Leave It to Beaver was both the first TV series to show a toilet and the first to have a series finale. The latter is interesting because apparently most shows at the time just ended when they were cancelled without a proper sendoff like long-running successful shows do now. Meanwhile, Star Trek has been around for fifty-one years and has never shown the former.
Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, retired from acting at the end of the show's run and became a tree farmer until his death in 1977. I guess after you've played the dad of a kid named 'Beaver', it's time to call it a career. When they did a reunion movie and subsequent spinoff back in the 80s, they explained Beaumont's absence as Ward having died a couple years prior.
Speaking of death, when Don Blocker from Bonanza died in 1972 from a pulmonary embolism, his character simply disappeared from the show without any onscreen explanation. It wasn't until the first Bonanza television movie that his character Hoss Cartwright was revealed to have drowned by trying to rescue a woman from, ironically, drowning. Similarly when the last TV movie was made after the death of Michael Landon, it was explained that his Little Joe character had been killed at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. Talk about a critical failure of character shields.
|He wasn't working harder,|
he was working smarter.
Credit: Sid Avery | IMDb.
Actor Fred MacMurray of The Absent-Minded Professor and The Apartment fame filmed all of his scenes for his show My Three Sons in two separate one month blocks each season in order to be free to continue making movies and playing golf. These were just his scenes, mind you, so the rest of the cast had to film around him.
One of the reasons The Rockford Files was cancelled despite its popularity is because years of doing his own stunts for both it and his previous show, Maverick, had wrecked James Garner's back and knees. Another reason is that the show frequently used well known guest stars that were more expensive than using ones that were more c-list or otherwise cheap.
Speaking of costs, that was the reason The Dukes of Hazzard was cancelled. The General Lee had to be replaced every episode because surprise, surprise, the cars couldn't survive the landing from those epic jump stunts. Eventually it just became too expensive for the network to keep buying 1969 Dodge Chargers. The show did briefly continue as a cartoon, however.
Ja'net Dubois, who played Willona Woods on CBS's 70s hit Good Times, also co-wrote and sang the theme for another of CBS's hit, The Jeffersons.
That's it for now. I plan on posting more and even doing ones focused on singular bits, like Ben Cartwright’s (from Bonanza) marital curse, the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, and more. If you enjoyed these, then let me know in the comments below.