1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
This sitcom from ABC/Columbia told the stories of a pair of newlyweds living on the top floor of an apartment block in San Francisco.
The couple got together when the guy accidentally dropped his liverwurst on pumpernickel sandwich into the girl’s purse, their eyes met and, after five days of dating, in a surprise move, she proposed to him (even though he had already written up a long list of reasons never to get married).
21-year-old Art student Julie (Judy Carne) came from a wealthy family – her dad, Fred (Herb Voland) owned nine very successful automobile dealerships – but when she met David (Peter Deuel) – an apprentice architect at Bennington and Associates – it was love at first sight.
Dave, being the independent type, insisted that they live on his income (a meagre salary of $85.37 a week). Aspiring artist Julie agreed and relinquished her world of luxury
They married and the newlyweds then spent their first night together in a tent on a rooftop.
They then moved into a small, windowless, top-floor walk-up apartment above Loomis’ Gift Shop at 1400 McDougal Street in San Francisco.
The apartment, a converted storeroom, was so small that their bed was in the living room, and if they wanted to have a private conversation they squeezed into the tiny bathroom. Its main asset was the spectacular view of San Francisco that Julie and Dave had by climbing the interior stairs to the roof, which she insisted on calling “the patio”.
The downstairs busybody neighbours were Stan (Rich Little) and Carol Parker (Barbara Bostock). Stan was an “ideas” man who composed menus for a living. In various episodes, Stan worked as a shoe salesman, an organiser of children’s parties, and a dancing instructor.
Among his ideas were Forever gum (a pack of which cost $25 and was guaranteed to last a lifetime) and a movie to which no one would be admitted in the ﬁrst six minutes, because of the surprise beginning.
He also tried to launch ‘Drive-a-Drunk’, a business in which he provided rides home to inebriated partygoers (at a time when this was considered whimsical rather than practical), a 24-hour-a-day Dial-a-Joke telephone service, and his program of Medicare for pets.
The Parkers also imposed upon the Willises to babysit for chinchillas and pigeons.
While Julie’s mother, Phyllis Hammond (Edith Atwater), was hoping only the best for Julie and Dave, grouchy Fred firmly believed that Dave would never be able to support her.
Charles Lane appeared as Dave’s boss, Bert Bennington and Hope Summers played his wife, Bertha Bennington. David’s co-worker, Jim, was played by Sandy Kenyon.
Re-runs of the 1966 – 1967 series were aired in the US during the summer of 1971.
Deuel went on to star in Alias Smith & Jones before taking his own life in 1971. Judy Carne later said in her memoirs that she and Deuel had an affair during the run of Love On a Rooftop, conducted mostly during the trips they took to San Francisco every few weeks to shoot exterior footage for episodes.
Julie Willis (Hammond)