As the title implies, the show is set in Hollywood, and it revolves around the daily life of the Smith family, with Harry Von Zell as Attorney Bill Smith, Brenda Marshall as his wife Nancy, and Jan Ford, who plays their precocious daughter, nicknamed "Bumps". The thrust of the story comes when Mr. Smith's stuffy British uncle Cecil Smythe, played by the charismatic Arthur Treacher, comes to live with them. Uncle Cecil is a hilariously stereotypical English snob, and like Higgins, the clash of cultures between him and the family provides the comedic spark. Treacher fans especially will find Cecil's condescending attitude a pleasant change from his other, more personable roles.
As a side-effect of the show's setting, a number of Hollywood stars appear as themselves, including Ann Sheridan, Marsha Hunt, Lucille Ball, and William Holden. You can tell that the producers were really trying to sell the show to audiences. There were twenty-seven episodes in it's run, and every one of them is thoroughly entertaining. Unlike some shows that are basically cast-supported personality pieces, everyone in this cast holds up very well against Treacher's fireball perfomance.
Arthur Treacher is one of my personal favourite figures on the movie landscape. He lights up everything he's in, and livens up roles that otherwise would fall completely flat. He's in some movies I'm very fond of, including the Shirley Temple classics The Little Princess and Heidi, and apropos of my previous It's Higgins, Sir post, he played the amazing butler Jeeves in Thank You, Jeeves (1936), and Step Lively, Jeeves (1937) opposite David Niven as Bertie Wooster.
Harry Von Zell had a colourful career in the movies, radio, and on television, with a longtime announcer's spot on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Brenda Marshall, as well as being a capable and interesting actress, was a very beautiful woman. She showed up in quite a few movies that I like, including Whispering Smith (1948), Captains of the Clouds (1942), and best of all, The Sea Hawk (1940), alongside Errol Flynn. Jan Ford later became a Howard Hughes protege-lover-et cetera. Renamed Terry Moore, she would become known to sci fi fans as the female lead in Mighty Joe Young. She was quite attractive, and in her 50s she even posed for Playboy, giving a new meaning to her Smiths of Hollywood character's name.
Download The Smiths of Hollywood episode, "Cecil's Auto Accident"