The Patty Duke Show

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The Patty Duke Show
Pattydukeshowintro.jpg
The Patty Duke Show season one opening
Genre Sitcom
Created by William Asher
Sidney Sheldon
Written by Gary Abrams
William Asher
David Butler
Arnold Horwitt
Roy Kammerman
Sidney Sheldon
Directed by Bruce Bilson
Harry Falk
Claudio Guzmán
Stanley Prager
Alan Rafkin
James Sheldon
Don Weis
Starring Patty Duke
William Schallert
Jean Byron
Paul O'Keefe
Eddie Applegate
Theme music composer Sid Ramin
Robert Wells
Composer(s) Sid Ramin
Harry Geller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 104 + unaired pilot (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) William Asher
Stanley Prager
Bob Sweeney
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Chrislaw Productions (1963–1966)
United Artists Television (1963–1966)
Cottage Industries, Inc. (1965–1966)
Distributor MGM Television
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 18, 1963 – April 27, 1966
Chronology
Followed by The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights (1999 TV movie)

The Patty Duke Show is an American sitcom that ran on ABC from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, with reruns airing through August 31. The show was created as a vehicle for rising star Patty Duke. 105 episodes were produced, 104 of them airing over three seasons, most written by either Sidney Sheldon or William Asher, both of whom co-created the series.

Plot[edit]

Patricia Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City; her father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle. In the unaired pilot episode, her "identical cousin," the sophisticated, brainy and demure Catherine Margaret Rowan Lane (also played by Duke), whose father, Kenneth Lane (also played by Schallert), Martin's twin brother, also works for the Chronicle, but as a foreign correspondent, arrives in the United States from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend Brooklyn Heights High School. Mark Miller played Martin Lane and Charles Herbert played Ross Lane in the unaired pilot episode, although parts of it were used in the last episode of the first season, "The Cousins," with Schallert and Paul O'Keefe in their respective roles. In that episode, Patricia, who goes by her nickname "Patty," tells Catherine, who goes by her nickname "Cathy," the story of when Cathy first came to Brooklyn Heights to live with Patty's family and attend school. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for most, if not all, of the comedic situations on the show. The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with a slight Scottish accent; not surprisingly, however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy also have a doppelgänger in a distant cousin, the Southern belle Betsy, who visits from Chattanooga, Tennessee and is also identical, as cousin Betsy is also played by Duke and is only seen in the season 2 episode, "The Perfect Hostess," making that episode the only one in the series in which not only does Duke play a triple role, but she is also credited as "guest star" in the closing credits.

Cast[edit]

  • Patty Duke as Patty Lane and Cathy Lane; Duke also guest-starred as Betsy Lane in the episode "The Perfect Hostess" (1965)
  • Mark Miller as Martin Lane (unaired pilot episode); William Schallert took over the role for the rest of the series; Schallert also had a dual role as Kenneth Lane in three season 1 episodes "The House Guest" (1963), "The Christmas Present" (1963) and "Auld Lang Syne" (1964) and Uncle Jed in the season 3 episode "A Visit from Uncle Jed" (1966)
  • Jean Byron as Natalie Lane
  • Charles Herbert as Ross Lane (unaired pilot episode); Paul O'Keefe took over the role for the rest of the series; O'Keefe appeared in or was credited in every episode except "Chip Off the Old Block" (1964)
  • Eddie Applegate as Richard Harrison

Notable guest stars[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Music[edit]

The show's theme song, which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture, illustrates the two girls' differences: "...where Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe and crêpes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..." and was sung by a 5-voice vocal ensemble called "The Skip-Jacks."

Patty Duke as Cathy Lane and Patty Lane
The Lanes (clockwise from bottom left: Patty Duke as Patty Lane, Jean Byron as Natalie Lane, William Schallert as Martin Lane and Paul O'Keefe as Ross Lane)

Visual effects[edit]

The dual role for Duke challenged special effects for its time, considering that television special effects were rare in the early 1960s, particularly for a sitcom. In all episodes, Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through use of a split-screen effect. The technically ambitious traveling matte process was also used from time to time, particularly in the pilot. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind). In order to differentiate the two characters to the viewing public, the character Patty wore a flip-fall hairpiece, while Cathy's character wore a more conservative turn-under hairstyle.

Reception[edit]

Already a budding star in her own right, Duke was further thrust into the public consciousness through the show. As the series went on, her star power from the series allowed her to enter the realm of popular music, appearing on two episodes of Shindig! in 1965 to release a Top Ten single, Don't Just Stand There, in one of her two appearances on the series.

