2019 and 2020 books are in the
Odds and Ends
29 4, 5:40am
There are more than a few incidents of TV shows changing the number of children, sometimes explained, sometimes not. On the 60s sitcom
My Three Sons
, the oldest son got married and moved out of town. So in order to keep from having to change the name of the show to
My Two Sons and the One Who Doesn't Live Here Anymore
, the family adopted a younger orphan who had previously been fostered by some of their neighbors, and became three sons again. So that one was well-explained.
Fun fact: the actor who played the new son, Barry Livingston, was the biological brother of the actor who played the the now-middle son, Stanley Livingston. It's weird that the stepson looks more like one of his stepbrothers, than that stepbrother looks like his "natural" brother.
Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, and the three sons. The Livingston brothers are in the front.
Not so well explained was the disappearance of Chuck Cunningham on the Seventies show
, the older brother of Ritchie (Ron Howard's character). His unexplained disappearance, and the fact that he was never again mentioned on the show, gave the name to a dramatic trope:
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
. There's another famous example in one of the old soap operas. From the article linked above:
In a 1970 episode of the soap
All My Children,
a teen named Bobby Martin goes up in his family's attic to wax his skis. The actor was then abruptly fired and so Bobby was never seen again. Years later, the show lampshaded this by having a character go into the same attic and find a skeleton with a pair of skis, wearing a ski hat with "Bobby" on it
I love gallows humor!