Saturday, December 22, 2012

What Might've Been: Blondie (1968)

Blondie had been on screen in a series of feature films with Penny Singleton (later of The Jetsons) in the title role, opposite Arthur Lake as Dagwood. In 1968, producers Joe Connolly and Bob Mosher (better known for Leave it to Beaver & The Munsters) adapted the long running comic strip into a sitcom, co-produced by Universal and King Features TV (KFTV's only live-action series that we know of), for CBS.

Patricia Harty was cast in the title role, with Will Hutchins (ex-Sugarfoot) as Dagwood. Jim Backus (ex-Gilligan's Island) was cast as Dag's boss, tyrannical Julius Dithers, and, to top it all off, child actors Peter Robbins & Pamelyn Ferdin, better known at the time for their work on the Peanuts specials (as Charlie Brown & Lucy, respectively) as Alexander & Cookie, though if memory serves, Alex & Cookie were already grown up in the strip by 1968.

Where CBS fouled up was airing the show on Thursdays. Back then, NBC owned the hour with Daniel Boone, which had a very loyal audience. The network might've been better served trying this on a different night.

I never saw the show, so I can't rate it. Gilmore Box uploaded the open.


magicdog said...

I honestly never knew this exisited! I grew up watching the Blondie serials from the 30s-40s which ran on WPIX-TV back in the day. These were far more entertaining than this show.

I caught an episode on YT, and I'm afraid this show wouldn't have made it. Silly light natured shows were being pushed out the door by the fall of '68. I think the show was about a decade too late for primetime TV. Maybe as a Saturday morning entry.

hobbyfan said...

Even back then, the networks did not have a clue on how to program shows.

The last time they tried Blondie, Marvel produced an animated special, also for CBS, in the early 80's. They haven't attempted another sitcom.