Me-TV 50.2 Spotlight: "Bewitched" Trivia
During the second season, five babies played Tabitha Stephens. Cynthia Black in the episode where Tabitha is born. then it went to twins Heidi Gentry and Laura Gentry. The final set of babies in season where Julie Young and Tamar Young. In season three the Young Twins had been replaced by fraternal twins Erin Murphy and Diane Murphy. By season five the role was solely played to Erin Murphy although Diane did appear in a number of episodes afterwards - always wearing a wig.
The show had an unusual amount of roles played by more than one person: two Darrins, two Gladys Kravitzes, two Louise Tates, two of Darrin's father. Dick York left the show in 1969 due to health problems; his role of Darrin was taken over by Dick Sargent. When Alice Pearce died, her role of Mrs. Kravitz was taken over by Sandra Gould.
When it became clear that Dick York could not continue with the series, William Asher considered canceling it, not only because of York's departure, but because he and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to move on. However, the ratings were still high enough that the network wanted the show to go on. Dick Sargent was brought in to replace York, but there was still one problem: how to explain why Darrin looked and sounded different. Many people working on the show came up with ideas, but Asher thought the viewers understood this was an actor playing a role, so he decided that the best explanation was no explanation.
During the first six years, practically every car in sight is a Chevrolet, because the car company was one of the show's original sponsors.
The show aired from 17 September 1964 to 1 July 1972 on ABC for 254 episodes: 74 in black and white (1964-1966) and 180 in color (1966-1972).
The 4 April 1968 episode "I Confess", was interrupted by ABC during its original airing for news coverage of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King
Elizabeth Montgomery didn't actually twitch her nose to cause Samantha's magic to occur; she twitched her upper lip, causing her nose to follow.
Almost all of the female witches' character names end with the letter "a", including Samantha, Endora, Esmeralda, Clara, Hagatha, Enchantra and Tabitha. Some exceptions include Abigail Beechum (Maurice's private secretary) and Mary (friend of Bertha, Endora and Clara).
Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher were married during the run of the series. In one episode in 1969, a valentine with the pair's initials is seen on the wall of a baseball stadium. The last season was produced by "Ashmont", the company owned by the couple.
Paul Lynde, who played Uncle Arthur, appeared in an earlier episode as a nervous driving instructor who teaches Samantha how to drive.
Elizabeth Montgomery became pregnant on two occasions (her second and third pregnancies) during the show's run and both were written into the show. Her first pregnancy, which occurred at the beginning of the series, wasn't used as part of the storyline, and was covered up by using a lot of close-ups of Montgomery's face.
In the episode "Hippie, Hippie, Hooray", we see Larry and Louise Tate in their kitchen. It's the same set used as Tony Nelson's kitchen from I Dream of Jeannie. The Bewitched house can be seen down the street from Jeannie's house in many outdoor scenes and that house (exterior and interior) doubles as the residence of fellow NASA coworker Doctor Bellows.
Darrin and Samantha Stephens lived at 1164 Morning Glory Circle, Westport, Connecticut. The Stephens' house still stands on the Warner Bros. Ranch lot in Burbank, California, at Hollywood Way. Originally the Columbia Ranch that was owned by Columbia Studios, which produced Bewitched, the lot was re-named The Burbank Studios Ranch in 1972, when Columbia Studios moved onto the Warner Bros. lot. By 1990, Columbia had moved to the former MGM Studio lot in Culver City. The ranch lot was acquired by Warner Bros. Studios, thereby necessitating another change of name to the Warner Bros. Ranch. The house still looks very much like it did when 'Bewitched (1964)' ended production and is often seen in other television series and movies, as well as commercials.
The only members of Samantha's family to consistently call Darrin by his proper name were Aunt Clara and Uncle Arthur.
After the third season, it was often not known if Dick York would be well enough to work any given week, because of his back pain issues. "Darrin-less" scripts were therefore on hand, or scripts were made Darrin-less (often by giving his lines to Larry Tate). Most sources tend to assume York missed thirteen episodes from his back pain issues, when in reality, most of the episodes York "missed" were actually filmed after he had already left the show (in season five). They were then aired mixed with episodes he had completed. At least one of the two episodes he missed in season three had nothing to do with his back pain issues, but was because his father had died.
The show's theme song was composed by Jack Keller, and had lyrics written by Howard Greenfield that were never used on the show. Several artists recorded versions of the song, including Steve Lawrence and Peggy Lee. The lyrics are: Bewitched, bewitched, you've got me in your spell. Bewitched, bewitched, you know your craft so well. Before I knew what you were doing, I looked in your eyes. That brand of woo that you've been brewin' Took me by surprise. You witch, you witch! One thing that's for sure, that stuff you pitch, just hasn't got a cure. My heart was under lock and key, but somehow it got unhitched. I never thought my heart could be had. But now I'm caught and I'm kind of glad To be bewitched. Bewitched.
After her initial five-year contract was up, Elizabeth Montgomery announced she would move on to other things. Desperate to keep the show going, the network gave her part ownership.
Running for eight seasons, this was the longest-running of the so-called "fantasy sitcoms" that dominated the airwaves in the mid-1960s (i.e. The Addams Family, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, etc.), as well as the last surviving example of the genre when it went off the air in 1972 (a year after All in the Family ushered in a new era of reality sitcoms).
Despite popular stories, Dick Sargent was never William Asher's and Elizabeth Montgomery's original choice for the role of Darrin. Dick York was always their first choice. Sargent was only considered for the role when Tammy Grimes was still being considered, before Asher and Montgomery became involved with the show.
In the original draft of the pilot episode Samantha was originally going to be named Cassandra.
There were some protests when the show was about to premiere, primarily from viewers in "Bible Belt" states who were afraid that the show was going to promote devil worship.
During the summer hiatus, between the fifth and sixth seasons, ABC reran all 14 non-Darrin episodes. It was hoped that this would help the audience accept Dick Sargent as the new "Darrin".
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