1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
39 x 30 minute episodes
Willa “Willy” Dodger (June Havoc, the younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee), opened a law practice in Renfrew, New Hampshire after she graduated from law school in 1954, but had no clients and found it difficult being a lady lawyer.
Her family – Papa Dodger (Wheaton Chambers), her older sister, Emily (Mary Treen) and Emily’s son, Franklin (Danny Richards Jr) – thought she should have remained at her old job as a store clerk but were supportive of her struggling law practice because her grandfather, William Makepeace Dodger, had been a respected circuit judge in Renfrew.
Since business was so slow, Willy eventually left her on-again/off-again boyfriend – town veterinarian Charlie Bush (Whitfield Connor) – and her family behind and moved to New York to represent a vaudeville group headed by Perry Bannister (Harold Peary).
Managing the Bannister Vaudeville Company was Harvey Evelyn (Sterling Holloway).
A few weeks after the format change, the time slot also changed from Saturday nights to Thursday nights, but neither helped the ratings much and after 11 new format episodes, Willy was cancelled by CBS.
Produced by Desilu, the series premiered on CBS on 18 September 1954 and aired through to 7 July 1955. Sponsors included General Mills.
Willa ‘Willy’ Dodger
Danny Richards Jr