All about Lassie
Lassie is a popular 1950s television series about a female collie, a dog named Lassie, and her many adventures with her owners and other animals. It also focuses on Lassie’s bravery and all the times she rescues her owners, friends, and others in need. Lassie became such a popular television series that it ran for 19 whole seasons which consisted of 571 episodes. In the first three seasons ofLassie, Lassie is raised by a kind, young eleven year-old boy named Jeff Miller, along with Jeff’s mother and grandfather. In her fourth season, Lassie is taken care of and loved by a seven year-old boy named Timmy Martin, and his parents. In the eleventh season of Lassie, Lassie goes out on her own into the wilderness, and begins more of her many adventures. She even experiences some of those adventures with the United States Forest Service Rangers. In her last two seasons, Lassie settles down with a very nice family and lives happily.
The origins of Lassie
Before the TV show, Lassie began seven movies were produced between 1943 and 1951 about Lassie. A little while after the seventh movie, the producer Robert Maxwell and Rudd Weatherwaxx, the trainer and owner of Pal (the dog who plays Lassie) began brainstorming ideas for a television show about Lassie. The show first broadcasted in the fall of 1954 on CBS.
In the first few seasons, the plot of the show surrounded Lassie, her owner Jeff Miller and Jeff’s widowed mother and grandfather. In 1957, the actor who played Jeff, Tommy Rettig, and the actress who played his mother, Jan Clayton, both wanted to quit. The producers decided to begin the transition of taking the millers out of the show, and so found a new, young, male actor to play the new character of Timothy. A short time after the actor George Cleaveland suddenly died, causing the producers to completely drop the Miller family and to change the plot once again.
The producers soon hired Cloris Leachman and Jon Shepodd as Timmy’s parents. However, throughout season 4, Cloris Leachmman grew more and more unhappy with her role as Timmy’s mother. And after season 4 was completed, she and Jon Shepodd were replace by June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly. When this change occurred, ratings began to severely drop, however onceLassie’s audience got used to this new change and new actors, the ratings began to sky-rocket.
Lassie’s own adventures
After this season was over, Jon Provst, the boy who played Timmy, decided to not renew his contract, so the producers decided to completely change the plot again. In the next few seasons, Lassie would go on her own into the wilderness, and have many adventures with some of the forest rangers there. In her last seasons, Lassie settled down at the Holden ranch, with some very kind children and their family. Although there were no spin-offs of Lassie, some productions used the character of Lassie. For example, an animated show was produced, called Lassie’s Rescue Rangers. Even though the television show Lassie has ended, Lassie will forever remain America’s favorite dog.