At the start of the first episode, Jackie and Sara were still living with their parents, an awkwardly cramped arrangement. When the downstairs tenant, a transvestite named Rafkin, died suddenly, Jackie and Sara moved into his gaudily-decorated apartment. Despite the daughters' minor push for independence, Henry proved to be a very protective father and meddled in their affairs constantly.
During the first season, Sara's addle-headed friend Monroe Ficus, played by actor Jim J. Bullock, was added to the cast. Although the Monroe character was originally intended to be a single-episode guest appearance, Monroe quickly became Henry's principal (if unintended) foil (a "human wrecking ball"). It was the dynamics between Henry and Monroe that would eventually become the core of the show.
During its second season, the series' principal story are focused around Muriel's pregnancy. The season concluded with her giving birth to Andrew. Additionally, Henry's niece April (Deena Freeman) came from Delaware to live with the Rush family.
For the third season, April departed and Muriel's mother, Iris Martin, was added to the cast in order to help with taking care of little Andrew. Played by Audrey Meadows, Iris offered a perfect sparring partner for Henry.
In the fall of 1982, ABC moved the series to Thursday nights, which proved to be a disaster for the show. Paired with failures such as Joanie Loves Chachi, Star of the Family and It Takes Two, Too Close for Comfort's ratings plummeted. At the conclusion of the season, Too Close for Comfort was canceled by ABC.
The last first-run episode of Too Close for Comfort aired on ABC on May 5, 1983, was actually a pilot for a proposed spin-off series called Family Business. The series was to have focused on the misadventures of Lucille Garabaldi (Lainie Kazan) and her two sons (played by George Deloy and Jimmy Baio) as they tried to run a construction business.
Starting in April 1984, a total of 14 new episodes were broadcast for the show's fourth season, featuring the same cast as seen on the ABC episodes. Monroe and Iris were still around to bother Henry, and Jackie and Sara were still downstairs. Little Andrew had grown up to the point where the audience was allowed to hear some of his thoughts.
The show's ratings had improved in syndication, and Metromedia would order an additional 30 episodes, airing through November 1985. With a total of 107 episodes of Too Close For Comfort having been produced, the show became a popular staple for syndicated reruns throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Henry and Muriel moved from their duplex in San Francisco to a house in Marin County. Naturally, Monroe made the transition with them, ensuring Henry's perpetual flabbergastation. However, Jackie and Sara did not come along and were written out of the show. Lisa (Lisa Antille) was added to the cast as the Rushs' maid.
With the immense changes in the show, the series was retitled The Ted Knight Show (not to be confused with the short-lived 1978 CBS show of the same name). First-run episodes were broadcast starting in April 1986.
A total of 22 episodes of The Ted Knight Show were produced prior to the summer of 1986. Although the show was scheduled to resume production for a second season, series star Ted Knight developed colon cancer, and died on August 26, 1986, aged 62. First-run episodes continued to air through September 1986.
With only a single season worth of episodes in the can, The Ted Knight Show was infrequently rebroadcast. When it has been reaired, it has usually been packaged as additional Too Close For Comfort episodes.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||19||November 2, 2004|
|The Complete Second Season||22||June 7, 2005|