The Patty Duke Show

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The Patty Duke Show
Opening sequence of The Patty Duke Show
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)
Producer(s) William Asher
Stanley Prager
Bob Sweeney
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Chrislaw Productions (1963–1966)
United Artists Television (1963–1966)
Cottage Industries, Inc. (1965–1966)
Distributor MGM Television
Original channel ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 18, 1963 – April 27, 1966
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. A total of 104 episodes were produced, most written by either Sidney Sheldon or William Asher, both of which also created the series.


Patty 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 Cathy 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 school. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for most of the comedic situations on the show.

The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy Lane 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 doppleganger in a distant cousin, the southern belle Betsy, who visits from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Also identical, cousin Betsy is also played by Duke and seen only in the season 2 episode, "The Perfect Hostess," making that episode the only one in the series in which Duke not only plays a triple role, but is also credited as "guest star" in the closing credits.

Characters and cast[edit]

Aside from Schallert, who, as stated above, played a dual role, guest-starring as Kenneth Lane, Cathy's father, three times in season 1 ("The House Guest," "The Christmas Present" and "Auld Lang Syne") and would go on to play another dual role, guest-starring as Jed Lane, Martin's uncle, in the season 3 episode, "A Visit from Uncle Jed"), rounding out the cast were Jean Byron as Natalie Lane, Patty's mother, Paul O'Keefe as Ross Lane, Patty's brother and Eddie Applegate as Richard Harrison, Patty's boyfriend (O'Keefe and Applegate are only credited in the closing credits). David Doyle played Jonathan Harrison, Richard's construction engineer father, in three episodes over the first two seasons, guest-starring twice in season 1 ("Going Steady" and "The Drop Out") and once in season 2 ("Patty the Folk Singer").

In the unaired pilot episode that was filmed on New Year's Day 1963, Mark Miller played Martin Lane and Charles Herbert played Ross Lane. The pilot episode was not aired as such, but parts of it were used in the last episode of the first season, "The Cousins," with Schallert and O'Keefe in their respective roles.[1] In that episode, Patty tells Cathy the story of when Cathy first came to live with Patty and her family.

Special guest stars included singing duo Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, best known by their stage name, Chad and Jeremy (who guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Patty Pits Wits, Two Brits Hits"), teen-heartthrob singers Frankie Avalon (who guest-starred twice: in the season 1 episode, "The Friendship Bit" and in the season 3 episode, "A Foggy Day in Brooklyn Heights"), Bobby Vinton (who guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Patty and The Newspaper Game"), Frank Sinatra, Jr. (who guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Every Girl Should Be Married") and Robert Goulet (who guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Don't Monkey with Mendel"), Jimmy Dean (who guest-starred in the season 1 episode, "The Songwriters"), Sal Mineo (who guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Patty Meets a Celebrity"), Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford (who both guest-starred in the season 2 episode, "Will the Real Sammy Davis Please Hang Up?") and a then-unknown James Brolin (who guest-starred in the season 3 episode, "Patty Meets the Great Outdoors") and John Spencer (who guest-starred seven times, five in season 1 ("The Slumber Party," "How to Be Popular," "Horoscope," "Going Steady" and "Pen Pals") and twice in season 2 ("The Greatest Psychologist in the World" and "How to Succeed in Romance").


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

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).[2] 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.


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.[3]


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.[4]

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.[5]:116 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.[4]

Duke turned 18 midway through the 1964–1965 television season; consequently, ABC wanted to shift the show's production to Hollywood for the upcoming 1965–1966 season, as Duke was now old enough to work longer hours. However, much to the network's displeasure, Duke refused to make the move; at the time, she was in the midst of breaking off her relationship with her managers, who were insisting upon the move. Although the series kicked off in New York at the beginning of the season, a few of the last shows were in fact filmed on the West Coast.[1] Had the series continued, it would have stayed in California, but its cancellation made further discussion moot.


Although the series was still very popular during its final season and getting high Nielsen ratings, ABC decided not to renew it for the 1966–1967 season on the basis that filming it in color would have been prohibitively expensive (at the time all three networks were switching their entire prime time lineups to color production), although Duke wrote in her memoir Call Me Anna that United Artists, which 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, 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 the show continued filming in black-and-white, but ABC decided not to renew the series.[5]:167


The Patty Duke Show was rerun on Nick at Nite from September 19, 1988–August 30, 1993.[6][7] On June 30, 1995, Nick at Nite showed one episode of the series during their 10th anniversary celebration.[8] 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, but, as of September 1, 2014, currently airs Monday-Friday from 6:00-7:00am ET and Saturday-Sunday from 4:00am-5:00am ET; prior to that date, The Patty Duke Show had been airing Monday-Friday from 2:00-3:00pm ET since April 7, 2014; prior to that date, The Patty Duke Show had been airing every day from 1:00-2:00pm 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 passed away 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, who in turn had a daughter 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. 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 Turner, 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 in 14 episodes over the first two seasons, guest-starring five times in season 1 ("The Tycoons," "Chip Off the Old Block," "A Slight Case of Disaster," "Leave It to Patty" and "The Little Dictator") and nine times in season 2 ("The Green Eyed Monster," "Simon Says," "The Greatest Psychologist in the World," "Patty and the Peace Corps," "This Little Patty Went to Market," "Hi, Society," "Don't Monkey with Mendel," "Patty and the Cut Rate Casanova" and "The Daughter Bit"), was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie and was replaced by Cindy Williams of the 1976-1983 ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

DVD releases[edit]

Shout! Factory has released all 3 seasons of The Patty Duke Show on DVD in Region 1.[9]

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.[10]

In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Byron, who, as stated above, passed away 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/Movies[edit]


  1. ^ a b Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction. McFarland. p. 29. ISBN 0-7864-0701-8. 
  2. ^ Mansour, Davod (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 355. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. 
  3. ^ "Patty Duke – Charts & Awards". Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b New York: The Movie Lover's Guide: The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie New York – Richard Alleman – Broadway (February 1, 2005) ISBN 0-7679-1634-4
  5. ^ a b Duke, Patty; Turan, Kenneth (1988). Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-27205-5. 
  6. ^ Nick at Nite Log – 1985–present
  7. ^ The Intelligencer – August 27, 1993
  8. ^ The Intelligencer – June 30, 1995
  9. ^ "More Fun with Identical Cousins, when Shout! Releases Season 3"
  10. ^ Patty Lane Retires – Social Security From YouTube

External links[edit]