The Pruitts of Southampton/The Phyllis Diller Show (ABC, 1966)
The Pruitts of Southampton was a situation comedy that aired on ABC from September 6, 1966 until September 1, 1967. There were 17 episodes produced. Midway through the season, the show underwent a name change to The Phyllis Diller Show and another 13 episodes were produced for a total of 30 altogether. The show was based on the 1954 novel House Party by Patrick Dennis. It was ABC’s attempt to turn comedian Phyllis Diller into a sitcom star in the style of Lucille Ball and was an inverted version of The Beverly Hillbillies. The Pruitts were a wealthy struggling stay afloat in their Hampton mansion after they are hit by the IRS for back taxes. Part of the reason for the name change was to have Diller’s name add star power to increase ratings (as well as the addition of actor John Astin — from The Addams Family, which, unfortunately, did not work.