The Good Life (1971 TV series)

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The Good Life
Created byLawrence J. Cohen
Fred Freeman
Directed byClaudio Guzmán
StarringLarry Hagman
Donna Mills
David Wayne
Hermione Baddeley
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes15
Executive producer(s)Lee Rich
Producer(s)Claudio Guzmán
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Humble Productions
Lorimar Productions
Screen Gems
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1971 (1971-09-18) – January 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)

The Good Life is an American situation comedy that was aired on NBC as part of its 1971–1972 lineup. The series stars Larry Hagman and Donna Mills, and was produced by Lorimar, in association with Screen Gems.


The Good Life is the story of a middle class American couple, the Millers (Hagman and Mills), who have tired of their mundane existence. Instead of following the time-honored premise of "hitting the road" to seek adventure or engaging in a stereotypical period activity such as joining a communal farm, they decide to seek new employment as the live-in butler and cook of a millionaire industrialist, Charles Dutton. He notices that they are not particularly talented at their jobs, but finds them to be agreeable enough. Their limited skills most definitely are not enough for his stuffy sister Grace, however, and she constantly works to get them fired. Dutton's teenaged son, Nick, is the only one aware of what the Millers are doing in their new roles, but, finding great fun in their situation, he helps them to become accustomed to the social etiquette of high society and the wealthy in an effort to improve their skills in their roles.

The theme song was the 1962 pop song The Good Life, written by Sacha Distel and Jack Reardon, and sung under the titles by Tony Orlando.

This program did not garner much of an audience and it was cancelled at mid-season. It was replaced by the action drama, Emergency!.

A decade later, Hagman and Mills were reunited onscreen when he guest-starred on Knots Landing, on which Mills had become a series regular in 1980. Being a spin-off from Dallas, Knots Landing featured Hagman in the role of J. R. Ewing, who was often in cahoots with Mills' character Abby Cunningham. Both series were also Lorimar productions. David Wayne would also reunite with Hagman on Dallas, where he originated role of Willard "Digger" Barnes.

The British television series released as Good Neighbors in American syndication was originally titled The Good Life in the United Kingdom, but changed its name for American audiences to avoid confusion with this earlier series.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"One of Our Rolls is Missing"Bruce BilsonWilliam Raynor & Myles WilderSeptember 18, 1971 (1971-09-18)
Albert attempts to sell the Duttons' Rolls-Royce automobile, but ends up having it stolen.
2"Jane's Double Life"Ron WinstonAlbert E. LewinSeptember 25, 1971 (1971-09-25)
Albert talks Jane into going to a charity ball with his employer's son.
3"The Chess Game"Claudio GuzmánSusan HarrisOctober 2, 1971 (1971-10-02)
Posing as the owner of the Dutton's estate, Albert is challenged to a chess match by a former friend from school.
4"The Wrecked Butler"Ron WinstonWilliam BickleyOctober 9, 1971 (1971-10-09)
After Albert breaks his leg, he discovers that his efficient substitute is endangering his chances keeping his job.
5"The Vacation"Claudio GuzmanSusan HarrisOctober 16, 1971 (1971-10-16)
Albert attempts to convince the Duttons to take Jane and him along to the French Riviera in order to avoid spending time with his mother-in-law.
6"The Commodore Cometh"TBATBAOctober 23, 1971 (1971-10-23)
Mr. Dutton's uncle arrives and reveals his plan to dismiss his nephew as head of Dutton Industries and replace him with Albert.
7"The Burglar Alarm"TBATBAOctober 30, 1971 (1971-10-30)
Albert attempts to outsmart a master burglar who has been ransacking mansions and beating up servants.
8"Dutton's Retirement"Bruce BilsonBernie KahnNovember 6, 1971 (1971-11-06)
After Albert convinces Dutton to retire in order to take it easy, but he soon discovers that he's only created more problems.
9"The Speedometer Strain"Claudio GuzmanLloyd Turner & Gordon MitchellNovember 13, 1971 (1971-11-13)
If Albert is able to teach Grace Dutton how to drive, he and Jane will be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii.
10"Mansion for Sale"Hal CooperArt Baer & Ben JoelsonNovember 27, 1971 (1971-11-27)
After Dick leaves home in order to seek his independence, the Dutton mansion goes up for sale.
11"A Tremendous Sense of Loyalty"TBATBADecember 4, 1971 (1971-12-04)
J. Carleton Wedemeyer (Robert Cummings), whose name Albert used as a reference to obtain his job, arrives.
12"Butterfield Ate"TBATBADecember 11, 1971 (1971-12-11)
While babysitting a friend's pet lion, Albert attempts to keep the news a secret from the Duttons.
13"Albert Gets Rich"TBATBADecember 18, 1971 (1971-12-18)
Albert wins $250,000 and decides to immediately quit his job and retire.
14"The Gardners"Claudio GuzmanLawrence J. Cohen & Fred FreemanDecember 25, 1971 (1971-12-25)
Attempting to cut back on household expenses, Albert runs into trouble with the estate's gardeners.
15"Dial 'M' for Merger"Larry HagmanLloyd Turner & Gordon MitchellJanuary 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)
A spoiled eight-year-old threatens to ruin things for Albert and Jane.


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