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Gale on "Donna Reed" coming to DVD on December 20!


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A "special extended" Gale appearance on The Donna Reed Show is coming out on DVD on December 13 and the listing on TVShowsonDVD lists the episode as a backdoor pilot for Gale and Roberta Sherwood. I never knew that was the purpose of this particular appearance. Can't wait to see it! :lucywow: Here are all the details:


A bit over a month ago, MPI Home Video officially confirmed that The Donna Reed Show - Season 4: The Lost Episodes is coming out as a 5-DVD set. The schedule given at the time was December 20th, but now the studio has moved the street date a week closer, to December 13th (a date already reflected at Amazon's pre-order listing seen at the button link found below). They've also now provided high-res 3D package art, which you can see at the bottom. But the best new piece of information is the complete list of finalized bonus material, which we've got for you right here. Note that one of the extras mentioned is a "Special Extended Episode"; we asked the studio for more information about that and we were told that it's for the episode "Donna Meets Roberta", which was a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off series which would have starred Roberta Sherwood and Gale Gordon. Sounds like a great story to get more of!


New Video Interviews with stars SHELLEY FABARES (Coach, Elvis movies) and PAUL PETERSEN

Original DONNA REED SHOW ABC-TV promotional spots

Original Cast Commercials plus Sponsor Opening & Closing Credits

All-new Digitally Restored Masters

Special Extended Episode

New Featurette: THE DONNA REED SHOW ROCKS! with music composer, arranger and producer Stu Phillips

Donna Reed Public Service Spot & Commercial

Photo Gallery



Taken from: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Donna-Reed-Season-4/16212#ixzz1doGezLTj



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A "special extended" Gale appearance on The Donna Reed Show is coming out on DVD on December 13 and the listing on TVShowsonDVD lists the episode as a backdoor pilot for Gale and Roberta Sherwood. I never knew that was the purpose of this particular appearance. Can't wait to see it! :lucywow: Here are all the details:







That is so cool! It's nice to find out that Gale had many more opportunities than we thought to headline his own series! Wonder what La Ball would have done had he not been available to play Mooney, et al. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

The release date has been swished by a week to December 20. <_< I don't want to wait another week to go up that lazy river with Gale and ROE-berta.


I'm confused...I thought this was a Desilu pilot. The star of this pilot is listed on one site as Roberta SHORE, who I think was a young actress in a TV Western ("The Virginian"?). Judging my Roberta Sherwood's performance on "the Lucy Show", I don't think she's got the sitcom staying power. She's ....for want of a better word...WEIRD, sort of wild-eyed and manic. Do we know what the premise of this show is? The fourth year of Donna Reed would have been 1961-62 so Gale would have been mostly free, still doing his occasional appearances on "Pete and Gladys" but before he replaced Joseph Kearns in the latter part of this season.


And Brock would pick up on Vivian's pronunciation RO-berta. I wonder where she got that because no one else on the show puts the accent on the first syllable.

Favorite line for this episode: Viv (complaining about the paltry breakfast): "Pretty soon I'll be nothing but skin and bone."

Lucy: "Face it, Viv. You could lose 30 pounds before your skin even gets near your bone."

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Do we know what the premise of this show is?


From TV.com:


This was actually an unsold pilot episode of "The Roberta Sherwood Show." Roberta Sherwood and Gale Gordon star as a typical couple raising three children in a typical small town. The only untypical thing about them is that they break into song.


Sounds like a winner! lol TV.com also lists two of the Lannings as their kids. I wonder who plays the third. And does Gale also break into song or does he just accompany them on the slush pump?

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  • 4 weeks later...



Donna and Alex visit a church bazaar and Alex is presented with a business opportunity. It seems Roberta Summers has her house on the market but one of the good doctor’s friends has the inside scoop that they’re building a mall across the road from her property and in a few years the property will be worth four times what she is asking. Enter Roberta and the first four words out of her mouth are, of course, “Up A Lazy River” which she proceeds to sing for two minutes or so.


