My Hero (American TV series)

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My Hero
My Hero 1952.jpg
Promotional photo for the show, 1952
GenreSituation comedy
Directed byLeslie Goodwins
Oscar Randolph
Robert Cummings
StarringBob Cummings
Composer(s)Leon Klatzkin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes33
Production
Executive producer(s)Don W. Sharpe
Producer(s)Robert Cummings
Mort Greene
Edmund Beloin
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Official Films
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 8, 1952 (1952-11-08) –
June 20, 1953 (1953-06-20)

My Hero is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC on Saturday nights from November 8, 1952, to June 20, 1953, under the sponsorship of Dunhill cigarettes. It was also shown in Melbourne, Australia, on ABV-2 during 1956/1957.

The series appears to have entered the public domain, with several episodes viewable on the Internet Archive. Most of these episodes are syndication copies which run about 24 minutes; The original broadcasts had featured a somewhat elaborate opening sequence involving well-dressed people entering a theater, including a sponsor I.D. (as can be seen on the episode The Big Crush), and this elaborate opening sequence was replaced with a very short (for the 1950s) opening sequence for syndicated repeats, resulting in a shorter running time.

Premise[edit]

Robert Beanblossom was a real estate salesman who worked for Willis Thackery at the Thackery Realty Company.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Ep # Title Airdate
1 "Oil Land" November 8, 1952[1]
2 "Lady Mortician" November 15, 1952
3 "Movie Star" November 22, 1952
4 "The Hillbilly" November 29, 1952
5 "The Income Tax" December 6, 1952
6 "The Cupid"" December 13, 1952
7 "Horse Trail" {"Horsin' Around"} December 20, 1952
8 "The Lady Editor" December 27, 1952
9 "El Toro" January 3, 1953
10 "The Catering Story" January 10, 1953
11 "The Hesse Story" January 17, 1953
12 "The Fishing Story" January 24, 1953
13 "The Tiger" January 31, 1953
14 "The Boat" February 7, 1953
15 "The Bicycle" February 14, 1953
16 "Africa Calling" February 21, 1953
17 "Sky High" February 28, 1953
18 "Wheel of Fortune" March 7, 1953
19 "Beauty and the Beast" March 14, 1953
20 "Bum For A Day" March 21, 1953
21 "Top Secret" March 28, 1953
22 "The Big Crush" April 4, 1953
23 "Arabian Nights" April 11, 1953
24 "Odd Man In" April 18, 1953
25 "Jimmy Valentine" April 25, 1953
26 "Very South Pacific" May 2, 1953
27 "Viva Beanblossom" May 9, 1953
28 "Jailbreak" May 16, 1953
29 "Salt Water Daffy" May 23, 1953
30 "Beauty Queen" May 30, 1953
31 "Cinderella's Revenge" June 6, 1953
32 "The Duel" June 13, 1953
33 "Surprise Party" June 20, 1953

Production[edit]

Mort Greene was hireed to produce the show. He later alleged that Cummings tried to force Greene off the show and bring in his partner, Don Sharpe.[2] Ed Boloin later joined as producer.[3]

Cummings helped write and direct some episodes.[4]

Over the series' run, the comedy was toned down. Scenes showing smoking blowing out of Cummings' ears during a kiss were eventually dropped after adult viewers claimed the show was tending too much to slapstick. "I'm not sure whether it was a good idea," said Cummings. "The kids loved it and we've had hundreds of letters of protest. And the kids often decide what the set is tuned to, at least until they go to bed."[5]

The timeslot later shifted from 8-8.30pm.[6]

Cummings reacted angrily to charges the show mistreated animals.[7]

Cummings later complained that the lead character was too silly and too much of the writing was bad and illogical.[8]

Reception[edit]

The Los Angeles Times thought the show would "rival I Love Lucy" in popularity.[9]

The New York Times accused it of being a copy of I Love Lucy and said "Cummings brought a magnificent terribleness to his part."[10]

The show was executive produced and part owned by Don Sharpe, who was also connected with I Love Lucy and Terry and the Pirates. When My Hero was released to bad reviews, Sharpe admitted it needed fixing. "It's tricky to come up with something every week that's tricky and believable," he said. "We hope that eventually the personality of Cummings will become so dominant to the viewer that the plots won't look bad."[11]

The Los Angeles Times later called some golfing scenes between Cummings and Reginald Denny "some of the best comedy seen on TV."[12]

Lawsuit[edit]

Mort Greene was a producer and writer on the show. Greene later alleged that he was stripped of "all authority" on the show by Cummings and his wife, yet Cummings held him responsible for the "derisive commentary" the show received from reviewers. Greene said this hurt his reputation and sued the Cummingses for $119,500. [13]

A sheriff tried to serve papers on Cummings concerning the lawsuit at the studio gate for RKO-Pathe in Culver City. He alleged that while he put the papers through the window Cummings drove his car, dragging the sheriff down the street. "I thought at the time he was an autograph seeker," said Cummings.[13]

Both cases later settled out of court.

