MovieChat Forums > My Three Sons Discussion > Why have I never seen Bub?

Why have I never seen Bub?


Granted, I haven't seen this show in a while, but I did watch it regularly when I was a kid. I don't think I have ever seen episodes with Bub or any without Ernie. I remember my Mom telling me about Bub and I just assumed he only lasted like 1 season or something. I had no idea it was for something like 5 or 6 seasons.

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I watched this show when it originally aired on CBS. I never saw Mike or Bub. I remember watching it in afternoon reruns as well and never seeing Mike or Bub. I did not see Mike or Bub, or even know about them, till Nickelodeon began running the early episodes in the mid 1980s.
Since the show originally aired on ABC, and changed to CBS after going to color and including Ernie and Charlie, the earlier episodes likely were not included when it was sold into syndication. Since the earlier shows were owned by a different network they were not aired syndication, or in sequence with the later episodes.
When NICK ran My Three Sons, they never ran the color episodes. I too wondered about this as when I watched the show in syndication, they would end with the final episode, then begin the next showing with the first episode to include Ernie as opposed to running the first BW shows from ABC.

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When Nick at Nite aired it in the late 80's, I didn't watch it much at all, but I saw enough to vaguely remember them showing at least part of one of the color seasons, semmingly the final one. That would have been beyond weird, to just jump ahead six years or whatever like that, but I think that's what they did. Probably because the final season was pretty weird, with Fred MacMurray in a dual role as some lookalike Scottish dude.

I too remember them airing ONLY the color episodes in syndication in the late 70's. Too young to remember the network run, so I never saw Bub until many years later on NAN. I've sorta assumed that, way back then, they didn't show the B&W eps. because they thought viewers would only want to watch something in COLOR!! Just a theory of mine, but a local station did the exact same thing with The Andy Griffith Show, if you can believe that!!! NO Barney, except for occasional visits!!Think that would fly now???

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You were right about seeing the final season (and a half) with the black and white years. Strangely enough, there were two different syndication packages floating around over the years. I believe the cut off point in the color package occurred a few episodes after Chip and Polly's return from Mexico and shortly before Sal Mineo arrived on his motorcycle in the "The Liberty Bell" episode. For many years, I thought the last season and a half was lost. In addition, there is truly a lost episode from the final season. At mid-season, just after New Year's, when the show was moved to a new time slot in order to make room for the "Sonny and Cher Show," there was an episode broadcast called "An Evening with My Three Sons." It was a "clip" show that revolved around the family trying to jog Fred MacMurray's memory after he fell down some stairs. Sadly, it was shot on videotape and may be lost forever. I think this show was produced to remind people that the series was moving and very much alive. MacMurray wanted to continue the Douglas saga, and the presence of this episode proves it. Just a theory.

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The network switch didn't have anything to do with how the show was syndicated; CBS acquired all the ABC episodes when it picked the show up in 1965.

Instead, when Viacom syndicated the show in the 70s, they only selected a portion of them, since there were almost 400! At that point, the paradigm for syndication was to charge local stations on a per episode basis, and those local stations weren't going to pony up for 400 episodes, especially since the ideal package (then) was for enough shows to run for six months without showing a repeat. That's a lot less than 400.

So, Viacom went with the color shows, since they were more valuable and saleable (color reruns were at a premium in the 70s, since most people had color TVs by then, and there were limited libraries of color programming). And since there were so many color shows, Viacom didn't even sell all of those.

In the 80s, while the original color package was still playing in broadcast syndication, Nick at Nite scooped up all the other shows - the first five B&W seasons, and the last season and a half of color shows. That was the first time I ever saw Bub or Mike - when watching the reruns in the 70s, my mother would occasionally refer to the older brother Mike, but since we never saw him, we just thought she was mixed-up.

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"The network switch didn't have anything to do with how the show was syndicated; CBS acquired all the ABC episodes when it picked the show up in 1965.

Instead, when Viacom syndicated the show in the 70s, they only selected a portion of them, since there were almost 400! At that point, the paradigm for syndication was to charge local stations on a per episode basis, and those local stations weren't going to pony up for 400 episodes, especially since the ideal package (then) was for enough shows to run for six months without showing a repeat. That's a lot less than 400.

