Opening theme "Katy"
Final episode date 4 September 1961
Number of seasons 3
First episode date 6 October 1958
Number of episodes 92
|Written by Tom Adair
James B. Allardice
Robert Van Scoyck
Directed by James V. Kern Richard Whorf
Starring Ann Sothern Don Porter Ann Tyrrell Jesse White Jack Mullaney Ernest Truex Reta Shaw
Theme music composer Bonnie Lake Ann Sothern
Cast Ann Sothern, Don Porter, Ann Tyrrell, Reta Shaw, Jesse White
Similar Private Secretary, The Danny Thomas Show, Angel, The Donna Reed Show, The Real McCoys
The ann sothern show
The Ann Sothern Show is an American sitcom starring Ann Sothern that aired on CBS for 93 episodes. The series began on October 6, 1958, and ended on September 25, 1961.
- The ann sothern show
- Guest stars
- Attempted spin offs
- Ratings and cancellation
The Ann Sothern Show was Sothern's second sitcom for CBS. Her first series, Private Secretary, ended in 1957 after a contract dispute occurred between Sothern and Secretary's producer Jack Chertok. Several of Private Secretary's cast members appeared in the show.
Katy O'Connor (Sothern) is the assistant manager of the Bartley House, a swank New York City hotel. Katy's boss, Jason Macauley (Ernest Truex), was a timid, elderly man who was constantly bullied by his overbearing wife, Flora (Reta Shaw). Katy's secretary, roommate, and best friend Olive was played by Ann Tyrrell, who had also appeared in Sothern's first series, Private Secretary, in a similar role. Other characters included Johnny Wallace (Jack Mullaney), a bellboy who had a crush on Katy, and Paul Monteney (Jacques Scott), a suave, French room clerk.
In an effort to improve the series' ratings, it was retooled midway through the first season. In the twenty fourth episode, "Katy's New Boss", Mr. Macauley is transferred to the Bartley House hotel in Calcutta, along with wife Flora. Don Porter, who had also appeared in Private Secretary as Sothern's character's boss, portrayed James Devery, Mr. Macauley's replacement. Mr. Devery was a younger, somewhat stubborn manager who tended to get carried away with some new, far-fetched idea. After Porter joined the cast, ratings for the series improved and it was renewed for a second season. In 1959, the series won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Show.
During the second season, the series cast was changed again. The characters of Johnny Wallace and Paul Monteney were written out. Three new characters were added; Jesse White, another Private Secretary alum, appeared as Oscar Pudney, a dishonest newsstand owner who was Katy's nemesis. Child actor Jimmy Fields joined the cast as Richy Gordon, a musical child prodigy whom Katy helped. Dr. Delbert Gray (Louis Nye), a humorous dentist who became Olive's boyfriend and eventually, her husband was also added along with Ken Berry as Woody the bellboy.
Storylines typically revolve around the personal lives of the staff and guests of the Bartley House. The series was somewhat advanced for its time regarding women in the workplace and the issues they faced. Not only did the single Katy hold a position of authority in the hotel, which made her the supervisor of a host of male employees. When the character of Dr. Delbert Gray was introduced, so was his mother (Cherrio Meredith), who was a practicing dentist and was, like her son, referred to as "Dr. Gray."
Throughout the three-year run, a storyline of potential romance between Katy and Mr. Devery lingered. In the third season finale episode, Mr. Devery realizes that he is in love with Katy and proposes to her. The episode ending was cliffhanger as Katy kisses Mr. Devery but does not answer his proposal.
In 1957, after her first television series ended its prime-time run, Ann Sothern guest-starred on the first episode of Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, "Lucy Takes a Cruise To Havana". Sothern appeared as her character from Private Secretary, Susie MacNamara. In the episode, it is explained that Susie met and became friendly with Lucille Ball's character Lucy MacGillicudy Ricardo, when the two worked as stenographers in New York City. The two later go on a cruise to Cuba together where Lucy meets Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) and Susie meets Carlos Garcia (Cesar Romero). The episode is one of the earliest examples of a television character "crossing over" from one series to another. Lucille Ball, one of Sothern's close friends and part owner of Desilu Studios (where The Ann Sothern Show was produced), reciprocated two years later, when she guest starred on a 1959 Ann Sothern episode entitled "The Lucy Story". This time, Ball's character (Lucy Ricardo) is an old friend of Katy O'Connor (Sothern), who checks into the Bartley House Hotel after having an argument with Ricky.
Other notable guest stars include:
During The Ann Sothern Show's third season, two episodes aired which were intended to be spin-offs. The series were to be produced by Sothern's company Anso Productions. The first episode, "Always April", aired on February 23, 1961 and featured Constance Bennett. In the episode, Bennett starred as Guinevere Fleming, a former actress who had retired along with her actor husband David Fleming (John Emery) to Vermont. Much to their chagrin, their daughter April (Susan Silo) longs to be an actress and runs away from boarding school to the Bartley Hotel. April meets Katy O'Connor who convinces her to tell her parents of her plans.
The second proposed spin-off episode was "Pandora", which aired on March 3, 1961. The episode featured Pat Carroll as Pandora, a young, slightly eccentric country girl who traveled to Los Angeles on the advice of her mother. Katy O'Connor hires her as a secretary for handsome Hollywood actor Anthony Bardot (Guy Mitchell). Neither series were picked up by a network.
Ratings and cancellation
During its first two seasons, The Ann Sothern Show aired on Monday nights at 9:30 P.M. on CBS immediately following The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room For Daddy). The series' first two seasons received decent ratings, however, at the start of the 1960-1961 season, the series moved to Thursday nights at 9:30 P.M opposite the ABC hit show The Untouchables. The ratings plummeted and CBS canceled the show in the spring of 1961.
The series was previously distributed by Desilu Productions, United Artists Television, and Paramount Television. Ann Sothern and Paramount Television sold the series to Metromedia Producers Corporation (which is now owned by News Corporation) in 1980.
Cable channel Nick at Nite aired The Ann Sothern Show from 1987 to 1990. To date, no plans for a DVD release have been announced. 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the program at present.