The dreams, ambitions, and frustrations of Donna Stone and her family: her husband Alex, a pediatrician; their children Mary and Jeff; and their adopted daughter Trisha.
Runtime: 30 minutes
The Donna Reed Show - The Donna Reed Show - Netflix
The Donna Reed Show is an American sitcom starring Donna Reed as the middle-class housewife Donna Stone. Carl Betz co-stars as her pediatrician husband Dr. Alex Stone, and Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen as their teenage children, Mary and Jeff. The show originally aired on ABC from September 24, 1958 to March 19, 1966. When Fabares left the show in 1963, Petersen's younger sister, Patty Petersen, joined the cast as adopted daughter Trisha. Patty Petersen had first appeared in the episode “A Way of Her Own”, on January 31, 1963. Janet Landgard was a series regular from 1963-1965 as Karen Holmby. Bob Crane and Ann McCrea appeared in the last seasons as Dr. Dave Kelsey and his wife, Midge, friends of the Stones, and Darryl Richard became a near regular in thirty-two episodes as Smitty, Jeff's best buddy. The show featured a variety of celebrity guests including Esther Williams as a famous dress designer, baseball superstars Don Drysdale and Willie Mays as themselves, teen heartthrob James Darren as a pop singer with the measles, canine superstar Lassie, and young Jay North of CBS's Dennis the Menace. The series was created by William S. Roberts and developed by Reed and her then husband, producer Tony Owen. Episodes revolved around typical family problems of the period such as firing a clumsy housekeeper, throwing a retirement bash for a colleague, and finding quality time away from the children. Then-daring themes such as women's rights and freedom of the press were occasionally explored. The show had an uncertain start in the ratings and was almost cancelled, but fared better when it was moved from Wednesday to Thursday nights. In the show's middle seasons, Fabares sang what became a #1 teen pop hit “Johnny Angel”, and Petersen had above average success with the song “My Dad”, also introduced during the course of the series. The Donna Reed Show was one of television's top 25 shows in 1963-1964. Reed was repeatedly nominated for Emmy Awards between 1959 and 1962, and won a Golden Globe as Best Female TV Star in 1963. She eventually grew tired of the workaday grind involved in the program, and it was cancelled in 1966 after 275 episodes. The series was sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, with Johnson & Johnson as the principal alternate sponsor (succeeded in the fall of 1963 by The Singer Company). Following first-run, the show entered daytime reruns on ABC and then syndication on Nick at Nite and TV Land for several years. The first five seasons have been released on DVD. This show was the first TV family sitcom to feature the mother as the center of the show. Reed's character, Donna Stone, is a loving mother and wife, but also a strong woman, an active participant in her community, a woman with feelings and a sense of humor. According to many of Reed's friends and family, Reed shared many similarities to the character that she portrayed on screen, implying that the fictional Donna Stone was a near-identical copy of Reed herself. In a 2008 interview, Paul Petersen (Jeff Stone) stated, “[The Donna Reed Show] depicts a better time and place. It has a sort of level of intelligence and professionalism that is sadly lacking in current entertainment products. The messages it sent out were positive and uplifting. The folks you saw were likable, the family was fun, the situations were familiar to people. It provided 22-and-a-half-minutes of moral instructions and advice on how to deal with the little dilemmas of life. Jeff and Mary and their friends had all the same problems that real kids in high school did.” Petersen continued, “That's what the show was really about, the importance of family. That's where life's lessons are transmitted, generation to generation. There's a certain way in which these are transmitted, with love and affection.”
The Donna Reed Show - Awards and nominations - Netflix
The Donna Reed Show - References - Netflix