Hazel (TV series)
Hazel is a sitcom television series. It aired from September 28, 1961 to September 5, 1966. It was televised on NBC but moved to CBS for its final year. The series' first year was produced in black and white, but the next four years were in color. The series is based on a single-panel comic strip by Ted Key that ran for many years in The Saturday Evening Post. The show's first season was fourth in the 1961-1962 Nielsen's ratings.
The series stars Shirley Booth as Hazel Burke, a live-in maid for the Baxter family. Don Defore plays her boss George "Mr. B" Baxter (a lawyer), Whitney Blake plays his wife Dorothy "Missy" Baxter (an interior decorator), and Bobby Buntrock plays their schoolboy son Harold "Sport" Baxter. The Baxter's have a big, shaggy dog named Smiley.
Recurring characters include George Baxter's client Harvey Griffin (Howard Smith), Rosie, another live-in maid in the neighborhood (Maud Prickett), postman Barney Hatfield (Robert Williams), Hazel's taxi-driving boyfriend Mitch (Dub Taylor), George Baxter's snobby sister Deirdre Thompson (Cathy Lewis), and the Baxter's mixed-up neighbors Herbert and Harriet Johnson (Donald Foster and Norma Varden).
The series is set in a white, upper middle class household. Typical episodes are about Hazel's day to day job demands like putting together a special dinner, making a home for a stray dog, or getting her boss to buy a color television set for her bedroom. When she comes into conflict with "Mr. B" over one thing or another, she gets her way by giving him tiny portions of her delicious desserts.
In the last year, "Mr. B" is sent to the Middle East on a job assignment. Hazel and Harold move in with his brother Steve (played by Ray Fulmer) and his wife Barbara (Lynn Borden) and their daughter Susie (Julia Benjamin). This arrangement lasted for only a year before the series was cancelled. Booth was ill and did not want to continue to work. Booth won two Emmy Awards for her performance as Hazel (1962 and 1963) and was nominated for a third in 1964.