A ‘wholesome’ sitcom paired with a chart-topping introduction song- this describes the Doris Day Show!
Unlike other sitcoms, the Doris Day Show always remained extra sensitive to its audience. This sets it apart from many other sitcoms, which used language that might not be suitable for young audiences–all in order to bring ‘humor’ to certain scenes.
No immorality and foul words are involved in this show since it was a totally family-oriented sitcom. Instead of featuring scenes that could stress the audience, Doris Day Show highlighted family-oriented values in a clean, non-rebellious fashion.
The Doris Day Show was aired on CBS from September 1968- March 1973. The sitcom ran for five seasons and aired a total of 128 episodes. Its plot revolved around Doris Martin (played by Doris Day), a determined mother of two who wants nothing but to give her children a better life. Since Doris is a widow, she moves to different places and tries various jobs to provide for her family. Aside from its family-oriented storyline, this show became a hit due to its introduction song; Doris Day’s phenomenal hit ‘Que Sera, Sera’.
Below are some of the fun facts of the classic, family-oriented hit sitcom Doris Day Show that could help bring it to life:
- The ‘Unbelievable’ Father – Actor and director Denver Pyle played the role of Buck Webb, father of Doris Martin. This is quitea funny fact, as Denver was just two years older than Doris in real life.
- All is Done – After the show’s 5th season was done, Doris called for a press conference and announced that she was cutting ties between her and the CBS-the network that aired the Doris Day Show. When asked about the reasons for such an unprecedented decision, Doris replied that there is nothing they could do to make the show even better. ‘All that could be done with this material has been done,’ Doris said.
- Dual Plot – Interestingly, this light sitcom had two storylines under one title. From seasons one to three, the sitcom revolved around a widow named Doris Martin, her two sons (Billy and Toby), and Doris’ dad, Buck. After her husband died, Doris decided to bring her sons to Covina, Mill Valley, where she was born and raised. In Covina, Doris made a living by helping her dad on the farm. However, this setup did not last long. Eventually, Doris decided to try her luck in San Francisco again and worked as an executive secretary of Today’s World magazine. To avoid the hassle of the daily commute, Doris and her sons moved to San Francisco for good. However,seasons four and five showed us a complete overhaul of the original story. These two seasons featured a single, determined Ms Doris Martin who was the writer and assistant editor of Today’s World Magazine based in San Francisco.
- Secret Contract – According to Doris, her husband Martin Melcher, closed the million-dollar contract (for the show) with the CBS network without letting her know. Unfortunately, her husband died in April 1968, months before the taping of Doris Day Show started. When CBS approached Doris to begin taping the project, Doris was quite shocked. No matter how much Doris explained that she never signed such a project for CBS, she couldn’t violate the terms of the contract. During his lifetime, Doris Day’s husband used most of his movies as a starring vehicle for her. This was probably another of his projects, though he died before the series started. Still, he was credited as an executive producer for the first season.
- Unrequested Hit – There’s no doubt that the Doris Day Show was a hit during the latter part of the 60s-70s. CBS aired the sitcom with high ratings from September 1968- March 1973. It aired a total of 128 episodes under its five seasons. Despite its success, only the Christian Cable Channel dared to do a brief rerun of the show in the mid-80s. After this, the Doris Day Show never had any spinoffs or reruns.
- Que Sera, Sera – Aside from acting, Doris Day is also a famous singer. As mentioned earlier, the show’s opening song, ‘Que Sera, Sera,’ is one of Doris’ hits. This song actually matched Doris’ perspective in life. When she believed in something, she was known to stick to it. There’s evidence to support this, as she even quit the show after believing that no other tweak can make the sitcom better.
- Fashion Sitcom – The Doris Day Show eventually came to a point where Doris stopped accepting the scripts made by the scriptwriters. Her unwillingness was due to the belief that as the show reached its 5th year of airing, most of the episodes became ‘insipid’ or outright nonsense. This was why, instead of reading the scripts, she asked the production team to just film her doing a fashion show.
- Changing Fashion:For instance, she would usually wear a yellow pantsuit in the opening credits of seasons 3 and 4. For the last episodes of season 5, Day would wear a frilly black gown while descending the staircase. The scene would then cut to her wearing a tan coast and holding some purple flowers.
The Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Hee-Haw were among many rural-based sitcoms that hit the world by the storm during the 60s. At the close of the decade, however, the time was ripe for changing the theme to a more urbanized setting. Right at this point, airing yet another classic rural-based sitcomwas a major gamble by CBS. In hindsight, of course, we know that they made the right choice! With just a few story tweaks made in the 4th and 5th seasons of the Doris Day Show, the increase in viewership for the show was impressive.