Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-103 Its Always Jan.mpg

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Episode Description:

It's Always Jan is an American situation comedy starring Janis Paige, which aired on CBS in the 1955-1956 season. It was the lead-in program at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday evenings to the first season of the long-running western, Gunsmoke, starring James Arness.

The program centers on Jan Stewart, a war widow and single mother, and her two single female roommates, secretary Pat Murphy, played by Patricia Bright, and model Val Marlowe, portrayed by Merry Anders. A Desilu Production, It's Always Jan borrowed elements of various programs and films from the period but lacked the ingredients for general popularity and long-lasting success. Janis Paige's hairstyle resembled that of Lucy Ricardo, CBS's most successful comedy character of the decade in the I Love Lucy program, starring Lucille Ball, also the Desilu co-owner. With three single women in the series, the program borrowed on the theme of the films Three Coins in the Fountain and How to Marry a Millionaire, later made into a syndicated television series co-starring Barbara Eden and Merry Anders, Paige's co-star.

Jan Stewart devotes much of her time in the series not to the children or the roommates but to her potential paramours and her performances at the night-club called Tony's Cellar in New York City, the setting of the series. As with other programs such as The Red Skelton Show and The Ann Sothern Show, Paige closed each episode by saying "Good night" to the home audience.

Two actors who later became known in other roles each guest starred in three episode of It's Always Jan. Arte Johnson played the character Stanley Schreiber, the delivery boy from a delicatessen, and rocketed to fame more than a decade later in the NBC comedy Laugh-In, and Sid Melton played Jan's agent, Harry Cooper. Several years later, Melton became known as the comical nightclub manager, Charlie Halper, on CBS's The Danny Thomas Show, with Pat Carroll, playing his wife "Bunny" Halper.

Jeri Lou James appeared in ten episodes in the role of Paige's young daughter, Josie Stewart. Among the episode titles are the following: "Pat's Romance," "Guilty Conscience," "Housekeeper," "Propriety", and Love Rings Bells." The program, a Jannard Production affiliated with Desilu, was filmed at RKO Studios in Hollywood.

Patricia Bright's acting career was minimal thereafter, but she made four appearances as Mrs. Claire Block in the NBC police sitcom Car 54, Where Are You?.

It's Always Jan faced competition on NBC from the second season of The Jimmy Durante Show, a comedy/variety show which ended its 51-episode run three months after the Paige series ceased new production. In the 1956-1957 season, It's Always Jan was replaced by Hey, Jeannie!, another unsuccessful situation comedy, which starred Jeannie Carson as a young Scottish immigrant woman living in New York City.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-103 Its Always Jan.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:31:54

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,493,737,550 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 11:22

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