Occasional Wife

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Occasional Wife
Occasional Wife.jpg
Main Cast
Genre Sitcom
Created by Lawrence J. Cohen
Fred Freeman
Written by Richard Baer
Peggy Chantler Dick
Lawrence J. Cohen
Robert Riley Crutcher
Stan Cutler
William Davenport
Martin Donovan
John Erman
Fred Freeman
Lila Garrett
Bernie Kahn
Gene Thompson
Martin Ragaway
Shorty Rogers
Directed by Jerrold Bernstein
Bob Claver
Danny Dayton
Paul Junger Witt
Richard Kinon
Russ Mayberry
Gary Nelson
Ernest Pintoff
Starring Michael Callan
Patricia Harty
Narrated by Vin Scully
Theme music composer Ernest Pintoff
Howard Greenfield
Composer(s) Ernest Pintoff
Shorty Rogers
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 30
Executive producer(s) Harry Ackerman
Producer(s) Bob Claver
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Screen Gems
Distributor Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television (2002–Present)
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 13, 1966 (1966-09-13) – August 29, 1967 (1967-08-29)

Occasional Wife was an American sitcom that got aired on NBC on September 13, 1966 and ran until May 9, 1967 (repeats are aired through August 29.) That's originally on NBC's Tuesday night schedule in the Eastern Time Zone it aired from 8:30–9:00PM ET/PT. Reruns were aired on Comedy Central in 1992.


The lead character was Peter Christopher, a bachelor who enjoyed the single life, but was blocked from professional advancement by not having a wife. Peter's boss, baby-food manufacturer Max Brahms, was, because of his product, a strong believer in marriage and family. Christopher asked a young hat check girl, Greta Patterson, to pose as his wife at company functions. In return, Peter set up Greta in an apartment two floors above his own in a Manhattan building. Greta would use the fire escape to slip into Peter's 6th floor apartment from her apartment on the 8th floor whenever his boss would drop by unexpectedly. As a silent running gag, Bryan O'Byrne played the "Man in the middle" who bemusedly watching the comings and goings of the two from his 7th floor vantage point. The sitcom's uncredited narrator was the well-known sports announcer Vin Scully.

The series first experienced good ratings, tying at #18 with The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in the Nielsen ratings. The series then fell to #64 in the ratings after having to compete against ABC's popular series The Invaders and the CBS staple The Red Skelton Show. Occasional Wife was canceled after one season.[1]

The series was also notable for being one of the first sitcoms to completely eliminate the use of the laugh track, which set the series apart from other sitcoms on at the time. Its practice of not using canned laughter has now become an industry standard with most modern day single camera sitcoms.[citation needed]



Season 1[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate Episode summary
1 Pilot September 13, 1966 Peter, a young executive finds his road to success blocked by the lack of a wife, so he begins a platonic relationship with Greta, who poses as his wife.
2 "Occasional Trouble" September 20, 1966 Peter's mother sees Greta kissing her boyfriend and thinks her son's wife is being unfaithful.
3 "The Rivalry" September 27, 1966 Spending the weekend at the home of a wealthy client becomes a contest as Peter and his rival vie for favor.
4 "He Who Burns Bridges" October 4, 1966 Peter must retrieve his letter of resignation from his boss' office before it is read.
5 "I Do, We Don't" October 11, 1966 Peter's mother insists that he and Greta repeat their marriage vows since she missed the original "marriage ceremony."
6 "The Promotion" October 18, 1966 Peter jeopardizes his potential raise and promotion by chasing after a beautiful blonde.
7 "No Cookie for Dessert" October 25, 1966 A sharp-eyed girl figures out Peter's phony marital setup and threatens to tell his boss.
8 "Danger! Woman at Work" November 1, 1966 Greta fraternizes with her new boss, upsetting both Peter's business and social life.
9 "A Friend of the Family" November 15, 1966 Mr. Brahms jumps to an erroneous conclusion when Greta is hospitalized with a virus.
10 "Marriage Counselor" November 22, 1966 Mr. Brahm sees Greta at a discothèque with a strange man and tells Peter about it.
11 "No Talent Scouts" November 29, 1966 Peter is given the uncomfortable task of finding a Broadway role for the untalented daughter (Sally Field) of a client.
12 "That's How They Got Capone" December 6, 1966 Peter and Greta do their best in trying to avoid signing a joint tax return.
13 "GP Loves UU" December 13, 1966 An Italian Count searches for an American girl who will adore and support him.
14 "Miss Greta Regrets" December 20, 1966 Peter and Greta play musical chairs in a restaurant while trying to date simultaneously in two rooms.
15 "Peter by Moonlight" December 27, 1966 Peter underwrites a small garment business.
16 "Alias Peter Patterson" January 3, 1967 Peter becomes the object of affection of a shy, unattractive girl.
17 "Fair Play for Gypsies" January 17, 1967 Mr. Brahms has gypsy fortune teller fired after she says that Greta is single.
18 "A Couple of Home-Cooked Meals" January 24, 1967 Peter and Greta complicate matters by making separate dinner plans.
19 "One Plus One Equals Too Many" January 31, 1967 Peter gets a new job and fires Greta.
20 "Kangaroo Kandidates" February 7, 1967 Mr. Brahms gets Peter and Wally into competition to join his exclusive club.
21 "The New Secretary" February 14, 1967 An important customer sees Peter at lunch with his new secretary.
22 "The Business Trip" February 21, 1967 Greta agrees to accompany Peter on a business trip to her hometown.
23 "Engagement, Christopher Style" February 28, 1967 Peter tries to break an engagement to a madcap heiress without losing his job.
24 "Instant Fatherhood" March 21, 1967 A young woman that Peter sponsored as an immigrant arrives from Italy with marriage on her mind.
25 "The Soft Spot" March 28, 1967 Peter's job catches the eyes of efficiency experts brought in by the company.
26 "The Secret Powdered Milk Affair" April 4, 1967 Government agents run a security check on Brahms employees and discover all is not what it appears in Peter's marriage.
27 "My Occasional Brother's Keeper" April 11, 1967 One fib leads to another and Peter soon finds himself playing host to a stranger.
28 "An Affair To Forget" April 18, 1967 Suspicions arise that make it seem that Greta is having an affair with Mr. Brahms.
29 "Oil Be Seeing You" April 25, 1967 Greta attempts to rescue her husband from a terrible financial investment.
30 "So Little Time" May 9, 1967 Peter and Greta are hard pressed to prevent his mother from discovering the truth


  1. ^ "Television Obscurities – 10 Of The Most Outlandish TV Concepts Ever". tvobscurities.com. 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 


  • Brooks, T. & Marsh, E. (1979). The Complete Directory To Primetime Network TV Shows. New York: Ballantine Books, pp. 454–455
  • Brooks, T. (1987). The Complete Directory To Primetime TV Stars. New York: Ballantine Books, p. 141
  • Tucker, D. C. (2010). Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television: Thirty Sitcoms That Faded Off Screen. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, pp. 171–177

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