Leave It To Beaver Pilot

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by VicB, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. VicB

    VicB Agent

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    I was watching this great show the other night and thought I had drifted off into a parallel universe. Ward Cleaver was not Hugh Beaumont (attached image is of the actor Casey Adams) and Wally was not Tony Dow - surreal - thought June Cleaver was cheating on Ward. Turns out the episode ("It's a Small World") was the pilot episode first televised April 23, 1957 on Studio '57 without a laugh track nor the series' well known theme song. Have to say, the actor changes was well warranted. Neither actor was as credible as Hugh and Tony.

    In this pilot, Diane Brewster appears as Miss Simms, a secretary, with Richard Deacon as Mr. Baxter, Miss Simms' boss. Brewster and Deacon would find roles in the series as Miss Canfield, Beaver's second grade teacher, and Fred Rutherford, Ward's co-worker.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jacktripper1

    jacktripper1 Stunt Coordinator

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    Um, no offense, but that's kind of the reason they call it a pilot. Because some things are subject to change. i.e. the actors. Please do not display your ignorance and post a whole topic on this subject.
     
  3. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    It was a darn good pilot too (IMO), even without Hugh and Tony. A young Harry Shearer does a very nice job as "Frankie Bennett".

    I find myself re-watching the Pilot almost as much as any other episode on the Season-One DVD set.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Was Casey Adams one of Sam's grandparents in Sixteen Candles? "Sammy Davis Baker Junior!"

    Edit: Looked it up, and sure enough. Only, he was credited as Max Showalter.
     
  5. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I had the same "parallel universe" feeling watching the pilot for what became the Dick Van Dyke show where Carl Reiner was the lead actor. It's available on the Van Dyke DVDs.

    Although the actors were all competent they simply didn't work as well as the final choices.

    Casey "Max Showalter" Adams was a talented actor even if this didn't work for him. He had one of those faces that made you think "I know that guy" even if you didn't know his name. I recognize him primarily from multiple appearances on Perry Mason.
     
  6. VicB

    VicB Agent

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    So someone voted you the "posting cop" on HTF? How can you say "no offense" then say I am ignorant...[​IMG]
     
  7. Page

    Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder if we'd all feel the same IF Casey Adams had continued on in the role and did the entire series. Hindsight is great and Hugh Beaumont was terrific in the role, but if years later we watched the pilot and Hugh was in it and Casey did the show instead, we might just feel differently. (Or maybe the show would have never gotten off the ground without changing out those two lead actors.)
     
  8. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    Where is this alternate pilot found? I have the first season dvd set, but have not seen it there.
    It sound interesting.
     
  9. VicB

    VicB Agent

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    I have read numerous posts elsewhere that this pilot ("It's A Small World") was supposedly lost until recent times and as a result, it was never included in any DVD version. Check this out for more details

    It's a Small World (Leave It to Beaver episode) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Amazon.com has a "Complete First Year" set that is.... "complete with the original pilot brought out of the studio archives ...." Last year, October 6th, TVLand had a marathon for the 50th anniversary of LITB and also ran the pilot episode.
     
  10. wh5916

    wh5916 Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it is on the last DVD in the first season set, as a bonus feature...check that disc in particular, "It's a Small World" is definitely on the season one DVD release. It was also aired back in the mid 80s by WTBS. I still have it on a betamax cassette.

    Small update--I pulled my season one LITB DVD set. The original pilot, "It's a Small World," is on Disc 3, Side 2. From the main menu, select "Bonus Episode."
     
  11. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks! Boy I'm late getting back to this thread![​IMG]
     
  12. wh5916

    wh5916 Stunt Coordinator

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    Better late than never! [​IMG]
     

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