End of the show[edit]

According to one report, the show "enjoyed nothing but popularity. Cummings, who possesses histrionic depth and power far richer and deeper, nonetheless brought to a character implausibly named Beanblossom the full, heartwarming exaultation of the naive and ingenuous youth whom life has not and shall never hurt. The fantasy of the well meaning office worker was heightened from story to story, with characteristics out of a gamut of sources from Don Quixote, Paul Bunyan and Ivanhoe to Lohengrin."[14]

Cummings reportedly turned down three film offers while making the show. It had a budget of $30,000 and was selling into syndication at $6,000 a week. Cummings, on the advice of his wife, elected to make no more episodes until they could wait and see what effect the show was having on demand for Cummings as an actor.[14]

Cummings was offered $250,000 for his share in the show but he turned it down.[15]

The show was repeated in 1954.[16]

Cummings later said "I was a pretty unhappy lad after the failure" of the show.[17] He admitted the failure of the series left him "as dead as it was possible to be in this business". He blamed this on going to air without a sufficient backlog of scripts. "[We] were constantly on a deadline and had to grab at every script that came along, good or bad."[18] He also felt it was a mistake to aim the show at the children's audience. "Sure it's easy to develop a following that way but kids are the most fickle audience in the world. Once they drop you, you're finished forever."[18] He rectified both these things for his next, more successful show, The Bob Cummings Show.

Cummings added that the show had a long run in syndication.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ By, V. A. (1952, Sep 07). TELEVISION SEASON. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/112458118
  2. ^ Actor robert cummings target of $119,200 suit. (1953, Jan 06). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166467403
  3. ^ AMES, W. (1953, Jan 12). Ike previews cabinet on KTTV's march of time series; TV timing worries producer. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166471931
  4. ^ Ames, W. (1952, Nov 08). Cummings' my hero series to debut tonight; pair of grid games for television fans. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166416368
  5. ^ By, W. O. (1953, Feb 21). 50 years a comic, wynn says jokes never change. The Washington Post (1923-1954) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/152552381
  6. ^ By, S. L. (1953, Feb 08). NEWS OF TV AND RADIO. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/112633007
  7. ^ Ames, W. (1953, May 18). Cummings boils at charge TV animals are mistreated; music in 6D, massey says. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166454953
  8. ^ BOB CUMMINGS PROVES A FLOP CAN FLIP BACK: Explains Failure of His First TV Venture Fink, John. Chicago Daily Tribune 3 Mar 1957: nw12.
  9. ^ Ames, W. (1952, Nov 03). Political talks on radio, TV come to close; cummings is happy in beanblossom role. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166416414
  10. ^ By, J. G. (1952, Nov 12). RADIO AND TELEVISION. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/112421629
  11. ^ By, V. A. (1952, Nov 23). VIDEO FILM FACTORY. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/112296601
  12. ^ Ames, W. (1952, Dec 02). Kit carson series proves boon to hollywood players; singer shuns regular TVer. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166432490
  13. ^ a b Sheriff's aide lays assault to film actor. (1952, Dec 19). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166435926
  14. ^ a b Swirsky, S. (1953, Aug 13). Robert cummings explains why his TV show is off the air. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166519526
  15. ^ Bacon, J. (1953, Sep 20). OWN PIECE OF SERIES, VIDEO STAR ADVISES. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/178618909
  16. ^ My hero wins golf match, loses sale. (1954, Apr 21). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166596373
  17. ^ By, L. O., & Hollywood. (1955, Oct 09). So now it looks as if cummings has got it beat. The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/148656668
  18. ^ a b Thomas, B. (1958, Jan 12). BOB CUMMINGS SHOW REMAINS RIGHT AT TOP. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/180290349
  19. ^ BOB CUMMINGS PROVES A FLOP CAN FLIP BACK: Explains Failure of His First TV Venture Fink, John. Chicago Daily Tribune3 Mar 1957: nw12.

External links[edit]