TWO GIRLS NAMED SMITH
(ABC, January 20-October 13, 1951)
Peggy Ann Garner (until September), Nina Foch (July & August) & Marcia Henderson (September & October) – Barbara “Babs” Smith
Peggy French – Francis “Fran” Smith
Joseph Buloff – Mr. Basmany
Two Girls Named Smith was a sitcom that followed the misadventures of two cousins—Babs (Peggy Ann Garner) and Fran (Peggy French)—as they moved from Omaha to New York City to pursue their careers. Babs dreamed of being a singer, while Fran sought to become a fashion designer. Along for the ride was their kindly landlord and adviser, Mr. Basmany (Joseph Buloff), Fran’s boyfriend, attorney Jeffery Carter (Kermit Kegley), and Babs’ boyfriend, played by Garner’s real-life husband Richard Hayes.
Two Girls Named Smith debuted on ABC on January 20, 1951. One of the series’ writers was Peter Barry, while music was provided by Jacques Press. Because of illness, Garner missed several weeks of filming in July and August and was replaced by Nina Foch. Garner left for the final time in September, either because of her illness or to spend more time with her husband who likely wasn’t a regular performer on the show, and was replaced for the final weeks by Marcia Henderson. The show was also the subject of a lawsuit, as the creators of the book-turned-movie My Sister, Eileen felt the show’s concept skewed a little too close to theirs. Ultimately, the show’s final fate was determined when it was dropped by its sponsor, B.T. Babbitt, Inc. Because the series was broadcast live and there wasn’t an in interest in archiving programs at the time, very little of the show is known to exist beyond the opening and end credits and one of the Henderson episodes.
ANY SHOW STARRING THE GREAT PEGGY ANN GARNER HAD TO BE A SUCCESS. IT IS TOO BAD THAT NONE OF THE EPISODES WERE SAVED. TWO GIRLS NAMED SMITH WOULD HAVE BEEN A HIT IF PEGGY HAD STAYED BEYOND SEPTEMBER.
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