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 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet Box Set

 The Essential Ozzie & Harriet Collection

 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - Vol. 1

 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - Vol. 2

 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Vol. 3 (B&W)

 Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The - Volume 4

 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Audio CD


Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: October 3, 1952

Last Telecast: September 3, 1966

Broadcast History:

October 1950-December 1951, Thursday 9:00-9:30 on DUM

December 1951-March 1952, Sunday 7:30-8:00 on ABC

April 1952-December 1952, Wednesday 9:00-9:30 on ABC

September 1958-August 1959, Friday 8:00-9:00 on NBC

September 1975-December 1975, Thursday 9:00-10:00 on NBC

January 1976-September 1976, Sunday 8:00-9:00 on NBC


Ozzie Nelson..... Himself

Harriet Nelson..... Herself

David Nelson..... Himself

Eric "Ricky" Nelson..... Himself

"Thorny" Thornberry (1952-1958)..... Don DeFore

Darby (1955-1961)..... Parley Baer

Joe Randolph (1956-1966)..... Lyle Talbot

Clara Randolph (1956-1966)..... Mary Jane Croft

Doc Williams (1954-1965)..... Frank Cady

Wally (1957-1966)..... Skip Young

Butch Barton (1958-1960)..... Gordon Jones

June (Mrs. David Nelson) (1961-1966)..... June Blair

Kris (Mrs. Rick Nelson) (1964-1966)..... Kristin Harmon

Fred (1958-1964)..... James Stacy

Mr. Kelley (1960-1962)..... Joe Flynn

Connie Edwards (1960-1966)..... Constance Harper

Jack (1961-1966)..... Jack Wagner

Ginger (1962-1965)..... Charlene Salerno

Dean Hopkins (1964-1966)..... Ivan Bonar

Greg (1965-1966)..... Greg Dawson

Sean (1965-1966)..... Sean Morgan


    One of TV's longest-running family comedies, this program was as much a picture of reality in its own way as the "relevance" comedies of the 1970's.

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet was the real-life Nelson family on the air, with all the little adventures that an active and interesting middle-class American family might have, and two young boys growing up before their parents' - and the television audience's - eyes. Even the house they lived in was modeled on the Nelsons' real-life home in Hollywood. About the only liberties taken with reality, for dramatic purposes, was in Ozzie's role. On TV, he had no defined source of income and always seemed to be hanging around the house. (However, on at least one episode, "Ricky The Drummer", Ozzie referred to his former life as an orchestra leader, with Harriet as his vocalist). In real-life Ozzie Nelson was a hard worker indeed, having been the nation's youngest Eagle Scout at age 13, an honor student and star quarterback at Rutgers, and a nationally known bandleader in the 1930's. His wife, Harriet, had once been his band's vocalist.

    Their two sons were the real stars of the program. When The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet began on radio in 1944, the boys' roles were played by professional actors, but in 1949, Ozzie finally allowed his actual offspring to go on the air. From then until the TV version ended. America watched the two boys grow up. From 1952 to 1966, Ricky went from a crew-cut 11-year-old, to a real-life teenage singing idol, to a 25-year-old husband.

    In the early episodes, the stories revolved mostly around the the four Nelsons, with only a few friends and neighbors featured - notably Thorny Thornberry, a holdover from radio days, who regularly offered Ozzie bits of ill-timed advice. Later, as the boys began to date, a succession of girlfriends and school buddies began to appear. In 1956, David went off to college, followed four years later by Ricky. In the meantime, Ricky had begun a show business career of his own, which gave The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet quite a boost among younger viewers. A fall 1956 episode had him organizing a rock 'n' roll band in high school. Then in an April 1957 telecast, he was drafted to perform with a local band and sang a currently popular Fats Domino hit, "I'm Walking" - which, backed with "A Teenager's Romance," promptly became a real-life, million-selling record for him. It was no flash-in-the-pan. Ricky went on to become one of the biggest stars of the rock era, and all of his songs were featured in Ozzie & Harriet episodes, or in an unconnected short segment tacked on to the end of the show.

    In time, both David and Ricky were married, and both real-life wives (June & Kris) appeared on the show. David emerged from "college" as a lawyer and joined a law office, in which Ricky later worked as a part-time clerk. Their boss during most of this period was Mr. Kelley, and their secretary, Miss Edwards. Toward the end, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet became almost a living exercise in nostalgia, with a number of episodes from the early 1950's being rerun during the last two seasons. Then final original telecast in 1966 was wistful; it had Ozzie deciding to buy a pool table and convert David and Ricky's now-vacant bedroom into a game room - until he met with stiff opposition from Harriet.

    For a short time in 1960, the series ran under the title The Adventures of the Nelson Family.

    In 1973, the senior Nelsons returned with syndicated series called Ozzie's Girls. With their two sons married and away, Ozzie and Harriet took in two college-coed boarders - Susie Hamilton (played by Susan Sennett) and Brenda MacKenzie (Brenda Sykes). In the first few episodes, Brenda's first name was Jennifer. Stories revolved around the problems of the parents of two sons adjusting to the presence of two "daughters".