The Patty Duke Show

The Patty Duke Show is an American television sitcom created by Sidney Sheldon and William Asher. The series ran on ABC from September 18, 1963, to April 27, 1966.

The Patty Duke Show
Pattydukeshowintro.jpg
Season one opening
GenreSitcom
Created by
Starring
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Cousins"
performed by The Skip-Jacks
Composers
  • Sid Ramin
  • Harry Geller
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes104 (list of episodes)
Production
Producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 mins
Production companies
DistributorMGM Television
Release
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1963 (1963-09-18) –
April 27, 1966 (1966-04-27)
Chronology
Followed byThe Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights

The series was developed as a vehicle for teenage star Patty Duke, who had won an Academy Award the previous year. Duke starred in dual roles of "twin cousins" Patty and Cathy Lane. The series co-starred William Schallert, Jean Byron, Paul O'Keefe, and Eddie Applegate.

A total of 104 black-and-white episodes, plus an unaired pilot, were produced by United Artists Television. ABC abruptly cancelled the series after three seasons.

PremiseEdit

Patty Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager who (according to the theme song lyrics) lives in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City (although the setting and characters resemble the more simple and wholesome Middle America). Her father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle; Patty affectionately addresses him as "Poppo." Her "identical paternal cousin," Cathy Lane (also played by Duke), is sophisticated, brainy and demure; her father Kenneth (also played by Schallert) is Martin's identical twin brother. Since the widowed Kenneth is often away for as a foreign correspondent for the Chronicle, Cathy moves to the United States to live with Patty's family – which also includes her mother Natalie (Jean Byron) and brother Ross (Paul O'Keefe) – and attend Brooklyn Heights High School with Patty and her boyfriend Richard (Eddie Applegate).

While the girls are physically identical, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for some of the comedic situations on the show. Though the character of "Cathy" received first billing over the character of "Patty" in the show's opening credits, virtually all episodes centered around Patty's misadventures, with Cathy often only playing a minor supporting role. The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with a general European accent;[1] not surprisingly, however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy have an additional identical cousin, Southern belle Betsy (also played by Duke), featured in the season two episode "The Perfect Hostess."[2]

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
136September 18, 1963May 20, 1964
236September 16, 1964May 19, 1965
332September 15, 1965April 27, 1966

CastEdit

 
The Lanes (clockwise from bottom left: Patty Duke as Patty Lane, Jean Byron as Natalie Lane, William Schallert as Martin Lane and Paul O'Keefe as Ross Lane)
  • Patty Duke as Patty Lane and Cathy Lane
    • Duke also "guest-starred" as Betsy Lane in the episode "The Perfect Hostess" (1965)
  • William Schallert as Martin Lane
    • Schallert also had a dual role as Kenneth Lane in three season one episodes, and as Uncle Jed in a season three episode
  • Jean Byron as Natalie Lane, Patty's mother
  • Paul O'Keefe as Ross Lane, Patty's brother
  • Eddie Applegate as Richard Harrison, Patty's boyfriend

Rita McLaughlin served as a double for Duke in the third season, but was never credited. In the series' unaired pilot episode, Mark Miller and Charles Herbert played Martin and Ross Lane, respectively.

Major recurringEdit

  • Kitty Sullivan as Sue Ellen Turner (seasons 1-2), Patty's frenemy. She was replaced by Roz and Monica Robinson in the third season.
    • Cindy Williams portrayed Sue Ellen in Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights when Sullivan was unavaliable.
  • John McGiver as J.R. Castle (season 1), Martin's boss at the Chronicle. He is not shown or mentioned after the first season.
  • David Doyle as Jonathan Harrison (seasons 1-2), Richard's father who is a construction engineer.
  • John Spencer as Henry (seasons 1-2), one of Patty's classmates.
  • Kelly Wood as Gloria (season 2), one of Patty's friends.
  • Marcia Strassman as Adeline (season 2), one of Patty's classmates.
  • Robyn Millan as Roz (season 3), one of Patty's classmates.
  • Laura Barton/Kathy Garver as Monica Robinson (season 3), Patty's rival. She replaces the Sue Ellen Turner character.

Notable guest starsEdit

ProductionEdit

OriginsEdit

Following her Academy Award-winning role in The Miracle Worker, ABC became interested in developing a series starring Duke. The network enlisted writer Sidney Sheldon to develop a vehicle for Duke. Sheldon asked Duke to spend a week with his family at their home to generate ideas. During this time, he noticed that Duke had two distinct sides to her personality (later in life she would be diagnosed as manic-depressive),[3]: 287  and so came up with the concept of identical paternal cousins with contrasting personalities.[3]: 115  According to Duke, he successfully captured her personality in the two characters.[1]

In development, Cathy was initially from Scotland. Duke learned a true Scottish burr for the Cathy character. However, Duke's accent was "so well they couldn't understand me",[1] concerning producers that the viewers would not like or understand her with such a profound accent. Upon going into production for the series, Cathy had a "general European" background and accent.[3]: 120 [1]

The pilot episode was filmed on New Year's Day 1963 at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, California. Several differences in the pilot included the series being set in San Francisco; and Mark Miller and Charles Herbert portraying Martin and Ross Lane, respectively.

Seasons One and TwoEdit

Even before ordering the series, it was understood that production would shift from Los Angeles to New York City. In the previous decade, New York had dominated national network production. By the early 1960s, new formats and innovations such as coaxial cable service, film and video tape allowed for the industry to move to the West coast with the film industry. By 1963, most scripted programming was based in Hollywood, while New York served production for game shows (What's My Line), soap operas (As The World Turns), and late night shows (The Ed Sullivan Show). However, at 16 years old, Duke fell under California's strict child labor laws (known informally as the Coogan laws named after famed 1920s child actor Jackie Coogan), which curtailed the number of hours that child actors could work. Since New York did not have such stringent laws at the time, and Duke already resided in Manhattan, New York, the network relocated production of the series to Chelsea Studios and moved the series location to Brooklyn Heights.

Upon the series order, Miller declined to move on with the series. Schallert was hired after reading for producers, and reuniting him with his Byron, his co-star from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (which had ended the season before).[4] Sheldon and Asher wrote and produced the series, with Duke's managers John and Ethel Ross also serving as associate producers. According to Duke and others, the cast and crew members were unaware of their abuse of her.[5]

William Asher initially served as producer. However, before going on the air, he had failed to finish a full-length episode.[6] As a result, ABC assigned Robert Costello to produce, though he only remained until the twenty-fifth episode.[7] Following his departure, frequent director Stanley Prager took over for the remainder of the first season, as well as the second season.

Visual effectsEdit

 
Duke as both Cathy (left) and Patty Lane.

The dual role for Duke challenged special effects for its time, considering that television special effects were rare in the early 1960s, particularly for a sitcom. In all episodes, Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through use of a split-screen effect. The technically ambitious traveling matte process was also used from time to time, particularly in the pilot. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind).[8] To differentiate the two characters to the viewing public, the character Patty wore a flip-fall hairpiece, while Cathy's character wore a more conservative turn-under hairstyle.

Season Three and cancellationEdit

Midway through the second season, Duke celebrated her eighteenth birthday and fired the Rosses as her managers.[9] As Duke was now old enough to work longer hours, ABC wanted to shift the show's production to Los Angeles. Duke initially was against the idea, but eventually agreed. With the move came new sets and new exterior shots, the latter of which seemed to place the home in an unnamed suburban neighborhood instead of Brooklyn Heights.

During the second season, Duke had become romantically involved with assistant director Harry Falk, and married him during the third season. He was able to direct one of the final season three episodes – in which Patty and Richard contemplate getting married – which Duke said in hindsight "was not a good idea."[10]

In negotiations for the fourth season, United Artists Television (UATV) demanded ABC film the series in color. While CBS and NBC had several series in color, ABC still showed a majority of their series in black-and-white. The only shows that were in color that same season were new series, such as Gidget (which aired directly after The Patty Duke Show). The network refused, stating that it would make the series too expensive, and cancelled the series. The series continued airing reruns on ABC in primetime until August 31.

MusicEdit

The show's theme song, "Cousins,"[11] which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture (including Rocko's Modern Life where it was parodied as the theme song to "The Bloaty and Squirmy Show"), illustrates the two girls' differences: "...where Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe and crêpes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..." The song was performed by a five-voice vocal ensemble called "The Skip-Jacks," which featured actress and Playboy model Stella Stevens.[12]

ReceptionEdit

Already a budding star in her own right, Duke was further thrust into the public consciousness through the show. As the series went on, her star power from the series allowed her to enter popular music, appearing on two episodes of Shindig! in 1965 to release a Top Ten single, "Don't Just Stand There," in one of her two appearances on the series.

