Classic Television – Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

Ozzie Nelson, David Nelson, Harriet Hilliard and Ricky Nelson 

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was first broadcast on radio in 1944 and could be heard on radio, until 1954 when the radio show ended on June 18. 1954. Only 83 of the shows can be bought today for listening to, out of the hundreds of shows made during their 10 year run on radio.

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet television program was first televised on October 10, 1952, and for the first two years could be heard on radio and seen on television, till the radio series ended in 1954. The last television episode was telecast on September 3, 1966. The 14 year run on television makes the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet the longest running sitcom,  on American television still 49 years later.

Ricky Nelson recorded his first #1 song Poor Little Fool in 1957, which incidentally also was the first #1 song on the new Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ricky often sang on the show, which gave him even more exposure for his singing career.

Ozzie Nelson and Don Defore

Don Defore portrayed Ozzie’s neighbor Thorny on the show. He would later gain fame as playing George Baxter on Hazel, when Hazel would refer to him as Mr. B.

Ozzie Nelson wrote 178 of the 435 episodes of the show.

The shows are not being shown on any television network that I know of. If you know of the show being on television please comment, so we can share the information with other fans of the show.

It is sad that the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet shows are not being shown. The show represents life at a simpler time back in the 50’s and then continued to entertain fans, even though the country was at war with Vietnam in the 60’s and there was unrest on college campuses.

All four members of the Nelson family have died since the show left the air.

Ozzie Nelson died June 3, 1975 at the age of 79 in Hollywood, California.

Ricky Nelson died December 31, at the age of 45 in a plane crash in Dekalb, Texas. 

Harriet Hilliard died October 2, 1994 at the age of 85 in Laguna Beach, California.

David Nelson died January 11, 2011 at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California. 

Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “Classic Television – Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”

  1. Ive been watching the show on Folk TV for a while now and I find it refreshing and amusing, even some laff out loud moments. Its, odd that I dont remember this show growing up, some of my earliest tv memories are of Love That Bob ,Hazel, and of course I Love Lucy among many others. I guess my pop liked westerns and mom loved Lucy. But watching The Adventures Of Ozzie is unique and he and the two boys have so much character, to see Ricky grow up is rewarding in itself. Last nite the credits included James Stacy* and Jack Wagner, not sure but l believe they were only about 10 yrs old. You see Rick dating his future wife and its easy to see the resemblance she and her daughter Tracie share. All this is a bit sad, knowing the fate of Ozzie and of course Rick in that horrible plane crash in Dekelb Texas, l remember that day . But I’m glad to be able to share a big part of their life on film and see them active and vibrant. I love Don Defore as the next door friend and although I said I dont remember seeing the program there is something very familiar about him sitting on his back door stoop. When Don smiles, his entire face smiles.

    1. Wish we had Folk TV here in Louisiana. Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was on network television for 14 years, which made it one of the longest running comedy shows of all time. That was a show your family could watch without hearing bad language, unlike today when you can’t even watch comedy on TV. James Stacy and Jack Wagner both became huge stars in later years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: