Created by Paul Henning
First episode date 2 January 1955
Networks CBS, NBC
Also known as ''Love That Bob''
Narrated by Bill Baldwin
Final episode date 15 September 1959
|Written by William CowleyShirley GordonPaul HenningBill ManhoffLawrence MenkinPhil ShukenDick Wesson|
Directed by Rod AmateauRobert CummingsFred DeCordovaEdward RubinNorman Tokar
Starring Robert CummingsAnn B. DavisRosemary DeCampDwayne Hickman
Cast Robert Cummings, Ann B Davis, Dwayne Hickman, Rosemary DeCamp, Joi Lansing
The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) is an American sitcom starring Robert "Bob" Cummings, which was produced from January 2, 1955 to September 15, 1959. The Bob Cummings Show was the first-ever series to debut as a midseason replacement.
The program began with a half-season run on NBC, then ran for two full seasons on CBS, and returned to NBC for its final two seasons. The program was later rerun on ABC daytime and then syndicated under the title Love That Bob. A similar (but less successful) follow-up series, The New Bob Cummings Show, was broadcast on CBS during the 1961–62 television season.
The series stars Cummings as dashing young Hollywood photographer, Air Force reserve officer, and ladies' man, Bob Collins. The character's interest in aviation and photography mirrored Cummings' own, with his character's name the same as the role he played in the film You Came Along (1945). The series also stars Rosemary DeCamp as his sister Margaret MacDonald. In some episodes, Cummings also doubled as Bob and Margaret's Grandfather Josh Collins.
The Bob Cummings Show was important in the development of several careers. Its creator, producer, and head writer was Paul Henning, later producer of major 1960s hits such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. Regulars in the show included Ann B. Davis, who twice won Emmy Awards for playing Schultzy. Henning apparently remembered cast members Nancy Kulp and Joi Lansing favorably, as both had roles on The Beverly Hillbillies, several years later, Miss Kulp as Miss Hathaway (secretary to banker Milburn Drysdale—a character similar to Pamela Livingstone, the one she played on Cummings' show)--and Miss Lansing as Gladys Flatt, wife of Lester Flatt. A decade after The Bob Cummings Show left the air, Davis went on to play the housekeeper Alice in The Brady Bunch; in the 1995 film The Brady Bunch Movie, which featured another actress playing Alice, Davis reprised the role of Schultzy for a cameo that suggests the character went on to become a truck driver.
Perhaps the biggest career boost was received by young Dwayne Hickman, a student at Loyola University in Los Angeles, who appeared as Bob's nephew, Chuck, and became a favorite with young female viewers. During the last season of The Bob Cummings Show, he was cast as the lead in CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
This program represented the height of Cummings' television career. Although afterwards he starred in two other series in the early 1960s -- The New Bob Cummings Show and My Living Doll—and made guest appearances on several other TV series, he never again achieved the success on television that he had with The Bob Cummings Show.
Reruns retitled Love That Bob appeared on ABC's daytime line up from October 12, 1959 to December 1, 1961. Repeats were popular through the 60's on local stations before reappearing on the CBN Cable Network in the mid-1980s,. The series remains in syndication on smaller stations and networks today. The original opening credits for the series incorporated a commercial for cigarettes and were replaced with the Love That Bob opening.
Ann B. Davis' character, Schultzy, was the inspiration for the comic book character Pepper Potts, a supporting character in the Iron Man comics, who was modeled after her. Potts first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963), and was depicted with brown hair and a hairdo resembling Schultzy's. Eventually, it was decided by the editorial team that the resemblance was too great, and in Tales of Suspense #50, her appearance was altered to give her red hair and a different hairstyle.
The entire series has yet to be released on DVD in any region. However, much of the series has lapsed into the public domain. The episodes that have lapsed into the public domain (at least 20 in all) were all released by DigiView Productions in 2004, Critics' Choice Video in 2004-5, Platinum Disc, LLC in 2005, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment in 2005 and Alpha Home Entertainment in 2006, among others. Also, on March 20, 2012, MPI Home Video released a Region 1 DVD collection of episodes from Cummings' mid-1960s series My Living Doll, and a standalone episode of The Bob Cummings Show was included as a bonus feature.