The show centered around Tom Corbett, a handsome, thirtyish magazine publisher and widower from Los Angeles who had shouldered the responsibility of raising his freckled-faced, six-year-old son, Eddie, who often cleverly manipulated his father about getting a new wife, shortly after the death of Eddie's mother and Tom's wife, Helen. Tom's domestic arrangements were managed, highly competently, by his Japanese housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston, who was diplomatic and full of sage advice and would also look after Eddie, especially his dirty work. Mrs. Livingston is best remembered for the way she addressed Bixby's character as "Mr. Eddie's Father." Tom worked with Tina Rickles who was his secretary at a magazine company. Norman Tinker, who was the head of another family, worked as a radical photographer at the same company, and would also become Eddie's occasional uncle.

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