Father Knows Best
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Maybe he didn’t always know best, but beginning in 1954 insurance salesman Jim Anderson (Robert Young) of Springfield, Ohio, was America’s favorite head of household. Father Knows Best premiered on CBS in October 1954 and has been part of the American cultural fabric ever since. The program’s depiction of a “typical” mid-century, middle-class, Midwestern American family is fondly remembered by many of us who grew up watching the show and rather enviously thinking: “Oh. So this is what happens in all the other houses.” Margaret Anderson (Jane Wyatt) charmed us as the levelheaded domestic diva who stood faithfully behind the strong and benevolent father. Their three children—sophisticated teen Betty (Elinor Donahue), chronically befuddled 14-year-old brother “Bud” (Billy Gray) and precocious little sister Kathy (Lauren Chapin)—faced the challenges of growing up right alongside of us. And in episode after episode, Jim and Margaret treated their children’s youthful transgressions with authority, empathy and wisdom. By the end of each half hour, we’d all learned our lesson. Join Jim and Margaret and “Princess,” “Bud” and “Kitten” in their very first year as everyone’s favorite ’50s family in Father Knows Best. "