Sunshine (TV series)
Elizabeth Cheshire and Cliff De Young
as Jill and Sam Hayden in Sunshine
|Written by||Carol Sobieski
|Directed by||George Eckstein
Bernard L. Kowalski
|Opening theme||"Sunshine on My Shoulders"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||1975 – 1975|
Sunshine is a 1975 American television comedy-drama series starring Cliff DeYoung and Elizabeth Cheshire, about a hippie musician raising his young daughter alone after the death of his wife. The series was based on the 1973 made-for-TV movie Sunshine and DeYoung, Bill Mumy, Corey Fischer, and Meg Foster all reprised their roles from the film. The series originally ran for 13 episodes on NBC in the spring of 1975. The show's opening theme was John Denver's hit song "Sunshine on My Shoulders."
Three years after the death of his wife Kate (which occurred at the end of the 1973 Sunshine film), musician Sam Hayden (Cliff DeYoung) is raising their young daughter Jill (Elizabeth Cheshire) as a single father. Sam struggles to make ends meet by playing in a folk rock trio with Weaver (Bill Mumy) and Givits (Corey Fischer) and by doing various day jobs. Although Sam's responsibilities leave little time for him to date women, he hopes to find one he can love who will also be a good mother to Jill. Meanwhile, Weaver, Givits, and Sam's occasional girlfriend Nora (Meg Foster) pitch in to help Sam care for Jill.
- Cliff DeYoung as Sam Hayden
- Elizabeth Cheshire as Jill
- Bill Mumy as Weaver
- Corey Fischer as Givits
- Meg Foster as Nora
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Sweet Misery"||TBA||TBA||March 6, 1975|
|Feeling that Jill needs a mother in her life, Sam unsuccessfully tries to get his friend Nora to marry him.|
|2||"White Bread and Margarine"||TBA||TBA||March 13, 1975|
|Sam must convince a social worker that he is a fit parent.|
|3||"Intensive Care"||TBA||TBA||March 20, 1975|
|When Sam is suddenly hospitalized, his bandmates Weaver and Givits take care of Jill.|
|4||"Father Nature"||TBA||TBA||March 27, 1975|
|Sam writes a song that Jill will perform in the school play.|
|5||"Jill"||TBA||TBA||April 3, 1975|
|Weaver takes Jill to the zoo when Sam can't get off work.|
|6||"Buy the Book"||TBA||TBA||April 10, 1975|
|Sam receives a free encyclopedia if he agrees to purchase weekly supplements for three years.|
|7||"A Houseboat is Not a Home"||TBA||TBA||April 17, 1975|
|Sam wants to buy his own house.|
|8||"The Angel of Doom"||TBA||TBA||April 24, 1975|
|Jill doesn't understand the meaning of death.|
|9||"Song for Montana (1)"||TBA||TBA||May 1, 1975|
|Sam sees a girl named Montana at a singing competition and falls in love with her.|
|10||"Song for Montana (2)"||TBA||TBA||May 8, 1975|
|Sam's romance with Montana comes to a bittersweet end when she chooses her musical aspirations over him.|
|11||"Have a Nice Day"||TBA||TBA||May 15, 1975|
|Sam injures his leg in the woods, and Jill is the only person around.|
|12||"Leave It to Weaver"||TBA||TBA||May 22, 1975|
|Weaver wants to quit Sam's musical group.|
|13||"Why Sam's Paid"||TBA||TBA||May 29, 1975|
|Sam gets a new job as a private eye.|
Although the series drew praise from critics for its quality and realism, its timeslot forced it to compete for young viewers with the popular CBS series The Waltons, and older viewers were not interested in watching a show about a hippie. A Chicago Tribune reviewer also blamed the series' failure on its portrayal of daughter Jill as an ill-mannered "pest". Sunshine performed poorly in the Nielsen ratings and was cancelled after 13 episodes.
After its cancellation, the series was described as being "before its time" and "one of the most interesting failures" of the season. Five episodes of Sunshine were later combined into a feature-length movie called My Sweet Lady which was widely circulated in England, Japan and Australia, resulting in the characters becoming better known in those countries than they were in the United States.
In 1977, NBC took the unusual step of reuniting the original cast of the cancelled series for a two-hour holiday television film, Sunshine Christmas, which the network first aired on December 12, 1977. In the movie, Sam and Jill return to his native Texas to visit Sam's parents, and Sam rekindles a romance with his high school sweetheart.
In 1975, a novelization of the series by Norma Klein entitled The Sunshine Years was published. Klein had previously written the novelization of the Sunshine film, and later did the same for Sunshine Christmas.
- Smith, Cecil (August 30, 1974). "Hot New Series That Never Was". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. p. F27.
- Smith, Cecil (March 30, 1975). "'Sunshine' Not 'Sitcom', Not 'Drama' — but Good". The Sun. Baltimore, MD. p. TV12.
- Witbeck, Charles (February 28, 1975). "Forecast for 'Sunshine': Partly Cloudy". The Times-Reporter. Dover–New Philadelphia, OH. p. D11. Retrieved October 11, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Let Some 'Sunshine Christmas' Into Your Life". The Derrick. Oil City, Pennsylvania. December 6, 1977. p. 18. Retrieved October 11, 2016 – via newspapers.com. (Subscription required (. )) (This source erroneously refers to the title of the TV series as Summertime rather than Sunshine.)
- Winfrey, Lee (June 9, 1975). "A Little Pest Blocked the Rays of Sunshine". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. p. C14.
- Seligsohn, Leo (April 20, 1975). "Cliff De Young Is Busy Looking For A Job". The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. p. TV Week–10. Retrieved October 11, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. (Subscription required (. ))