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1957: 'Leave It to Beaver' Makes its Debut
October 4, 2012  | By Christy Slewinski  | 2 comments
 
On this day in 1957, one of television's most iconic family sitcoms, Leave It to Beaver, made its debut. The series starred Jerry Mathers as Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver, the youngest son of a suburban family, along with Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as his parents June and Ward Cleaver and Tony Dow as his older brother, Wally. The cast also included Ken Osmond and Frank Bank as The Beaver's buddies, Eddie Haskell and "Lumpy" Rutherford, respectively.

The series first ran on CBS, and after its first year moved to ABC. The show ran a total of six seasons. In 1985, a sequel series, Still the Beaver (later The New Leave It to Beaver), ran on the Disney Channel and later TBS, with Mathers, Billingsley, Dow, Osmond and Bank reprising their original roles.
 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
Mac
Harry Shearer was originally cast as Eddie Haskell in the pilot.It was Shearer and his parents who decided not to continue the hsow.Shearer is best known for his voice acting on the Simpsons.Both Mr. Burns and Smithers are two of the most recognizable and stories are told that he can do them simultaneously during tapings.So the guy that opted out on "Beaver" 55 years ago is paid $300,000 per episode for his off camera work today.Would Miss Landers be proud?
Oct 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
Al H
Actually Lumpy and Eddie were Wally's friends. Beaver's pal was Whitie.
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now avaialble on Amazon.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

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Grant Tinker: 1925-2016
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Grant Tinker: An Appreciation
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