The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–1958)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 551 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Neighbor Blanche Morton frequently joins Gracie in escapades which annoy hubby Harry and provide George with an opportunity to offer a humorous soliloquy.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 20 Jul 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 15 Aug 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 103 titles
created 5 months ago
 
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–1958)

The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–1958) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1958   1957   1956   1955   … See all »
Nominated for 11 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Jack Benny Program (1950–1965)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The comic misadventures of the skinflint comedian and his friends.

Stars: Jack Benny, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Don Wilson
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

God asks a young girl to help spread his word and influence with a slogan.

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette, David Birney
Oh, God! (1977)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When God appears to an assistant grocery manager as a good natured old man, the Almighty selects him as his messenger for the modern world.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: John Denver, George Burns, Teri Garr
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a TV special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin
I Married Joan (1952–1955)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The adventures of the scatterbrained wife of a respected city judge.

Stars: Joan Davis, Jim Backus, Geraldine Carr
Hazel (1961–1966)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to... See full summary »

Stars: Shirley Booth, Bobby Buntrock, Don DeFore
Bernardine (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

High school students enter a fictional woman's name (Bernardine Mudd) in a contest. The contestant wins and hilarity ensues.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Pat Boone, Terry Moore, Janet Gaynor
Petticoat Junction (1963–1970)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The misadventures of the family staff of The Shady Rest Hotel and their neighbors of Hooterville.

Stars: Edgar Buchanan, Linda Henning, Bea Benaderet
The Red Skelton Hour (1951–2013)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Long-running weekly show that spotlighted legendary comedian and beloved TV clown, Red Skelton. Each show featured comedy skits, gags and vignettes starring Skelton and guest performers.

Stars: Red Skelton, David Rose and His Orchestra, Art Gilmore
The George Burns Show (1958–1959)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "Burns & Allen" spin-off found George Burns relocated to his downtown office working as a producer and trying to deal with an assortment of entertainers and oddball theatrical acts as well as his previously established friends.

Stars: George Burns, Bea Benaderet, Harry von Zell
Bachelor Father (1957–1962)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Never-married attorney Bentley Gregg took on the task (with help from his "houseboy", Peter) of raising his young niece Kelly, after her parents died in an accident. The job was easier when... See full summary »

Stars: John Forsythe, Noreen Corcoran, Sammee Tong
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company picnic. When the two go out to a ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Gracie Allen, Warren William, Ellen Drew
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 George Burns (291 episodes, 1950-1958)
...
 Gracie Allen (291 episodes, 1950-1958)
...
 Blanche Morton / ... (291 episodes, 1950-1958)
Harry von Zell ...
 Announcer / ... (268 episodes, 1951-1958)
...
 Harry Morton / ... (199 episodes, 1953-1958)
Ronnie Burns ...
 Ronnie Burns / ... (125 episodes, 1951-1958)
Edit

Storyline

Neighbor Blanche Morton frequently joins Gracie in escapades which annoy hubby Harry and provide George with an opportunity to offer a humorous soliloquy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You've HEARD them on radio, now SEE them on television! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Burns and Allen Show  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gracie Allen wanted to retire from show business in the 1940's and was reluctant to branch out into television, but husband George Burns coerced her into it. Gracie decided she'd had enough of TV by the fifth season and was furious that George kept going behind her back and signing contracts for additional seasons. During the eighth season, Gracie put her foot down and demanded she be allowed to retire. George retained the cast of characters for his short-lived spin-off, The George Burns Show (1958), with hopes that Gracie would change her mind and return to the show, but she didn't. See more »

Quotes

Gracie Allen: Well, you see one Christmas my father caught a wild turkey and he fed him corn and chestnuts. But then we didn't have the heart to kill him so we let him get away.
George Burns: Oh, I see.
Gracie Allen: But the turkey liked the food so well that he came back each year. And that way we always had...
George Burns: A turkey for Christmas dinner?
Gracie Allen: Yes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Milton Berle Show: Episode #5.15 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Nest
(uncredited)
Written by Louis A. Hirsch and Otto A. Harbach
Used as show's signature melody
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A bafflingly-obscure classic
4 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

George Burns was one of the earliest pioneers of radio and television and he remained a staple of TV with frequent appearances well into the 1990s, when HE was well into his 90's. At the end he was still cracking jokes about his loony wife and longtime comedy partner Gracie Allen (whom he always claimed was the more talented one), but after her death in the early '60s, Gracie became increasingly under-appreciated for her comedy contributions while former-dramatic-actress Lucille Ball rose to prominence as the reigning queen of comedy. No disrespect to the talented Lucy (whose comedy style was more sight-gag oriented), but thanks to reruns of "Burns and Allen" on Antenna TV, I've come to the realization that Gracie was the one who paved the way for Lucy to become an icon.

