Mary Kay and Johnny


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

From Wikipedia:

Mary Kay and Johnny is the first situation comedy broadcast on network television in the United States, was the first television program to show a couple sharing a bed, and was the first television series to show a woman's pregnancy on television.

Network runs

Mary Kay and Johnny debuted on the DuMont Television Network on Tuesday, November 18, 1947. The 15-minute-long weekly sitcom starred real-life married couple Mary Kay Stearns and Johnny Stearns. The Stearnses created and wrote all the scripts for the show. The program was broadcast live, most of the action taking place on a set representing the New York City apartment of the title characters, a young married couple. After a year on DuMont, the show moved to CBS for half a year, much of the time being broadcast every weeknight, and then ran for one more year each Saturday night on NBC, which broadcast the final episode on March 11, 1950.

In 1948, Mary Kay became pregnant in real-life. After unsuccessfully trying to hide it, the show's producers wrote her pregnancy into the show. On December 31, 1948, the Stearnses' son Christopher, less than one month old, appeared on the show and became a character.

Lost episodes

Before 1948, Mary Kay and Johnny was broadcast live and not recorded. In early 1948, still broadcast live, the show was also recorded on kinescopes so that it could be shown, with some delay, on the West Coast. The entire series from then until 1950 was recorded in this way. Many episodes survived in full as late as 1975.

The fate of the NBC episodes is unknown. Fragments of the show's last few episodes survive, most on 16-mm film; these are not commercially available, though TV Land used a clip in an episode of Inside TV Land called "Taboo TV".[citation needed]

The Paley Center for Media has one 1949 episode in its collection.

Highlights
Johnny Stearns on writing the first script and dressing the set for Mary Kay and Johnny
03:13
Garry Simpson on directing Mary Kay and Johnny
03:14
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on using their real identities on Mary Kay and Johnny; on not wanting celebrity
02:22
Delbert Mann on being floor manager and directing Mary Kay and Johnny
00:26
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on story ideas for Mary Kay and Johnny
02:06
Who talked about this show

Delbert Mann

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Delbert Mann on being floor manager and directing Mary Kay and Johnny
00:26

Alan Neuman

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Alan Neuman on directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out
04:06

Garry Simpson

View Interview
Garry Simpson on directing Mary Kay and Johnny
03:14

Johnny Stearns

View Interview
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on using their real identities on Mary Kay and Johnny; on not wanting celebrity
02:22
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on story ideas for Mary Kay and Johnny
02:06
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on how Mary Kay and Johnny (one of TV's earliest sitcoms) came about
03:12
Johnny Stearns on writing the first script and dressing the set for Mary Kay and Johnny
03:13
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on rehearsal and production of the first episode of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:26
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on getting a contract to continue Mary Kay and Johnny beyond one episode
01:41
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on writing Mary Kay's pregnancy into Mary Kay and Johnny
02:22
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the half-hour NBC version of Mary Kay and Johnny and the birth of their son
02:02
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on a typical production week on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:16
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the half-hour NBC version of Mary Kay and Johnny and temporarily filling the time slot for Kukla, Fran and Ollie
02:33
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on moving their show from Dumont to NBC, to CBS, and back to NBC; on having a fallout with the sponsor
02:08
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the format, premise, and characters of Mary Kay and Johnny
06:06
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the comedy of Mary Kay and Johnny
01:49
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on production of Mary Kay and Johnny at NBC
01:30
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television; on sets and locations on Mary Kay and Johnny
04:12
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the directors and floor managers of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:05
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their infant son appearing on Mary Kay and Johnny
00:35
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on getting recognized from Mary Kay and Johnny
01:10
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on incorporating Mary Kay's pregnancy into Mary Kay and Johnny; on what they could and couldn't say on the show
03:02
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the laughter heard on Mary Kay and Johnny coming from the crew
01:04
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on kinescopes of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:13
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the physical comedy and type of humor on Mary Kay and Johnny
02:03
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on rehearsals and improvisation on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:45
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their show being on television at the birth of the medium, and experiencing the growth of the industry
01:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on Mary Kay and Johnny moving to CBS and then returning to NBC
00:50
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on similarities between Mary Kay and Johnny and later sitcoms
01:10
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on why Mary Kay and Johnny went off the air
02:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on problems getting writers for Mary Kay and Johnny
03:52
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on NBC's reaction to Mary Kay and Johnny wanting to end Mary Kay and Johnny
01:56
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on problems with studio space on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:23
Johnny Stearns on writing comedy and eventually writing for Mary Kay and Johnny
01:32
Johnny Stearns on how Mary Kay and Johnny reflected the era in which it was made; on how it was made
02:13

Mary Kay Stearns

View Interview
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on how Mary Kay and Johnny (one of TV's earliest sitcoms) came about
03:12
Johnny Stearns on writing the first script and dressing the set for Mary Kay and Johnny
03:13
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on rehearsal and production of the first episode of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:26
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on getting a contract to continue Mary Kay and Johnny beyond one episode
01:41
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on writing Mary Kay's pregnancy into Mary Kay and Johnny
02:22
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the half-hour NBC version of Mary Kay and Johnny and the birth of their son
02:02
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on a typical production week on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:16
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on story ideas for Mary Kay and Johnny
02:06
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the half-hour NBC version of Mary Kay and Johnny and temporarily filling the time slot for Kukla, Fran and Ollie
02:33
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on moving their show from Dumont to NBC, to CBS, and back to NBC; on having a fallout with the sponsor
02:08
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the format, premise, and characters of Mary Kay and Johnny
06:06
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the comedy of Mary Kay and Johnny
01:49
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on production of Mary Kay and Johnny at NBC
01:30
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television; on sets and locations on Mary Kay and Johnny
04:12
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the directors and floor managers of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:05
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their infant son appearing on Mary Kay and Johnny
00:35
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on getting recognized from Mary Kay and Johnny
01:10
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on incorporating Mary Kay's pregnancy into Mary Kay and Johnny; on what they could and couldn't say on the show
03:02
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the laughter heard on Mary Kay and Johnny coming from the crew
01:04
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on kinescopes of Mary Kay and Johnny
02:13
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the physical comedy and type of humor on Mary Kay and Johnny
02:03
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on rehearsals and improvisation on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:45
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on using their real identities on Mary Kay and Johnny; on not wanting celebrity
02:22
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their show being on television at the birth of the medium, and experiencing the growth of the industry
01:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on Mary Kay and Johnny moving to CBS and then returning to NBC
00:50
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on similarities between Mary Kay and Johnny and later sitcoms
01:10
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on why Mary Kay and Johnny went off the air
02:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on problems getting writers for Mary Kay and Johnny
03:52
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on NBC's reaction to Mary Kay and Johnny wanting to end Mary Kay and Johnny
01:56
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on problems with studio space on Mary Kay and Johnny
01:23
Mary Kay Stearns on the challenges of playing a character based on herself on Mary Kay and Johnny   
01:37

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