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The Patty Duke Show

The Patty Duke Show is an ABC network sitcom series created by Sidney Sheldon & William Asher, starring Patty Duke in the lead role.

The show aired from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, lasting for three seasons & 104 episodes.

Plot

The series centered on identical twin cousins, Patty Lane, a normal American teenager living in Brooklyn Heights, New York and her Scottish cousin, Cathy Lane, who has arrived in the United States to finish up her secondary schooling.

Cast

Main Cast

  • Patty Duke as Patty Lane\Cathy Lane
  • William Schallert as Martin Lane
  • Jean Byron as Natalie Lane
  • Paul O'Keefe as Ross Lane
  • Eddie Applegate as Richard Harrison

Recurring Cast

  • Kitty Sullivan as Sue Ellen (14 episodes; 1963-65)
  • David Doyle as Mr. Harrison (3 episodes; 1964-65)
  • Kathy Garver as Monica Robinson (3 episodes; 1966)
  • John McGiver as J.R. Castle (5 episodes; 1963-64)
  • John Spencer as Henry (7 episodes; 1963–64)
  • Marcia Strassman as Adeline (3 episodes; 1964-65)

Production

The ABC network was interested in producing a show with Patty Duke as the star, but had no concept of what the show was to be about.

Producer and writer Sidney Sheldon asked Duke to spend a week with his family at their home to generate ideas. During this time, he noticed that Duke had two distinct sides to her personality, so came up with the concept of identical paternal cousins with contrasting personalities.

According to Duke, he successfully captured her personality in the two characters.

Filming Locations

The show was filmed in New York rather than Los Angeles, was an exception to the trend of producing shows on the West Coast.

Until the early 1960s, New York City had dominated national network production. New formats and innovations such as coast-to-coast coaxial cable service, film and video tape allowed for the move west.

By 1963, most filmed television programing was produced in or around Hollywood. Game shows such as What's My Line and soap operas such as As The World Turns and The Ed Sullivan Show still originated from New York.

When the series' unaired pilot episode was filmed on New Year's Day 1963 (featuring Miller and Herbert in the roles of Martin and Ross Lane, respectively) the show was filmed at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, California, with San Francisco as the setting for the series.

When the series was picked up by ABC, with Patty Duke at the age of 16, the possibility of a problem came into play if production remained on the west coast. California's strict child labor laws, (known informally as the Coogan laws named after famed 1920s child actor Jackie Coogan), curtailed the number of hours that child actors could work. It was thus decided that production would originate from New York, as it did not have such stringent laws.

This would allow producers to devote more time to the production since not only did Duke effectively carry the show, but as a native of Elmhurst, Queens, it made getting to the studio easier.

With the switch to the East Coast, it was decided to reset the show in Brooklyn Heights with filming in the Chelsea Studios.

Cancellation

Patty Duke turned 18 midway through the 1964-1965 television season; consequently, although the series was still popular and getting high Nielsen ratings, ABC wanted to shift the show's production to Los Angeles, California for the 1965-1966 television season, as Duke was now old enough to work longer hours.

However, Duke refused to make the move and she did not want to fly 6,000 miles round-trip daily to film the series; at the time, she was in the midst of breaking off her relationship with her managers, who were insisting upon the move (in reality, United Artists Television (UATV) refused ABC's demand for a switch to color when Duke suspected that the studio executives said no as a negotiating ploy in the hope that the alphabet network would respond with an offer to pay more money for the series on the condition that it continued to film it in black-and-white).

Although the 1965-1966 season began in New York, some of the later episodes were filmed in California. Had the series continued, "The Patty Duke Show" would have remained in Los Angeles, but its cancellation made a further discussion moot.

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