George and Gracie moved from stage to radio in the early '30s, and by the '40s they'd honed and perfected their crazy-housewife-sitcom in which they portrayed exaggerated versions of themselves. Suddenly TV was catching on and George decided that was the next logical step in their careers; Gracie was already contemplating retirement, but succumbed to her husband's desires and they took their act to TV in 1950 (a year before Lucy). The setup was the same: Gracie was a "dizzy" housewife confounding everyone she met with her illogical perspective of the world; George was the adoring husband who loved her not despite her silly quirks but because of them. Their best friends were their neighbors, Blanche and Harry Morton, who were continuously getting mixed up in Gracie's shenanigans. Taking inspiration from the play "Our Town," Burns frequently stepped out of scenes and directly addressed the audience. There was frequent talk of their TV show, but George was the only one who was self-aware that THIS was the actual show.

The first two seasons were broadcast live biweekly but they encountered a variety of problems. Gracie was a consummate professional but, having become accustomed to reading off paper on radio, she was daunted by the staggering amount of confusing dialogue she now had to memorize for each show and was becoming increasingly unhappy. Hal March originally played Harry Morton but he left after 7 episodes when offered another show; John Brown stepped into his shoes and was let go after 10 shows when his name showed up on a Hollywood blacklist; and ultimately Fred Clark was given the part. Three Harrys became FOUR Harrys by the end of the first season when original announcer Bill Goodwin left and was replaced by Harry Von Zell, who portrayed himself. Because coast-to-coast transmissions were not yet the norm, they also had problems with other shows swiping their jokes before kinescope copies of new episodes were broadcast in various markets.

By the end of the second season, Lucy & Desi had revolutionized TV by shooting on film and George wanted to follow suit, but CBS wouldn't offer additional funding. Using his own money, George set up McCadden Productions and began shooting episodes on film. Not only did this prevent the sorts of blunders that occurred during the live seasons, but it afforded Gracie some extra time to breathe and figure out her next illogical rant. The shows were screened for a preview audience so they could capture organic laughter for each joke, and George and Gracie would then film their stand-up routine that closed each show.

An unhappy Fred Clark was having difficulty sustaining a long-distance relationship with his wife and went to George demanding an exorbitant pay raise; George decided the best solution was to let Clark out of his contract. There was talk of killing off Harry Morton or having him run away with another woman, but ultimately he was replaced by Larry Keating. Drastic adjustments were made to the character to suit Keating, but otherwise it was business as usual.

By the sixth season, there was concern that the formula was becoming stale, so George decided to relocate the characters to a Manhattan hotel and bring his son Ronnie in to add a new dimension to the plot. Charismatic and camera-friendly Ronnie was a fine addition to the cast (though from a 21st century perspective the character was a shameless womanizer) but the hotel setting didn't offer the comedic opportunities that they'd hoped for, so the setting returned to Beverly Hills for the final two seasons. It was at this point that George came up with the idea to add a "magic television" which allowed him to spy on his friends and neighbors and humorously meddle in their lives. The sponsors hated the notion of this plot device, but Burns stood firm and later credited himself with creating TV surveillance.

Throughout the final seasons, Gracie's health was deteriorating and she was tired of the daily grind of working on the show. George kept circumventing her to sign contracts for additional seasons, but by the eighth season Gracie demanded she be allowed to retire. George relented, but figured she'd soon change her mind, so he carried on. In the following season's "The George Burns Show," the setting was changed to his downtown office, Blanche became his secretary, Harry Morton worked down the hall, and Ronnie and Harry Von Zell continued to wander in and out. Gracie was a frequent topic of conversation but she was enjoying her retirement too much to return. To boost ratings, variety show segments were added, but it didn't help -- the show bowed out with a whimper in April 1959 and George had to reinvent himself as a solo act. Unfortunately, he did it so well that Gracie sort of fell by the wayside.

It's a travesty that the show hasn't received the endless exposure that Lucy has, but Antenna TV deserves enormous credit for bringing it back to public awareness. Now if only Sony would release the filmed seasons on home video uncut, I'd be a happy man.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Which format did you prefer? cheerioaway_92
Similarities with I Love Lucy cheerioaway_92
Finally Airing Again! GlennFerrell
injustice!! weenyboy
I Love Gracie! aimeesu
The Real Episode guide DemonPazuzu

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?