The Doris Day Show (1968)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Sitcom [TV]  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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According to most sources, movie superstar Doris Day had never wanted to appear in a weekly TV sitcom, but had been contractually committed to the project without her knowledge by her husband/manager Martin Melcher. Thus, the reluctant actress stepped into the role of Doris Martin in the half-hour series bearing her name, which made its CBS bow on September 24, 1968. Although The Doris Day Show was popular with Day's fans from the outset, the star and the producers were never satisfied with its format. In fact, during its five years on the air, the series went through no fewer than four format changes. During the first season, Doris Martin was a young widow with two sons, Toby (Tod Starke) and Billy (Philip Brown), living on the farm owned by Doris' crusty-but-loveable uncle, Buck Webb (Denver Pyle). James Hampton also appeared as Buck's handyman Leroy, and Fran Ryan and Naomi Stevens were seen as housekeepers Aggie and Juanita. Come season two, Doris had taken a new job as executive secretary at San Francisco-based ""Today's World"" magazine, taking orders from her boss Michael Nicholson (McLean Stevenson), and commuted from the farm each morning. Left over from season one were Uncle Buck and sons Toby and Billy; new to the cast was Rose Marie as Doris' co-worker Myrna Gibbons, Billy De Wolfe as Doris' persnickety neighbor Willard Jarvis, and Paul Smith as Nicholson's associate editor Ron Harvey. Doris moved off the farm at the beginning of season three (whereupon Denver Pyle and Naomi Stevens left the series) and resettled in a tiny San Francisco apartment, located above an Italian restaurant run by Angie Palucci (Kaye Ballard) and Louie Palucci (Bernie Kopell). The series' most radical format change occurred in season four. Doris' sons were written out, as were Michael Nicholson and Myrna Gibbons. Doris Martin was now a "mod" single woman, newly promoted to reporter at "Today's World" and fending off a variety of libidinous bachelors, foremost among them her erstwhile boyfriend, Dr. Peter Lawrence (Peter Lawford). John Dehner joined the cast as Doris' editor Sy Bennett, with Jackie Joseph as Bennett's secretary Jackie Parker. The Doris Day Show was still firmly locked into this fourth and final format when its final episode was telecast on September 10, 1973.. Not surprisingly, the series' theme song was "Que Sera, Sera," written for Doris Day to be performed in her 1956 feature film The Man Who Knew Too Much.