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Hazel - The Complete First Season

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Old 05-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
dahur1
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Default My review of hazel's final season

I had watched "Hazel" when it originally ran, but I'm sure I never saw the last season. So these episodes I'm watching now are a first for me.
Just finished the 6th one. I've read that Shirley Booth's health wasn't so great the final year of 1965-66. What I've noticed is there is less smiling, less cheerfulness, less joking around. That's my perception anyways. I even went back and watched the first couple episodes from season 1. Yes, as soon as they start, she's smiling, singing, it just kind of confirmed for me there was a change.
And who doesn't like Don Defore? I miss the Crazy Johnsons'. I miss looking at Whitney Blake. It's just different, this last season. I know it's just me, because the last season had good ratings. It probably would have been picked up again, had Shirley been feeling better.
So for me, I hold dear those first four seasons. It doesn't look like I'm going to care much for this last one. Not so far anyways, and I've got 23 more episodes to watch.
Then I'll start back on the first four years again.

Last edited by dahur1 : 05-10-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:25 AM   #2
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Yea the last season is a mixed bag, some good episodes and some not so good. And it's visible to see Shirley Booth isn't quite as chipper like she was in seasons 1-4, due most likely to her health situation at the time. What I like best about the last season is the presence of Lynn Borden. She's really pretty, I think Lynn Borden and Barbara Eden are two of the most attractive actresses from the mid 1960's era.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
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Not to mention a very young Ann Jillian (It's A Living) appeared as a semi-regular in the last season....I recorded the 5th and final season as even though there are rumors that Shout Factory is releasing season 2, I doubt we will ever see a season 5 release. With the different cast and switch to NBC, there are many reasons season 5 is special.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Actually, the series switched from NBC to CBS for the final season. Don DeFore was missed in the last season, but Lynn Borden more than adequately made up for the absence of Whitney Blake. And I agree, a young Ann Jillian as Steve Baxter's secretary provided extra candy for the eye.

I'm not sure why Don DeFore and Whitney Blake were not in the last season, I imagine it had something to do with the switch in networks. Maybe CBS decided retaining the services of DeFore and Blake would have been too costly, so Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden were hired for less money.

I've also recorded the shows from Antenna TV, outside of a couple exeptions the shows are edited but it's better than nothing. I'm also skeptical about the entire series having a DVD release, a lot will depend on how good sales are for the 2nd season release from Shout Factory.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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I think we will see Seasons 2 & 3 fairly quickly. If we see Seasons 4 & 5, I'm sure it will be through Shout Select. So I wouldn't rule out a Season 5 release altogether. I just think it would be a Shout Exclusive if we do see it.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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has anyone said that season 2 won't be a shout exclusive already? The news has been very quiet since it was announced shout would even continue the series from Sony. Shout has even abandoned exclusives...room 222, small wonder, my two dads, and where's more blossom?
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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My guess is that Season 2 will be commercially-available at all online stores. Usually, they don't license out a show strictly for Shout Select. This is only a last resort to get the show out to die-hard fans.

But I must say I'm a bit worried at no news as well. I've tried to get any bits of news from Shout by posting at their forum and asking Mr. Ward. But so far, the last I heard was they were swamped with other releases and hadn't started work on "Hazel" yet. So it looks more like it's going to be an end-of-year release. Shout seems to have slowed down in their classic tv-on-dvd department with only a sprinkle of releases in the past few months.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:28 AM   #8
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Default The final season was indeed on CBS....

...in fact, it went off NBC after the Ford Motor Company dropped their option to sponsor a fifth season (the alternate sponsor during the 1964-'65 season, Bristol-Myers, also passed on sustaining another season as well). Fortunately, CBS had a 9:30pm(et) "hole" in their Monday night schedule for 1965-'66: they were supposed to fill that time period with a Polly Bergen mystery series, "SELENA MEAD", but Jim Aubrey, the CBS executive who had tentatively "pencilled it in", was fired at the end of February, and the network decided to erase as much of his influence upon their upcoming fall schedule as much as possible [including "CORONET BLUE", a "FUGITIVE" clone that was eventually seen in the summer of '67]. The new president of the network, John Schneider, discovered that "HAZEL" was available, and decided it would be a perfect combination with "THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW" that fall. The network found new co-sponsors for it- Phillip Morris and Procter & Gamble- and the fifth season appeared on CBS.

