Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
MaryHartmanDVD.jpg
DVD box cover
Also known asForever Fernwood
FormatSoap opera
Sitcom
Satire
Created byJerry Adelman
Daniel Gregory Browne
Ann Marcus
StarringLouise Lasser
Greg Mullavey
Mary Kay Place
Graham Jarvis
Debralee Scott
Dody Goodman
Philip Bruns
Claudia Lamb
Victor Kilian
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes455 (325 as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and 130 as Forever Fernwood)
Production
Running time23 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelSyndicated
Original runJanuary 5, 1976 (1976-01-05) – May 10, 1977 (1977-05-10)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
MaryHartmanDVD.jpg
DVD box cover
Also known asForever Fernwood
FormatSoap opera
Sitcom
Satire
Created byJerry Adelman
Daniel Gregory Browne
Ann Marcus
StarringLouise Lasser
Greg Mullavey
Mary Kay Place
Graham Jarvis
Debralee Scott
Dody Goodman
Philip Bruns
Claudia Lamb
Victor Kilian
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes455 (325 as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and 130 as Forever Fernwood)
Production
Running time23 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelSyndicated
Original runJanuary 5, 1976 (1976-01-05) – May 10, 1977 (1977-05-10)

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is an American soap opera parody that aired in daily (weekday) syndication from January 1976 to May 1977. The series was produced by Norman Lear, directed by Joan Darling and Jim Drake, and starred Louise Lasser. The series writers were Gail Parent and Ann Marcus.[1]

The show's title was the eponymous character's name stated twice, because Lear and the writers believed that everything that was said on a soap opera was said twice. There is no live studio audience or a laugh track in the series, mostly due to the soap opera look.

In 2004 and 2007, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was ranked #21 and #26 on "TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever".[2][3]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Secondary cast[edit]

The series took place in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio. Although there is a real Fernwood, Ohio, in the United States (located in Jefferson County, Ohio), the town in the series was not based on it, but was instead named for Fernwood Avenue, which runs behind the KTLA/Sunset Bronson Studios where the show taped.

In its first episode, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman addressed the Lombardi family of five that had been mass-murdered (including their eight goats and two chickens) by young Davey Jessup, and had been witnessed by Mary's daughter, Heather; and the "Fernwood Flasher", who turned out to be Mary's grandfather, Raymond Larkin. Characters on the show died in several bizarre ways, including bathtub electrocution (Jimmy Joe Jeeter), drowning in chicken soup (Coach Leroy Fedders), and impalement on an aluminum Christmas tree (Garth Gimble).

Mary Hartman had a nationally televised nervous breakdown on The David Susskind Show at the end of the first season. Mary then found herself in a psychiatric ward, and she was delighted to be part of their selected Nielsen ratings "family". One of her sanitarium mates, widowed Wanda Rittenhouse (Marian Mercer) would become more prominent later on when she married Merle Jeeter, the mayor of Fernwood.

Forever Fernwood[edit]

When Lasser left the show in 1977, it was re-branded Forever Fernwood and followed the trials and tribulations of Mary's family and friends after she ran away with a policeman (the aforementioned Sgt. Dennis Foley), with whom she had a lot of contact in the first season. Aside from Lasser, the rest of the cast remained intact. An addition to the cast was Shelley Fabares as Eleanor Major, who began dating Tom after Mary left him. Forever Fernwood ended in 1978, after only 26 weeks on the air (130 half-hour episodes). It was replaced with the talk show parody spin-off Fernwood 2-Night, which later became America 2-Night.

Mary Kay Place was nominated for a Grammy Award for the album Tonite! At the Capri Lounge, Loretta Haggers on which she sang as her Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman character, Loretta Haggers. The album featured appearances by Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, and one of its songs, "Baby Boy", climbed to the Top 60 on Billboard's Pop Charts, and #3 on the country charts, in 1976. Place also won an Emmy Award for her performance on the show. The show's writers realized Loretta Haggers' newfound fame made it harder to keep her character in Fernwood, so they devised a storyline wherein the country and western star makes an anti-semitic, career-shattering remark on the Dinah Shore talk show.

During the run of the series and its various spin-offs and sequels, KTTV, which broadcast the series in the Los Angeles market, also broadcast a tongue-in-cheek version of its nightly "Metronews" newscast, titled Metronews, Metronews. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was often abbreviated MH2, so Metronews, Metronews was abbreviated MN2. During the run of Fernwood 2-Night, MN2 became the name of the show, which was retconned to stand for Metronews 2-Night.

Cast reunion[edit]

In 2000, several of the original cast appeared on a panel for a Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman retrospective at the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills, CA. The panel discussion was taped for the museum's archives.

Media[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

On March 27, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: Volume One on DVD in Region 1.[4] The three-disc boxset features the first 25 episodes of Season 1, dealing with the Fernwood Flasher and Lombardi massacre storylines.

On August 28, 2013, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series and will be releasing Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 on December 3, 2013.[5] The 38-disc set will feature all 325 episodes of the series as well as bonus features.

VHS releases[edit]

Syndication[edit]

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was syndicated on local stations briefly in 1982, and enjoyed some short-lived air time on Lifetime Television in 1994 and TV Land in 2002.

References in pop culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]