Cigarillo-chomping producer/director William Asher broke into films with the 1948 low-budgeter Leather Gloves, which he co-produced and co-directed with Richard Quine. Asher then abandoned theatrical films in favor of the burgeoning world of television sitcoms, directing several early episodes of I Love Lucy (including the legendary "Birth of Little Ricky" installment) and Make Room for Daddy. While working on the tongue-in-cheek mystery series The Thin Man, Asher returned to the Big Screen with the 1957 sci-fi programmer The 27th Day. While his direction of the ultraviolent crime flick Johnny Cool (1963) evinced a stylistic sense that might have gone somewhere had it been developed, Asher seemed more comfortable with the nonsensical hijinks of American-International's Beach Party series. From 1964 through 1973, Asher was principal director of the popular sitcom Bewitched, starring his then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery. After directing the disappointing Movers and Shakers (1984), William Asher concentrated his energies on made-for-TV movies: one of these, ironically, was a "fifteen years later" update of Bewitched's principal competition, I Dream of Jeannie.