Watch Father Knows Best

Father Knows Best was a radio series back in the 1940's and 1950's. It became so popular that it became a television series for the 1950's and 1960's. It was created by writer Ed James. It was a half hour situation comedy about the Anderson family. They lived in a town called Springfield. Robert Young starred as James Anderson. He was an insurance agent. Robert Young was the only cast member who made the change to the television.

Robert Young's wife was named Margaret. She was portrayed by Jane Wyatt. They had three children. Betty was the eldest. She was portrayed by Elinor Donauhue. Her nickname was Princess. The next child was James Anderson, Jr. He was portrayed by Billy Gray. His nickname was Bud. The youngest daughter was Kathy Anderson. She was portrayed by Lauren Chapin.

Each episode centered around a particular problem that one of the family members had, which seemed insurmountable to them. The father was always available to give good, sound advice, so the problem could be solved. The mother was portrayed as being very level headed.

The series remained on the air for many years. That was long enough to watch each of the children grow up. Betty and Bud went on to college in Springfield. Kathy went on the high school. Later on, after the series went off the air, the cast was brought back to do two reunion television movies. At the time the reunion movies were being televised, Elinor Donaue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapin were interviewed about their perspective on the series. They each had personal affection for Robert Young and Jane Wyatt as their surrogate parents, because of all the time spent on the set of the show.

CBS
6 Seasons, 201 Episodes
October 3, 1954
Comedy, Family
7.4/10
Cast: Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin
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Father Knows Best Full Episode Guide

  • This flashback episode recalls Betty and her reluctance to graduate from high school.

  • Betty gets caught up in the middle of a lover's quarrel between two of her friends who plan to marry.

  • In order to impress a girl, Bud starts spending money beyond his means.

  • Betty finds herself competing against (and losing to) a boy in several collegiate contests. Now they're competing against each other for a job.

  • Betty dates a boy whom her galpals regard as a loser.

  • Hoping to win a free trip to Hawaii, the Andersons enter a family-photo contest.

  • When the Andersons receive a $500 check in the mail from a secret admirer, they try to discover the identity of the donor.

  • Never the sharpest tool in the shed, Bud loses $50 in a phony stock scheme.

  • Bud's actions reaffirm an old man's belief in life and lead to an employment opportunity.

  • Jim announces that he has a big surprise for the Anderson clan.

  • Betty tries her hand at matchmaking for family gardener Frank and a gal who works in a flower shop.

  • The Anderson gardener, Frank, is lonely but is interested in someone.

  • Kathy makes up an imaginary boyfriend so that her family will think she has a date for the community picnic.

  • Betty decides to compete in the previously all-male college fencing tournament.

  • The Andersons are paid a visit by a newspaper reporter who's doing an article on family togetherness.

  • Betty leads a campaign for safe driving only to have brother Bud accused of reckless driving.

  • Father and Margaret head outside to explore nature.

  • Betty wins a lookalike contest due to her close resemblance to an actress. The prize is a trip to Hollywood.

  • Margaret tricks the family into believing that she's been selected chairperson of an important hospital building project.

  • Jim and Kathy both feel like their friends doublecrossed them.

  • In order to buy a boat, Bud takes a job pumping gas at a service station.

  • The rest of the family tries to feminize tomboy Kathy.

  • Jim and Margaret recall the people they once dated as they prepare for their college reunion.

  • Bud recounts to Kathy about the time he lost a job due to an applicant's faked credentials.

  • Jim and Margaret get into an argument while taking a bicycle trip.

  • In order to ensure himself of a spot on the football team roster, Bud begins dating the daughter of the head coach.

  • Betty gets involved with a young lawyer who's posing as the owner of a radio store.

  • The Anderson's Hispanic gardener is chosen to represent Springfield at the opening of a park but a couple of town council members are less than thrilled with the prospect.

  • Bud develops a crush on his attractive French professor.

  • The Andersons decide to take a weekend family drive in the country only to have their car break down.

  • Bud comes to the conclusion that the only good tradition is no tradition at all.

  • Margaret tries to get Jim to take her dancing.

  • The Andersons decide to act out a detective story themselves when their television set goes on the fritz.

  • Bud is doing poorly in physics and blames his academic woes on the class professor.

  • Bud writes an uncomplimentary article about a professor for his school newspaper.

  • Flashback to an earlier episode about Jim building a playhouse for Kathy.

  • Bud tries to impress his wealthy galpal by taking her to a fancy restaurant.

  • Jim has a strange dream that involves a television broadcast, a mysterious intruder named Charles Barter, and the formula for happy living. In the days that follow, the dream seems to come true.

  • Betty finds romance in her college art class.

  • An author on African culture is the latest visitor to the Anderson home.

  • Bud must choose between two girls to take to his prom.

  • Margaret's dilemma: attend a luncheon with her women's group or go on an important business trip with Jim.

  • Betty gets overconfident of winning the lead in her junior class college basketball because she got it the year before.

  • Jim learns that he's been nominated for an important award by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

  • Tired of being treated like a child, Kathy demands to be treated like an adult.

  • Bud finds himself blacklisted by the girls at his school.

  • A visitor to the Anderson home begins taking advantage of the family.

  • Bud wants to buy Margaret a bottle of expensive perfume for her birthday but ends up getting himself into trouble yet again.

  • The Andersons get their kitchen repainted. Also, Jim purchases items for the children they have been wanting, but the next day they all forget his birthday. Margaret gets upset at their alternative plans and asking for more favors.

  • As part of a school assignment, Bud must do a good deed. The experience turns him into a cynic.

  • The family puts Kathy in charge of Bud's lawn mowing company.

  • Jim gets named coach of Bud's recreation league basketball team.

  • While putting up their Christmas tree, the Anderson family recalls how they acquired it.

  • Things don't exactly work out as planned when Jim attempts to get family members to expand their horizons.

  • Margaret wins a car in a raffle and uses it to help out an orphanage.

  • An Indian student from Betty's college spends the weekend with the Andersons.

  • Betty wins a role in a play about the founding of Springfield.

  • A friend gives Bud his car to watch over.

  • Jim decides to teach the Anderson children a lesson to always plan ahead.

  • When Betty begins wondering about her new beau's family, he tells her they are entertainers.

  • Bud prepares to escort his school's homecoming queen.

  • Kathy gets herself a boyfriend but he seems to be more interested in Jim than her.

  • Bud wonders what's going on when Betty suddenly starts being extra nice to him.

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