TelevisionWeek Executive Editor Tom Gilbert joins our roster of bloggers with this forum all about classic television, where anything from "Leave It to Beaver" to "Malcolm in the Middle" is fair game for discussion. Reunion specials, DVD releases of classic shows, vintage commercials -- anything that's ever been telecast is the hot topic here.


Timeless TV

May 2008 Archives

A Visit With ‘Pete and Gladys’

May 20, 2008 3:38 PM

Before Harry Morgan became Col. Potter on “MASH” and Det. Joe Friday’s sidekick Bill Gannon on the 1960s incarnation of “Dragnet,” he played next-door neighbor Pete Porter on the popular sitcom “December Bride,” original episodes of which ran on CBS from 1954-59.
On the show, Pete forever complained about his scatterbrained wife, Gladys, but she was never seen.

After CBS schedule staple Lucille Ball left the network in 1960 for a shot at Broadway, CBS bought a “December Bride” spinoff starring Morgan called “Pete and Gladys,” on which the mythical Gladys—played by a very Lucy-like red-headed comedian named Cara Williams—would finally be seen. Hoping to fill the Lucy void, “Pete and Gladys” was slotted into a Monday night berth similar to “I Love Lucy’s”; it was even directed by “Lucy” veteran James V. Kern.

It didn’t work. Despite an Emmy nomination for Williams, the show was canceled after two seasons—just in time for Ball’s return to CBS’ Monday night schedule in “The Lucy Show.” But, weirdly, the network stripped “Pete and Gladys” repeats for two more years during daytime.

Here’s the first five minutes of a 1962 episode (complete with opening credits and a quaint Kellogg’s cereal commercial):

In this clip, even with an able assist from longtime "Lucy" nemesis Gale Gordon, it's painfully obvious that the show wasn't working as planned.

TV Land Awards Telecast June 15

May 7, 2008 11:33 AM

TV Land will tape its sixth annual "TV Land Awards" event Sunday, June 8, at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. This year, for the first time, the ceremony will also honor favorites in motion pictures along with the best of television.

The show will premiere on TV Land the following Sunday, June 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The 90-minute telecast will also feature reunions of some of the most popular casts from TV and movies and its annual television show parody (the best part of the show for me, anyway). Last year it was "Ugly Betty White" ... great stuff.

Ugly Betty White