However, because of tighter production budgets at Screen Gems {and they were always cheap- they wouldn't allow Sidney Sheldon to film the first season of "I DREAM OF JEANNIE" in color primarily because the special effects cost too much money....in fact, Screen Gems wouldn't have bothered to film "HAZEL" in color if Ford hadn't been their sponsor; they wanted their commercials to be seen in color, and they put out the extra money for color filming, when very few color programs were on network TV in 1962**, Don DeFore & Whitney Blake's contracts weren't renewed- and that's why Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden (on Shirley's suggestion) became the new "Baxters". That's also why Donald Foster & Norma Varden no longer appeared as the "Johnsons" after the move to CBS. And if you take a good look at certain episodes....well, did you notice that "Tony Nelson's" living room from 'I DREAM OF JEANNIE" was redressed as an empty living room in a home waiting to be sold, in one episode?

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Old 05-12-2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV Knowledge Fan
...in fact, it went off NBC after the Ford Motor Company dropped their option to sponsor a fifth season (the alternate sponsor during the 1964-'65 season, Bristol-Myers, also passed on sustaining another season as well). Fortunately, CBS had a 9:30pm(et) "hole" in their Monday night schedule for 1965-'66: they were supposed to fill that time period with a Polly Bergen mystery series, "SELENA MEAD", but Jim Aubrey, the CBS executive who had tentatively "pencilled it in", was fired at the end of February, and the network decided to erase as much of his influence upon their upcoming fall schedule as much as possible [including "CORONET BLUE", a "FUGITIVE" clone that was eventually seen in the summer of '67]. The new president of the network, John Schneider, discovered that "HAZEL" was available, and decided it would be a perfect combination with "THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW" that fall. The network found new co-sponsors for it- Phillip Morris and Procter & Gamble- and the fifth season appeared on CBS.

However, because of tighter production budgets at Screen Gems {and they were always cheap- they wouldn't allow Sidney Sheldon to film the first season of "I DREAM OF JEANNIE" in color primarily because the special effects cost too much money....in fact, Screen Gems wouldn't have bothered to film "HAZEL" in color if Ford hadn't been their sponsor; they wanted their commercials to be seen in color, and they put out the extra money for color filming, when very few color programs were on network TV in 1962**, Don DeFore & Whitney Blake's contracts weren't renewed- and that's why Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden (on Shirley's suggestion) became the new "Baxters". That's also why Donald Foster & Norma Varden no longer appeared as the "Johnsons" after the move to CBS. And if you take a good look at certain episodes....well, did you notice that "Tony Nelson's" living room from 'I DREAM OF JEANNIE" was redressed as an empty living room in a home waiting to be sold, in one episode?


Knowledge, as I have said many times to you, your name is exactly what you are...you would definetly be my "phone a friend"....lol....everything you always say is so well researched, well thought and expressed so perfectly.

I made the error (my bad) and wrote it went from cbs to nbc, I knew I was wrong when corrected by the other poster, but felt going back and changing my original post mistake was "just not playing fair", so I proudly left my mistake for everyone to see!

BTW...Yes I actually noticed the jeannie house redressed in several episodes, so much fun! I was extremely fortuate to visit the Columbia Ranch studio in the 80's.....at the time I visted the facades of "Life Goes On" and attended a taping of "Growing Pains". Afterwards (not bragging) I was a VIP so got to wander around...it is my favorite studio lot.....I love that winding road shot across from the park area seen in so many series, then the bewitched, jeannie house, dennis the menace, so many going back to the "Blondie" movie series. for triva fans...The "Life Goes On" facade was where The Partridges also lived. How I wish I could return, not sure how much the lot has changed....knowledge if you are reading.....I turn it over to you for that answer!

Last edited by TeeVeeCloset : 05-12-2011 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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To be fair, Brian himself said he was jumping the gun when he leaked the news that Shout had aquired Hazel, and that an actual release date was way, way off in the future.

Like "Dennis the Menace", I bet S3 will come shortly after S2, but it all boils down to sales whether or not S4 and S5 will be released quickly, if at all.

Still, it's better than what Sony would have left us with.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV Knowledge Fan
...in fact, it went off NBC after the Ford Motor Company dropped their option to sponsor a fifth season (the alternate sponsor during the 1964-'65 season, Bristol-Myers, also passed on sustaining another season as well). Fortunately, CBS had a 9:30pm(et) "hole" in their Monday night schedule for 1965-'66: they were supposed to fill that time period with a Polly Bergen mystery series, "SELENA MEAD", but Jim Aubrey, the CBS executive who had tentatively "pencilled it in", was fired at the end of February, and the network decided to erase as much of his influence upon their upcoming fall schedule as much as possible [including "CORONET BLUE", a "FUGITIVE" clone that was eventually seen in the summer of '67]. The new president of the network, John Schneider, discovered that "HAZEL" was available, and decided it would be a perfect combination with "THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW" that fall. The network found new co-sponsors for it- Phillip Morris and Procter & Gamble- and the fifth season appeared on CBS.

