The Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show

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The Donna Reed Show

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The Donna Reed Show is an American sitcom starring Donna Reed as the upper middle class housewife Donna Stone. Carl Betz appears as her pediatrician husband Alex, and Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen as their teenage children Mary and Jeff. The show originally aired on ABC at 10 pm from September 24, 1958 to March 19, 1966. When Fabares left the show in 1964, Petersen's little sister Patty Petersen joined the cast as adopted daughter Trisha. Bob Crane and Ann McCrea appeared in the last seasons as the Kelseys, friends of the Stones, and Darryl Richard became a near regular as Smitty, Jeff's best buddy. The show featured a variety of celebrity guests including Esther Williams as a famous dress designer, baseball superstars Don Drysdale and Willie Mays as themselves, teen heartthrob James Darren as a pop singer with the measles, canine superstar Lassie as herself, and young Jay North as Dennis the Menace.

The series was created by William Roberts and developed by Reed and her husband, producer Tony Owen. Episodes revolved around typical upper middle class family problems of the period such as firing a clumsy housekeeper, throwing a retirement bash for a colleague, and finding quality time away from the kids. Edgy themes such as women's rights and freedom of the press were occasionally explored. The show had an uncertain start in the ratings and was almost cancelled, but fared better when it was moved from Wednesday to Thursday nights. In the show's middle seasons, Fabares sang...
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