Father Knows Best

Watch Father Knows Best

  • TV-G
  • 1954
  • 6 Seasons
  • 7.4  (2,105)

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.

Father Knows Best
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Seasons
Betty's Graduation
32. Betty's Graduation
May 23, 1960
This flashback episode recalls Betty and her reluctance to graduate from high school.
Not His Type
31. Not His Type
May 16, 1960
Betty gets caught up in the middle of a lover's quarrel between two of her friends who plan to marry.
Bud Lives It up
30. Bud Lives It up
May 9, 1960
In order to impress a girl, Bud starts spending money beyond his means.
Betty's Career Problem
29. Betty's Career Problem
April 25, 1960
Betty finds herself competing against (and losing to) a boy in several collegiate contests. Now they're competing against each other for a job.
Blind Date
28. Blind Date
April 18, 1960
Betty dates a boy whom her galpals regard as a loser.
Love and Learn
27. Love and Learn
April 11, 1960
Needing help in English because he's not the brightest bulb in the box, Bud is assigned an attractive tutor and soon falls for her.
Family Contest
26. Family Contest
April 4, 1960
Hoping to win a free trip to Hawaii, the Andersons enter a family-photo contest.
The 500 Letter
24. The 500 Letter
March 21, 1960
When the Andersons receive a $500 check in the mail from a secret admirer, they try to discover the identity of the donor.
Bud the Speculator
23. Bud the Speculator
March 14, 1960
Never the sharpest tool in the shed, Bud loses $50 in a phony stock scheme.
Time to Retire
22. Time to Retire
March 7, 1960
Bud's actions reaffirm an old man's belief in life and lead to an employment opportunity.
Jims Big Surprise
21. Jims Big Surprise
February 29, 1960
Jim announces that he has a big surprise for the Anderson clan.
The Big Test
20. The Big Test
February 22, 1960
Betty tries her hand at matchmaking for family gardener Frank and a gal who works in a flower shop.
Cupid Knows Best
19. Cupid Knows Best
February 15, 1960
The Anderson gardener, Frank, is lonely but is interested in someone.
Kathys Big Deception
18. Kathys Big Deception
February 8, 1960
Kathy makes up an imaginary boyfriend so that her family will think she has a date for the community picnic.
Second Best
17. Second Best
February 1, 1960
Betty decides to compete in the previously all-male college fencing tournament.
Togetherness
16. Togetherness
January 25, 1960
The Andersons are paid a visit by a newspaper reporter who's doing an article on family togetherness.
Bud Hides Behind a Skirt
15. Bud Hides Behind a Skirt
January 18, 1960
Betty leads a campaign for safe driving only to have brother Bud accused of reckless driving.
Father, the Naturalist
14. Father, the Naturalist
January 11, 1960
Father and Margaret head outside to explore nature.
Bettys Double
13. Bettys Double
January 4, 1960
Betty wins a lookalike contest due to her close resemblance to an actress. The prize is a trip to Hollywood.
Good Joke On Mom
12. Good Joke On Mom
December 28, 1959
Margaret tricks the family into believing that she's been selected chairperson of an important hospital building project.
Turn the Other Cheek
11. Turn the Other Cheek
December 14, 1959
Jim and Kathy both feel like their friends doublecrossed them.
Bud the Willing Worker
10. Bud the Willing Worker
December 7, 1959
In order to buy a boat, Bud takes a job pumping gas at a service station.
Kathy Becomes a Girl
9. Kathy Becomes a Girl
November 30, 1959
The rest of the family tries to feminize tomboy Kathy.
Margarets Old Flame
8. Margarets Old Flame
November 23, 1959
Jim and Margaret recall the people they once dated as they prepare for their college reunion.
First Disillusionment
7. First Disillusionment
November 16, 1959
Bud recounts to Kathy about the time he lost a job due to an applicant's faked credentials.
Bicycle Trip for Two
6. Bicycle Trip for Two
November 9, 1959
Jim and Margaret get into an argument while taking a bicycle trip.
Bud Plays It Safe
5. Bud Plays It Safe
November 2, 1959
In order to ensure himself of a spot on the football team roster, Bud begins dating the daughter of the head coach.
The Imposter
4. The Imposter
October 26, 1959
Betty gets involved with a young lawyer who's posing as the owner of a radio store.
The Gardeners Big Day
3. The Gardeners Big Day
October 19, 1959
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 Branches Out
2. Bud Branches Out
October 12, 1959
Bud develops a crush on his attractive French professor.
A Day in the Country
1. A Day in the Country
October 5, 1959
The Andersons decide to take a weekend family drive in the country only to have their car break down.
Description

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.

Father Knows Best is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (202 episodes). The series first aired on October 3, 1954.

Where to Watch Father Knows Best

Father Knows Best is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Father Knows Best on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, The Roku Channel Free, Sling, Google Play, Hoopla, Crackle, Tubi TV and Peacock.

  • Premiere Date
    October 3, 1954
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (2,105)