When Harry Burck (Harmon), an American engineer on loan to Colombia, is taken hostage and held for ransom, his brother Corey (Schoeffling) and friend Jack (Busey) are among a group of men, ... See full summary »
Thomas F. Wilson,
The big downfall of this program is that Ozzie and Harriet had been long typecast as the wholesome all American family. Everybody remembered them in the 1950s as "America's Favorite Family".
As the 1950s became the 1960s, tastes changed, the sons grew up and the the show's popularity slipped down lower and lower. By its last season, not every ABC affiliate was airing the show.
Fast forward to the 1970s, tastes really changed! The new strategy was to push the envelope and be the first to do something really radical. The "toilet heard around the world" was flushed on "All in the Family" in 1971. Next, hot issues were brought out in a comical manner on shows like MASH. Next, we have "Ozzie's Girls"! In other words, we have Ozzie and Harriet back on prime time! Good wholesome humor in a time when good wholesome humor is not in demand? Ozzie Nelson knew what he was doing. He was no fool! Had the networks gave the show a chance, it might had succeeded. Remember "The Waltons"? Here was a series that CBS saw as a sure fire flop so CBS aired it against NBC's number one on the Nielson Ratings all time hit series, "The Flip Wilson Show". "The Waltons" staggered and floundered like the networks expected. Then, almost suddenly, it shot up in the ratings and became a hit and it was "The Flip Wilson Show" got the ax.
Ozzie did push the envelope as well, tackling a controversial issue. Remember that he was renting to two female college students, one was black and the other was white female. The two females went on dates, which were of course inter-racial. This could've provided a ton of comedy potential.
Too bad nobody gave it a chance.
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