Merry Day After Christmas to you and yours! Happy Boxing Day, if that fits. And speaking of things that fit – or don’t – are you braving the crowds to make a gift exchange today because something doesn’t fit quite right or maybe just flat out isn’t your style? It happens. (I mean, that’s a nice sweater, and we’re sure grandma meant well – but is bright red really your color? And do you really want to be showing that much wrist?) Well, it happens in television, too. Sometimes there’s a relationship either on-screen or off-screen that just isn’t the right fit, and needs to be rectified.
Such is the case with TV’s Make Room For Daddy (Sunday mornings, 6:30AM/5:30C), in which the fit was not quite right for actress Jean Hagen, who portrayed Margaret Williams, the wife of Danny Williams (Danny Thomas, of course) in the first three of the series’ eleven seasons. Dissatisfied with her role on the show, and tired of her frequent on-set clashes with Thomas, Hagen left the show after the 1956 season. The move apparently infuriated Thomas, who felt the show would struggle and perhaps not even last without her. So rather than simply replacing Hagen with another actress to play Margaret Williams, the character was written out of the show without much ceremony – or without much extended grieving from Danny.
At the start of the series' fourth season, it was made clear that Margaret Williams had died. So much for leaving the door open for reconciliation. This move allowed the Danny Williams character to date other women, but within a year the actress Marjorie Lord (as Kathy O’Hara) had begun a relationship with Danny, she playing a nurse that was attending to an ill Williams child. They clicked, and were married by the show’s fifth season.
The search for perfect fits became a running theme for the show, of sorts. Not only did Make Room For Daddy (originally titled The Danny Thomas Show) lose Hagen, but they also lost their first network. CBS aired the show from 1953-1957, where it skipped around the lineup, airing originally on Tuesdays, then Mondays for a short time, and finally Thursdays for its final five and a half months. When the show made its 1957 fall debut, it had moved to Monday nights on ABC, where it held the 9PM/8C time slot until its last season (1964-1965).
It looks like everyone involved found his or her perfect fit in the end. So, there you go. Hope you are able to find your perfect fit today as well.