Monday, March 20, 2017

What Might've Been: Mrs. G. Goes to College, aka The Gertrude Berg Show (1961)

Gertrude Berg had been away for a bit after The Goldbergs ended its run. After guest-starring on Jackie Cooper's CBS sitcom, Hennesey, the network offered Berg the opportunity to star in her own show again.

The end result was Mrs. G. Goes to College, the G in the title standing for Green, as in Sarah Green, a 62 year old widow (Berg) enrolling in college as perhaps the world's oldest freshman. Cedric Hardwicke and Peter Lorre were two of her professors, and the supporting cast also included Mary Wickes (Dennis the Menace) and future domestic icon Marion Ross (later of Happy Days).

Unfortunately, CBS slotted Mrs. G opposite the Kraft Music Hall on NBC (w/Perry Como) and Hawaiian Eye on ABC. Ballgame over. They even tried rebooting the show by putting Berg's name in the title, but it only postponed the inevitable.

Get TV has acquired the series, which launched earlier today with the series premiere, "The First Day". The network's YouTube channel provides a short excerpt:

Nice idea, but I'd say it was on the wrong night.

Nearly 10 years later, CBS would have the same problem with Andy Griffith, as he returned to television after 2 years away, but his school series, The Headmaster, was an even bigger bomb, leading to The New Andy Grifftith Show, which would mark the end of Griffith's association with CBS.

Rating: B.

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