Leave It to Beaver

ABC (ended 1963)



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Leave It to Beaver portrayed the iconic postwar American family: June the perfect housewife, Ward the dad (what did he do for a living, anyway? And why did he always wear a suit to dinner?), big brother Wally, and of course Theodore ("The Beaver"), the good-hearted kid whose adventures propelled the show. Leave It to Beaver debuted in October of 1957 on CBS. In the fall of 1958, CBS dropped the series. ABC picked it up and ran it for an additional 5 years. Few people know that Leave it to Beaver was the first American television show broadcast behind the Iron Curtain -- perhaps part of the reason for so many references to God, Sunday School, Breaking Bread, etc. In several episodes, there are subtle references to the Soviet Union. In episode #31 ( New doctor ): Wally, has a model plane. Look close, it,s a Russian bomber. With, the red star decals. In episode #119 ( Beaver's House Guest ), the two boys are wearing their camp sweatshirts. With the name Camp Chekov on it. Propaganda? Maybe. What the average American family was like in the 1950's? I don't think so. What ever, I guess it worked. The series focuses on Theodore Cleaver (Beaver). Beaver (who was 7 when the series began) is your basic everyday little boy who had a knack of getting himself into trouble at every turn. His older brother Wally, is just entering his teen years and often wonders out loud how Beaver could be so dumb to get himself into stupid situations. (Examples: getting himself locked in the principals office, letting the bathtub overflow, letting the washing machine overflow, getting his head stuck in a fence at the park, constantly losing things (cats, change, etc.) His parents are your everyday 1950's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, who do their best to understand and support Beaver and Wally as they grew up. Other characters were mostly friends of Wally and Beaver. Wally's friends included Lumpy Rutherford and the two-faced Eddie Haskell. Eddie was courteous to June and Ward but when the grown ups weren't around he was a bully to Beaver and his friends. Beaver's friends include Whitey Whitney, Gilbert Gates/Bates/Harrison (inconsistent last name), Larry Mondello and Richard Rickover. Beaver's teachers, Miss Canfield and later Miss Landers were seen frequently as well as Lumpy's father, played by Richard Deacon known for his role on The Dick Van Dyke Show. While most people lump in Leave it to Beaver with other family sitcoms, such as Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, this series was truly an original, and very much ahead of its time. It showed the world through the eyes of a young boy, and sometimes dealt with rather controversial subjects. One episode ("Beaver and Andy") dealt frankly with the subject of alcoholism. Another episode ("Beaver's House Guest") showed how divorce can affect a child. In 1985, Leave It to Beaver was in a full blown revival after a 1983 reunion movie, Still the Beaver, when a spin-off series, with the title of the reunion movie, was proposed. It later begin airing in syndication under the title, The New Leave It to Beaver and starred all of the original cast members except Hugh Beaumont who died on May 14, 1982. First Telecast: October 4, 1957 Last Telecast: September 12, 1963 Episodes: 234 B&W Episodes +1 Unaired B&W Pilot Theme Song: "The Toy Parade" Written by: Melvyn Leonard, Mort Greene & Dave Kahn Spin-offs: The New Leave It to Beaver NOTE: All air dates have now been verified through TV Guide. CBS Broadcast History October 1957-March 1958----Fridays----7:30 p.m. March-September 1958----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. ABC Broadcast History October 1958-June 1959----Thursdays----7:30 p.m. July-September 1959----Thursdays----9:00 p.m. October 1959-September 1962----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. September 1962-September 1963----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) Never hit the top 30moreless
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    • LITB Addicting But Flawed

      Have always enjoyed LITB but now that I'm watching it on Netflix I've noticed countless continuity problems. However, I still watch and enjoy the show. I'll point out just one for starters:

      Season 1: Wally - 8th Grade | Beaver - 2nd Grade

      Season 2: Wally - 9th Grade | Beaver - 3rd Grade | Lumpy 11th Grade

      Season 3: Wally - 10th Grade | Beaver - 4th Grade | Lumpy 10th Grade (explained he was repeating 10th)

      Season 4: Wally - 11th Grade | Beaver - 5th Grade | Lumpy 11th Grade

      Season 5: Wally - 12th Grade | Beaver - 6th Grade | Lumpy 12th Grade

      Season 6: Wally - 12th Grade (again) | Beaver - 8th Grade (what happen to 7th Grade) | Lumpy 12th Grade (again)moreless
    • Greatest Show of All Time

      This is one of the greatest shows of all times. I love the whole Cleaver family, Eddie Haskell, Lumpy, Whitey, and the rest of the gang.

      Score 100
    • I am watching LITB on Netflix

      I am glad they brought it back.

      I always liked LITB as a child, there was just something about it.

      Having watched every episode, often more than once, sometimes the Inconsistencies used to kill me.

      Like one reader noted that ,Gilbert's last name is first called Gates, than Bates, then for two episodes it's Harrison, than back to Bates again. I had not picked up on that, but I do remember in the 1st episode where Gilbert moves in across the street, Beaver and Gilbert get into a fight, and Mr Cleaver and Gilbert's dad are talking, and Gilbert's dad says something like it's hard for the boy, and he (The Dad) is a musician, and they are always moving. Then later in the series, Gilbert says his dad is an electrical engineer. (I thought he was a musician?) Then in the episode where Beaver plays the lead in a play, and has to kiss the girl, the teachers are talking, and one says Gilbert did not make the drama club, because he was giggling, and the other teacher says " I had his Dad as a boy" and he was always giggling too. (What so He grew up in Mayfield and just happened to move back there.)

      It's not a big deal, but if your a die hard LITB fan, it just kind of kills me.

      I am sure there are others, can't think of anything right now.

    • A classic show that will always remind us of how simple life was back in the early 50's and 60's

      Leave It To Beaver was broadcast before I was born, but it shows how simple life was back in the late 50's, early 60's. Sure, they might of seemed corny, but what a breath of fresh air compared to shows today. Happy endings, funny

      situations, and nobody getting hurt or killed. I have been a fan for many years, and will continue to always love this show! I am glad that it has been revived by TV Land, and of course, it is being released on DVD. I hope that other generations will love it as much as we have!moreless
    • The Cleaver family is your typical American family, with father Ward, mother June, older brother Wally and little Theodore, better known as "Beaver". It was shown from the eyes of the "Beaver"moreless

      Leave it to Beaver is one of those shows from the 50s that has a somewhat idealized vision of the American family. However, unlike Ozzie & Harriet and Father Knows Best, LITB was seen from the point of the view of the children and even the dialogue reflects that. While some of the plotlines are decidedly corny, there is something off the wall about some of the things Beaver does(Falling into a giant soup bowl, pushing a baby buggy across town, getting his head stuck in a fence), but they still feel realistic. And with the idealized family life of the Cleavers, it is hinted that maybe Eddie Haskells family life isnt exactly ideal. And even the scenes between Ward and June seem to ring true, though there are times that Wards little homilies to the kids get on my nerves. Still this is a show that looks better than it did when it first came on. Maybe it was ahead of its time in its own way.moreless
    • © 2009 TV Land
    • © 2009 TV Land
    • © 2009 TV Land
    • © 2009 TV Land
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    More Info About This Show


    Comedy, Kids


    laugh track, Pre-Teens, Classics, 50s, the middle class