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Putting an updated Extension on to "America's Favourite Family", The entire run of episodes should Be offered on DVD with the old "OZZIE & HARRIET" shows.
The Nelsons, Ozzie, Harriet, David, Ricky, June, Kris, Wally and Ginger had been off of the Tube for 7 years when the idea came along to add a little appendage to the 14 year run of "THE ADVENTUIRES OF OZZIE & HARRIET" (1952-1966). Their longevity had made them into a Real and True Cornerstone of American TV Comedy/Family faire. There must be a lot of people out there who'd watch again; after all, The Mythic Nelson Home had been left, unseen for all that time, but they were surely not forgotten...
We knew that the house was now officially an "Empty Nest", for the boys had moved on, with David marrying June (Woo,woo,woo,woo!) and Rick tying the knot with Kris (Woo, woo, woo, woo!). So the new "spin-off" would have some problems with which they would have to contend, and fix before the Show's inaugural. Such "problems" would have to include the rapidly changing landscape of American Culture, be it Pop-culture or otherwise.
It is of course, no secret that things in the USA were very different in 1973 than they were when last OZZIE & HARRIET left the tube in 1966. There had been Political Strife, Anti-War movement, The Bra-Burners, the Civil Rights Movement, the Homosexual Lobby and Loud Talking & Giggling in Line! The World was surely a different place; but then again, there is always change.
Change is the one only true constant; albeit not in such volume nor as in as many areas. Some minor tweaking of the 'old' OZZIE & HARRIET formula could result in another hit, all over again. But what and how? It was decided to follow this road-map, and see just how far it would take them.
Ozzie & Harriet are the same people, same characters. We all know that Dave and Rick have gone off on their own in real life, so why would it shock us to see their TV homestead any different? Any empty home and two still youthful, fit and healthy Grandparent types equals the start of something.
Harriet comes up with the idea of renting out part of the house, the upstairs room, formerly being the Boys' bunk house. They put an advertisement in the local College Newspaper for a room to let for a student. Before long (it's only a half-hour Pilot episode); a young Hippie-Type (in costuming) young white girl Student (Susan Sennett)(Woo,woo,woo,woo!) comes in about renting the room and strikes a deal with the Nelsons. Shortly thereafter, another female Student comes to inquire about renting the place. This is a Black Girl (Brenda Sykes)(Woo, woo,woo, woo!).
At first when informed that it is already rented, she believes that it was said to her because of her being Black. (The scene and issue handled tactfully and without belabouring anything.) But Brenda soon sees that they were being truthful, when Susie showed up again the two hit it off okay in conversation. They decide, along with the kindly, old Nelsons to become room mates, thus splitting the cost of rent.
Meanwhile, Ozzie is out shopping or something, when he runs into two of the guys from the College's Football Team, and (yeah, you guessed it), one's Black, the other one White. Somehow or other, Ozzie get's the guys to come over and meet the two co-eds.
Well, there you have it, all set up for a season. The show has all of the potential to be a good extension of the "Original". They have the Parents, the "Older Generation". Next we have the 'kids', the Younger Generation. Generational differences, as well as other family situations, were always a big part of the "OZZIE & HARRIET" charm. And along with these elements, they had Sex.
Now this Sex was very elementary and basic. It surely was not explicit as we might see today. This was really the way the situations like these were always handled in the original series. Basically, it was a lot of ambiguous titillation and innocent dating and "crushes". If filmed today, of course, we couldn't see any episode without plenty of "Ts' and "As" and a lot of 'Humpin'.
Creator/Producer/Writer/Director/Actor Ozzie Nelson did not ignore the then current developments in our domestic scene. The emergence of the Black Man and the Civil Rights movement were given a fair share of the storyline, in a manner without being obvious and preachy. The very premise of having a Black and White kids bunking together and sharing in on double dating was low key, subtle in conveying the feeling and message from "America's Favourite Family". And that is one of the best wishes and future for all, while we go about our daily chores in relative peace and harmony.
Well, at least we can do is to "Live and Let Live!" Now, that shouldn't seem too radical to anyone!
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