So, Viacom went with the color shows, since they were more valuable and saleable (color reruns were at a premium in the 70s, since most people had color TVs by then, and there were limited libraries of color programming). And since there were so many color shows, Viacom didn't even sell all of those."

Thanks for that info!

I've NEVER seen the 3 sons episodes with Bill Frawley. In the 1970s when I was a little kid, syndicated reruns of "My 3 Sons" aired where I lived (and I watched it religiously) BUT they aired ONLY the episodes with Bill Demarest in them. That is, only color episodes of the series. They NEVER showed the Frawley episodes.

Because of that, I had always assumed that William Demarest was the only "Uncle Charlie" they had in the show. Many years later I would be stunned to find out in a book about tv sitcoms, that there were a whole five years worth of episodes that I've never seen (I had assumed that the series started in 1965, not 1960!) and that Bill Frawley was a regular in the series for those first five years. (I thought he had retired after "I Love Lucy"). After I found out all that, I used to wonder why they aired only the Color/William Demarest episodes.

To this day I have never seen those first five years worth of episodes. I hope that they will be released on DVD.

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BILL FRAWLEY(A.K.A. FRED MERTZ) DID NOT PLAY UNCLE CHARLEY.HE PLAYED "BUB" THE BOYS GRANDFATHER(STEVE'S FATHER-IN LAW).UNCLE CHARLEY JOINED THE CAST IN THE LAST FEW BLACK AND WHITE EPISODES OF MY 3 SONS.

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"BILL FRAWLEY(A.K.A. FRED MERTZ) DID NOT PLAY UNCLE CHARLEY.HE PLAYED "BUB""

I'm well aware of that. Thats why I put "Uncle Charlie" in quotation marks.

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Bub, who was the boys' grandfather (their late mother's father) was played by William Frawley, who died. He was replaced by Uncle Charlie, played by William Demarest. I only remember seeing the Bub episodes when Nickelodeon ran them in 1985-1986. They were hilarious; Frawley was exactly like Fred Mertz!

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I loved William Frawley as Bub and William Demarest as Uncle Charlie, but I was say I liked Bub better. Both men were verteran character actors. I was so surprised to see William Demarest playing Betty Hutton's father in Miracle of Morgan's Creek or William Frawley in My Wild Irish Rose. It's weird seeing people in old movies that you thought were only on TV.

Anyways, on the What a Character segment on Turner Classic Movies, it talked about William Frawley as Bub and how much he enjoyed doing My Three Sons. Frawley was ill, as said above, and had to be replaced by William Demarest, who if I understand correctly, was friends with Frawley.

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I'm like to OP. I saw the show in afternoon reruns and didn't know that there ever was a Bub or Mike.

This was like Bewithced. I had never seen the black & white episodes until Nick at Nite. And while most fans of that show love the first few seasons, I was so accustomed to the newer eps that the first seasons seem like an entirely different show to me.

So I'm probably the exact opposite of most MTS fans. I start enjoying the show when they move houses just before all the guys start getting married.

However, I was never a fan of Dodie.

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They must be showing the later episodes. I have the dvd's out so far and haven't gotten to any with Uncle Charley yet, just Bub.

And Dodie WAS annoying. Nothing personal to her, I just couldn't stand her and felt she never fit in.

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I remember back when William Demarest was replacing William Frawley that it was said, maybe in TV Guide, that they were friends. However I recently read the book 'Meet The Mertzes' and according to the book, William Frawley was bitter about being replaced. The book goes on to say that he was asked to stop attending the filmings because of his vocal criticisms of William Demarest's playing of Uncle Charlie.

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Tim Considine, Don Grady, and Stan Livingston have pretty much confirmed this in various interviews. William Frawley couldn't stand the fact that someone else was doing his job, but he could no longer get studio insurance to keep appearing. But he continued to come to the filmings, and William Demarest put up with a lot, but finally the producers had to ask Frawley to leave. John Stephens, one of the producers, said that letting him go one of the toughest things he ever had to do. The kids loved Frawley - he was the main adult on the set, because Fred MacMurray would film all his scenes for the season consecutively, and would then be off for the rest of the year. Frawley was a surrogate grandfather to Stan Livingston, and Don Grady said that the show was never the same after his departure.

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I've NEVER seen the 3 sons episodes with Bill Frawley. In the 1970s when I was a little kid, syndicated reruns of "My 3 Sons" aired where I lived (and I watched it religiously) BUT they aired ONLY the episodes with Bill Demarest in them. That is, only color episodes of the series. They NEVER showed the Frawley episodes.