Production[edit]

Filming locations[edit]

By the early 1960s, most sitcoms were being produced in Hollywood, whereas previously they had been produced in New York. New formats and innovations such as filmed shows, video tape and coast-to-coast coaxial cable service allowed for this change. By 1963, mostly game shows, such as What's My Line and soap operas, such as The Secret Storm still originated from New York, whereas most other productions moved out West. The Patty Duke Show would prove to be the exception for the time, as it was filmed in New York and not Hollywood. When the series unaired pilot episode was filmed on New Year's Day 1963 featuring Miller and Herbert in the roles of Martin and Ross Lane, respectively, the show was filmed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, California, with San Francisco as the setting for the series. However, when the series was picked up by ABC, it was realized that Duke's age, which, at the time, was 16, would prove to be a challenge, as California's strict child labor laws, known informally as the Coogan Laws after famed 1920s child actor Jackie Coogan, curtailed the number of hours that child actors could work. It was thus decided that the show would originate from New York, as by contrast, New York did not have such stringent laws. This would allow producers to devote more time to the production, a distinct advantage, since not only did Duke effectively carry the show, but, with Duke being a native of Elmhurst, Queens, New York, it made getting to the studio a lot easier. With the switch to the East Coast, it was decided to reset the show in Brooklyn Heights, with the Chelsea Studios in Manhattan serving as the filming location.

Cancellation[edit]

Duke turned 18 midway through the 1964–1965 television season; consequently, although the series was still very popular and was getting high Nielsen ratings during its final season, ABC wanted to shift the show's production back to Hollywood for the upcoming 1965–1966 television season, as Duke was now old enough to work longer hours. However, much to ABC's displeasure, Duke refused to make the move, as she didn't want to have to fly 6,000 miles round-trip each day just to film the series; at the time, she was in the midst of breaking off her relationship with her managers, who were insisting upon the move. In reality, United Artists Television, which, along with Chrislaw Productions, produced the series (as well as The Miracle Worker, which Duke won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year – Actress for her role of Helen Keller), refused ABC's demand for a switch to color, with Duke suspecting that United Artists executives said no as "a negotiating ploy" with the hope that ABC would respond with an offer to pay more money for the series on the condition that ABC continued to film the series in black-and-white, but ABC decided not to renew the series for the 1966–1967 television season, mainly on the basis that filming it in color would have been prohibitively expensive (at the time, all three networks were switching their entire primetime lineups to color production). Although the series kicked off in New York at the beginning of the 1965–1966 season, a few of the last shows were, in fact, filmed on the West Coast. Had it continued, The Patty Duke Show would have stayed in California, but its cancellation made further discussion moot.

Syndication[edit]

The Patty Duke Show was rerun on Nick at Nite from September 19, 1988 to August 30, 1993. On June 30, 1995, Nick at Nite showed one episode of the series during their 10th anniversary celebration. In 2005, both Nick at Nite and TV Land aired another episode of the series in honor of Nick at Nite's 20th anniversary. As of November 1, 2008, The Patty Duke Show is being syndicated on This TV as part of an early morning classic TV block. Prior to this, the show had not appeared in national syndication since Nick at Nite dropped it from its lineup in 1993. As of March 2009, the show was being broadcast daily on World Harvest Television, the cable/satellite channel operated by televangelist Lester Sumrall's LeSEA Broadcasting. As of November 4, 2013, reruns of The Patty Duke Show are currently airing on Antenna TV as part of that channel's regular programming schedule. From November 4, 2013 to April 6, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes every day from 1:00–2:00pm ET; from April 7, 2014 to August 29, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes Monday–Friday from 2:00–3:00pm ET; since September 1, 2014, The Patty Duke Show airs back-to-back episodes Monday–Friday from 6:00–7:00am ET and Sunday–Monday from 4:00am–5:00am ET.

Reunion movie[edit]

On April 27, 1999, exactly 33 years to the day that ABC cancelled The Patty Duke Show, rival network CBS aired the TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited Duke, Schallert, Byron (in her final on-screen role, as she died in February 2006 of complications following hip replacement surgery), O'Keefe and Applegate. In Still Rockin', Patty and Richard married after high school, had a son, Michael (Alain Goulem), who in turn had a daughter, Molly (Jane McGregor) and were amicably divorced (though toward the end of the movie, they reconcile), while Cathy is a widow living in Scotland and has a teenage son, Liam McAllister (Kent Riley). Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Daily Chronicle. Most of the plot revolves around Patty's old rival, Sue Ellen Caldwell, who planned to buy Brooklyn Heights High School (where Patty works as a drama teacher), raze it and replace it with a mall, which is opposed by Patty, Cathy and the rest of the Lane family. Kitty Sullivan, who played Sue Ellen Turner in 14 episodes over the first two seasons, was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie and was replaced by Cindy Williams, best-known for her role as Shirley Feeney in the ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

DVD releases[edit]

Shout! Factory has released all 3 seasons of The Patty Duke Show on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 37 September 29, 2009
The Complete Second Season 36 February 9, 2010
The Complete Third and Final Season 32 August 24, 2010

Social Security campaigns[edit]

In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for the Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or who grew up in the 1960s. In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Byron, who, as stated above, died in February 2006 of complications from hip replacement surgery) reprised their respective roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration.

Similar shows and movies[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]