Category: sitcom

The cast of “Charlie & Co.” photographed by Mario Casilli, 1985.

Lucille Ball photographed by Sid Avery, 1958.

On this day in music history: September 25, 1970 – “The Partridge Family” television series premieres on the ABC television network. The series about a fictional family band led by a widowed mother with five children is created by Bernard Slade and produced by Paul Junger Witt (Soap, Benson, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest), Dale McRaven (Mork & Mindy), Mel Swope, and Larry Rosen through Columbia Pictures Screen Gems division. The show is loosely based on the real family band The Cowsills, who are at the peak of their popularity while the series is being developed. They are initially offered the series, but turn it down when executive producer Bob Clavier makes it known that he wants to replace their real mother Barbara Cowsill with actress Shirley Jones. After the band passes on doing the show, casting begins in mid 1969. Actors David Cassidy (Jones’ real life stepson), Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks (replaced in season two by Brian Forster), and Suzanne Crough are cast as the members of the family, and actor/comedian Dave Madden as their manager Rueben Kincaid. Record producer Wes Farrell is hired to supervise the music for the series, using members of the famed L.A. studio collective The Wrecking Crew as well as vocalists Tom and John Bahler, Ron Hicklin and Jackie Ward to perform the songs the actors lip synch to. Only after the producers discover that David Cassidy is actually a musician and can sing, that he becomes the real lead singer of the group. Shirley Jones also sing background vocals on the records. The series is an immediate hit, running ninety six episodes over four seasons, and releasing nine albums before being canceled on March 23, 1974. The Partridge Family is also be spun off into its own animated cartoon series “Partridge Family 2200 A.D.” produced by Hanna Barbera. The original series runs in syndication for many years before being released on DVD in the mid 2000’s.

Betty White and Bill Williams publicity photos for the

sitcom

“Date with the Angels” (1957) 

Photos by Gene Howard

Janet Jackson on the ABC

sitcom
“A New Kind Of Family” (1979)

The show stars

Eileen Brennan

as Kit Flanagan, a widowed mother of three who shares a home with a divorced woman, Abby Stone (Gwynne Gilford), and her daughter Jill in an effort to save money. Halfway during the series’ first season, it was pulled from the schedule and re-tooled in an effort to boost ratings. The characters of Abby and Jill Stone were written out and new characters, Jess (

Telma Hopkins) and Jojo Ashton (Janet Jackson), were added to the series. Despite the cast change, the show was cancelled in January 1980 after only 10 episodes.