1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
257 x 15 minute episodes
Maggie Marlowe (played initially by Louise Allbritton and then by Helen Shields when Allbritton resigned in May 1955 to return to Broadway) was a widowed 40-year-old stage actress who preferred being a housewife, as she freely confided to her friend Harriet the Hat (Jane Seymour).
Unfortunately, as she returned from England to New York City with plans to retire and raise a family, she learned that her fiancé had died four days earlier, forcing her to return to treading the boards.
Things got worse when she learned that her long-lost daughter was none other than her professional rival Kit Christy (Chris White), the eager ingenue in the play in which Maggie was starring.
Maggie began an uneasy relationship with Kit and her boyfriend Ralph (David Buka) while romancing the successful – and married – attorney Jim Gavin (Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in his first television role), whose mother, referred to commonly as “Belle Mere”, seemed angrier about the situation than his wife Barbara (Sarah Burton).
In 1955, a director named Bojalian (Ross Martin) made some advances toward Kit, which she accepted with an eye toward career advancement.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Jim broke up temporarily while Maggie considered a film offer, then reunited after Barbara died from an overdose of sleeping pills in suspicious circumstances, leading the police to suspect Jim killed her.
Eventually, Barbara’s boyfriend-on-the-side, Mike Donovan (Byron Sanders), admitted he had done the dirty deed – but before the story could progress much further, NBC cancelled the show.
Louise Allbritton (1)
Helen Shields (2)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
Mrs Gavin (“Belle Mere”)
Harriet the Hat