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Leave it to Beaver

Leave it to Beaver is a popular American sitcom that premiered on October 4, 1957 and aired six subsequent seasons. It was unique in that it was one of the first primetime sitcom series written from a child’s point of view. The Cleavers were the quintessential 1950’s, all-American, suburban family in this feel-good family sitcom. The show focused on family, happy marriages, childhood, and growing up. It followed a boy named Theodore “the Beaver” through many of his misadventures with school, baseball and even a pet alligator.

Leave it to Beaver showed viewers the best of middle-class America. It aired during a time of economic and political stability, and when life centered around family. Parents June and Ward were models of late-1950’s, conscientious parenting and saw it as their duty to instill traditional, middle-class family values to their boys. In the episodes, Ward often finds himself learning important life lessons alongside his boys.

The iconic sitcom was created by radio and early television veterans Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher. They found inspiration for the show’s characters, plots and dialogue in the lives of their own children. The show was shot with a single camera on black and white 35mm film, and episodes were allotted $30,000 to $40,000 each, making the show one of the costliest to produce at the time. In its first season on CBS, Leave it to Beaver received only fair Nielsen ratings and CBS canceled it. ABC picked up the program for the remainder of its run and although it never received stellar ratings or won any awards, it placed on Time magazine’s unranked 2007 list of “The 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time.”

This is the baseball mitt used in Leave to Beaver.

RT4A3365-XL

Sources: IMBD and TIME.

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