1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
147 x 15 minute episodes
Already a radio hit since September 1937, The Road of Life moved to television on CBS with its storyline and most of its cast intact (it aired daily immediately after the radio version ended).
Surgeon Dr Jim Brent (Don McLaughlin), his third wife Jocelyn (Virginia Dwyer), and adopted son John (Bill Lipton) were nice guys surrounded by losers from Jocelyn’s well-to-do family.
Her foster father Malcolm Overton (Harry Holcombe) bickered constantly with his relative Conrad (Charles Dingle) over how to raise grandson John.
Meanwhile, Conrad’s daughter Sybil (Barbara Becker) – who had the hots for Jim – belittled her mother Ada; attempted to get her husband (who had been missing in a plane crash for more than a year) declared dead so that she could claim sole custody of her daughter Constance; and generally was a bitch – even when confined to a wheelchair.
None of this bothered Conrad, who called his daughter “Bunny” and generally egged her on.
The whole lot of them disappeared within seven months. This failure might seem surprising, given the radio version’s popularity, until one takes into account the small number of affiliates in the 1950s that cleared the 1:00 – 1:30 pm daily time slot for CBS programming.
Dr Jim Brent
Jocelyn McLeod Brent
John “Butch” Brent
Sybil Overton Fuller
Aunt Reggie Ellis