Left: Donna Reed as Donna Stone
Right: The Stone Family: Jeff (Paul Petersen), Donna (Donna Reed), Mary (Shelley Fabares), Alex (Carl Betz)

The Donna Reed Show - 1958 - 2008: 50th Annivesary Year

ABC first aired The Donna Reed Show on Wednesday, September 24, 1958 at 9:00pm. It was the beginning of a long relationship with America as it tuned into the Stone family for eight years (275 episodes) of family-centered comedy. Based in the small town of Hilldale, the show followed Donna Stone, mother of two teenagers and pediatrician's wife, through a myriad of half-hour dramas around dating rituals, childhood illnesses, jealousies, loyalties, competitive friendships, and innocent lies. Donna patiently and gracefully immersed herself in the lives of those around her. Later in the series, Donna found herself adopting another daughter, Trisha, after her oldest, Mary, left for college. Some time after that her son, Jeff, left as well, and the show shifted next door to the Stone's neighbors, Dave and Midge Kelsey. Throughout the years, friends like Scotty, Smitty, and Karen continually appeared to add spice to Mary and Jeff's lives on the show.

Both in front and behind the cameras, history was continuously being made. Both Paul Petersen and Shelley Fabares recorded hit singles in 1962, My Dad and Johnny Angel respectively, the latter one earning a gold record with over a million copies sold. Donna Reed served as an uncredited producer and director of the show, becoming the industry's earliest woman television executive. Donna received a number of Emmy award nominations, and she won a Golden Globe for Best Female Television Star in 1962.

For years after, syndicated re-runs of The Donna Reed Show entertained new generations of young people. In a growing resurgence of nostalgia and a salute to Mother's day, the cable provider Nickelodeon aired a week long "Seven Day Donna-Thon" of episodes during its "Nick-at-Nite" programming schedule in 1990. Select episodes from the series were broadcast and commercial exposure was given to the fledgling organization, The Donna Reed Foundation, in Denison, Iowa.

Cast

  • Donna Stone - Donna Reed
  • Dr. Alex Stone - Carl Betz
  • Mary Stone (1958-1963) - Shelley Fabares
  • Jeff Stone - Paul Petersen
  • Trisha Stone (1963-1966) - Patti Petersen
  • Dr. Dave Kelsey (1963-1965) - Bob Crane
  • Midge Kelsey (1963-1966) - Ann McCrea
  • George Haskell (1959), Scotty (1960-1965) - Jimmy Hawkins
  • Smitty (1962-1966) - Darryl Richard
  • Karen Holmby (1964-1966) - Janet Landgard

Guest Appearances

Jack Albertson, John Astin, Bobby Burgess, Lynn Carey, Dabney Coleman, Hans Conreid, Kim Darby, James Darren, Johnny Darren, Don Drysdale, Jamie Farr, Kathleen Freeman, Cheryl Holdridge, Buster Keaton, DeForrest Kelly, Joseph Kerns, Ted Knight, Harvey Korman, Robert Lansing, Lassie, Cloris Leachman, Ida Lupino (dir.), Willie Mays, Jay North, Tony Owen, Jr., Gigi Perreau, Marion Ross, George Sidney, Doreen Tracey. Miyoshi Umeki, Jean VanderPyl, Mary Wickes, Esther Williams

Season Guides

  • Season 1: 1958-1959, 37 episodes - Release 10/28/2008
  • Season 2: 1959-1960, 38 episodes - Release 07/28/2009
  • Season 3: 1960-1961, 38 episodes - Release 12/01/2009
  • Season 4: 1961-1962, 39 episodes - Release 12/20/2011
  • Season 5: 1962-1963, 34 episodes - Release 12/04/2012
  • Season 6: 1963-1964, 31 episodes
  • Season 7: 1964-1965, 30 episodes
  • Season 8: 1965-1966, 27 episodes

 

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Today is 22 December 2014.