The Betty White Show

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The Betty White Show
Betty white show 1977.jpg
John Hillerman and Betty White, 1977
Created byEd. Weinberger
Stan Daniels
Developed byDavid Lloyd
Directed byJames Burrows
Harvey Medlinsky
Noam Pitlik
Doug Rogers
StarringBetty White
John Hillerman
Georgia Engel
Composer(s)Dick DeBenedictis
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes14 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Stan Daniels
Ed. Weinberger
Producer(s)Bob Ellison
Dale McRaven
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)MTM Enterprises
Distributor20th Television
Release
Original networkCBS
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1977 (1977-09-12) –
January 2, 1978 (1978-01-02)

The Betty White Show is an American sitcom which aired on CBS from September 12, 1977, to January 9, 1978. Fourteen episodes were broadcast. The series was produced by MTM Enterprises. Note: This program should not be confused with two earlier television programs that had the same title—a daytime talk show that ran on NBC February 8, 1954 – December 31, 1954, and a prime-time comedy variety show that ran on ABC February 5, 1958 – April 30, 1958.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Joyce Whitman (Betty White), a middle-aged actress, lands the lead in a fictitious police series, Undercover Woman (a parody of Angie Dickinson's Police Woman). Joyce is thrilled with the show, but less pleased to learn that the director is her ex-husband, John Elliot (John Hillerman), whom she unfondly refers to as "old pickle puss". He responds in kind, supplying his star with an oversized male double named Hugo (Charles Cyphers), a sexy, much younger onscreen sidekick (Caren Kaye), and dialogue not nearly as sharp as her tongue. Also on hand are Joyce's best friend, Mitzi Maloney (Georgia Engel), co-star actor Fletcher Huff (Barney Phillips) and network penny-pincher Doug Porterfield (Alex Henteloff).

Reception[edit]

The series was scheduled opposite ABC's Monday Night Football and The NBC Monday Movie and failed to generate viewers. The show was canceled after fourteen episodes.[2] Nick at Nite and TV Land briefly reran the show during the 1990s.

Cast[edit]

  • Betty White as Joyce Whitman, a sharp-tongued actress.
  • John Hillerman as John Elliot, Joyce's ex-husband and director of her show.
  • Georgia Engel as Mitzi Maloney, Joyce's naive best friend/roommate.

Recurring[edit]

  • Caren Kaye as Tracy Garrett, Joyce's younger, sexier co-star.
  • Charles Cyphers as Hugo Muncy, Joyce's hunky stunt double, who is over-sized.
  • Barney Phillips as Fletcher Huff, Joyce's co-star.
  • Alex Henteloff as Doug Porterfield, a network executive who oversees Undercover Woman.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Undercover Police Woman"Bill PerskyDavid LloydSeptember 12, 1977 (1977-09-12)
2"Mitzi's Cousin"Doug RogersBob EllisonSeptember 19, 1977 (1977-09-19)
Mitzi convinces Joyce to let her recently-divorced cousin, Wilma (Janis Paige), to stay with them while she visits Los Angeles. But Wilma ends up falling for John, and soon wants to move to Los Angeles.
3"Make Yourself at Home...Steal Something"James BurrowsEarl PomerantzSeptember 26, 1977 (1977-09-26)
While Mitzi throws a surprise party for Joyce, her diamond necklace goes missing.
4"Doug Gets Fired"Noam PitlikDavid LloydOctober 3, 1977 (1977-10-03)
5"We're Not Divorced: Part 1"Harvey MedlinskyDavid LloydOctober 10, 1977 (1977-10-10)
Joyce and John are shocked to find during a tax audit that their divorce was never finalized. Meanwhile, Joyce is upset when Tracy writes a script for the show that makes her look bad.
6"We're Not Divorced: Part 2"Harvey MedlinskyDavid LloydOctober 17, 1977 (1977-10-17)
7"Mitzi's Jealousy"Doug RogersDavid LloydOctober 24, 1977 (1977-10-24)
8"Good Night, Sweet Fletch"Burt BrinckerhoffGlen Charles & Les CharlesOctober 31, 1977 (1977-10-31)
9"John's Mother"James BurrowsDale McRavenNovember 7, 1977 (1977-11-07)
John's mother (Elizabeth Kerr) comes to visit her son. Since she does not know about John and Joyce's divorce, they have to pretend to be a happy couple for her.
10"Joyce, The Matchmaker"Jay SandrichDavid LloydNovember 14, 1977 (1977-11-14)
11"Joyce's Wedding"Burt BrinckerhoffBill IdelsonDecember 12, 1977 (1977-12-12)
When Joyce begins dating a race car driver (Philip Carey), John suspects he is using her to break into show business.
12"Fletcher's Decision"Noam PitlikSheldon BullDecember 19, 1977 (1977-12-19)
Joyce and Mitzi have Fletcher and his wife Marian (Florence Halop) as houseguests, while their home is being repainted. However, the couple soon overstay their welcome.
13"Play Misty for John"James BurrowsEarl PomerantzJanuary 2, 1978 (1978-01-02)
14"The Stunt Woman"Noam PitlikDavid LloydJanuary 9, 1978 (1978-01-09)
A rumor begins that Undercover Woman may be cancelled, though Joyce initially dismisses it. But when Doug discovers the rumor is correct, Joyce throws a party to convince the network heads to save the show. Meanwhile, Hugo is upset that John has hired a stunt woman for Tracy, and believes her hiring caused bad luck that got the show cancelled.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McNeil, Alex. (1996). Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8. P. 90.
  2. ^ Spadoni, Mike (August 2004). "TV Greats and Unsung Heroes: Betty White". televisionheaven.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-08-06.

External links[edit]