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Episode #1: What?! And Get Out Of Show Business?
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Scott
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Episode #1: What?! And Get Out Of Show Business? Reply with quote

What? And Get Out Of Show Business?
Written by Bernard Slade Directed by Jerry Paris Produced by Paul Junger Witt
Original Air Date: September 25, 1970

The episode that started it all! Five music-minded kids and their mother graduate from playing in their garage to Caesar's Palace!
Guest Cast: William Wintersole, Debra Pierce, Gordon Jump, Ceil Cabot, Hal Taggart, Felton Perry, Johnny Cash

Songs:
"Let The Good Times In," music and lyrics by Carol Bayer and Neil Sedaka (Unreleased on commercial LP)
"Together," music and lyrics by Shorty Rogers and Kelly Gordon (Unreleased on commercial LP)

Tube Trivia:
William Wintersole played Dr. Kessler in Episode 16.
Gordon Jump is best known for playing Mr. Carlson on "WKRP in Cincinnati." He holds the record for most guest appearances on "The Partridge Family." He also appeared in Episodes 34, 47, 56, 62, 78, and 87.
Director Jerry Paris is best known for playing Jerry Helper on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He has also directed episodes of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," Happy Days," and "Mork & Mindy."
The original title for the series was, "Family Business."
The song, "What A Day" was filmed for the pilot, but edited out of both versions. It was never released on a commercial LP.
Neither David Cassidy nor Shirley Jones sung in the pilot episode songs.
The pilot actually used the "I Dream of Jeannie" home and driveway. They didn't use their regular facade until the second episode. The interiors were almost completely backwards in design to what was later used.
The familiar theme song, "When We're Singing," with animated partridges didn't start until the second episode. The pilot used concert footage and the song, "Together."
The school bus used was a 1957 Chevrolet "Superior" round top bus. It frequently broke down and had to be pushed into scenes rather than driven. And yes, that was actually Shirley Jones driving down Hollywood Boulevard!
"I Think I Love You," released in August, 1970, was already climbing the charts when the series premiered. It debuted on the Billboard charts on October 10th and hit Number 1 on November 21st.
To read our exclusive interview with series creator Bernard Slade, visit the People and Places section of the website!

More Trivia
The sponsors of the pilot episode of the Partridge Family were:
Cover Girl Medicated Make-up - with Cybil Sheppard
Coffee Mate
Carnation Instant Breakfast - Voice over by Dave Madden
1 A Day Vitamins
Alka Seltzer - with a Thanksgiving Day Theme
Super Sheer Cover Girl - with teen model Susie Blakely

In the pilot, as originally filmed:
The Partridge family lived in Ohio.
Shirley's name was Connie.
Laurie mentioned her father, reminding Shirley of how he used to drink too much during the holidays.
Jack Cassidy made an appearance as Connie's love interest, Mark.

Oops! Twice, there is the implication that there are only five members in the family: 1. Keith tells Shirley they need her to sing because the arrangement is written for five voices. 2. In Las Vegas, when the kids freeze, Shirley tells them to close their eyes and think of "just the five of us" rehearsing in the garage.


Last edited by Scott on Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:04 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Chris_Wanna_B
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is such a thrill for me to watch the pilot, even after all the times I've seen it. I'd love to see the first, unaired pilot some day though.

With the opening shot of the multi colored bus, and the jazzy, rock music, I've always gotten the feeling I'm watching something special.

The family members are introduced quite quickly, and we get right into the story, and music. I like the fast pace, but it's easy to follow along.

The first PF songs we hear, Let The Good Times In, and Together are fantastic.

This is one of the first show's I can remember watching way back when, where I was interested in the show's set's. I tried to notice every detail of their home, and neighborhood. I just thought it was all so cool. I can still remember buying the first album in a local store, and getting others for birthday's, and some for Christmas over the years.

I noticed for the first time with this watching that the yellow school bus on the lot that they are buying is not the bus that became the painted one we all know and love.

I found it very easy to like this family, and to wish that I lived in their town. Like everyone here I'm sure, I wanted to be on the road with them in that groovy bus.

I believe the girl drummer was really playing those drums, could be wrong though.

