Sunday, April 24, 2011

A jolly holiday with NANNY & THE PROFESSOR

Here's a special Easter re-post of one of my favorites. I hope you do enjoy this the second time around.
Bcak when ABC needed a replacement for THE FLYING NUN, they turned to AJ Carothers, a writer for MY THREE SONS and Disney (THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES). Carothers took one part MARY POPPINS, one part BEWITCHED plus a little pinch of FAMILY AFFAIR and gave us NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR. This short-lived (54 episodes) sitcom starred British actress Juliet Mills as Phoebe Figalilly, better known as Nanny. This Disney-influenced mini-classic is best remembered for it's groovy theme song composed by Steve Zuckerman & Fred Calvert, and performed by The Addrisi Brothers.
"Soft and sweet, wise and wonderful

Oooh, our mystical, magical Nanny

Since the day that Nanny came to stay with us

Fantastic things keep happening

Is there really magic in the things she does?

Or is love the only magic thing that Nanny brings?

You know our Nanny showed us

You can make the impossible happen

Nanny told us
Have a little bit of faith and lots of love

Phoebe Figalilly is a silly name

And so many silly things keep happening

What is this magic thing about Nanny

Is it love....or is it magic?"

In the pilot, Miss Figalilly arrived from the UK and is hired as housekeeper and governess for the Everett family.

Professor Harold Everett (Richard Long) is a widower with three children in need of guidance: Hal (David Doremus), Butch (Trent Lehman), and Prudence (Kim Richards).

Nanny almost instantly won over the family's hearts with her magical powers. She could talk to the animals, had ESP, had climate control capabilities as a harp is gently plucked over the soundtrack.The show was adapted into a series of three paperback novels by William Johnston, published in 1970: Nanny and the Professor, What Hath Nanny Wrought? and The Bloop Box .
A NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR comic bookwas published by Dell Comics in the early 70s.

After leaving primetime, the concept returned to ABC on Saturday mornings via the ABC SATURDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE.

Cougarish Juliet Mills later married TV hunk Maxwell Cauldfield (Miles Colby on THE COLBYS) and then appeared on the campy NBC soap PASSIONS as 300-year-old witch.

Richard Long died in 1974 at the age of 47. David Doremus no longer acts, but lives Los Angeles. Sadly, Trent Lehman committed suicide in 1982 at the age of 20. Kim Richards appeared in a string of NBC series and in several Disney movies including a cameo the recent WITCH MOUNTAIN remake. Rumor has it she later appeared on some reality show, but that has yet to be confirmed. I'm hoping for a NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR dvd release some day soon.


bigtumtums said...

I never really knew the sitcom had a retro version...though certain changes were made to blend cultures and add a bit of variety to compose episodes.

Doug said...

I have no idea what your comment means, but it is interesting.

Danny in WeHo said...

My memory of this show was perminently sullied when my alleged father took me to see BEYOND THE DOOR as a child. In it, Juliet Mills (The Nanny) plays a woman who has Satan's baby- an Exocist rip-off to be sure, but it sure was scary to this third grader.

Karl said...

I haven't thought about this show for a long, long time. But I remember it pretty well. What was up with all those 60s and 70s images of magical, domesticated women -- Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Nanny, etc.? Some kind of weird cultural reaction to feminism?

Deep Dish said...

I loved this show as a kid! Hopefully the talented Juliet Mills will get another gig in the near future.

laura linger said...

Maxwell Caulfield = Michael Carrington in Grease 2!

Kim Richards = hot blonde daughter on HELLO LARRY!!!

Your posts amaze me.

Matt said...

Kim Richards is also the sister of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards and Kathy Hilton, making Paris Hilton Kim's niece.

Doug said...

Yes, Matt. We all know that, but it's something that I was deliberately trying to ignore because the only thing I can't stand more than those dreadful HOUSEWIFE shows is Paris Hilton.

Gregory Plantamura said...

You didn't mention that Juliet is the sister of Hayley Mills