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Lassie (US)

Show Tidbits
* Lassie debuted on CBS Sunday, September 12, 1954 in the 7:00 PM (EST) time slot and remained in the Sunday 7:00 PM time slot on CBS for 17 years.

* Lassie was portrayed by 6 different but related dogs through the 19 year run of the series. Five Lassies were descendants of Pal, the first Lassie.

* All television Lassies were male dogs. Male dogs were chosen for two reasons: 1) they are larger than the rough collie bitches, and 2) they shed only once a year whereas the bitches shed twice.

* Pal, the Lassie of the MGM films, played Lassie in the premiere episode The Inheritance (01x01) and The Well (01x24). Both episodes were the first filmed. Pal then retired and the role of Lassie was passed to his son Lassie, Jr. (aka Junior).

* Lassie won two Emmys for Best Childrens Series (1954, 1955).

* Lassie remains one of the longest running series in television history with 19 seasons. It was surpassed by Gunsmoke with 20 years.

* Campbell Soup Company sponsored Lassie for the entire run of the show and insisted their products be displayed on the set. Countless bowls of soup were served at mealtimes in the Martin kitchen.

* The Lassie Whistle Theme was used as the Main and End Title music during the Martin Years (1957-1964). Muzzy Marcellino whistled the tune and Les Baxter is credited with its composition.

* Joey D. Vieira played Sylvester (Porky) Brockway in Lassie under the stage name Donald Keeler. Vieira was the nephew of dancer and film star Ruby Keeler and took his stage surname from his aunt.

* The Lassie theme music from the first few seasons was also used in Glen or Glenda.

* Leave It to Beaver players Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers, Ken Osmond, Richard Correll, Stephen Talbot, Tiger Fafara, and Madge Blake all made guest appearances on Lassie.

* The exact location of the Miller/Martin farm was never pinpointed. Early in the series it appeared to be a temperate location in the Midwest; later episodes during the Martin Years suggested a dry southwestern location. Clues dropped here and there during the Martin Years suggest a location in California near the Nevadan border. In one episode, Timmy wears a Cub Scout uniform with shoulder patches that appear to read California and in yet another episode Ruth, Timmy, and Lassie drive to the Grand Canyon.

* The checkered shirts Timmy wore were custom made and several were always available during filming. One of his checkered shirts is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution next to the Archie Bunker chair.

* When Hugh Reilly was fired from Lassie, he was offered the role of The Professor in Gilligans Island. He was reluctant to return to full time work immediately and turned the offer down.

* Lassie made TV guest appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Donna Reed Show.

Classification: Scripted
Genre: Adventure | Animals/Pets
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: Syndicated ( USA)
Runtime: 30 Minutes
Premiere: September 12, 1954
Ended: March 24, 1973
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