I think we all share Shirley's closing remarks about not missing the experience for the world, I'm glad we got to go along for the four year ride, which has turned out to be much longer thankfully.
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://cgi.ebay.com/PARTRIDGE-FAMILY-COLORING-BOOK-1971-ARTCRAFT-ABC-SERIES_W0QQitemZ370139195621QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item370139195621&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

Well, I'm embracing my inner nerd today! Last summer, my brother (who lives across the country) sent me a Partridge Family coloring book (link to the picture above, in case you might remember having it), which essentially tells the story of the pilot inside, so I'm following along with it as I watch the pilot. It's an odd book, since it has Brian Forster on the cover, although the illustrations inside feature Jeremy Gelbwaks.

One vivid memory I have from when the first episode originally aired is that my dad rented a color TV in September of 1970, to see if we really need to have one, or if the ol' black and white would do. Earth to dad: D-UH!!! Also that year, we--being the technological trend-setters in the neighborhood--were the first family to have a portable cassette tape recorder. Of course, whenever I could get my hands on it, I would record the audio from TV shows! (I can still recite the dialogue from episodes of All In The Family and Mary Tyler Moore that I recorded back then!)

I remember throwing a fit because my family wanted to watch something else on the color TV when The Partridge Family came on, and I wanted to RECORD THE AUDIO IN COLOR!!! Rolling Eyes Laughing Fortunately, by the time I was nine years old, I had the family wrapped around my little finger, and I got my way. (Secretly, I think my three older siblings wanted to watch The Partridge Family, too, but they didn't want to admit it.)

I love the pilot so much! In a way, it's a little disappointing that the series didn't have scripts as densely packed and as well-written as this one. (I may be proven wrong in the coming weeks, but in my memory is that future episodes were more run-of-the-mill in the script department.) Whoever had the idea of sending Danny and Tracy (of all people) to see Reuben Kincaid was inspired. I didn't give Suzanne Crough much thought back then (I've always been into older women, and I loved Susan Dey instantly!), but she's pretty darned adorable with Danny in that hotel hallway.

I never realized how much Danny was the star of this show until I watched it as an adult. If anyone other than Danny Bonaduce played that role, it would've been a very different show.

I'm watching the episode with Danny's commentary first, and it's funny to hear him say things as though they were actually true! Shirley was the first single mother on TV? Um, well Diahann Carroll as Julia immediately springs to mind...there's Doris Day...Hope Lange in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir...oh, and another fairly well-known redhead named Lucille Ball (The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy). Ahh, to live in the head of Danny Bonaduce for one day! Wink All in all, though, his commentary is pretty funny and entertaining. You can tell he hadn't watched the episode in years, but he remembers certain lines, just the way we can.

I think I'm going to enjoy Mr. Kincaid a lot more this time around. He always got on my nerves when I was a kid, but every line he uttered in this pilot was hysterical! I love Danny's line in the commentary about Reuben, as he stands in the wings while the frozen Partridges are on stage: "I have to assume eating one Valium after the next was funny in 1970!" Hee hee! Yeah...

I never understood the point of the epilogue scene with Debbie the drummer. It seemed like a gratuitous add-on scene, almost as though she was somebody famous, except she wasn't. It's interesting to hear Danny say she may have been the daughter of somebody connected with the show. I wonder if that's true or merely "Danny true". ;-)

Now, I'm going back to watch it again without the commentary (which I now affectionately call the "Shut Up, Danny!" edition)! Laughing First of all, one thing that really excites me watching this today is that the songs, "Let The Good Times In" and "Together" are actually out on CD for us to enjoy!

I love Shirley in her Austin Powers get up! Classic!

I don't know about you, but I always get a chill of excitement at that moment when the words, "The Partridge Family" flash on the screen, just as they're singing, "Together"! Just...love it...! Mr. Green

It's funny reading along with the coloring book. On one page, Chris and Tracy are saying, "Aw c'mon, Mom. We have to cut our record today!", whereas on the show, their line was "C'mon, mom. Please!" (and Tracy even struggled with that line!) It seems they were much more articulate in the coloring book universe. (I'm trying to resist the temptation to get some crayons and go to town on this book. I know better, though. The original one I had ended up torn to shreds because I could never stay inside the lines.)

It's great seeing Gordon Jump in this show. I got to meet him back in the 90s when he visited my radio station to promote Maytag appliances. He posed for a fantastic picture with me as though we were in a scene from WKRP. Great guy, that big guy!

One thing I have to say I really like about this episode is that they didn't overdo it with the laugh track. When the family is frozen on stage, Mr. Kincaid looks upward and says, "Why me?", and it cuts back to Shirley trying to get the kids to loosen up. There were no unnecessary gales of laughter from an audience that we knew (even back then) wasn't there. I noticed the same thing at the beginning of the show, when Danny was talking to Shirley as she tried to pay the peanut butter bill. There was no laugh when she said it looks like the national debt. I appreciate that they didn't try to force us to laugh at every line. This is a well-crafted pilot.

I think if we were going to create a drinking game for this series, one thing that could always trigger a sip is when Shirley shakes her head and sighs as something the kids (usually Danny) says. One of the thankless tasks of being the mom. :-)

My rating for this initial episode of The Partridge Family: Havin' A Ball! Razz
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kiethlives
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,
I think my favorite moment of the pilot, aside from those already mentioned. Is Keith playing 'live' for the one and only time on electric guitar, jamming rock n' roll, and Shirley yelling 'QUIIIIIEEEEEET' at him. Guess Shirley had more input on the bands sound than I previously thought.

Interesting to note also, how well formed Shirley, Laurie, Danny and Rueben are as characters, while the kids and Keith are just 'there' no personalities. Was that a tennis sweater and baggy jeans Keith is wearing? Hummm, so not Keith as we know him.
No wonder DC was 'hesitant' to take the role, he really didn't have anything to do. The kids were too young to protest of course.
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pee-wee
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TV Gord posted (I never understood the point of the epilogue scene with Debbie the drummer. It seemed like a gratuitous add-on scene, almost as though she was somebody famous, except she wasn't. It's interesting to hear Danny say she may have been the daughter of somebody connected with the show. I wonder if that's true or merely "Danny true".) I remember reading somewhere this girl was up for the role of Chris Partridge, as in Cristina Partridge as opposed to Christopher Partridge.
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pee-wee wrote:
TV Gord posted (I never understood the point of the epilogue scene with Debbie the drummer. It seemed like a gratuitous add-on scene, almost as though she was somebody famous, except she wasn't. It's interesting to hear Danny say she may have been the daughter of somebody connected with the show. I wonder if that's true or merely "Danny true".) I remember reading somewhere this girl was up for the role of Chris Partridge, as in Cristina Partridge as opposed to Christopher Partridge.


Yikes! That would've made quite a trendsetting spinoff for the seventies!
The Partridge Tranny!!!
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Scott
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. The character of Chris was always male -- from the very beginning.
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Daydreamer72
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed watching the very first episode (yet again), and am always surprised by the fact that no matter how many times I've seen it ('harder still for me to believe that I was ever THAT young! Shocked Embarassed Laughing ), it never gets old, or fails to bring a smile to my face. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Shirley was lovely, as always, managing the seemingly impossible task of balancing fresh-faced, maternal "innocence" with full-grown, adult sex appeal (Personally, I think she's the REAL reason all the boys tuned in every week! Wink ); David's performance was simply, delightfully understated (and a major change of pace given the number serious roles -- in which he was BRILLANT! -- he'd offered mere months prior! Surprised ); Dave Madden's ALWAYS cracked me up! And when he and Danny meet up the first time, it's TV History-in-the-making! Laughing Whoever set it up so that DM was the straight man between the adorable, yet surprisingly adept, little Tracy and her "big brother", Danny, was a comedic genius IMHO as that restaurant scene should go down in the annals of Comedy History! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Of course, I simply LOVED the songs, "Let The Good Times In" and "Together (Having A Ball)", and was a bit disappointed when I got "The PF Album" (my first PF record purchase was "Up To Date" a couple months earlier) weren't included, Mad though I LOVED the other songs offered, of course. And even though it took over 30 years to finally get these two "lost" gems released, it was well worth the wait! Wink

Overall, I think the pilot episode got the show off to a great start, it only got better from then on! I LOVE this show, and can't wait for Season 4 to debut next month! Yeah, baby! WOO HOO!!! Very Happy
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daydreamer72 wrote:
Shirley was lovely, as always, managing the seemingly impossible task of balancing fresh-faced, maternal "innocence" with full-grown, adult sex appeal (Personally, I think she's the REAL reason all the boys tuned in every week! Wink )


