The Smith Family Available on DVD

The Smith Family (ABC, 1971-1972) is available now on DVD from VEI and CBS DVD. Henry Fonda starred as police detective Chad Smith alongside Janet Blair, Darleen Carr, Ron Howard, and Michael-James Wixted. The series debuted as a mid-season replacement in January 1971 and ran for 15 episodes. ABC renewed it for a second season that debuted in September 1971. The network put the show on hiatus in January 1972. It returned three months later. A total of 39 episodes aired.

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Here’s the official summary from the VEI website:

Oscar® winner Henry Fonda (“12 Angry Men,” “On Golden Pond”) is Sergeant Chad Smith, a Los Angeles police detective officer, husband and father to three. While trying to solve case-after-case, it seems inevitable that his wife and children become involved.

A light-hearted comedy for the entire family, “The Smith Family” also stars Janet Blair (“The Fuller Brush Man”), as Smith’s wife, and Ron Howard (“The Andy Griffith Show”), Darleen Carr (“The Jungle Book”), Michael-James Wixted (“The Swiss Family Robinson”), as the Smith children. The series aired for two seasons beginning in January 1971 on ABC.

The Smith Family DVD features all 39 episodes. The first season theme song, Primose Lane, which rose to the #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Season 1
Sergeant Chad Smith works as a Los Angeles police detective, working to solve burglaries, arson cases and murders. At the same time, he tries to balance the ups and downs of being a husband and father to three in stride.

Season 2
On the job, police detective Chad Smith faces bad guys and bad situations. At home, he faces the trials, tribulations and happenings that come with a worried wife, two teenagers and a young son.

Here are the first and second season opening credits:

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(via Home Theater Forum)

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11 Replies to “The Smith Family Available on DVD”

  1. Looking at the two openings suggests why it failed. The second is more action oriented and seems to be aiming at a different audience. It’s possible that people considered the show too generic and light in the first season so they were going for a more dramatic approach. 71 was when All In The Family premiered and it seems people weren’t as interested in light-hearted sitcoms. Looking at the listings for the year, The Smith Family also ran against My Three Sons.

    1. The scenes of Fonda in the 2nd season getting in shoot outs were so ridiculous it defied logic. Fonda at that time was 67 and looked like a 67 year old man ducking shots, firing shots and crouching behind a car.

  2. The Smith Family Was The Commish Of Its Day,And It Was.I Used To Watch That Series,When I Was
    5 At Time.With My Mom And Dad Who Are Not Living,

  3. what timing here on your part!! ronny howard no sooner was out of work for a dry spell after cancellarion of his tv work.)). he found himself enrolled at UCLA’s dormatory with ,my own school classmate here JULIUS ROSEN AND THANK GOD FOR HAPPY Days nostalgia and even AMERIcaN graffitti=====it all sparked a terrific career……….the defense rests…..

  4. The show was pretty generic and bland. I know I watched the entire series as a kid, but not a single episode stands out as memorable. The opening credits obviously Were memorable, given the dramatic shift to an “M Squad” (Police Squad) type opening for Season 2. If i’m not mistaken, there wasn’t much “Mannix” -style action in the 2nd season…It’s still less of an embarrassment than “The Jimmy Stewart Show” was…hard to believe that such talent was put out to pasture…

  5. for 69 years tv has had a ^ mercy rule^-(- when things dont work out.. as planned ,,,) … HAL KANTER HAD HIS ULCER OVER BEHIND THE SCENES sociologic problems with JIMMY STEWARTS SHOW,,(, he sponged jeff alexander’s music from WILDLY SUCCSSFUL PLEASE DONT EAT THE DAISIES without a jerry goldsmith intro theme,,,( it was downhill from thereon……) 222 took off with a savy integration/ themed staff based on my own high school here TEANECK HIGH SCHOOL in new jersey

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these episodes. The show had very good writing for its time. I was very much interested in seeing this TV series because I grew up a fan of Henry Fonda, I watched most of his movies on TV and followed his career. I was only 13 or 14 when the show originally aired and I don’t remember watching it. For a long time I couldn’t find a dvd for this show, but so glad that it was finally released. I agree that I don’t like the opening when they show the title and cast in the second year. I actually thought the cast was good and I’m surprised that it didn’t catch on. Perhaps they could have done more with an hour show and not cram it all into a half-hour. I was a big tv watcher in those days, you might remember that Darleen Carr the next year 1972 was cast as the daughter of Lt. Mike Stone -played by Karl Malden in the Streets of San Francisco .

  7. I watched this when it first aired and I remember an interview with Henry Fonda about the show being retooled for season two. I remember him saying that the little boy in the show would be coming back without his English accent.

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