Because of that, I had always assumed that William Demarest was the only "Uncle Charlie" they had in the show. Many years later I would be stunned to find out in a book about tv sitcoms, that there were a whole five years worth of episodes that I've never seen (I had assumed that the series started in 1965, not 1960!) and that Bill Frawley was a regular in the series for those first five years. (I thought he had retired after "I Love Lucy"). After I found out all that, I used to wonder why they aired only the Color/William Demarest episodes.

To this day I have never seen those first five years worth of episodes.

I could have written that! I was quite surprised to discover William Frawley was on M3S in it's early years in no doubt they very same book you mentioned. I did know there was a "first" older son, they showed his "wedding" episode in reruns as I think that was Ernie's first appearance on the show (and the oldest son's last).

A lot of shows in the late 1960's/1970's did not rerun their B&W episodes: THE LUCY SHOW, PETTICOAT JUNCTION. In addition to the early episodes being B&W, part of the reason for this may have been they had different cast members in the supporting roles (different actresses played the two oldest Bradley girls in the B&W episodes than in the color years). THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, BEWITCHED, and GILLIGAN'S ISLAND are the only sitcoms I can think of that reran the B&W episodes as well as the color ones.

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my local tv station also at first used to run only the color episodes in syndication in the 1970s until I found out there were earlier episodes and wrote to them, then they played those black and white episodes in syndication in the 1970s along with the color episodes all in the same timeslot. so it seems to me like it was all part of the same syndication package

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One thing about William Frawley, since many of the threads are from those too young to remember the original My Three Sons; if you watch the original Miracle on 34th Street, now that the Holiday season is coming on, he has a great cameo as a political committee man. He also played in many movies, including one with John Wayne. I loved him as Fred Mertz and Bub.

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My recollection of the show in reruns in the seventies and do remember it beginning with Mike's marriage and the car pulling away.

I had seen a special about the show before that and the three sons were identified as Mike, Robbie and Chip, so I too wondered what was up.

I had heard about William frawley being Bub as well, and I thought, I only remember Uncle Charley.

Only later I caught all the episodes or a lot of them in a weekend marathon on TVland and they showed episodes with Bub and Mike. They were actually quite good.

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I'd love to see the Mike / Bub episodes. I was a youngster when those b&w episodes were first shown but only have vague memories (must have been watching "Dr. Kildare"); I became a regular viewer during the "Polly Years", ugh!
Does anyone remember how they dealt with Bub's last episode(s)? Did he die in the series? Was he also never mentioned again like Mike?

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In Bub's last episode, he was seen packing for a trip to Ireland, for the birthday of his Aunt Kate (who was turning 104!). After he left, the other characters mentioned him a couple of more times ("Will you wire Bub and get him back here?") but after that, he was never mentioned again, similar to Mike.

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I would've been 7 or 8 when Bub and Mike left the show, and don't remember them.
I wasn't even aware that Ernie was adopted till recently.
I bet Mike was a draft dodger and went to Canada, so they disowned him.

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Thanks for the info sjbradford.

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I'd love to see the Mike / Bub episodes. I was a youngster when those b&w episodes were first shown but only have vague memories (must have been watching "Dr. Kildare"); I became a regular viewer during the "Polly Years", ugh!
Those early years were great and considered by many to be more comical, funnier than the later years.

Like Don Grady (Robby) was the center of many plots in the color eps., Tim Consadine's oldest son character (Mike) was the center of many plots of the early eps.

The shows have a Disney flavor to them, much like MacMurray's The Absent-Minded Professor & Son of Flubber comedy movies.

I only saw a handful of the early eps. when they aired on cable in the 1980s
I was born in 1972 and my first memories of MTS are from the 70s reruns.

One ep. I vividly recall was where Consadine and some of his friends pulled an expensive prank at the high school homecoming game that was embarassing to the participants & their families.

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ME-TV will start rerunning the B&W episodes, starting with the first episode, on May 29, 2017.

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MeTV has just started showing MTS from the beginning with William Frawley as Steve's father-in-law , Bub.

Great black and white early episodes - they're great and I am enjoying them immensely.

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They sure are. Bub is kind of adorable.

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