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All in the Family
Season Three: 1972-73



THE PILOT EPISODES: 1968-69
SEASON ONE: 1970-71
SEASON TWO: 1971-72
SEASON THREE: 1972-73
SEASON FOUR: 1973-74
SEASON FIVE: 1974-75
SEASON SIX: 1975-76
SEASON SEVEN: 1976-77
SEASON EIGHT: 1977-78
SEASON NINE: 1978-79
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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1972-73: THE THIRD SEASON

Year-End Rating: 33.3 (1st place)

By the third year, the creators trust the material enough to downplay the earsplitting polemics in favor of scripts that chronicle the more mundane, though no less interesting, everyday hopes and frustrations of life at 704 Hauser Street.

Norman Lear assumes the role of executive producer when director John Rich takes over the show's production reins as well. Story editors Michael Ross and Bernie West continue to write most of the season's scripts, along with story consultant Don Nicholl.


38 Archie and the Editorial    First Aired: September 16, 1972
Writers: George Bloom, Don Nicholl
Story: George Bloom
Director: Norman Campbell
Guest Stars: Sorrell Booke, Val Bisoglio, Brendan Dillon, Diane Sommerfield, Lynnette Mettey

After he rails against gun control in a TV editorial, Archie meets his two biggest supporters--a pair of stickup artists who rob him at gunpoint.

John Rich takes a break from directing to get his bearings as the show's new producer. The veteran sitcom director never planned to stay with the show past the first episode. "When Norman and Bud Yorkin asked me to direct the pilot, I said I'd sign on for just two episodes," Rich recalled. But one season led to another, and by the show's third year, Rich found himself producing the show and directing the actors while associate director Bob LaHendro directed the cameras from the booth.


39 Archie's Fraud    First Aired: September 23, 1972
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Director: Norman Campbell
Guest Stars: Billy Halop, James McEachin

Archie is audited by the IRS after he fails to report income he made driving Munson's taxicab.


40 The Threat    First Aired: September 30, 1972
Writers: Michael Elias, Lila Garrett
Story: Bill Manhoff, Michael Elias, Lila Garrett
Director: John Rich
Guest Star: Gloria LeRoy

Archie can barely contain himself when the attractive young wife of an old Army buddy spends an eventful night in the Bunker household.


41 Gloria and the Riddle    First Aired: October 7, 1972
Writer: Don Nicholl
Director: Bob Livingston
Guest Stars: Patricia Stich, Brendon Dillon, Billy Sands, Allan Melvin

Gloria tests Mike and Archie's male chauvinism quotient with a riddle that stumps the men but is easily answered by Edith.


42 Lionel Steps Out    First Aired: October 14, 1972
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Terry Ryan, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Director: Michael Kidd
Guest Stars: Mike Evans, Diane Hull, Mel Stewart

Archie is aghast to find out that his visiting niece plans to go out dancing with Lionel Jefferson.


43 Edith Flips Her Wig    First Aired: October 21, 1972
Writers: Sam Locke, Olga Vallance, Don Nicholl
Director: Hal Cooper
Guest Stars: Barnard Hughes, James Gregory

Edith is worried that she may be a kleptomaniac after she absentmindedly takes a wig from a department store.

O'Connor and Stapleton get stiff competition from scene stealers Barnard Hughes and James Gregory in this episode. Both actors soon landed regular roles on a pair of other classic sitcoms: Gregory appeared as Inspector Luger in Barney Miller, and Hughes played Bob's father on The Bob Newhart Show before MTM featured him as Doc in his own CBS series in 1975.


44 The Bunkers and the Swingers    First Aired: October 28, 1972
Writers: Lee Kalcheim, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Norman Lear
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Vincent Gardenia, Rue McClanahan

Edith unwittingly invites a pair of wife-swapping swingers to dinner when she responds to a newspaper ad for pen pals.

This wasn't the last we'd see of the swingers. Vincent Gardenia would return the following season as the Bunkers' neighbor Frank Lorenzo, and Rue McClanahan was Bea Arthur's best friend on Maude, a role she'd continue for six seasons before the pair renewed their friendship in 1985 as two of The Golden Girls on NBC.


45 Mike Comes Into Money    First Aired: November 4, 1972
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Mike sparks the latest family feud when he donates $200 to George McGovern's presidential campaign instead of paying Archie for room and board.


46 Flashback: Mike and Gloria's Wedding (Part 1)    First Aired: November 11, 1972
Writers: Rob Reiner, Philip Mishkin, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Michael Conrad

On the Stivics' second anniversary, the family recalls the comedy of errors that transpired on their wedding day.

In the tradition of The Dick Van Dyke Show, the script illuminates the characters in an extended flashback that gives the writers an opportunity to take a revisionist look at events long past. The episode suggests that Archie has actually mellowed somewhat under Mike's influence--he was even more narrow-minded and stubborn in the flashback.


47 Flashback: Mike and Gloria's Wedding (Part 2)    First Aired: November 18, 1972
Writers: Rob Reiner, Philip Mishkin
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Michael Conrad, Peter Hobbs

The Stivics' wedding is jeopardized when Michael's uncle insists, over Archie's virulent objections, that the marriage be performed by a Catholic priest.

