Proctor & Gamble Refused to Sponsor Accidental Family

I’m not sure how much truth there is to this but according to a March 15th, 1967 article in The Los Angeles Times, after dropping its sponsorship of Petticoat Junction Proctor & Gamble refused to sponsor Accidental Family and instead chose to support The Mothers-In-Law [1]. Both were new sitcoms for NBC. At the time, Accidental Family was still called Everywhere a Chick Chick. Wrote Hal Humphrey:

Anyway, P & G settled on Mothers In Law after the company’s brass turned down sponsorship of NBC’s Everywhere A Chick Chick because it looked immoral to them. Everywhere A Chick Chick stars Jeryry Van Dyke and Lois Nettleton in a comedy cross between Green Acres and Family Affair. Jerry (a night club comic) whose divorced wife remarries, winds up with his offspring on a farm already tenanted by Lois Nettleton. It’s possible too, of course, that P & G thought the farm locale wasn’t conducive to selling soap. There must be a survey somewhere to prove that farm people don’t hold soap in such high esteem as mothers-in-law.

Also, according to Herb Lyon, Jerry Van Dyke was responsible for getting Everywhere A Chick Chick (what he called an “unbelievable handle”) renamed Accidental Family [2].

Works Cited:
1 Humphrey, Hal. “Older Folks Get the Boot From TV.” Los Angeles Times. 15 Mar. 1967: E16.
2 Lyon, Herb. “Tower Ticker.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Jun. 1967: 14.

6 Replies to “Proctor & Gamble Refused to Sponsor Accidental Family”

  1. Procter & Gamble “owned” the 8:30-9pm(et) time period on NBC’s Sunday night schedule from 1961 through ’72 {they liked being on after “WALT DISNEY’S WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR”}. Problem was, most of the series they “bought” for that time slot lasted than two seasons or less. Their latest one during the 1966-’67 season, Marshall & Belson’s “HEY, LANDLORD!”, just didn’t attract the “younger” clientele they were looking for to promote their products [Crest, Tide, Prell, Scope, etc.]. Monty Hall was certain P&G was going to carry their summer ’67 sponsorship of “LET’S MAKE A DEAL” into the fall (it seemed to be attracting an audience on Sundays in its first prime-time edition)- but no, P&G decided to honor their previous commitment to Desi Arnaz and “buy” “THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW” for the fall of ’67 {he originally offered it to CBS, who passed on it, but P&G promised they’d sponsor the show when the first available time period was open}. It was ironic that they turned down “ACCIDENTAL FAMILY”, because Sheldon Leonard produced it, and they stood behind him when CBS wanted to cancel “THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW” after its first season, declaring to Jim Aubrey that either Van Dyke stayed in “their” Wednesday time period, or they’d move all of their advertising and daytime soaps to “other networks”.

    I’m sure Sheldon must have felt bitter about his “friends” turning down a series he KNEW wasn’t “immoral”. As I’ve mentioned before, P&G dropped “PETTICOAT JUNCTION” on Tuesdays to sponsor Sheldon Leonard & Carl Reiner’s “GOOD
    MORNING WORLD” in the fall of ’67 (again, to reach a more “younger, urban clientele”)…which lasted exactly one season, and they went right back to “rural comedy” by sponsoring “THE DORIS DAY SHOW” in the fall of ’68.

    As it turned out, “ACCIDENTAL FAMILY” aired on Fridays at 9:30pm(et), right after “STAR TREK”, under “participating sponsorship” (three minutes of commercials, three different sponsors for each minute, in each episode). No matter how good Van Dyke, the cast and scripts were, it wasn’t a great idea to follow “STAR TREK” [producer Leonard Stern discovered this when “THE HERO”, starring Richard Mulligan, followed “STAR TREK” on Thursdays in the fall of ’66; the ratings weren’t so hot, and sponsors R.J. Reynolds and Lever Brothers replaced “THE HERO” with “DRAGNET 1967” that January]. The first nighttime version of “THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES” replaced “ACCIDENTAL FAMILY” in January 1968.

  2. I’ve heard/read that R.J. Reynolds sponsored “Dragnet ’67” but i didn’t know that Lever sponsored “Dragnet ’67”..I can’t wait to find out what other shows that Lever Brothers sponsored other than the 2 Lucy series, “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy”; as well as “Calvin and the Colonel”, alternate sponsor for “He and She”, “Get Smart”, “My Three Sons” for a minute, “The Governor and J.J.” as well as many other shows. :)

    1. also, Lever sponsored the syndicated version of “This Is Your Life” w/Ralph Edwards, which debuted in january 1971 for a minute as well.

  3. and Lever Brothers also co-sponsored the last 3 seasons of “Father Knows Best” (’57-’60) featuring Lux Dish Liquid and All Detergent…The Scott Paper Company was the other co-sponsor during that same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.