The Bob Cummings Show

The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) is an American sitcom starring Bob Cummings, which was broadcast from January 2, 1955, to September 15, 1959.[1] The Bob Cummings Show was the first series to debut as a midseason replacement.[citation needed]

The Bob Cummings Show
Bob Cummings Ann B. Davis Bob Cummings Show.JPG
Bob (Bob Cummings) and Schultzy (Ann B. Davis) in The Bob Cummings Show
Also known asLove That Bob
Created byPaul Henning
Written byWilliam Cowley
Shirley Gordon
Paul Henning
Bill Manhoff
Lawrence Menkin
Phil Shuken
Dick Wesson
Directed byRod Amateau
Bob Cummings
Fred DeCordova
Edward Rubin
Norman Tokar
StarringBob Cummings
Ann B. Davis
Rosemary DeCamp
Dwayne Hickman
Narrated byBill Baldwin
Theme music composerDel Sharbutt
Frank Stanton
Richard Uhl
Opening theme"A Romantic Guy, I"
Ending theme"A Romantic Guy, I"
Composer(s)Lou Kosloff
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes173 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)George Burns
Producer(s)Paul Henning
Production company(s)Laurel Productions
McCadden Productions
Henning Corporation
DistributorMCA TV
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC (1955; 1957–1959)
CBS (1955–1957)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 2, 1955 (1955-01-02) –
September 15, 1959 (1959-09-15)

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 on ABC daytime 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 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 1945 film You Came Along. The series also stars Rosemary DeCamp as his sister Margaret MacDonald. In some episodes, Cummings also doubled as Bob and Margaret's grandfather, Josh Collins of Joplin, Missouri.

The Bob Cummings Show was important in the development of several careers including series creator, producer, and head writer Paul Henning. Henning, who a decade earlier was a major force in the character development and writing of The Burns and Allen television and radio shows, was a co-producer with George Burns of the Cummings show. He later produced such major 1960s hits as The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. Regulars in the show included Ann B. Davis, who twice won Emmy Awards for playing Bob Collins' assistant Schultzy. Henning apparently remembered cast members Nancy Kulp and Joi Lansing favorably, giving both of them roles several years later on The Beverly Hillbillies, Kulp as Miss Hathaway (secretary to banker Milburn Drysdale — a character similar to Pamela Livingstone, the one she played on Cummings' show) – and Lansing as Gladys Flatt, wife of Lester Flatt. A decade after The Bob Cummings Show left the air, Davis went on to play the housekeeper Alice in The Brady Bunch. In the 1995 film The Brady Bunch Movie, which featured another actress playing Alice, Davis reprised the role of Schultzy for a cameo that suggests the character went on to become a truck driver.

Olive Sturgess appeared in 12 episodes as Carol Henning, girlfriend to Bob's nephew, Chuck. Versatile character actress Kathleen Freeman appeared in six episodes as Bertha Krause. Perhaps the biggest career boost was received by young Dwayne Hickman, a student at Loyola University in Los Angeles, who appeared as the 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 CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

This program represented the height of Cummings' television career. Although he later starred in two other early-'60s series, The New Bob Cummings Show and My Living Doll, and made guest appearances on several other TV series, he never again achieved that level of success on television.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
128January 2, 1955 (1955-01-02)July 28, 1955 (1955-07-28)
237September 22, 1955 (1955-09-22)June 21, 1956 (1956-06-21)
334October 4, 1956 (1956-10-04)June 6, 1957 (1957-06-06)
436September 24, 1957 (1957-09-24)June 17, 1958 (1958-06-17)
538September 23, 1958 (1958-09-23)July 7, 1959 (1959-07-07)


Bob (Bob Cummings) and Margaret (Rosemary DeCamp) in The Bob Cummings Show
  • Bob Cummings (Bob Collins) – a womanizing photographer
  • Rosemary DeCamp (Margaret MacDonald) – Bob's widowed sister who always tried her best to raise her brother's moral level
  • Dwayne Hickman (Chuck MacDonald) – Margaret's son and Bob's nephew, a teenager always vying for his uncle's attention
  • Ann B. Davis (Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz) – Bob's young secretary, who pines for him and occasionally sabotages his love schemes with other women


Cummings had earlier starred in the 1952 sitcom My Hero, which ran one season. Taft Schreiber of MCA brought George Burns and Paul Henning to Cummings and pitched him the idea for The Bob Cummings Show. They formed a company, Laurel, to make the show. Rod Amateau wrote many episodes.[2] Henning drew extensively on Cummings' real-life past in creating the show.[3]

The show was sold in August 1954, but Cummings did not agree to go on air until January "when we had a comfortable backlog of scripts."[4] He did this due to his experience on My Hero, where he felt the show went to air without a sufficient supply of scripts.[4]

"I also resolved we wouldn't aim at the kid audience", he added. "Sure, it's easy to develop a following that way, but kids are the most fickle audience in the world. Once they drop you, you're finished forever. So we aimed at the adults, but strangely enough, we started to develop a strong kid following anyway."[4]

The role of Schultzy was created for Jane Withers. However, she had too many demands, which the producers were not willing to meet. Eddie Rubin suggested Ann B. Davis, who was cast.[5]

The show started in January 1955 on NBC at Sunday 10:30 pm. In June, the series was shifted from NBC to CBS on Thursdays at 8 pm by its sponsor RK Reyolds Tobacco to get more access to markets.[6] In April 1957, the show moved back to NBC on Tuesday nights at 9:30 pm.[7]

Dwayne Hickman became a break-out star on the show.[8]

Rod Amateau, who worked on the show, said the reason it was successful was:

He [Cummings' character] was unsuccessful. He would never score with these girls because his nephew, his sister, or Schultzy would show up. He had dreams and illusions of being a playboy, but he wasn't making it. His frustration is what made the show funny.[9]

|In December 1958, Davis signed to make two more years of the show.[10] The same month, Hickman left for his own show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.[11] He was replaced on the show by a six-year-old waif played by Tammy Marihugh.[12]

In January 1959, the show celebrated its fifth year. Henning put part of the reason for its success down to the fact that it was a tight operation – Henning wrote most episodes, Cummings directed, and Cummings' wife handled business.[13]

During the making of the show, Cummings became increasingly under the grip of his addiction to methamphetamine, although this was kept from the public.[14]

End of seriesEdit

The series ended in 1959. Cummings said it was his decision, claiming he needed a break. He also said he had financial considerations, as he wanted to sell the show into syndication and wanted to do that before the show became too dated. He also claimed if he kept making it, he would be hit with a tax bill.[15]


Reruns under the title Love That Bob appeared on ABC's daytime lineup from October 12, 1959, to December 1, 1961. Repeats were popular through the 1960s on local stations before reappearing on the CBN Cable Network in the mid-1980s. The series remains in syndication on some smaller stations today. The original opening credits for the series incorporated a commercial for Dunhill cigarettes and were replaced with the Love That Bob opening.

Home mediaEdit

Twenty episodes have lapsed into the public domain, and all were released by DigiView Productions in 2004, Critics' Choice Video in 2004–5, Platinum Disc, LLC in 2005, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment in 2005, and Alpha Home Entertainment in 2006, among others. Also, on March 20, 2012, MPI Home Video released a Region 1 DVD collection of episodes from Cummings' mid-1960s series My Living Doll, and a standalone episode of The Bob Cummings Show was included as a bonus feature.


In 1956, Cummings was nominated for an Emmy for Best Actor in a Continuous Role and Ann B. Davis for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The show was also nominated for Best Comedy.[16] In 1958, the show was nominated for an Emmy for Best Comedy.[17] Davis won for Best Supporting Actress.[18] In 1959, the show, Cummings and Davis were nominated for Emmys.[19]


Ann B. Davis's character, Schultzy, was the inspiration for the comic-book character Pepper Potts, a supporting character in the Iron Man comics. Potts first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963), and was depicted with brown hair in a style resembling Schultzy's. Eventually, the editorial team decided that the resemblance was too great, and in Tales of Suspense #50, her appearance was altered to give her red hair and a different style.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television (4th ed.). New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc. p. 497. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8.
  2. ^ L. O., & Hollywood (Oct 9, 1955). "So now it looks as if cummings has got it beat". The Washington Post and Times Herald. ProQuest 148656668.
  3. ^ C. D. (Mar 25, 1956). "Missus rates MacRae's bow". The Washington Post and Times Herald. ProQuest 148816815.
  4. ^ a b c Thomas, B. (Jan 12, 1958). "BOB CUMMINGS SHOW REMAINS RIGHT AT TOP". Chicago Daily Tribune. ProQuest 180290349.
  5. ^ Wolters, L. (Jul 21, 1958). "WHERE TO DIAL TODAY". Chicago Daily Tribune. ProQuest 182153864.
  6. ^ V. A. (Jun 15, 1955). "BAIRDS WILL PULL STRINGS IN DRAMA". New York Times. ProQuest 113433105.
  7. ^ V. A. (Apr 15, 1957). "N.B.C. EYES SHIFT IN TUESDAY SHOWS". New York Times. ProQuest 114022039.
  8. ^ Stern, H. (Jul 28, 1956). "WHO, ME?". Chicago Daily Tribune. ProQuest 179838097.
  9. ^ Hamamoto, D. Y. (1982). "Interview with television producer rod amateau of "dukes of hazzard". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 9 (4Z). p. 166. ProQuest 1295937792.
  10. ^ "Anne B. davis signed for two more years". Chicago Daily Tribune. Dec 14, 1958. ProQuest 182181917.
  11. ^ Hopper, H. (Dec 19, 1958). "Dwayne hickman in new comedy series". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167378515.
  12. ^ Smith, C. (Jan 6, 1959). "THE TV SCENE---". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167405867.
  13. ^ Smith, C. (Jan 27, 1959). "THE TV SCENE". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167438376.
  14. ^ Lertzman, Richard A; Birnes, William J (2013). Dr. Feelgood : the shocking story of the doctor who may have changed history by treating and drugging JFK, Marilyn, Elvis, and other prominent figures. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 80-82. ISBN 978-1620875896.
  15. ^ Anderson, R. (Nov 1, 1959). "Cummings is out to kill a rumor". Chicago Daily Tribune. ProQuest 182393364.
  16. ^ Ames, W. (Feb 24, 1956). "TV 'emmy' nominees named by DeFore; daly emcees eastern awards". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166918241.
  17. ^ "Nominees listed for TV emmy awards; westerns and their stars leading race". New York Times. Mar 13, 1958. ProQuest 114625009.
  18. ^ J. P. (Apr 16, 1958). "'The comedian' wins TV emmy as best single program of 1957". New York Times. ProQuest 114603426.
  19. ^ "NOMINATIONS FOR TV EMMY AWARDS". Los Angeles Times. Apr 14, 1959. ProQuest 167412920.
  20. ^ Cronin, Brian (June 29, 2010). "Foggy Ruins of Time – Which Brady Bunch Actress Was Pepper Potts Based On?". Comic Book Resources.

External linksEdit

  Media related to The Bob Cummings Show at Wikimedia Commons