Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Little Margie: 1952, Margie Babysits

"Well, that's My Little Margie." I loved this show. I still can't figure out why
My Little Margie is a situation comedy that alternated between CBS and NBC from 1952 to 1955. The series was created by Frank Fox and produced in Los Angeles, California by Hal Roach, Jr. and Roland Reed. My Little Margie premiered on CBS as the summer replacement for I Love Lucy on June 16, 1952. Its success prompted NBC to give it a regular berth - Saturday at 7:30 pm - on its fall schedule, where it lasted for two months. In January 1953, it returned to CBS, where it remained until July. Two months later, it was back on NBC, where its final broadcast was on August 24, 1955.
Set in New York City, the series starred Gale Storm as 21-year-old Margie Albright and former silent film star Charles Farrell as her widowed father, 50-year-old Vern Albright. Both shared the same apartment at the Carlton Arms Hotel. Mr. Albright was the vice president of the investment firm of Honeywell and Todd, where his boss was George Honeywell (Clarence Kolb). Honeywell's partner in the firm was played by George Meader. George's daughter Roberta (Hillary Brooke) was Vern's girlfriend, and Margie's boyfriend was Freddy Wilson (Don Hayden). Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoffman) was the Albrights' next-door neighbor and Margie's sidekick in madcap capers reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in I Love Lucy. When Margie realized she had blundered or got into trouble, she made an odd trilling sound.
Also in the cast were Willie Best as the elevator operator and Dian Fauntelle.
The theme song was originally titled "Bows and Strings in Teasing" by its composer, Alexander Laszlo, when he composed it for a 1946 Republic Picture, The French Key. When My Little Margie contracted to use his music, Mr. Laszlo wrote a new arrangement with added bars of music, which then became the "My Little Margie Theme" from 1952 to 1955. It is a remarkable piece of 1950s kitsch music, evocative of a simpler, bygone era. The series was canceled in 1955. Since then repeats of My Little Margie have aired on local TV stations. Gale Storm went on to star in The Gale Storm Show which ran for 143 episodes 1956-1960.

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