December 15, 2018

A DATE WITH JUDY


A DATE WITH JUDY
(ABC, June 5, 1951-September 30, 1953)

American Broadcasting Company




MAIN CAST:
Jimmy Sommer – Ogden “Oogie” Pringle
Gene O’Donnell & John Gibson – Melvin Foster
Anna Lee & Flora Campbell – Dora Foster
Judson Rees & Peter Avarmo – Randolph Foster


            A Date With Judy began its life as a comedy radio series on NBC as a summer replacement for Bob Hope’s show. Starring Ann Gillis as Judy, the series focused on the teenaged girl who was deemed the most datable in town, but had a habit of attracting trouble and causing chaos. The show began on June 24th, 1941 and ran until May 25, 1950; with Louise Erickson taking over as Judy in the third season and the final season being broadcast on ABC.

The radio cast photo from an article after Erickson took over the role.


            The show proved immensely popular, gaining a movie adaptation from MGM in 1948 starring Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. The movie was also a hit, earning over $4.5 million at the box office. When the radio show ended, ABC decided to adapt it again; this time for their television network. The show first aired on Saturday mornings, beginning June 5th, 1951. Patricia Crowley played the title role, with Gene O’Donnell and Anna Lee as her parents Melvin and Dora, Judson Rees as her brother, Randolph, and Jimmy Sommer as Judy’s boyfriend, Ogden “Oogie” Pringle. The series was produced and written by Aleen Leslie.

Judy and Oogie sharing a shake.

            After a single season, ABC decided to retool the show and move it to primetime on Thursdays and later Wednesdays for the remainder of its run. The entire cast was replaced, with Mary Linn Beller as Judy, John Gibson as Melvin, Flora Campbell as Dora, and Peter Avarmo as Randolph. Only Sommer was retained as Oogie, and Leslie continued to produce and write for the show. It ended after three seasons on September 30, 1953, replaced by Saber of London.

Judy's first comic appearance.

            While the radio show was on the air, National Periodical Publications (the precursor of DC Comics) began publication of a comic based on the series. It ran for 79 issues between 1947 and 1960, outliving every incarnation of the show. As for the show itself, clips and stills have not yet found their way online assuming any had survived their initial broadcasts.



EPISODE GUIDE:
Unavailable at this time.

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