PopMatters wrote that although the show's episodes are occasionally very predictable, "it's all in good fun".[13]

RatingsEdit

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV season Rank Nielsen rating Ref
1 Wednesday 8:00 pm September 18, 1963 (1963-09-18) May 20, 1964 (1964-05-20) 1963–64 18 23.9 [14]
2 September 16, 1964 (1964-09-16) May 19, 1965 (1965-05-19) 1964–65 28 22.4 [15]
3 September 15, 1965 (1965-09-15) April 27, 1966 (1966-04-27) 1965–66 ? ? [citation needed]

William Shallert later stated that, in the third season, the series ratings plummeted after being pitted against Lost in Space.

Syndication and home videoEdit

Repeats of The Patty Duke Show entered local markets as early as September 1966, days after exiting ABC prime time. It remained a mainstay of daytime independent station programming well into the 1970s. A new generation of viewers was introduced to the series by Nick at Nite cable, broadcasting a lengthy five-year prime time run from September 19, 1988, to August 30, 1993. On June 30, 1995, Nick at Nite showed one episode of the series during their 10th anniversary celebration. In 2005, both Nick at Nite and TV Land aired another episode of the series in honor of Nick at Nite's 20th anniversary.

In 2008, This TV began airing The Patty Duke Show as part of an early morning classic TV block. Prior to this, the show had not appeared in national syndication since Nick at Nite dropped it from its lineup in 1993. As of 2019, episodes aired on Saturday and Sunday.

Reruns of The Patty Duke Show were seen on Antenna TV from 2013 until 2015 as part of that channel's regular programming schedule. From November 4, 2013, to April 6, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes every day from 1:00–2:00pm ET; from April 7, 2014, to August 29, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes weekday afternoons from 2:00–3:00pm ET; from September 1, 2014, to April 3, 2015, the show aired back-to-back episodes weekday mornings from 6:00–7:00am ET; from April 6, 2015, to September 11, 2015, it aired back-to-back episodes Monday-Friday from 9:00–10:00am ET. From January 4, 2016, to September 2, 2016, the series aired weekday mornings at 6:00am–6:30am on MeTV.

The show can currently be seen on Circle.

ReunionsEdit

The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn HeightsEdit

On April 27, 1999, the thirty-third anniversary of the ABC cancellation of The Patty Duke Show, rival network CBS aired the television film The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited Duke, Schallert, Byron (in her final on-screen role before her death in February 2006), O'Keefe and Applegate. The film was meant to be a backdoor pilot to a revival of the series, though these plans never came to fruition.

In the film, Patty and Richard married after graduating high school, and had a son Michael (Alain Goulem) before an amicable divorce after nearly 27 years of marriage. Michael is married with a teenage daughter Molly (Jane McGregor). Patty works as the drama teacher at Brooklyn Heights High School. Cathy is widowed and living in Scotland with her teenage son Liam McAllister (Kent Riley). Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Daily Chronicle.

The film revolves around a Lane family reunion, where the family bands together against the plans of Sue Ellen Caldwell (portrayed present-day by Cindy Williams, since original portrayer Kitty Sullivan was unavaliable) to tear down the high school for a shopping center. Patty and Richard also confront their continued feelings post-divorce, reconciling by the end of the film.

Several clips of the original series were shown as flashbacks. Kitty Sullivan is shown in one of these flashbacks.

Social Security campaignsEdit

In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for the Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or who grew up in the 1960s. In 2010, the surviving cast reprised their respective roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration.

DVD releasesEdit

Shout! Factory has released all three seasons of The Patty Duke Show on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 37 September 29, 2009
The Complete Second Season 36 February 9, 2010
The Complete Third and Final Season 32 August 24, 2010

See also: similar shows and filmsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Patty Duke on the origins of "The Patty Duke Show" on YouTube
  2. ^ The Patty Duke Show S2E18 The Perfect Hostess on YouTube
  3. ^ a b c Duke, Patty (April 13, 2011). Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9780553272055.
  4. ^ "William Schallert Interview Part 2 of 4 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  5. ^ "Patty Duke Interview Part 2 of 3 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  6. ^ "Sidney Sheldon Interview 2 of 5 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  7. ^ "Bob Costello Interview Part 6 of 8 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  8. ^ MeTV Staff (December 15, 2015). "10 fascinating factoids about 'The Patty Duke Show'". MeTV. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Patty Duke Interview Part 2 of 3 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  10. ^ "Patty Duke Interview Part 2 of 3 - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  11. ^ Patty Duke Show, The (Intro) S1 (1963) on YouTube
  12. ^ "The Skip-Jacks". CBS Interactive, Last.fm Ltd. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  13. ^ "The Patty Duke Show, PopMatters". 28 September 2009.
  14. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1963-64 Ratings History".
  15. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1964-65 TV Ratings".

External linksEdit