In the meantime, Alex’s friend (the judge from Yours, Mine & Ours) sets the pilot up in a nutshell: “She’s a widow, lives with her brother, Dudley Brockton. He runs the drug store here in Westfield. She has three boys, keeps house, and gives piano lessons.”


Meanwhile, Pharmacist Dudley Brockton (Gale) is seen in his drug store bitching about nobody buying alarm clocks anymore and while he is lowering the price, Roberta comes in and sits down at his soda fountain.


“I suppose you sang 85 choruses of Lazy River at the top of your lungs.” – Dudley


Anyway, in their conversation it turns out Alex has made an offer on the house and that Roberta has promised him to stay out of show business and be a “respectable” woman. He decides to take over the real estate transaction to make sure Roberta gets the best price.


Just in case they want to solidify the other plot point of teaching piano in their pilot, when we finally see inside Dudley and Roberta’s house it is littered with more images of composers than the Carmichael-Bagley residents before the latter turned on her Bunsen burner. Next, the Lanning trio appear – in mid-song – and assemble to debate the merits of selling the house.


A secondary plot develops where Donna is trying to make Alex feel guilty about taking advantage of Roberta as she does not know the mall is in the works while Roberta tries to convince Dudley they’re taking advantage of the Stones because the house is falling apart. Eventually they come clean with each other, everything is hotsy-totsy, and they all gather for dinner in honour of Dudley’s birthday.


Then Roberta and her sons sing around Gale with a song whose lyrics need to be heard to be believed. “It’s a song we sing every year,” says Roberta.


Roberta and Boys: We’re singin’!/And we’re Happy!

*Gale starts conducting with a birthday whistle*


Roberta: All the ones I love are singin’ with me.


All (Except Gale): We’re singin!/Good ‘n’ happy!

Roberta: For home is only home when they’re with me.

*Shelley and Paul begin grooving at the table*


Roberta: There’s—

Don: Bobby!

Bobby: Don!

Don: And Jerry!

Roberta: They’re all here! /And good ole’ Uncle Dudley—

Gale: That’s me! :D

All: We’re singin’!/And we’re happy!

All (now with Gale): One big happy family! One big happy family, you see!


And then it gets weird...


After the community sing, the scene dissolves, and Roberta comes back to talk directly to the audience:


Roberta: I suppose you know by now that what you just saw was a sneaky way of giving you a peak at me and my family and how we’ll look in our new series.


I guess she was overly optimistic. After some banter for a moment Roberta introduces some clips from some of their “upcoming shows”. The first surrounds Dudley and what happens when a little girl is abandoned by her mother at the drug store. “You don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to see what a mess can be stirred out of that one!” says Roberta. The second segment involves Jerry and Don arguing about who has to entertain the daughter of an old family friend who looks like she fell from a branch of Candy Moore’s family tree. The third is about Bobby getting into a fight with the new girl in the neighbourhood. Then they tackle the generation gap -- “They’re always at least two points of view” – where Roberta and Don sing two different versions of Girl of My Dreams.


While it is a blessing that this series didn’t sell, the three “clips from upcoming episodes” are curiosities. It’s clear that the third one was made specifically for the pilot, I wonder if there are scripts somewhere out there for the other two clips, which seemed to stand apart from the rest of the show.

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Does RO (berta) know any other songs besides "Up a Lazy River"?

I like her voice. It's just a bit of shock when it comes out of someone who looks like a PTA secretary.

She sort of sounds like a female Louis Armstrong.

Roberta has a bit of clumsy charm but is not quite an actress and has a kind of 'crazed' look in her eyes like she's not quite focusing.

I can't imagine they had serious hope for this as a series.

I've only watched that episode and a few of the extras.

The "Donna Reed Show" network promos offer more overt comedy than I remember. e.g. Donna falling asleep in a chair behind Alex at a podium.

Does Shelly Fabray go to Cloris Leachman's hairdresser?

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  • 2 years later...


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