Leave It To Beaver (CBS 1957) was created and produced by Joe Connelly. The show aired from October 4, 1957 through June 20, 1963. It was distributed by MCA Television. This show starred Jerry Mathers who played, “The Beaver.” This is a 1950’s classic. An innocent all American show that shows two brothers living with great all American parents. It showcases morality, virtues, and the different struggles two boys encounter as they are growing up. Beaver is the younger one, always getting into trouble, and the older brother is more mature trying to impress the girls. And sometimes he helps the beaver to get out of trouble. Each episode involves some kind of moral lesson that is resolved by their father, mother, or some other moral figure.
The Beverly Hill Billies (CBS 1962) was created by Paul Henning. This show is considered a “Fish out of water series”. It ran from 1962 through 1971. The show stars Buddy Ebsen, as Jed Clampett. This show basically shows how a family of country bumpkins has adapted to living in Beverly Hills. Their father had found oil in the South and is now a rich oil baron. So the lovely Elly May (Donna Douglas) and her dopey brother -a little inspired by Elvis in looks- live with their granny and their father, Jed. The two siblings are already somewhere in their mid or early twenties but their mentality is that of young teenagers or elementary school children. Elly May loves to be a tomboy and loves the outdoors. Jethro has an equivalent first grade education, but favors himself a candidate for a brain surgeon. Jethro spends most of his time looking for pretty girls. The conflicts stem from the hillbillies spending or moving their money out of the bank of Mr. Drysdale, their banker. He wants their money to stay put, while his wife abhors them. One of the best all time sitcom’s in history. This show is 100% slapstick and non-stop comedy. This show was shot in Bel-Air, Hollywood, and Los Angeles.
Gilligan’s island (CBS 1964) was created by Sherwood Schwartz. Gilligan is played by Bob Denver. Original show ran from September 26, 1964 through September 4, 1967. It is distributed by Turner Entertainment. Although not a sitcom in the traditional sense; it is an islander sitcom. This is a true classic. Every guy remembers the gorgeous starlet Ginger, and the cute Mary Anne, the funny rich couple, the skipper, the scientist, and Gilligan himself. Goofy Gilligan always gets into some degree of trouble and the skipper and the rest of them have to get him out of it. They continuously struggle to find civilization and get off the island. Or they simply get by surviving on an island away from the world. The escape of paradise is what draws us in; along with the beauty of Ginger and Mary Anne.
All in the Family (CBS 1971) was created and produced by Norman Lear. This show was based on Till Death Do Us Apart, created by Johnny Speight. This show was broadcast on CBS television from January 1971 to April 1979. A classic comedy, Archie Bunker (Carroll O’ Connor) plays the quintessential 1950’s American with many prejudices against different people. He is employed as a taxi driver. Most of the comedy deals with Archie’s intolerances with the many realities of the modern world; whether its race, the Vietnam War, or his own stereotypical vision of women as homemakers, or some other 1950’s truism. He gets mad over his politically conservative arguments with the very leftist and liberal “Meathead,” played by Rob Reiner. A lot of these conflicts create the comedy of this great show. His wife (Jean Stapleton) plays the homemaker circa 1950. She is a sweet lady that more or less has a great deal of naiveté towards the modern world, but is much nicer to others than Archie.
Sanford and Son (NBC 1972) was created by Norman Lear and Budd Yorkin. This show is now distributed by Sony Pictures. It was broadcast from 1972 through 1977. The awesome opening music is called “The Streetbeater,” composed by Quincy Jones. This show starred Red Foxx as Sanford the owner of a small junk business. They collect junk and then resell it. He lives in a house and business area with his son. They conflict over age differences and the son’s desire for a better life, and a wife. A lot of the conflict in the story is from Aunt Esther and Sanford. Sanford dislikes his sister in law; he thinks she is ugly and annoying. She is a bible quoting, strong minded woman. She doesn’t care for Fred and his love of drinking and criticizing her. She quotes scripture and hopes the Lord will show Fred the way to decency and salvation. Despite all the differences between Fred and his son, they have a very close bond after the loss of Fred’s wife and Lamont’s mother.
