The Bob Cummings Show

The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) is an American situation comedy starring Robert “Bob” Cummings, which was produced from January 2nd, 1955 to September 15th, 1959.  The Bob Cummings Show was the first-ever series to debut as a mid season replacement.

The program began with a half-season run on NBC, then ran for two full seasons on CBS, and returned to NBC for its final two seasons.  The program was later rerun during the day on ABC and then syndicated under the title Love That Bob.  A similar (but less successful) follow-up series, The New Bob Cummings Show, was broadcast on CBS during the 1961–62 television season.

The series stars Cummings as dashing young Hollywood photographer, Air Force reserve officer, and ladies’ man, Bob Collins.  The character’s interest in aviation and photography mirrored Cummings’ own, with his character’s name the same as the role he played in the film You Came Along (1945).  The series also stars Rosemary DeCamp.

The Bob Cummings Show was important in the development of several careers.  Its creator, producer, and head writer was Paul Henning, later producer of major 1960s hits such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres.  Regulars in the show included Ann B. Davis, who twice won Emmy Awards for playing Schultzy.  Henning apparently remembered cast members Nancy Kulp and Joi Lansing favorably, as both had roles on The Beverly Hillbillies, Miss Kulp as Miss Hathaway (secretary to banker Milburn Drysdale–a character similar to the one she appeared as (Pamela Livingston) on Cummings’ show) – and Miss Lansing as Gladys.  A decade after The Bob Cummings Show left the air, Davis went on to play the housekeeper Alice in The Brady Bunch.  Perhaps the biggest career boost was received by young Dwayne Hickman, a student at Loyola University in Los Angeles, who appeared as Bob’s nephew and became a favorite with young female viewers.  During the last season of The Bob Cummings Show, he was cast as the lead in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

This program represented the height of Cummings’ television career.  Although he made many guest-star appearances and starred in two other series in the early 1960s – The New Bob Cummings Show and My Living Doll – he never again achieved the success on television that he had with The Bob Cummings Show.