the Christmas Eve episode broadcast in 1953, the professor and Mrs. McNutley give up a planned trip to accommodate a French student who cannot afford to go to Canada for the holiday. In another segment, McNutley is named "dean for a day" and encounters problems with sorority rush week.[1]

In "Swimming Problem", McNutley becomes the substitute coach of the Lynnhaven swimming team. He finds that the star swimmer is frustrated with her boyfriend, and Ray and Peggy team up as matchmakers to restore the girl's morale. In "Ray's Promotion", the professor is named dean to replace Miss Josephine Bradley, portrayed by Minerva Urecal, but his conscience causes him to work to reinstate Miss Bradley, knowing that his promotion will be lost in the process. In "Back in Uniform", Ray balks when the dean asks him to change a student's grade and threatens to quit if his moral stance is undermined. He also makes plans to attend a reunion of his old Army regiment. When Miss Bradley sees Ray having the uniform cleaned, she incorrectly assumes that he is rejoining the military.[1]

Second season[edit]

In the second season, Professor McNutley switches from English instruction to dramas, the institution becomes Comstock University, and his own name is adjusted to "McNulty". Lloyd Corrigan joins the cast as Dean Dodsworth. In the second-season premiere, McNulty is involved with a wealthy alumnus, played by Hans Conreid, later Uncle Tonoose of The Danny Thomas Show, who has written a play of low quality that McNulty must produce to obtain an endowment. In the episode, Milland uses the expression "Dial B for Blackmail", parodying his role in the film then being released, Dial M for Murder, with co-star Grace Kelly. In the episode "The Doll's House", McNulty directs the college production of the Henrik Ibsen play while his wife decides that she must own a fur coat.[1]

In "Retirement Deferred" Milland challenges the law at the time of compulsory retirement at the age of sixty-five, when one of the university's most beloved professors, portrayed by Henry Hull, must retire. McNulty organizes a movement to prevent the professor from having to step down before he is ready. In the episode "The Prodigy", David Stollery, later of Walt Disney's serial, The Adventures of Spin and Marty (in the role of Marty), appears as Peggy's cousin who enrolls at Comstock as a pre-teen. Ray finds the boy obnoxious; Disney sees the program and hires young Stollery for his most remembered role.[4]

In "A Star Is Born", a take on a Judy Garland film, Peggy enrolls in Ray's drama class and lands a part in a play. In the Christmas episode 1954, Ray and Dean Dodsworth work feverishly to restore a Chinese orphan girl's lost faith in the holiday.[1]

In "Jury Duty", Ray and Peggy McNulty are both called to judge the case of a husband, portrayed by voice actor Paul Frees, who is seeking alimony from his wife, played by Ann Doran, later the mother in the NBC television version of National Velvet. Ray dissents with Peggy and the whole jury over the decision. In "International Incident", Ray casts two exchange students as Romeo and Juliet, but the two become embroiled in political differences. In "A Week with Cinderella", Harriet MacGibbon, later Mrs. Margaret Drysdale, the banker's wife on The Beverly Hillbillies, appears as a home economics major who takes over the McNulty household while the regular maid is away. Her strict belief in "organization" upsets the household.[1]

Production notes[edit]

Some episodes were written by the show's creator/producers, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, four years before they launched the successful Leave It to Beaver. The series was filmed in North Hollywood, California, at Revue Studios, later NBC Universal Television.

In the second season, the series appeared opposite the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life on NBC and The Mail Story, a short-lived anthology series about the U.S. Postal Service on ABC.


A 1958, a few years after it ended, the series was shown in Australia on Sydney station ATN-7, broadcast on Fridays at 1:30PM.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Meet Mr.McNutley: The Ray Milland Show". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved September 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, appendix
  3. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. 
  4. ^ "David Stollery (2006)". Retrieved September 25, 2009. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]