DAVID BIANCULLI

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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.
Oct 4, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: An advance copy of David’s upcoming book from Doubleday has just arrived! The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available on Amazon for pre-order for its November 15th release. You can read some of the dustcover summary here, including: “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. In tracing the evolutionary history of our progress toward a Platinum Age of Television,…he focuses on the development of the classic TV genres, among them the sitcom, the crime show, the miniseries, the soap opera, the Western, the animated series and the variety show. David Bianculli's book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail and with a keen critical and historical sense, including exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history.” —TVWW

 

This Day in TV History