Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Love That Bob was the daytime-rerun and syndication title bestowed upon the long-running situation comedy The Bob Cummings Show. Debuting January 2, 1955, on NBC, the series starred the ageless Bob Cummings as Bob Collins, a swinging bachelor and successful professional photographer. Bob considered the day wasted that he didn't try to make a romantic conquest, usually by dating one of his "harem" of gorgeous models, among them Shirley Swanson (Joi Lansing), Mary Beth Hall (Gloria Marshall), Collette DuBois (Lisa Gaye), and real-life Miss Sweden, Ingrid Goude. Not surprisingly, Bob's amorous pursuits were looked upon with disapproval by his widowed sister Margaret McDonald (Rosemary de Camp), who lived in the same house as Bob with her teenaged son Chuck (Dwayne Hickman). Much to his mother's dismay, the impressionable Chuck tried his best to emulate Uncle Bob's "wolf" behavior in his own social life. Happily for Margaret, Chuck enjoyed relatively chaste relationships with two of his female peers, Francine Williams (Diane Jergens) and Olive Sturgess (Carol Hanning). Meanwhile, Bob's male friends Paul Fonda (Lyle Talbot) and Harvey Helm (King Donovan) were green with envy over Bob's hyperactive love life -- especially Harvey, who felt trapped in a conformist marriage with wife Ruth (Mary Lawrence). Gainfully employed as Bob's Girl Friday was the delightfully dowdy Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz -- a role which proved to be a star-maker for future Brady Bunch regular Ann B. Davis. Though not entirely unattractive, Schultzy knew she could never compete with the pulchritudinous models who paraded through Bob's photo studio; still, it was clear that she carried a torch for her boss, even when she herself was being squired by her erstwhile sailor boyfriend Frank (played by Dick Wesson, who wrote many of the series' scripts). Bob was also ardently pursued by tweedy bird watcher Pamela Livingston, played by Nancy Kulp in what amounted to a dress rehearsal for her more famous portrayal of Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies. (The last-named series and The Bob Cummings Show were both developed and produced by Paul Henning, whose former boss, comedian George Burns, made frequent guest appearances on the Cummings Show). Certain elements of Bob Cummings' private life spilled over into his starring sitcom. Like Cummings, Bob Collins served in the Air Force Reserve, he flew his own private plane, and he hailed from Joplin, MO. This last plot element enabled Bob Collins to make occasional return visits to Joplin, where he commiserated with his white-maned grandfather Josh Collins (also played by Cummings, in heavy old-age makeup). Like his grandson, foxy Grandpa Collins had quite an eye for the ladies, and his own romantic misadventures provided fodder for a number of hilarious episodes. Moving from NBC to CBS in the fall of 1955, The Bob Cummings Show remained at its new network until the end of its third season, then returned to NBC for its fourth and fifth year on the air, concluding its prime time run on September 15, 1959. One month later, reruns of the series, retitled Love That Bob, were picked up by a third network, ABC, and were seen on a Monday-through-Friday daytime basis until the fall of 1961.