Moving from its familiar Thursday night time slot to a Tuesday evening berth, and leaving CBS to return to NBC in the bargain, Love That Bob (originally The Bob Cummings Show) enters its fourth season. Even after all these years, Bob Collins (Bob Cummings), the series' cheerfully lascivious photographer hero, exhibits no signs of fatigue as he continues pursuing the lovely ladies who show up at his photographer's studio -- or even those who don't show up there! Likewise as hale and hearty as ever is Bob's supporting cast: Ann B. Davis as Mr. Collins' "gal Friday" Schultzy, who, though she has a few beaux of her own, still carries a torch for her boss; Rosemary de Camp as Bob's widowed sister Margaret, tireless in her efforts to marry her roguish brother off to a decent, homespun girl; and Dwayne Hickman as Bob's nephew Chuck, now in his second year of college and as determined as ever to prove himself every inch the ladies' man that his Uncle Bob is. Also on hand are such sideline players as Bob's Air Force pal Harvey Helm (King Donovan) and Harvey's benignly domineering spouse Ruth (Mary Lawrence); bandy-legged bird watcher Pamela Livingston (Nancy Kulp), who'd like to get Bob in her sights on a permanent basis; and rascally old "Grandpa" Josh Collins, who fancies himself as much a Lothario as his grandson Bob (and who, like Bob, is played by Bob Cummings).
While many of the Love That Bob episodeshave the "ageless" quality enjoyed by such sitcoms as The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy, a number of the fourth season installments are firmly locked into a 1957-1958 timeframe, notably "Bob Digs Rock 'n' Roll," "Bob Goes to the Moon" and the TV-Western spoof Bob the Gunslinger." And at least one episode is a portent of things to come: "Bob Goes Hillbilly," which anticipates producer Paul Henning's even more successful sitcom venture The Beverly Hillbillies by five years. As a bonus, several '50s vintage guest stars show up this season, among them Alan Ladd, Connie Stevens, Don Knotts, and Rose Marie. The last episode filmed for the season (though not the last one shown) is "Bob Frees Schultzy for Romance," which looks suspiciously like the pilot for a spin-off series starring Ann B. Davis. That the pilot (if it is one) did not sell is evidenced by the opening episode of Love That Bob's next season, "Bob and Schultzy Reunite." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi