Debbie Thompson was an ordinary housewife who wanted desperately to become a newspaper reporter. Her husband Jim was a well-known sportswriter for the Los Angeles Sun, and was constantly ... See full summary »






1970   1969  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A poor, uneducated mountain girl leaves her cabin in search of respect, a wealthy husband, and a better life.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Harve Presnell, Ed Begley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Photographer Grif Henderson is assigned a photo shoot in Paris. He decides to take his wife, Jenny, and his hippie son, Davey, with him on the shoot. Everything gets mucked up when she ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Paris
Stars: James Garner, Debbie Reynolds, Maurice Ronet
The Rat Race (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tender romantic comedy about an aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame & fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Oakie
Mother II (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A neurotic, twice-divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mother to solve his personal problems.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Collins
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they ... See full summary »

Director: Bud Yorkin
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Jason Robards
Mary, Mary (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Nine months after they split up Bob and Mary meet at his New York apartment to sort out some tax matters. He's getting married to healthy-eating Tiffany as soon as the divorce becomes final... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Barry Nelson, Diane McBain
The Thin Man (1957–1959)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Nick Charles, an ex-private detective, marries Nora and lives in a luxurious Park Avenue apartment in New York City. Nick's former underworld friends still hang around and get him involved ... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Lawford, Phyllis Kirk, Asta
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: San Wei Chan
Stars: Joey D'Auria, Phyllis Diller, Tom Gibis
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Father Conroy (Crosby) has a parish which serves the acting and performance community. When one of his parishoners gets too sick to work, his daughter Holly (Reynolds) finds a job working ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Bing Crosby, Robert Wagner


Complete series cast summary:
 Debbie Thompson (26 episodes, 1969-1970)
Don Chastain ...
 Jim Thompson (26 episodes, 1969-1970)
Patricia Smith ...
 Charlotte Landers (18 episodes, 1969-1970)
 Bob Landers (18 episodes, 1969-1970)
 Bruce Landers (18 episodes, 1969-1970)


Debbie Thompson was an ordinary housewife who wanted desperately to become a newspaper reporter. Her husband Jim was a well-known sportswriter for the Los Angeles Sun, and was constantly being put on the spot by Debbie's schemes and plans to build a career for herself. The resemblance to "I Love Lucy" isn't coincidental, since this show was produced by "Lucy" writer Jess Oppenheimer. Debbie's sister Charlotte was Debbie's sidekick in her nutty plans, while brother-in-law Bob remained chagrin. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

character name in title | See All (1) »







Release Date:

16 September 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciao Debby!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


NBC canceled the series after one season because Reynolds made such a fuss over forcing the network to honor their contractual obligation not to air cigarette ads during her show. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The clown spits out the light bulbs
30 October 2003 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'The Debbie Reynolds Show' was possibly the most generic sitcom ever televised. It made its debut on American TV in September '69 and finished its inglorious run just less than a year later: 26 episodes, spread out over 50 weeks (with repeats and summer hiatus). In Britain, those same 26 episodes were compacted into a much briefer run, spanning January to mid-August 1970. I recall that the BBC (fully aware that 'The Debbie Reynolds Show' was nothing much) transmitted this series in the dead-awful schedule slot at 5.40 on Saturday afternoons. The Monty Python gang memorably parodied this series as 'The Attila the Hun Show', bootlegging a recording of Debbie Reynolds warbling 'With a Little Love', which was the bland theme song she'd actually recorded for her self-named sitcom.

Debbie Reynolds must take some of the blame for 'The Debbie Reynolds Show'. She supervised the (very derivative) scripts, and she personally approved all the sponsors' commercials! In 1969, it was still legal to advertise cigarettes on Yank TV: the R.J. Reynolds company wanted to advertise their cigarettes on the Debbie Reynolds show: Ms Reynolds personally turned them down ... but then, learning that the same corporation also made Mott's Apple Juice, she permitted them to air a Mott's spot instead.

'The Debbie Reynolds Show' is usually derided as a rip-off of 'I Love Lucy'. Reynolds is a much more talented performer than Lucille Ball ever was, yet this charge is accurate. Whereas the untalented Lucy Ricardo (played by the equally untalented Lucille Ball) was always pestering her conga-drummer husband to help her get into show business, here we had Debbie Reynolds as a former entertainer (named Debbie, of course) who gave up her glamorous showbiz career to get married, and now she's pestering her sportswriter husband to help her get a career in journalism. This premise lost something in its translation from 'I Love Lucy' to here. Success in showbiz is largely a matter of contacts, so it made sense for Lucy Ricardo to exploit her husband's connections. Success in journalism has more to do with hard work and the ability to meet a deadline: Debbie should have been pestering editors and publishers, instead of nagging her husband. Her sitcom husband is played here by Don Chastain, a tall actor with impossibly handsome features, a chiselled jaw and no discernible acting talent.

The 'Ethel Mertz' character here is Debbie's (fictional) sister. Tom Bosley is wasted in the 'Fred Mertz' role, given no ability to use his great talents in this thinly-written role. Their on screen son (Debbie's nephew) is played by a blond child actor of some genuine acting ability. The lacklustre direction is by Ezra Stone, who began his sitcom career as a child performer playing Henry Aldrich.

Even the scripts on this show were horribly derivative. One episode used a premise previously done by 'I Love Lucy' AND by 'The Dick Van Dyke Show': Debbie and her husband discover that, due to a legal technicality, their marriage was never legal. Until they can remarry, Debbie insists they should sleep in separate rooms. Her husband doesn't want to give up the bedroom, so they agree to flip a coin to see who has to sleep on the couch. Debbie tosses the coin, but 'accidentally' tosses it over her shoulder. When her husband bends down to see how the coin landed, Debbie lifts her foot to push him out of the bedroom and slam the door shut behind him.

Another episode featured an exact reversal of Lucy Ricardo's usual routine, with everybody else urging Debbie to get back into showbiz while she modestly refuses. A local charity are producing a benefit; Debbie's husband and her sister and her brother-in-law all urge Debbie to perform in the benefit, but she keeps insisting that her showbiz days are behind her. At the end of the episode (big surprise!) she changes her mind and performs a big musical number. Wearing clown make-up and costumes, Debbie and two men perform Cole Porter's 'Be a Clown'. One of the male clowns does a very stupid 'magic trick' in which he spits a dozen light bulbs out of his mouth, one at a time. This trick *would* be very impressive, except that we're obviously watching a looped film clip of this guy spitting out the same light bulb, over and over and over.

I'll rate 'The Debbie Reynolds Show' 3 points out of 10, and that's solely for my tremendous admiration of Debbie Reynolds as a performer. This sitcom was a very dim showcase for her considerable talents.

8 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: