Hazel (TV Series 1961–1966) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to his wife Dorothy, and his young son Harold, he entered the world of Hazel. Hazel was the maid and housekeeper who ran the Baxter household more efficiently than George ran his office. She was always right, knew exactly what needed doing, and pre-empted his authority with alarming, though, justified regularity.


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  • Viewers are so curious why the format was revised on Hazel and essentially killed the sitcom within one year of this transition. Lynn Borden, who played Barbara Baxter in the revised-format 1965-6 season, she has said that at the end of the 1964-5 season, NBC had ended the show. So, at this time all the actors on the first generation of Hazel went out to look for other work. Then CBS had expressed an interest to pick up the show so Shirley Booth who played Hazel agreed to finance that endeavor. Unfortunately, DeFore and Whitney Blake by the time of the final commitments had found other commitments and could not be part of the new Hazel. The new show would be instituted by Miss Booth where her relationship with Steve Baxter would be less adversarial than that with George Baxter. It was in the first scene with Ray Fulmer as Steve Baxter showed him confidently predicting that Hazel would not upend his life the way she had his brother George's. This is also thought to be an additional factor of the failure of the new theme. There were other factors to the failure of the Sitcom Hazel. Miss Booth was also slowly succumbing to illness. She required a nurse present on the set and by the middle of that last season, most scenes are devoted to Ann Jillian and Mala Powers and their characters' interactions with the Baxter family. At the conclusion of this last - season, Miss Booth was unable to continue, and the show ended. The transition from the original characters to the last season change was explained I this manner. George Baxter the attorney accepted a job in the Middle East and his wife, Dorothy, accompanied him. However, they sent Harold to live with George's younger brother, Realtor Steve, and his wife so that the boy would not be uprooted from his school. It should be noted that Don DeFore said during his "Written Out of Television" interview, that he received a call from his attorney telling him his option was not being picked up after the move to CBS was announced. He was advised that the show did not want him back, so he decided to go to New York to find other work. The "left to pursue other opportunities" reason is used all the time when someone is let go, and in this case, it was probably used because it sounded better than "We dropped Don and Whitney because we're trying to cut the budget, and you and Ray Fulmer are cheaper". Overall Hazel was a originally a very interesting television show with a very acceptable rating here on IMDB of the mid to late 60's. Viewers liked the show. The story line of an affluent Attorney, his business relations with his clients and his stay at home wife who had a live-in maid. Amazingly at the time and even today that scenario of a family with a live-in maid is not realistic for most Americans. However, it was fun, and many times little goofy types of situations were entertaining. But if a viewer was looking for realism this sitcom could not ever deliver. - Martin Snytsheuvel

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