This section contains interesting facts about the
show, characters, cast members, trivia questions, etc.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father is based on the 1963 Glenn Ford movie of the same name. Eddie was played by that quintessential son-of-a-singled dad, Ron Howard (Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days). Shirley Jones (of The Partridge Family) also starred in it.
Nicolas Cage and his Saturn Films are working with Richie-Ludwig Prods. to develop a remake of the the movie for Warner Brothers. Cage would star in the film and produce it with his partner, Jeff Levine, as well as Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig. Read more about it here.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father tv series debuted September 17th, 1969. Nine days later on September 26, 1969 The Brady Bunch premiered on ABC.
Bill Bixby directed five episodes of the series, making his directorial
debut with the 1970 episode “Gifts Are for Giving” and subsequently directed 4 additional
episodes in the third season of “Courtship” as well as an episode of Room
James Komack was co-executive producer of the show along with Ralph Riskin. Mr. Komack gave himself the role of a photographer at Tom's magazine. He also directed several episodes. Other directors of the series included Hal Cooper, Harry Falk, Randall Hood, Leslie H. Martinson, Alan Rafkin, and Bob Sweeney.
Notable guest appearances on the series included: Cicely Tyson, Jodie Foster, Tippi Hendren, Pat Morita, Suzanne Pleshette, Andrew Prine, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Sally Struthers, Willie Aames, Pat Harrington, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Bill Bixby decided he wanted to have kids after working with Brandon Cruz, his tv son.
Bixby did not permit his son (Christopher) to watch The Incredible Hulk when it was on TV because he thought it would frighten the
boy to see his father turn into a green skinned monster.
After failing to get his university degree in law, Bill Bixby decided to join the army.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father was apparently referenced in the 1995 movie, Now and Then.
There was a 'Roseanne' episode called "The Courtship of Dan's Father".
One of the earliest programs that featured a Japanese American occupying a central role was The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
As the soft-spoken, unassuming housekeeper in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Mrs. Livingston, Umeki took care of widower Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby) and his inquisitive young son (Brandon Cruz). Although there is little direct evidence revealed in the program itself, on the basis of her Anglo-Saxon name it might be inferred that housekeeper Mrs. Livingston was a war bride at one point in her life. In any case, it was obvious that Mrs. Livingston was born and raised in Japan, given her accent, geishalike demeanor, and propensity for offering tidbits of "Oriental" wisdom to her employer and his son.
The epitome of TV Single Dads, Bill Bixby is, along with Brian Keith, among the first TV Single Dads brought to mind by most viewers.
The show followed The Andy Griffith Show format, where Dad would teach a "lesson," Eddie would apply that lesson incorrectly to a comedic situation, then Dad was forced to confront the problems of living up to cliches.
Mrs. Livingston certainly fit the mold pioneered by Sammy Tong in Bachelor Father, and even expanded by the Alfred character in Batman, that of the foreign-born, Yoda-like, guilt-tripping domestic servant/"mom".
This show also kicked in the melancholic mood of Family Affair, where, no matter how joyous an event, the overwhelming mood of the show is barren, depressing, and even claustrophobic. Eddie seemed to live a confining lifestyle: there was no mention of belonging to Boy Scouts, school teams, even having friends over (Okay, Billy Gerber was a friend, but didn't Eddie spend most of his social interactions with Dad's girlfriends du jour?). Eddie seemed to be parked at home after school, trapped in the tight little apartment with Mrs. Livingston until Dad came home. Mrs. Livingston always seemed most eager to blast out of that apartment at Yabba-Dabba-Do Time to return to her own life.
Also on the depressing menu were the mandatory "heart-to-heart" talks at the end of each episode: Eddie and Dad would be at some empty, outdoor locale (like a zoo or a park), filmed from some omniscient view. In what seemed like a voice-over, Eddie and his Dad would talk about some major lesson from today's episode, and ponder the cosmic meaning of it all. (the preceding 6 or 7 did you
know's are courtesy of TV Single Dads Hall of Fame - an excellent site, check it out!
Jimmy Komack wrote 12 episodes of My Favorite Martian (which starred Bill Bixby and Ray Walston) and also directed 2 episodes of the series.
When Patty Hearst was kidnapped, she was watching the TV show "The Magician" starring Bill Bixby.
There is a tape of TV cast commercials that includes 2 nice ones from Eddie's Father. It was for Kellogg's Special K and featured Bill and Brandon (and Jimmy in the first one). They were nicely done..low-key.
In 1971 Bill Bixby received an Emmy nomination for Best Lead
Actor in a Comedy Series for The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
Bill Bixby won a Parents Without Partners: Exemplary Service Award (1972)for his role in
The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.
Alan Rafkin directed the pilot episode of The Courtship of Eddie's Father, he
was paid $13,000. ABC bought the pilot immediately.
The opening and closing montages were called 'peanuts' by the cast and crew
and would often be based on events in their real lives.
Bill Bixby was said to be disappointed by the show's cancellation after 3 seasons, saying
on The Mike Douglas Show that he wanted it to get to the teen years, to deal with issues of
drugs, but he went on to say it was a business. He said when he told Brandon of the cancellation,
Brandon asked him at the time. "Gee, I thought they liked us" and Bill had to explain they
did, but it was an economic decision.
Bill Bixby had a 5-year contract for The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
The cast and their families went to Budapest, Hungary in 1971 for a tv Circus special.
Brandon Cruz lived in Oxnard, CA during the time the show was on and commuted an hour back and forth.
The pilot episode was shot in 1968.
Brandon Cruz has 2 brothers (Blake and Darrin) and 1 sister (Mandy). Brandon
is the oldest of the four.
Brandon Cruz wrote a 2 hour treatment - a Courtship of Eddie's Father reunion but it never
got beyond the planning stages.
65 boys were auditioned (and 300 applied) for the role of Eddie over a 2 week period. They narrowed it
down to 5 and Brandon Cruz was hands down their choice even though he had never acted before.
In the 5th or 6th episode, according to Bill Bixby on an interview he did on The Arsenio
Hall Show - Eddie broke a window - Brandon did the scene so well, Bill didn't
mean to but he started to cry. In the middle of the scene, Brandon saw the tears and put his arms around Bill and said
it's alright and suddenly he was the father and Bill was the son. At the end of the Arsenio Hall Show, everybody
sang the theme song
The last original episode aired June 14, 1972 - it was replaced by Super, a sitcom
that was being groomed as a mid-season replacement. It was about a fat, middle-aged
apartment superintendent and his clan. It never made the fall schedule..
The ratings for COEF faltered drastically during the 3rd season, but instead of
discarding it in January, the network launched a new promotional campaign. More publicity
pictures were taken, Bill Bixby was sent on a cross-country sales tour and the series
was moved to an earlier starting time (Wednesdays at 8PM).
Brandon Cruz started wearing glasses at the age of 5. Episode # 69-It's All Write With Me" (air-date 2/2/72) features him wearing his glasses in the closing "Peanuts" segment. He also wore his glasses behind-the-scenes and in school on the set, but not on the show itself after getting them.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father was nominated for "Outstanding Comedy Series"
for the 1969-70 Emmy Awards.
Mike Lookinland was offered his first series role as Eddie Corbett on The
Courtship of Eddie's Father, but declined in favor of The Brady Bunch.
His parents apparently wanted him to be around other kids.
Brandon Cruz earned only $175 a week from the series,often bunked with Bixby or other
members of the show to save his parents the daily commutes, then returned home
many weekends to become "just another kid in the neighborhood," he says.
who directed one of the episodes of The Courtship of Eddie's Father - Fear Is For Understanding
The Courtship of Eddie's Father theme song has been heard recently in commercials
for Lycos and in another PSA where Godzilla and his son are playing around, and it
says something about being a good dad.