Time Travel With A Comedic Twist
It’s About Time was produced by the immortal Sherwood Schwartz. Who is this guy? Oh, just the man responsible for providing the world with the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. Two out of three is not bad. This well meaning series certainly missed the mark when it came to establishing a fan base. Any fan base. Too bad.
One Season Then Into Limbo
The television series ran only one season on CBS. The comedy made its debut on September 11, 1966. The astronauts and cave folks were with audiences until August 27, 1967. The unusual situation comedy featured astronaut Jack Mullaney and astronaut Frank Aletter. The two 1960s American astronauts break through the time barrier to end up in prehistoric times. Decent premise.
Joe Ross Excels As Caveman
The stranded astronauts are forced to take up residence with primitive cave dwellers Joe E Ross (Gronk) and Imogene Coca (Shadd). Ross was Officer Tooty on Car 54 Where Are You plus did numerous cartoon voice-overs for Hanna-Barbera. Remember Hong Kong Phooey? That was him. Coca is best known for Your Show Of Shows.
Supporting Cast Not As Well Known
Mary Grace (Mlor) was the daughter, Pat Cardi (Breer) was the son, Cliff Norton was the Boss, Kathleen Freeman was wife of the Boss and Mike Mazurzsky (Clon) was henchman of the Boss. CBS censors quickly changed the name of the Coca character from Shagg to Shadd. The original uncensored character name actually appears in TV Guide.
Series Has Broad Appeal
Critics hated the show. The fans who did tune in loved it. Frank Wilcox eventually joined the cast as commanding officer of the astronauts. Wilcox was prominently featured as Mr Brewster on the Beverly Hillbillies. The astronauts brought their prehistoric friends to 1967. This remains one of the most mystery-shrouded feats in television history. Much like the Professor being able to build a nuclear reactor from seashells but being powerless to patch a small hole in a boat.
New Surroundings Do Not Help
The focus of the show shifted. New York, New York of 1967 was the new venue. Instead of two astronauts adapting to prehistoric times it was two cave folk fitting into the 20th Century. Still no go. The series had less than 30 episodes. The theme song remains one of the most catchy and popular in television history. Too bad the series itself was not as fortunate.