Father Knows Best
The Anderson's were America's favorite 50's family.
The show aired with a total of 203 episodes and appeared from October 3, 1954 to April 5,
1963 on all three networks. It won six Emmy Awards during it's long run.
Best, like so many television shows from the 1950's, originally began on radio before
becoming a television series. The radio characters were created by Ed James in 1949
for the radio show version of "Father Knows Best". The
only member of the radio show to be cast in the television show was Robert Young.
Set in white-bread suburbia, Jim Anderson was an
insurance salesman who never had to leave early or got home late. Always dutiful,
Margaret had a stack of pancakes on the table for breakfast and a full 4-course dinner
promptly at 5:00 pm. Her standards made many women of her day (and even today) try
to keep up to a schedule that was truly unrealistic. It was a family that everyone
envied, but hardly anyone could create for themselves. It was escapism at its' best.
The only celebrity in the late 1950's to enjoy more
national recognition than Robert Young was Lucille Ball.
All photographs couresty of Screen Gem/Columbia