The Addams Family (TV series)

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The Addams Family
Addams gomez5.png
Created byCharles Addams
Developed byDavid Levy[1]
StarringJohn Astin
Carolyn Jones
Jackie Coogan
Ted Cassidy
Blossom Rock
Ken Weatherwax
Lisa Loring
Opening themeVic Mizzy
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes65 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)David Levy
Producer(s)Nat Perrin
Location(s)Hollywood, California
Exeter, New Hampshire
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Filmways
DistributorMGM Television (through The Program Exchange)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMono
Original runSeptember 18, 1964 (1964-09-18)  – April 8, 1966 (1966-04-08)
Chronology
Followed byHalloween with the New Addams Family
 
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The Addams Family
Addams gomez5.png
Created byCharles Addams
Developed byDavid Levy[1]
StarringJohn Astin
Carolyn Jones
Jackie Coogan
Ted Cassidy
Blossom Rock
Ken Weatherwax
Lisa Loring
Opening themeVic Mizzy
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes65 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)David Levy
Producer(s)Nat Perrin
Location(s)Hollywood, California
Exeter, New Hampshire
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Filmways
DistributorMGM Television (through The Program Exchange)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMono
Original runSeptember 18, 1964 (1964-09-18)  – April 8, 1966 (1966-04-08)
Chronology
Followed byHalloween with the New Addams Family

The Addams Family is an American television series based on the characters in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute series was shot in black-and-white and aired for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1964, to April 8, 1966, for a total of 64 episodes. It is often compared to its CBS rival, The Munsters, which ran for the same two seasons and achieved somewhat higher Nielsen ratings.[2] The show is the first adaptation of the Addams family characters to feature The Addams Family Theme.

The Addams Family was originally produced by Filmways, Inc. at General Service Studios in Hollywood, California. Successor company MGM Television (via The Program Exchange for broadcast syndication and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for home video/DVD) now own the rights to the show.

Premise[edit]

The Addamses are a close-knit extended family with decidedly macabre interests. They are humans with supernatural abilities. No explanation for their powers is explicitly given in the series.

The very wealthy, endlessly enthusiastic Gomez Addams (John Astin) is madly in love with his refined wife, the former Morticia Frump (Carolyn Jones). Along with their daughter Wednesday (Lisa Loring), their son Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax), Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), and Grandmama (Blossom Rock), they reside at 0001 Cemetery Lane in an ornate, gloomy, Second Empire-style mansion, attended by their servants: Lurch (Ted Cassidy), the towering butler, and Thing (billed as "itself" but played by Cassidy and occasionally by Jack Voglin), a disembodied hand that usually appears out of a small wooden box. Occasionally episodes would feature other relatives such as Cousin Itt (Felix Silla), Morticia's older sister Ophelia (also played by Carolyn Jones), or Grandma Frump, Morticia's mother (played by Margaret Hamilton).

Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) and Lurch (Ted Cassidy)

Much of the humor derives from their culture clash with the rest of the world. They invariably treat normal visitors with great warmth and courtesy, even though their guests often have evil intentions. They are puzzled by the horrified reactions to their (to them) good-natured and normal behavior since they are under the impression that their tastes are shared by most of society. Accordingly they view "conventional" tastes with generally tolerant suspicion. For example, Fester once cites a neighboring family's meticulously maintained petunia patches as evidence that they are "nothing but riff-raff." A recurring theme in the epilogue of many episodes was the Addamses getting an update on the most recent visitor to their home, either via the post, something in the newspaper, or a phone call. Invariably, as a result of their visit to the Addamses, the visitor would be institutionalized, change professions, move out of the country, or suffer some other negative life-changing event. The Addamses would always misinterpret the update and see it as good news for that most recent visitor.

The tone was set by series producer Nat Perrin who was a close friend of Groucho Marx and writer of several Marx Brothers films. Perrin created story ideas, directed one episode, and rewrote every script. Much of the dialog is his (albeit uncredited).[citation needed] As a result, Gomez, with his sardonic remarks, backwards logic, and ever-present cigar (pulled from his breast pocket already lit), is often compared to Groucho Marx. The series often employed the same type of zany satire and screwball humor seen in the Marx Brothers films. It lampooned politics ("Gomez, The Politician" and "Gomez, The People's Choice"), the legal system ("The Addams Family in Court"), Beatlemania ("Lurch, The Teenage Idol"), and Hollywood ("My Fair Cousin Itt").

