Blondie (partially found CBS sitcom based on comic strip; 1968-1969)

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1968blondie.jpeg

Promotional photo of the Bumstead family.

Status: Partially Found

Blondie was a short-lived CBS sitcom based on the comic strip of the same name by Chic Young. It was the second attempt to create a series on the strip, the first being an NBC sitcom that also ended up being short lived.

After airing from September 26th, 1968 to January 9th, 1969, the series fell into obscurity, and barely any video footage of the series can be found.

Premise

The series was claimed to have been different from other sitcoms at the time; while in most sitcoms, the father was dimwitted and the wife was sensible and intelligent, Blondie was described as having all of the adults show idiotic behavior.[1] The opening sequence was also unique; it shows each character in animated form before fading into their live-action form.

History

Production

In December of 1967, CBS ordered a pilot for the series, having it be a joint venture between them, United Features Syndicate, Universal Television and Kayro Productions. Patricia Harty took up the role of Blondie while the role of Dagwood was played by Will Hutchins. Dagwood's boss, Mr. Dithers, was to be played by Jim Backus. As for the children, Alexander was played by Peter Robbins (the original voice of Charlie Brown from Peanuts from 1965 until 1969) and Pamelyn Ferdin (also a Peanuts voice actor) played Cookie.[2]

The series was announced to start appearing on CBS' schedules on February 19th, 1968. It would replace another sitcom titled He and Me. The Los Angeles Free Press claimed that the president of CBS, Mike Dann, had to choose between renewing He and Me for another season or greenlighting Blondie.[2]

Reception

When Blondie aired its first episode on September 26th, 1968, the reviews for it were scathing. The Milwaukee Journal stated the show was a "horrendously contrived piece of fluff that should have never been snatched from the comic pages", Associated Press described the whole show as dismal, while one less-negative reviewer from The New York Times called the humor so basic that it should have only belonged on a young children's show.[2]

The series' ratings even at its launch were mediocre at the very best, but as it went on, the ratings dropped so drastically that as early as November, there were rumors that the show would get a quick cancellation. It was in December that the rumors proved true, when CBS announced the cancellation on December 16th, 1968. The series ended on January 9th, 1969.[2]

Availability

After the poor ratings and negative reviews, Blondie faded into obscurity. It was never re-aired, syndicated, or released on home media. Only a small amount of content from the series survives, with the theme song and a clip from an unknown episode taken from a CBS fall preview being the only video content easily accessible to the public.

Gallery

The CBS fall preview special for 1968.
The theme song for the series.

External Links

References