The Tycoon (TV series)

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This article is about the 1964–1965 television series. For the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, see The Last Tycoon. For other uses, see Tycoon (disambiguation).
The Tycoon
Walter Brennan Van Williams The Tycoon 1964.JPG
Brennan and Van Williams from the 1964 premiere episode
Created by Charles Isaacs (associate of Danny Thomas)
Starring Walter Brennan
Jerome Cowan
Van Williams
George Lindsey
Composer(s) Les Baxter
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 32
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Danny Thomas Productions (filmed at Desilu)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network ABC
Picture format Color
Original release September 15, 1964 – April 27, 1965
Related shows O.K. Crackerby!
Walter Brennan

(1) Brennan's second network series The Tycoon on ABC failed to attract the audience needed to survive in the 1964–1965 season though the quality of the program was never in question.

(2) Brennan followed his role as the rustic Grandpa Amos McCoy from ABC's The Real McCoys with businessman Walter Andrews, the retired chairman of the board still meddling in company business but acting often as a philanthropist.

(3) The first episode of The Tycoon was entitled "Horatio Alger Again", a reference to the "rags-to-riches" short story writer Horatio Alger.

The Tycoon is a 32-episode American sitcom television series broadcast by ABC. It starred Walter Brennan as the fictitious businessman Walter Andrews, similar to his birth name of Walter Andrew Brennan. As chairman of the board of the Thunder Corporation that he founded but no longer actively runs, Brennan plays an eccentric and cantankerous millionaire (when such persons were much fewer in number) with a common touch who helps promising persons in need. The series aired with new episodes at 9 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday from September 15, 1964, until April 27, 1965. It continued in reruns until September 7, 1965. The program did not develop sufficient audience, presumably because viewers may have preferred the versatile Brennan as the bucolic Grandpa Amos McCoy in his 1957-1963 ABC and CBS sitcom The Real McCoys. Oddly, The Tycoon has the same name as an episode of The Real McCoys also called "The Tycoon," which aired four years earlier on August 23, 1960.

After The Tycoon floundered, Brennan returned to ABC two years later in a more homespun role, a western The Guns of Will Sonnett with costar Dack Rambo.[1]

Jerome Cowan and Van Williams costarred with Brennan in The Tycoon. Cowan played Herbert Wilson, a by-the-book "bean counter" who decried Brennan’s questionable expenditure of company resources. Williams starred as young executive Pat Burns. George Lindsey, later with The Andy Griffith Show, appeared in a few episodes of The Tycoon as Tom Keane.[2] Van Williams had earlier appeared as Ken Madison in two ABC detective series Bourbon Street Beat with Richard Long and Andrew Duggan and in Surfside 6 with Troy Donahue and Lee Patterson. Later, Williams starred on ABC's The Green Hornet.[3]

The first episode of the series is entitled “Horatio Alger Again”, and the last is called "Honest Man". In between, the series featured episodes as “Walter Gets Fired”, “Talent Scout”, “Baby Tycoon”, “No Place Like Home”, “Mr. Wilson in Retirement Land”, and “A Slight Case of Merger”.[1]

The Tycoon and its lead-in McHale's Navy starring Ernest Borgnine, were scheduled opposite The Red Skelton Show on CBS and Robert Vaughn’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E.mystery series on NBC. In the 1965–1966 season, ABC replaced The Tycoon with Burl Ives in O.K. Crackerby! about the supposedly richest man in the world, and that venture also flopped.[4]

The Tycoon, produced by Danny Thomas and Aaron Spelling, had a good time slot, having preceded the new nighttime soap opera Peyton Place (Top 20) and David Janssen’s returning The Fugitive (Top 10) on ABC.[5] Like Robert Young who failed with CBS’s Window on Main Street in the aftermath of his successful Father Knows Best, Brennan similarly fell short with The Tycoon. In the same season, the venerable George Burns also failed with his unconventional sitcom Wendy and Me with Connie Stevens, Ron Harper, and J. Pat O'Malley.[4]