I was in love with Susan when I was a boy, but when I saw "The Undergraduate" (episode 29) as an adult, I definitely noticed Shirley in those hotpants more than Laurie! Shocked It was a real eye-opener...in more ways than one! Li'l Gordie was growing up! Laughing
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PF7074
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the all-time best pilot episodes. As I believe someone else mentioned, Slade's script is funny and the expositional stuff isn't too heavy-handed. And Danny and Reuben's comedic chemistry is more than evident right from the get-go. The mens' room scene is a classic. I think that it's the first time that a TV sitcom suggested that a bathroom was a place where you did more than just wash (lol). The original house set was okay (I think I remember seeing it on other Columbia shows), but I much prefer the other one (always seemed homier). I wish that I had seen this ep. on Sept. 25, 1970 like many of you did, but I didn't discover TPF until the fifth week it was on. And, to this day, it remains a very happy discovery at that.
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goodyj
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a show! I was an avid TV watcher by the time PF debuted and after seeing the promos for the show, made sure I was sitting in front of the TV to see this nifty new program about a singing family. I was more than pleased, I thought it was the best idea for a TV show ever. The pilot script was extremely clever and creative (Danny and Tracy going to see Rueben and the whole bathroom sequence) and the harmony laden songs were so well done (even though they were lip syncing). Shirley was perfect casting as was the rest of the family actually. And watching it now, I am not only impressed with Danny, but also Suzanne and Jeremy for their aptitude on camera at such a young age.

I wonder if the producers planned the theme song to really do a huge chunk of the exposition to set up the premise of the show which in turn allowed the script to move on (Someone earlier mentioned how thankfully light the pilot was in exposition). I was an early adolecent when I saw this episode and my tastes for entertainment were expanding from young kid fare (cartoons that I still enjoy and comedy sketches on variety shows) to focus more on music (I had started watching the Monkees on Saturday morning syndication) and even some dramas...

For me the episode reminds me of the perfect show coming along at the perfect time. Imagine my happiness when I found out that I could also buy the PF music on record!

I wonder (and Scott, maybe you know some of the trivia pertaining to this) if there was a longer shooting schedule for the pilot than for the additional episodes... Not saying it is that important since the cast was oh so good, but the family already seemed so comfortable with each other and connected like a family usually is...

This is a classic episode of a great show and I still smile inside when I watch it.

Jeff
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Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pilot was filmed in December 1969/January 1970. I don't have specifics, but I assume the pilot did take longer than a week to film, simply because location shooting was needed in Las Vegas, as well as real concert footage filmed at the Paladium in Hollywood (where the family freezes on stage).

I am not sure if the sets were re-used from other series, but given the way other projects were handled, that would not surprise me. Usually, pilots are thrown together fairly quickly from a production standpoint. They don't want to spend monies on elaborate settings unless they have a guarantee that the series was being picked up. It was probably a no-brainer that this would happen with the PF. You don't secure an Academy-Award winning actress for a pilot without a good idea that the series would go forward. In some cases, they even have a clause in their contracts that they get paid regardless of whether the series goes forward.

The pilot was filmed on a swing stage at the Sunset/Gower Studios in Hollywood. It's the only episode where the interiors were not filmed on the Ranch. The S/G studios are the same soundstages that all/most interiors of Columbia/Screen Gems series were filmed. That's really Shirley driving the bus up Vine, making a left onto Hollywood Boulevard, only a few blocks from the S/G studios.

I do not know why Shirley used the passenger door to get out of the car. I don't consider that a "blooper." It's probably because the shot looked better filmed that way rather than the other angle, which would have focused on buildings that didn't necessarily look like a neighborhood. They were more urban, like Boston townhomes. They are using the "I Dream of Jeannie" home and driveway for that shot. Very Happy
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Skizzy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember watching this the night it premiered on ABC. I couldn't wait for the next episode. After seeing the PF TV promos over the summer I started buying 16 Magazine and any other teen mag that had David in it. Loved the show from the start...and still do. Very Happy
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KathySTL
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize I'm late joining the club and have marathoned the 3 episodes needed to catch up. I'll post appropriately.

I think Shirley used the passenger door because then she was right there for her groceries.

Also, I think the whole 5 voices thing must be a blooper, however the fact that later Shirley says 5 of us in the Garage does sound a little off when there is most definitely 6 of them unless in her nervousness, she's only thinking of the fact that she has 5 kids.

My husband watched the last half of this with me and didn't realize that Shirley had worked before the hit record.
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CassidyDiva
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poor Tracy!
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