However, because of tighter production budgets at Screen Gems {and they were always cheap- they wouldn't allow Sidney Sheldon to film the first season of "I DREAM OF JEANNIE" in color primarily because the special effects cost too much money....in fact, Screen Gems wouldn't have bothered to film "HAZEL" in color if Ford hadn't been their sponsor; they wanted their commercials to be seen in color, and they put out the extra money for color filming, when very few color programs were on network TV in 1962**, Don DeFore & Whitney Blake's contracts weren't renewed- and that's why Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden (on Shirley's suggestion) became the new "Baxters". That's also why Donald Foster & Norma Varden no longer appeared as the "Johnsons" after the move to CBS. And if you take a good look at certain episodes....well, did you notice that "Tony Nelson's" living room from 'I DREAM OF JEANNIE" was redressed as an empty living room in a home waiting to be sold, in one episode?



That is simply an amazing piece of History you informed us of. I am floored by your knowledge of details. Very impressed! Thank you for sharing...
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #12
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I think both Hazel and Dennis the Menace will be released completely, and commercially. Just like The Patty Duke Show and Leave it to Beaver. I'm sure they have a bigger fan base than some of those shows that ended up Shout! Exclusives.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert 13
I think we will see Seasons 2 & 3 fairly quickly. If we see Seasons 4 & 5, I'm sure it will be through Shout Select. So I wouldn't rule out a Season 5 release altogether. I just think it would be a Shout Exclusive if we do see it.

I agree, seasons 2 and perhaps 3 will likely be retail. Seasons 4 and 5 if released may be sold exclusively through Shout's website depending on sales for seasons 2 and 3. Father Knows Best has a bigger fan base than Hazel, and look what happened with FKB, seasons 5 and 6 were sold as Shout exclusives only. So I can easily see Hazel seasons being released as Shout exclusives also. Hazel season 1 wasn't a big seller for Sony, so further releases were cancelled. If season 2 for Shout Factory also results in low sales, the series will get abandoned again or best case scenario it may get shifted to the Shout exclusives.

Shout Factory was clever to release Dennis The Menace soon after releasing Leave It To Beaver. "Dennis" isn't that good a show, but DVD sales of it's 1st season got momentum from DVD sales of Leave It To Beaver, a similar type family sitcom from that era. The main difference between LITB and DTM is the writing in LITB is far superior to the writing in DTM.

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Old 05-23-2011, 09:24 AM   #14
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Default My Son the Sheepdog

I can't let the subject of Hazel's last season go without commenting on this episode, which was an embarrassment to TV in general.

I'd consider it a middle-aged conservative TV writer's fantasy fulfillment episode. Young Harold and his friends form a rock band. (And despite their ages, they aren't technically bad. By necessity their sound is a rather generic boogie-- show can't or won't spring for quality, original music.)

But the adults are appalled. They say totally trite and ignorant things like, "It's all noise!" and "They look like girls!" [NOTE: Outside of prominent bangs, their hair is NOT long.]

Finally they come up with a scheme: they start dressing and acting like beatniks (!), hoping to shock the boys back to their senses. And it works. At the cusp of success, with gigs coming in and peer approval, they rather abruptly give up on their dreams and announce with an odd eagerness they're going right to the barbershop. Boring normality is restored. Huzzah ...
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet Water
I can't let the subject of Hazel's last season go without commenting on this episode, which was an embarrassment to TV in general.

I'd consider it a middle-aged conservative TV writer's fantasy fulfillment episode. Young Harold and his friends form a rock band. (And despite their ages, they aren't technically bad. By necessity their sound is a rather generic boogie-- show can't or won't spring for quality, original music.)

But the adults are appalled. They say totally trite and ignorant things like, "It's all noise!" and "They look like girls!" [NOTE: Outside of prominent bangs, their hair is NOT long.]

Finally they come up with a scheme: they start dressing and acting like beatniks (!), hoping to shock the boys back to their senses. And it works. At the cusp of success, with gigs coming in and peer approval, they rather abruptly give up on their dreams and announce with an odd eagerness they're going right to the barbershop. Boring normality is restored. Huzzah ...

I actually enjoy this episode rather well. This was 1966, I imagine many parents might have reacted this way if their kids tried to form a rock band. The use of reverse psychology is amusing with the way they dress themselves up, especially Hazel!
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