Broadcast history[edit]

Characters[edit]

The main cast: Gomez (John Astin), Lurch (Ted Cassidy), Wednesday (Lisa Loring), Morticia (Carolyn Jones), and Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax).

Addams Family[edit]

Addams Family pets[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Reunions[edit]

A reunion TV film, Halloween with the New Addams Family,[5] aired on NBC in October 1977 and starred most of the original cast, except for Blossom Rock (Grandmama) who was very ill at the time and was replaced by Phyllis actress Jane Rose. Elvia Allman portrayed Grandma Hester "Franny" Frump, whom Margaret Hamilton had played in the original series. On a related note, Parley Baer (who had previously played Mayor Arthur J. Henson in the TV show) portrayed the special's main villain "Bones" Lafferty. The picture also featured extended family members created specifically for this production, such as Gomez's brother Pancho (played by Henry Darrow) and two additional children, Wednesday Sr. and Pugsley Sr., played respectively by Lisa Loring and Ken Weatherwax, the original Wednesday and Pugsley in the series. Vic Mizzy rewrote and conducted his Addams Family Theme with a slightly different melody for the reunion movie.[6] It was intended as a pilot for a new series, but no other episodes were ordered.[citation needed]

John Astin reprised his role as Gomez Addams for the 1992 animated adaptation of the series. No other members of the original cast were involved.

In 1998–2000, The New Addams Family appeared on the Fox Family Channel (formerly FAM) where some of the episodes are remakes of the classic episodes with some episodes exclusive to the TV series. John Astin appeared in the series as Grandpapa Addams.

Syndication[edit]

The Addams Family airs on the THIS TV network Saturday and Sunday mornings between 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM, and Sundays between 1 PM and 2 PM.

As well as in USA, the show has been aired worldwide, In the UK it first aired on ITV in 1965–1966, and then it appeared on Sky One in 1991 and ran till 1992. and then it was aired on BBC2 from 6.00pm on Monday nights starting in February 1992 till the end of 1993 and then moved to Saturdays in 1994 and later in school summer holidays before it vanished at the end of August 1996.

Since October 2011, the series was picked up by Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang and runs through the entire month of October for Halloween alongside The Munsters.

The series airs on select local stations,[7] and as of November 2013 airs weekends on the national movie/classic TV network This TV[8]

DVD releases[edit]

As of May 2009, the show can be purchased on iTunes, and can be streamed in the US on Netflix, IMDb, YouTube, and Hulu, and minisodes are available on Crackle. MGM Home Entertainment has released The Addams Family on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4 in three volume sets.

DVD NameEpisodesRelease dateAdditional information
Volume 122August 10, 2006
  • Audio commentary for "The Addams Family Goes to School" by cast members Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams), Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Addams), and Felix Silla (Cousin Itt), along with Stephen Cox (author of The Addams Chronicles)
  • You Rang, Mr. Addams featurette
  • Snap, Snap featurette
  • Theme Song Karaoke
  • The Region 1 release has two edits to the episode "Halloween with the Addams Family". They are of two scenes featuring Morticia singing an altered version of the song "It's So Nice to Have a Man Around the House" ("It's So Nice to Have a Thing Around the House"). The cuts were made because MGM/20th Century Fox could not obtain the U.S. rights to the original song; these scenes remain intact on the UK Region 2 and Australian Region 4 DVDs.[9]
Volume 221March 27, 2007
  • Mad About the Addams featurette: Experts discuss the history and impact of the show
  • Thing and Cousin Itt commentaries
  • Guest Star Séance interactive featurette: A magical crystal ball conjures guest star clips and trivia
  • Tombstone Trivia on "Morticia's Romance, Part 1" episode
  • Audio commentary with The Addams Chronicles author Stephen Cox
Volume 321September 11, 2007[10]
  • Thing and Cousin Itt commentaries
  • Audio commentary with Stephen Cox, author of The Addams Chronicles
  • Tombstone Trivia on "Cat Addams" episode
The Complete Series64November 13, 2007[11]
  • Special "velvet-touch" package

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]