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Old 07-18-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
pilotguy
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Default Did Ann Pull A Fast One?

Ann Sothern started on television in the sitcom "Private Secretary", which was produced and owned by Jack Chertok.

Chertok was known in show business as a cheapskate and wouldn't pay Ann what she wanted, so she quit the series.

The next season she was back on TV with a NEW sitcom, "The Ann Sothern Show" (the one where she worked in the hotel). This new series was owned and produced by Ann herself (in co-operation with Desilu).

The series brough Ann Tyrell over from "Private Secretary", and both Anns played basically the same characters that they had played on Chertok's "Private Secretary"....only their names and specific jobs were different. ("Susie" became "Katie" and "Vi" became "Olive").

The BIG difference in Ann's new series was her boss. Instead of Don Porter playing her boss, she now worked for Jason McCauley (played by Ernest Truex). While Porter was suave and good-looking, Truex was short and elderly.....there was certainly no romantic tension between Katie and Mr. McCauley, like there had been with Susie and Porter's Peter Sands on "Private Secretary".

After about half of "The Ann Sothern Show"'s first season, Mr. McCauley and his wife were suddenly transferred to the hotel's branch in Calcutta...and guess who came aboard as Katie's new boss? Yes, we all know who....DON PORTER, this time playing Mr. Devry.

Now here's what I've been wondering.....Did Ann Sothern PLAN on having Don Porter play her boss right from the start, but used Ernest Truex as a "decoy" to make her new series SEEM different from "Private Secretary"?

Ann probably figured that Jack Chertok would be watching her new series very closely, and would try to sue her if her new show was TOO similar to his "Private Secretary" series. However, with a different type of boss for the first several shows, it would throw Chertok off the track and lead him to believe that the new series wasn't just a clone of "Private Secretary"....and she would dump Truex and bring in Porter once the "heat was off" and it was safe to bring in Porter's "Devry" character.

It may sound crazy, but I've always wondered if "foxy" Ann Sothern hadn't planned this from Day #1. What do YOU think?
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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Of course she pulled a fast one. We all know Ann and Lucy were friends since the 1930s, so when Lucy wanted to get away from Desi at the time, she was playing Lucy Ricardo for so long at that point that Lucille Ball began to think she really was Lucy Ricardo, so Lucy and Ann hatched this plot to throw Jack Chertok off. Lucy just pretended Chertok was skinflint Fred Mertz and had her writers devise the plot. They actually wanted to duplicate this story for a Lucy-Desi Hour, but they thought better of it, and didn't want to antagonize Chertok.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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Default Very simple....

...Ann Sothern walked away from "PRIVATE SECRETARY" in early 1957. Jack Chertok owned the show, but couldn't find another "Susie McNamera" to continue the series. Ann and Lucy were long-time friends (from their M-G-M days, I believe)....and Ann was itching to star in another series. So she and Desilu became partners in producing "THE ANN SOTHERN SHOW" (the sponsor being one of Desilu's close corporate "friends", General Foods) and began fine-tuning it, even after its debut in 1958. Ann WANTED Ann Tyrell as her on-screen "chum" again...and when Don Porter became available in early 1959, she got him "back" as on-screen adversary as well. It wasn't "PRIVATE SECRETARY", but it was pretty close during the last two seasons!
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
Kris48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotguy
Ann Sothern started on television in the sitcom "Private Secretary", which was produced and owned by Jack Chertok.

Chertok was known in show business as a cheapskate and wouldn't pay Ann what she wanted, so she quit the series.

The next season she was back on TV with a NEW sitcom, "The Ann Sothern Show" (the one where she worked in the hotel). This new series was owned and produced by Ann herself (in co-operation with Desilu).

The series brough Ann Tyrell over from "Private Secretary", and both Anns played basically the same characters that they had played on Chertok's "Private Secretary"....only their names and specific jobs were different. ("Susie" became "Katie" and "Vi" became "Olive").

The BIG difference in Ann's new series was her boss. Instead of Don Porter playing her boss, she now worked for Jason McCauley (played by Ernest Truex). While Porter was suave and good-looking, Truex was short and elderly.....there was certainly no romantic tension between Katie and Mr. McCauley, like there had been with Susie and Porter's Peter Sands on "Private Secretary".

After about half of "The Ann Sothern Show"'s first season, Mr. McCauley and his wife were suddenly transferred to the hotel's branch in Calcutta...and guess who came aboard as Katie's new boss? Yes, we all know who....DON PORTER, this time playing Mr. Devry.

Now here's what I've been wondering.....Did Ann Sothern PLAN on having Don Porter play her boss right from the start, but used Ernest Truex as a "decoy" to make her new series SEEM different from "Private Secretary"?

Ann probably figured that Jack Chertok would be watching her new series very closely, and would try to sue her if her new show was TOO similar to his "Private Secretary" series. However, with a different type of boss for the first several shows, it would throw Chertok off the track and lead him to believe that the new series wasn't just a clone of "Private Secretary"....and she would dump Truex and bring in Porter once the "heat was off" and it was safe to bring in Porter's "Devry" character.

It may sound crazy, but I've always wondered if "foxy" Ann Sothern hadn't planned this from Day #1. What do YOU think?
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:48 PM   #5
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No, Ann herself said Jack just needed a new accounting firm. Don Porter was brought back because the fans wanted him back. Ann thought it would be fun if she were the one dominating the boss in this series with Truex being the man whos wife walked all over him. The viewers missed Don so they wrote Truex out and got Don back. Either way the show was good. Although, I must admit I thought Don and Ann made a great pair.
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