The Donna Reed Show

Season 4 Episode 33

Donna Meets Roberta

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 03, 1962 on ABC
5.9
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With Donna Reed considering retiring at the end of this season, this episode is one of the many proposed replacement series. It is the unsold pilot for "The Roberta Sherwood Show," staring Roberta Sherwood and Gale Gordon, as her brother. Along with her three Sons (real life brothers) she lives an Illinois town close enough for Dr. Stone to come on a house call, but far enough away that Mrs. Stone says it is a long drive.

As a former touring performer, Roberta worked on the road leaving her three Sons in her brother's care. Upon returning, she had enough money to buy a home for the five of them. Unfortunately, her brother feels show biz people aren't highly looked upon and tries to keep her and his nephews from singing. Yet, they'll be happy to burst out into song, when the mood or situation calls for it and even Uncle Dudley joins in, too.

Roberta and Dudley are trying to sell their run down home, which is in horrible shape, for a profit (of at least $500). Dudley, like many of Gale Gordon's characters tries to save a buck and make one too anyway he can even if it means taking advantage of someone. The story brings these two families together at a charity bazaar, where she is singing. A friend of Dr. Stone lets him in on a secret that a shopping center will be going up right across the street from Roberta's home. He figures the land, alone, will be worth at least 4 times ($10,000) the current asking price ($2,000 to $2,500).

The episode finds Dr. Stone wrestling with himself on being a businessman who willing takes advantage of other people or his natural self as a healer and someone who tries to help people, even foregoing payment, when a parent can't pay him. Jeff finds himself in a similar situation having bought a broken radio, he knew he could fix. It falls to Mrs. Stone to help the two men in her life to see, not the error of their ways, but the humanity in their soul and/or heart.

A late night phone call to Dr. Stone as Roberta's youngest Son (Bobby) is running a high fever and none of the town's doctors are available. While driving over to see them, Dr. Stone has a heart to heart with himself. While waiting to hear what is wrong with their youngest, Dudley and Roberta have their own heart to heart. Roberta sees this illness as her punishment for selling the house for $500 more than she feels it is worth to Dr. Stone. When Dr. Stone finally comes down to tell them what he discovered (measles), it is Roberta who says Dr. Stone needs to know more about the house before going into the deal. Dr. Stone replies the same to Roberta and Dudley, which causes them to look at each other (as they thought they knew everything there was about their home).

Mrs. Stone is awake, when Dr. Stone arrives home (at 4 AM) whistling, humming, and lightly singing. He tells her Bobby has the measles and she wants to know what else is up. Dr. Stone admits he told Roberta about the shopping center and "all bets all off." The episode ends with everyone at the Summers' home, as it is Dudley's birthday. This gives Roberta, the three real life brothers, and even Gale Gorden a chance to sing and show the "The Roberta Sherwood Show" would be both a family drama and a musical series.

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