Occasional Wife was an American sitcom that aired on NBC on September 13, 1966, and ran until May 9, 1967 (reruns aired through August 1967). It was originally on NBC's Tuesday night schedule; in the Eastern Time Zone it aired from 8:30–9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Reruns were aired on Comedy Central in 1992.
The lead character was Peter Christopher, a bachelor who enjoyed the single life, but was blocked from professional advancement by not having a wife. Peter's boss, baby-food manufacturer Max Brahms, was, because of his product, a strong believer in marriage and family. Christopher asked a young hat check girl, Greta Patterson, to pose as his wife at company functions. In return, Peter set up Greta in an apartment two floors above his own in a Manhattan building. Greta would use the fire escape to slip in to Peter's 6th floor apartment from her apartment on the 8th floor whenever his boss would drop by unexpectedly. As a silent running gag, Bryan O'Byrne played the "Man in the middle" who bemusedly watching the comings and goings of the two from his 7th floor vantage point. The sitcom's uncredited narrator was the well-known sports announcer Vin Scully.
The series first experienced good ratings, tying at #18 with The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in the Nielsen ratings. The series then fell to #64 in the ratings after having to compete against ABC's popular series The Invaders and the CBS staple The Red Skelton Show. Occasional Wife was canceled after one season.
The series was also notable for being one of the first sitcoms to completely eliminate the use of the laugh track, which set the series apart from other sitcoms on at the time. Its practice of not using canned laughter has now become an industry standard with most modern day single camera sitcoms.
Michael Callan as Peter Christopher
Patricia Harty as Greta Patterson
Jack Collins as Max Brahms
Stuart Margolin as Bernie Kramer
Chris Noel as Marilyn
Bryan O'Byrne as Man-in-the-Middle
Jack Riley as Wally Frick
Sara Seegar as Mrs. Christopher
Susan Silo as Vera Frick
Joan Tompkins as Mrs. Brahms (two episodes)