Hazel (TV series)
Shirley Booth as Hazel Burke in 1962
|Created by||Based on a comic strip by Ted Key|
|Directed by||E.W. Swackhamer|
William D. Russell
Don DeFore (1961-1965)
Whitney Blake (1961-1965)
Ray Fulmer (1965-1966)
Lynn Borden (1965-1966)
Julia Benjamin (1965-1966)
|Theme music composer||Jimmy Van Heusen (music)|
Sammy Cahn (lyrics)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||154 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||26 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Screen Gems|
|Distributor||Columbia Pictures Television (1967-1984, 1988-1996) |
Colex Enterprises (1984-1988)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
|Original network||NBC (1961-65)|
|Picture format||Black-and-white (season 1)|
Color (season 2–season 5)
|Original release||September 28, 1961– April 11, 1966|
Hazel is a sitcom television series. It was on television from September 28, 1961 to September 5, 1966. It was shown on NBC. It moved to CBS for its last year. The series' first year was made in black and white. The next four years were in color. The show's first season was fourth in the 1961-1962 Nielsen's ratings.
The series stars Shirley Booth as Hazel Burke. Hazel is 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). Bobby Buntrock plays their young son Harold "Sport" Baxter. The Baxter's have a big, shaggy dog named Smiley.
Other characters were in the series. These characters include George Baxter's client Harvey Griffin (Howard Smith), Rosie, another live-in maid in the neighborhood (Maud Prickett), and postman Barney Hatfield (Robert Williams). Other characters include 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 life and work. She might put together a special dinner, or make a home for a stray dog. In one episode, she gets her boss to buy a color television set for her bedroom. Sometimes she comes into conflict with "Mr. B". 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. She did not want to continue to work. Booth won two Emmy Awards for her performance as Hazel (1962 and 1963). She was nominated for a third in 1964.