Irving Pincus (March 14, 1914 – May 13, 1984) was a film and television writer and producer who created the ABC and CBS situation comedy, The Real McCoys, which aired in prime time from 1957 to 1963 and subsequently in rebroadcasts over many years.
Though The Real McCoys did not air until 1957, Pincus had already coined the title and in 1955 was shopping the prospective series with NBC. Irving Pincus and his brother, Norman (1906-1978), wrote many of the scripts for The Real McCoys, which landed two years later on the ABC schedule.
Pincus joined the series star, Walter Brennan, in the formation of Brennan-Westgate Productions, with filming of the series at Desilu Studios. Pincus produced ninety-one episodes from 1957 to 1961 and wrote scripts of eighty-five segments spread throughout the duration of the program, from the third episode "The Egg War" to the series finale "Pepino's Mama."
Hy Averback, a former actor, was the principal director of The Real McCoys, but versatile co-star Richard Crenna, in the role of Luke McCoy, later assumed duties as a director along with two others. Actress Kathleen Nolan recalled how the Pincus brothers discovered singer and bandleader Tony Martinez, the Puerto Rican native selected to play the Mexican farmhand Pepino Garcia. Martinez was playing at a club in Hollywood, California, which the Pincuses visited.
Nolan, who played housewife Kate McCoy in the first five years of the series, said that Martinez first failed to contact the Pincus brothers because he thought that their interest in his services was merely a joke, but the producers pursued Martinez and signed him to the cast. Nolan, who was also the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1975–80, called Martinez's selection as Pepino "a major breakthrough in terms of minority representation on television. It may not have been the representation that we are seeking now, but it certainly was a breakthrough to have a major character on television that was not white..."
Pincus's first directing had occurred in 1950 and 1951 in two episodes of the original Dumont network version of The Adventures of Ellery Queen. Even earlier, he was the creator of the 1940 musical comedy at the Schubert Theatre on Broadway, Higher and Higher, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics of Lorenz Hart. The play was made into a film of the same name in 1943.
- "NBC-TV Preps 'Real McCoys'", Billboard, October 8, 1955
- Billboard apparently misspelled "Pincus" as "Pinkus"; in the October 8, 1955, edition. However, Billboard used "Pincus" and refers to "Norm and Irv Pincus" in the edition of July 5, 1952.
- "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Irving Pincus". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Tony Martinez, 'Pepino' on 'Real McCoys', Dies at 82". latinamericanstudies.org. Retrieved September 2, 2011.