Episode # Episode Title Original Airdate Plot
1 "Horatio Alger Again" September 15, 1964 Walter sets up a challenge to prove his success is not a fluke by moving to another town, starting a new business and becoming rich again.
2 "Shotgun Meyer" September 22, 1964 Walter has his eyes on a nice piece of property that would be used as a new industrial site. The problem is the owner, a grape grower, doesn't want to sell.
3 "Walter Gets Fired" September 29, 1964 Walter finds himself on both sides of the bargaining table in a management-union affair.
4 "The Great Race" October 6, 1964 Walter and his best friend are old rivals, and since each believes that their classic car is best, the two decide to race them.
5 "The Patient" October 13, 1964 Walter, trying to bypass hospital rules when he goes in for a checkup, is outsmarted.
6 "Top Ten" October 20, 1964 Walter and Pat go to Midwest Tech to recruit a student from the top 10—and come back with number 11.
7 "Inside Job" October 27, 1964 Walter does a quick shift when an electric eye invented by Pat adversely affects old friends.
8 "Mr. Fix-It" November 10, 1964 Walter is told he can't work in the company machine shop, but he still manages to indulge his love for tinkering.
9 "East Meets West" November 17, 1964 It's a Mexican standoff when Walter and Wilson pit their talents against a Japanese manufacturer.
10 "Boy Genius" November 24, 1964 Investigating a customer complaint, Walter finds it comes from a young man with a very high IQ.
11 "Toys in the Pentagon" December 1, 1964 A new toy rocket launcher interests the U.S. Navy for important reasons.
12 "Talent Scout" December 8, 1964 Walter sees an opportunity for an old friend to make a show business comeback. Andy Clyde, who played George McMichael on The Real McCoys, is cast in this episode as Skippy Draper.
13 "Harvey Brinkerhoff, Who Needs You" December 15, 1964 Walter gives a job to the son of an old friend and finds that it was a big mistake.
14 "Baby Tycoon" December 22, 1964 Walter finds himself in the middle of a proxy fight—with 3,000 valuable shares controlled by his infant grandson.
15 "No Place Like Home" December 29, 1964 Walter is talked into a vacation and finds himself working harder than ever.
16 "The Honorable Dr. Adams" January 5, 1965 Walter's associates arrange for him to get an honorary college degree—at first against his wishes.
17 "Thunder Bowl" January 12, 1965 Walter and Wilson try to outsmart each other with the company's bowling championship at stake.
18 "Muscles Don't Retire" January 19, 1965 Walter investigates a senior citizen community and makes some startling discoveries.
19 "Romance, Incorporated" January 26, 1965 Walter stages a whirlwind campaign to sweep a widow off her feet.
20 "South of the Border" February 2, 1965 Walter and Pat visit Latin America and learn some interesting facts about retirement.
21 "Tom's Trouble in Transistorland" February 9, 1965 Walter enlists her granddaughter's husband in a Thunder Corp. experiment.
22 "Pat's Retirement" February 16, 1965 Walter teaches Pat a less in the disadvantages of idleness.
23 "A Dog's Life" February 23, 1965 Walter asks Thunder engineers to design a walking harness for a dog.
24 "Johnny on the Spot" March 2, 1965 Walter and Pat are inadvertently involved with a robbery during a routine demonstration of a new television camera.
25 "Cloak and Dagger" March 9, 1965 Walter and his staff find themselves in trouble when they discover somebody in the company is giving away top secret company plans.
26 "Walter on a Pedestal" March 16, 1965 The town asks permission to erect a statue of Walter Andrews—and then Walter finds out why.
27 "Dangster Andrews" March 23, 1965 Walter becomes involved in the affairs of a drag racer, and when he's obliged to drive a racer, sets a new world record.
28 "It's All Relative" March 30, 1965 A nest of nepotism is uncovered when Walter gets his granddaughter a job with Thunder Corp.
29 "Kitchen Caper" April 6, 1965 Walter has to decide which of his associates gets a new free kitchen—with each one's wife interested in the prize.
30 "Mr. Wilson in Retirement Land" April 13, 1965 Walter reassigns a job from Wilson to younger engineers.
31 "A Slight Case of Merger" April 20, 1965 Walter saves his housekeeper as well as his company from some bad deals.
32 "Honest Man" April 27, 1965 A pang of conscience sends Walter in search of a man he fears he wronged 50 years ago.


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