The Ann Sothern Show was a CBS network sitcom, starring Ann Sothern in the lead role which first premiered on October 6, 1958.
It was Ann Sothern's second sitcom for the CBS network (her first series "Private Secretary" ended in 1957 after a contract dispute occurred between Sothern and the show's producer Jack Chertok) and several of the cast members from "Private Secretary" appeared in the show.
The show aired on Monday evenings at 9:30 P.M. on CBS immediately following "The Danny Thomas Show" ("Make Room For Daddy").
The series' first two seasons received decent ratings, but at the start of the 1960-1961 season, it moved to Thursday nights at 9:30 P.M opposite the ABC hit show "The Untouchables" and the ratings plummeted and CBS canceled the show in the spring of 1961, but the last episode aired on September 25, 1961, ending after 3 seasons and 92 episodes.
The show centered on Katy O'Connor, the assistant manager of the Bartley House, a swank New York City hotel. Her boss, Jason Macauley was a timid, elderly man who was constantly bullied by his overbearing wife, Flora.
Katy's secretary, roommate and best friend, Olive was played by Ann Tyrrell (who had also appeared in Sothern's first series "Private Secretary" in a similar role). Other characters included Johnny Wallace, a bellboy who had a crush on Katy and Paul Monteney, a suave, French room clerk.
In an effort to improve the series' ratings, it was retooled midway through the first season.
In the 24th episode, "Katy's New Boss", Mr. Macauley is transferred to the Bartley House hotel in Calcutta along with wife Flora. Don Porter (who had also appeared in "Private Secretary" as Sothern's character's boss) portrayed James Devery, Mr. Macauley's replacement. Mr. Devery was a younger, somewhat stubborn manager who tended to get carried away with some new, far-fetched idea.
After Don Porter joined the cast, ratings for the series improved and it was renewed for a second season. In 1959, the series won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Show.
During the second season, the series cast was changed again. The characters of Johnny Wallace and Paul Monteney were written out.
Three new characters were added: Jesse White (another "Private Secretary" alum), appeared as Oscar Pudney, a dishonest newsstand owner who was Katy's nemesis.
Child actor Jimmy Fields joined the cast as Richy Gordon, a musical child prodigy whom Katy helped. Dr. Delbert Gray, a humorous dentist who became Olive's boyfriend and eventually, her husband, was also added along with Ken Berry as Woody the bellboy.
Storylines typically revolve around the personal lives of the staff and guests of the Bartley House. The series was somewhat advanced for its time regarding women in the workplace and the issues they faced.
Not only did the single Katy hold a position of authority in the hotel, which made her the supervisor of a host of male employees. When the character of Dr. Delbert Gray was introduced, so was his mother (Cherrio Meredith), who was a practicing dentist and was, like her son, referred to as "Dr. Gray."
Throughout the three-year run, a storyline of potential romance between Katy and Mr. Devery lingered.
In the third season finale episode, Mr. Devery realizes that he is in love with Katy and proposes to her. The episode ending ended on a cliffhanger as Katy kisses Mr. Devery, but does not answer his proposal.
- Ann Sothern as Kathleen "Katy" O'Connor
- Ann Tyrrell as Olive Smith
- Ernest Truex as Jason McCauley (1958–1959)
- Reta Shaw as Flora McCauley (1958–1959)
- Don Porter as James Devery (1959–1961)
- Jack Mullaney as Johnny Wallace (1958–1960)
- Jacques Scott as Paul Monteney (1958–1960)
- Jesse White as Oscar Pudney (1960–1961)
- Louis Nye as Dr. Delbert Gray (1960–1961)
- Jimmy Fields as Richy Gordon (1960–1961)
- Ken Berry as Woody Hamilton (1960–1961)
During "The Ann Sothern Show"'s third season, two episodes aired which were intended to be spin-offs. The series were supposed to be produced by Sothern's company Anso Productions.
The first episode, "Always April" aired on February 23, 1961 and featured Constance Bennett.
In the episode, Bennett starred as Guinevere Fleming, a former actress who had retired along with her actor husband David Fleming (John Emery) to Vermont. Much to their chagrin, their daughter April (Susan Silo) longs to be an actress and runs away from boarding school to the Bartley Hotel. April meets Katy O'Connor who convinces her to tell her parents of her plans.
The second proposed spin-off episode was "Pandora" which aired on March 3, 1961.
The episode featured Pat Carroll as Pandora, a young, slightly eccentric country girl who traveled to Los Angeles on the advice of her mother. Katy O'Connor hires her as a secretary for handsome Hollywood actor Anthony Bardot (Guy Mitchell), but neither series were picked up by a network.