1 9 5 6 (USA)
26 x 25 minute episodes
Debuting on 3 October 1956, this modest and underrated comedy series – from a Paul Gallico character – revolved around meek little newspaper proof-reader Hiram Holliday (Wally Cox, who had enjoyed a nice run on Mr Peepers) who saved his publisher a small fortune when he caught a misplaced comma in a news story in the New York Chronicle and avoided a libel suit.
As a reward, his bosses gave him $8,000 and sent him on a month-long all-expenses-paid vacation.
Through years of secret practice, it appeared that the inoffensive, bespectacled Holliday was, in fact, something of a James Bond type, developing skills in physical combat, shooting, fencing, piloting and in activities as diverse as rock climbing, art forgery, bomb diffusing and scuba diving.
During his trip around the world, Holliday solved crimes and thwarted foreign spies in every port of call he visited, but always emerged unscathed – usually with the help of his trusty umbrella.
His adventures got back to his bosses and they quickly dispatched reporter Joel Smith (Ainslie Pryor) to accompany Holliday on his improbable escapades.
Unfortunately, Joel either just missed each escapade or had to promise those involved not to print their story, which angered the publisher of the newspaper, Harrison Prentice (Thurston Hall).
NBC cancelled the series on 27 February 1957 and the entire series later ran in the UK on the BBC from 1960 to 1961.