Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-144 Pete & Gladys

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Episode Description:

Pete and Gladys is an American situation comedy television series starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams that aired on CBS on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time for two seasons, beginning on September 19, 1960. The last episode was broadcast on September 10, 1962.

In the popular 1950s CBS sitcom, December Bride, starring Spring Byington, Pete Porter (Harry Morgan) was the next-door neighbor who spent most of his time complaining about his scatterbrained wife Gladys, who was unseen to viewers. In this spin-off series, Gladys emerges as the redheaded comedienne Cara Williams. Pete Porter is an insurance salesman, and the happy couple resides in Westwood, California.

Not only was the show seen on Monday nights, which had once belonged to another wacky redhead, Lucille Ball, but its premise was a variation on that of I Love Lucy, focusing on a level-headed, wise-cracking, and often sarcastic husband (combining elements of both Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz) and his sincere, ingenuous, and frequently in-hot-water wife. (By coincidence or not, this show was produced during the two-year period between the end of production of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and before the premiere in the fall of 1962 of The Lucy Show.)

In addition to leading man Pete, the character of Hilda Crocker, played by character actress Verna Felton, was the other carryover from the December Bride series during the first season. The older woman was a close equivalent of Vivian Vance's Ethel Mertz and appeared in twenty-three episodes. Frances Rafferty, another December Bride veteran, appeared in seven episodes of Pete and Gladys as Nancy. Barbara Stuart appeared nine times in the first season as Gladys's friend, Alice. Ernest Truex, formerly of The Ann Sothern Show, was cast in six episodes as Gladys' widowed father, "Pop".

Alvy Moore portrayed Howie in eleven episodes; he was later cast as the scatterbrained agricultural extension agent Hank Kimball in CBS's rural sitcom, Green Acres. Peter Leeds was cast nine times as George Colton, with Shirley Mitchell in thirteen episodes as his wife, Janet. Barry Kelley played Pete Porter's boss, Mr. Slocum, in six episodes; Lurene Tuttle and Helen Kleeb each appeared twice in the role of Mrs. Slocum. A couple named Briggs, Ernie and Peggy, played by Joe Mantell and Mina Kolb, was cast in six episodes. Muriel Landers played Gladys' cousin, Violet, in three segments. Donna Douglas, prior to rocketing to stardom as Elly May Clampett on CBS's The Beverly Hillbillies, also guest starred twice on Pete and Gladys. Gene Barry and Mickey Rooney appeared in separate episodes as themselves. Child actor Ron Howard appeared as Tommy in "The Goat Story" on Halloween 1960; he was already cast as Opie Taylor on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, which aired later in the Monday schedule.

Gale Gordon portrayed Uncle Paul Porter in nine episodes. He subsequently became a regular on Lucille Ball's subsequent series, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. Even series director James V. Kern was an I Love Lucy veteran, as were the Pete and Gladys head writers, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf (in fact, when they returned to Lucille Ball to write The Lucy Show after Pete and Gladys had been cancelled, she angrily told them, "You gave my best material to that other redhead!").

Bill Hinnant was cast in four episodes in the second season as Gladys' nephew, Bruce Carter, who stayed with his aunt while attending a nearby college. In one of those segments, Gladys "investigates" why the fraternity of Bruce's choice blackballed him.

If the producers thought that the similarities and/or connections to the highly successful Ball sitcom would draw viewers to its old Monday night berth, they were mistaken. Pete and Gladys never made it into the Nielsen ratings Top 25 during the course of its run. However, it was used in weekday morning reruns on CBS for several years after it ceased production.

Williams was nominated for a 1962 Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, but lost to veteran Shirley Booth of NBC's Hazel.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-144 Pete and Gladys.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:27:56

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,304,596,528 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 11:48

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