Premiered in 1960, My Three Sons was not the first American television series to feature an all-male household but it was the first TV show that gave the viewers a more realistic kind of family. The sitcom tells the story of how widower and aeronautical engineer Steven Douglas raises his three sons. It stars Fred MacMurray, William Frawley, William Demarest, Don Grady, Stanley Livingston, and Barry Livingston. Even if the show remains to be a little bit underrated critically, it was one of the biggest success stories in television history. And we are here to give you a few fun facts about My Three Sons.
- My Three Sons is the second longest running live-action sitcom in TV history. The show had a total of twelve seasons which was equal to 380 episodes.
- Eddie Albert was supposed to play the role of Steve Douglas but he turned down the lead role because he wanted to focus on his film career instead.
- My Three Sons was one of the few shows to enjoy successful runs on two different TV networks. The first five seasons of the shows was aired on ABC but because of the pressure from rival networks converting their black and white primetime shows to color, the ABC management thought that the additional expense of filming the show in color was not worth it that’s why they removed it from their network. That’s why the show found a new home on CBS because the network thought that it still has something to give and they continued running the show until 1972.
- Fred Mac Murray managed to convince the show’s executive producer that he would only work three months each year and that he would own a percentage of the show. Because of Mac Murray’s “Three month rule,” the writers of the show had to write the scripts in advance so tat MacMurray can film his scenes within three months and just have them edited into different episodes.
- It turns out that the MacMurray method can cause nightmares when it comes to the continuity of the show. Since his scenes were shot all at once, such as the kitchen scenes were done in just one week and living room shots were done the week after that. MacMurray’s co-actors would have to stand in place as the production manager takes a set of a detailed photograph of everyone. Because all the scenes and episodes were not filmed in the right order, the cast and the production crew have to be keen when it comes to the appearance of the characters.
- The most obvious continuity fail can be seen on the tenth season of the show where Dawn Lyn was cast to be the five-year-old Dodie, the daughter of the woman Steve married that season. Dawn was currently losing all her baby teeth that time that’s why during the season, her front teeth can be seen growing in irregular order. There was an episode where she was seen talking with her dad with a gummy smirk and later on she was arguing with her brothers while sporting a pair of teeth.
- The famous animal trainer, Frank Inn, was the owner of Tramp the dog. Frank Inn was also known to train the chimps on Lancelot Ink, Secret Chip and Higgins. He also handled the adorable dogs from Petticoat Junction and Benji.
- Steve Douglas has more than three sons. Over the twelve seasons of the show, Steve Douglas had a total of five children. Robbie, Mike, and Chip were the original trio and they were followed by the adopted child, Ernie then Steve’s stepdaughter, Dodie.
- Despite the fact that My Three Sons had a historic run, it has failed to rank the top ten of the Nielsen charts.
- Fred MacMurray knows how to spend his money well. Even if he was once known as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, MacMurray is also known to be thrifty. He bagged his meals every day while he was filming the sitcom and he always took note on all the expenses that are associated with the show.
- The actors who will play Steve Douglas’ sons have to be approved by MacMurray before being hired.
These are some fun facts about My Three Sons. Which one is your favorite?