50th Anniversary of The Ugliest Girl in Town

Short-lived sitcom The Ugliest Girl in Town celebrates its 50th anniversary today. It debuted on ABC on September 26th, 1968.

Check out my in-depth article about The Ugliest Girl in Town.

Peter Kastner stars as Timothy Blair, a young man who falls in love with a beautiful British actress named Julie Renfield (played by Patricia Brake). Thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances, Timothy is offered a modeling contract in London–but the modeling agency thinks he’s a woman. So, Timothy romps through London wearing a wig and false eyelashes as “Timmy” with Julie by his side. Unfortunately, through another bizarre set of circumstances, Timothy is forced to stay in London and continue pretending to be Timmy.

Other members of the cast include Gary Marshal as Timothy’s brother Gene; Nicholas Parsons as David Courtney, owner of the Courtney Talent Agency; and Jenny Till as David’s assistant Sandra Wolston.

Although 20 episodes were filmed, the network only aired 17 of them. The remaining three did air in other countries, including the United Kingdom.

Popular Library published a tie-in novel based on The Ugliest Girl in Town in 1968, written by Burt Hirschfeld. I haven’t read it.

Did you watch The Ugliest Girl in Town when it premiered 50 years ago? Hit the comments with your memories of the show.

3 Replies to “50th Anniversary of The Ugliest Girl in Town”

  1. This series was pitched as an updated “Charley’s Aunt” in swinging London. I can see how that would have gotten the attention of the networks. I liked Peter Kastner. It is a shame he did not have a bigger career.

  2. Unfairly dogged by critics. Maybe it just wasn’t the time for this show, but it’s a heck of a lot funnier than some of the same-ol, same-ol domestic sticoms of any time. I think the show would have done well had it not gone against established hits on the competing networks. Even then, think of The Dick Van Dyke Show. The network wanted to cancel it after the first season, but given a chance to find its audience, well, the rest is history. The Ugliest Girl In Town may not have become as huge a classic, but I think it still could have found it’s audience.

    Watching it, I’m struck with just how unique it is in every regard. The recurring use of freeze frame to highlight a particularly crazy bit of business like when Timmy is walking right into a situation where he’s being exposed as actually being Tim. Or when Tim/Timmy has gotten himself/herself into a bit of hot water (those facial expressions and the howling music cue honestly make be laugh WAY out loud.)

    The use of music, songs and vignettes showing Tim and Julie romping through Paris or doing fashion shots on various locations. The show was incredibly well-filmed. Many times, it reminds me of those montage scenes on That Girl, showing another couple in love romping through New York or other locations.

    Really wish this show had been given a better shot. May have gone over better in the late 70s or 80s , but then we wouldn’t have gotten the great Screen Gems look of their classic 60’s shows.

  3. P.S. Great article, Robert! I read your first in-depth article on this and really enjoyed it. You gave a lot more context to the show than the few other things I found online. You actually were the basis of my seeking out the videos on YouTube.

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