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Doris Day Show

By Robert Horton

Doris Day was still a big movie star when she switched gears and hit the sitcom trail in 1968. The Doris Day Show traded on her bright-bulb cheerfulness and effortless audience rapport for its appeal, and in its second and third seasons became a top-20 hit. Day herself was not happy with the premise of the first season, however: a widow and her two young sons move to the country to live with her father. The irony was, the job Day's character was leaving behind--writer for a New York women's magazine--was much more in the vein of her successful movie parts. (One episode has her traveling back to NYC to help on a story, and frankly she looks much happier there.)

Instead, the TV series lays on the rural corn, with much humor stemming from the grizzled father (Denver Pyle) and Gomer Pyle-like handyman (James Hampton). Doris's single status occasionally makes for a storyline, but this was the beginning of the great era of TV widows and widowers, and her loyalty remained with her boys. As a performer, Day retained the spunk and the naturalistic, conversational style she developed in movies, and it must be said that for a woman in her mid-40s she had the figure of a 19-year-old.

The series would switch locations (her character landed a job in San Francisco in season 2, which is previewed in the DVD extras) and change casts periodically. Perhaps the "jump the shark" episode for season 1 involves a tiger that gets loose on the ranch, one of those laborious contrivances that sank many a late-sixties sitcom before All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show came along to save the day. The DVD set includes some quirky video messages from Doris Day promoting the show in 1968, two entertaining 1950s Day appearances on What's My Line?, and interviews with then-child-actor Philip Brown and James Hampton, who would become a regular in the Burt Reynolds stock company. All 28 first-season episodes are here, probably for Day completists only.

Doris Day Show on DVD!
Doris Day Show is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One, Season Two

 

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 24, 1968 - September 10, 1973

Cast: Doris Day, Denver Pyle, Fran Ryan, Philip Brown, James Hampton, McLean Stevenson, Bernie Kopell

Network: CBS

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song: Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)

Image courtesy of CBS


Doris Day Show memorabilia!
Doris Day Show Videos and DVDs!
Doris Day memorabilia!
Doris Day Videos and DVDs!
Denver Pyle memorabilia!
Denver Pyle Videos and DVDs!

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