The Brady Bunch (ABC 1974) was created by Sherwood Schwartz. The show originally aired from September 1969 to March 1974. This show starred Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, and Ann B. Davis. This show, exemplifies an extremely campy style of 1970’s family. This sitcom is about a large blended family composed of brothers and sisters in law from two divorces. The show is set in a San Fernando Valley house built in 1959. This house was selected because Schwartz felt an architect could live there. The children struggle with age differences and different situations. The age differences cause different problems and sometimes the kids team up due to their age groups to solve these problems together. It’s a very innocent and fun show. This sitcom is a great show for children and people of all ages.
Three’s Company (ABC 1977) was created by Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West. This show is about what would happen if one guy lived with two women, but did not end up sleeping with them. Jack Tripper (John Ritter) is a riot. Jack and Chrissy (Suzanne Summers) make it a masterpiece of comedy. To stay at the apartment with two women, Jack Tripper has to pretend he is gay, to allow Stanley the landlord to let him stay. Jack works as a cook at Jack’s Bistro. It’s clear that Jack is always happy to help and to hug Chrissy, but it never goes further than an implied liking of the beautiful and not so smart, Chrissy. Otherwise Jack is just really great friends with Janet and Chrissy. Their relationship is like a brother with two sisters. After conflicts with the shows production and Suzanne Summers, she was replaced by a new actress. Although the show continued to be funny at times, it was not the same without the Suzanne Summers and John Ritter combination. The show was shot in Santa Monica and Hollywood California.
Different Strokes (NBC 1978) was created by Norman Lear. This show aired from 1978 to 1985. This showcased a rich Park Avenue businessman, Philip Drummond that has adopted two orphaned boys from Harlem. They must live with him and his daughter Kimberly. It starred Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges. The show is about The Drummond’s and the housekeeper raising these two boys. It shows the boys unique differences to the life of wealth that they have now, contrasted with a life in Harlem. Charlotte Rae starred as the Drummonds’ housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett, who later had her own successful show called The Facts of Life. Gary Coleman RIP was known for his famous line, “What you talking about Willis?”
Roseanne (ABC 1988) was a sitcom broadcasted from October 1988 to May of 1997. This Show starred Roseanne Barr. It was created by Roseanne Barr and Matt Williams. The show was produced by Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner. This show deals with a blue collar, regular American family (The Conners). Evansville, Indiana is where the opening scenes of the sitcom were shot. The Conners deal with the many hardships while raising two daughters and a son. The Conners struggle with financial trouble, keeping the kids fed, dealing with their girl’s boyfriends, or later on their spouses, sister in laws, mother in laws, and infidelity. It’s truly a family affair of comedic and tragic proportions. People love the Roseanne show because everyone can relate to this show on some level. It went on for an entire decade and showcased the family as they changed. During the series they even changed the actress that played the older daughter (Becky), to a new one.
Becker (CBS 1998) was created by David Hackel. The show aired on CBS from 1998 to 2004. Becker was not a family sitcom, but a hilarious tongue and cheek sitcom about a divorced doctor. This Harvard educated doctor struggles to keep his practice going with his young- not so smart- brunette assistant, along with the more organized black secretary, who also moonlights as a lounge singer. He finds solace at a diner, with a blind guy, a fat guy, and a weasel guy moaning about his ex. Ten Danson is truly in his element; this is his greatest show after Cheers. This show is a real sarcastic and funny look at the reality of a small medical practice.
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beverly_Hillbillies
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Sanford and Son.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanford_and_son
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “The Brady Bunch.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brady_Bunch
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “All in the Family.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_in_the_family
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Three’s Company.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threes_company
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Roseanne.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_(TV_series)
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Leave It To Beaver.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leave_It_to_Beaver
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Gilligan’s Island.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilligans_island
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Different Strokes.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diff’rent_Strokes
Anonymous. Wikipedia. “Becker.” Accessed: January 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Becker_(TV_series)