The Meathead's Uncle Cas is played by the late Michael Conrad, best remembered as Sergeant Esterhaus of Hill Street Blues.


48 Mike's Appendix    First Aired: December 2, 1972
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: John Zaremba, Ann Summers

Gloria is outraged when Mike insists that a male doctor perform his appendix operation.


49 Edith's Winning Ticket    First Aired: December 9, 1972
Writer: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Mel Stewart

Archie schemes to bilk the Jeffersons out of their winnings from a lottery ticket that Edith bought for Louise.


50 Archie and the Bowling Team    First Aired: December 16, 1972
Writers: Allan Katz, Don Reo
Story: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Brad Logan, Allan Melvin

Archie loses his spot on a top bowling team to a black player.


51 The Locket    First Aired: December 23, 1972
Writers: Robert Fisher, Arthur Marx
Director: Hal Cooper
Guest Stars: Liam Dunn, John Randolph, Louis Guss, Mario Roccuzzo

Archie tries to cheat the insurance company out of $300 after Edith misplaces her family-heirloom locket.


52 Archie in the Hospital    First Aired: January 6, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Story: Stanley Ralph Ross, Martin Cohan
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Roscoe Lee Browne, Priscilla Morrill, John Heffernan

Archie befriends the other patient in his semiprivate hospital room, unaware that he's black.

The comic shenanigans over Archie's black bunkmate merely underscore what we already know: Poor Archie gets along fine with his fellow man--until he sees the color of his skin. The producers let us in on the gag at the outset, placing the audience in a superior position to the folly of Archie's bigotry. But the results would have been more interesting had the show challenged our own prejudice by concealing the neighbor's color from the audience, as well as Archie, until the very end.


53 Oh Say Can You See    First Aired: January 20, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Joe Kerr
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Larry Storch, Arlene Golonka

An old school chum tries to convince Archie that his fears of growing old are all in his mind.


54 Archie Goes Too Far    First Aired: January 27, 1973
Writers: Austin and Irma Kalish
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Pamela Murphy, Mary Kay Place, Patty Weaver

Edith and Gloria end the latest family brawl when they storm out of the house to spend the night on their own.

The wives hide out at a sorority slumber party to await their husbands' overdue apologies, setting the scene for one of Edith's classic flights of fancy. After she and Gloria conjure romantic visions of their spouses returning the way Cary Grant always came back to Irene Dunne, or Bette Davis to Humphrey Bogart, Edith cautiously intones, "You were never sure about Bette Davis. Sometimes she'd come back. . . and sometimes she'd just die."


55 Class Reunion    First Aired: February 10, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Story: Stanley Ralph Ross, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Harvey Lembeck, Rae Allen, Priscilla Morrill

Archie refuses to tag along to Edith's thirtieth high school reunion--until he finds out that one of her old beaus will be attending.


56 Hot Watch    First Aired: February 17, 1973
Writers: Sam Locke, Olga Vallance
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Jack Tesler

Archie buys an expensive watch of dubious pedigree and has to find a jeweler who'll fix it with no questions asked.

As Archie schemes to profit from his blunder, he reveals his ancestral ties to Ralph Kramden, another blustery New Yorker who was similarly undone by his own greed.


57 Archie Is Branded    First Aired: February 24, 1973
Writer: Vincent Bogert
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Gregory Sierra, Billy Halop, Michael Gregory, John Putch, Patrick Campbell

Archie wakes up to find a swastika painted on his front door.

A classic episode in which Archie questions the basic tenets of his political extremism when he discovers just how much he has in common with the terrorist who defends them. In one of the series's most unsettling finales, the family's would-be protector is murdered outside their window as the family looks on in horror.


58 Everybody Tells the Truth    First Aired: March 3, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Ron Glass, Ken Lynch, Maurice Marsac

It's Rashomon Bunker-style when the family recounts vastly different versions of their disastrous encounter with a pair of handymen in the Bunker kitchen.


59 Archie Learns His Lesson    First Aired: March 10, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: John Christopher Strong III, Michael R. Stein
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Archie attends night-school classes to qualify for a high-school diploma.

Mike and Archie discuss their differing perspectives on manifest destiny in a sharp scene that mines humor from Archie's desperate attempts to guard his ignorance in the face of his growing enlightenment.


60 Gloria, the Victim    First Aired: March 17, 1973
Writers: Austin and Irma Kalish, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Charles Durning, Mel Stewart

After an attempted sexual assault, Gloria turns to the family for guidance as she suffers through the legal aftermath of reporting the crime.


61 The Battle of the Month    First Aired: March 24, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

In a foul mood, Gloria lambasts Edith for her constant acquiescence to Archie's whims.

The writers clearly established that Gloria's irritation stemmed from premenstrual stress--a character motivation that brought more outraged mail than any other episode in the show's history. Writer Michael Ross defended his script when he told interviewer John Brady, "We didn't do the menstrual episode for shock value. We needed Gloria irritated to the point where she would blow up at Edith. In fact, we got the idea from Sally Struthers herself."

 

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