1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (USA)
28 x 30 minute episodes
This ABC sitcom featured ex-crooner Bing Crosby as (wait for it) an ex-crooner called Bing Collins. Bing (both of them) takes up a post as a teacher in electrical engineering at Colbert University in Los Angeles.
Stories revolved around his family life, with his wife, Ellie (Beverly Garland), who craves a return to the glamorous showbiz world, and their two daughters: typical boy-crazy teenager Janice (Carol Faylen) – 15-years-old and a Freshman at Richmond High School – and super-bright 10-year-old Joyce (Diane Sherry, pictured below right) who attends Gorman Elementary School.
Willie Walters (Frank McHugh) was the family’s live-in handyman at their house at 168 Valley Tree Lane.
The plots invariably and implausibly made room for Bing to sing a song in almost every episode, in between mediating disputes and dispensing sage advice to all.
Bing also loved baseball and was often pictured in front of the TV set sporting a Pittsburgh Pirates hat (Bing Crosby was part owner of the Pirates in real life), even though the series was set in Los Angeles.
Crosby’s real-life son, Gary, portrayed a wannabe singer/songwriter in one episode.
The Bing Crosby Show was also the title of a one-off, 50-minute Variety show, made in England by A-R for ITV and screened on 27 February 1963.
The old crooner was joined by British guests including Terry-Thomas, Shirley Bassey, Dave King, Miriam Karlin, Pat Coombs and, inevitably, Bob Hope; Sid Green and Dick Hills joined Crosby’s usual American writers to provide the script.