Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-061 Our Miss Brooks


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Episode Description:

Our Miss Brooks was an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952–56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name.

The radio show's full cast, minus Jeff Chandler, played the same characters in the television version (with most of the scripts adapted from radio), which continued to revolve largely around Connie Brooks' daily relationships with Madison High students, colleagues and principal. Philip Boynton was played by Robert Rockwell, who also succeeded Jeff Chandler on the radio series. The television show, sponsored by General Foods, shifted focus later in its run, moving Connie Brooks and Osgood Conklin from a public high school to an exclusive private school in the fall of 1955. It also changed the title character's romantic focus: Gene Barry was cast as physical education teacher Gene Talbot, and Connie was now the pursued instead of the pursuer, although Mr. Boynton reappeared in several episodes before the season ended.

Our Miss Brooks ran for 130 episodes on television and won an Emmy award before it was cancelled in 1956. In the 1954-55 season, it overpowered its NBC competition, Dear Phoebe, starring Peter Lawford and Charles Lane, which failed to be renewed for a second season. For the 1955-56 season, with the format change and Rockwell (as Boynton) replaced by Gene Barry, the ratings fell. To rectify their mistake, the producers brought back Rockwell as Boynton in mid-season, but it didn't help. The show was canceled in the spring of 1956. However, in the theatrical film, Our Miss Brooks, released by Warner Brothers in the same year, Connie and Mr. Boynton finally got married. The television series was seen for several years thereafter in rebroadcasts.

Both the radio and television shows drew as much attention from professional educators as from radio and television fans, viewers and critics. In addition to the 1948-49 poll of Radio Mirror listeners and the 1949 poll of Motion Picture Daily critics, Arden's notices soon expanded beyond her media. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, she was made an honorary member of the National Education Association and received a 1952 award from the Teachers College of Connecticut's Alumni Association "for humanizing the American teacher."

Our Miss Brooks was considered groundbreaking for showing a woman who was neither a scatterbrained klutz nor a homebody but rather a working woman who transcended the actual or assumed limits to women's working lives of the time. Connie Brooks was considered a realistic character in an unglamorized profession (she often joked, for example, about being underpaid, as many teachers were at the time) who showed women could be competent and self-sufficient outside their home lives without losing their femininity or their humanity.

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-061 Our Miss Brooks.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:24:50

File Size of SD Episode Video: 934,325,700 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 20:56


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