The Doctor's Wife

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The Doctor's Wife

Postby Lou » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:37 pm

Someone asked about this late-in-the-era series. There's not a lot of info in my files but here's what I found:

The Doctor's Wife debuted at 5:45 p.m. ET on NBC March 3, 1952 for Ex-Lax. It was the story of a doctor's life as seen through the eyes of his spouse. The physician, Dr. Dan Palmer, established his medical practice in the mythical hamlet of Stanton, outside New York City. His wife, Julie, was ever-patient and supportive.

When the drama was taken off the air Aug. 28, 1953 it may have been considered dead. But on Jan. 3, 1955 it was revived by NBC as a sustainer at 10:30 a.m. The series was shifted to 3:45 p.m. later that year, still as a sustainer, where it idled until the network dropped it permanently on April 13, 1956.

The masculine lead was played by actors Donald Curtis, John Baragrey and Karl Weber. The feminine lead was played by actress Patricia Wheel. Others in the cast in recurring roles included Kenny Delmar, Margaret Hamilton and George Roy Hill. Bob Schaerry was announcer.

If Baragray's name sounds familiar he became one of TV's leading men, appearing in such early series as The Philco Playhouse and Studio One. Wheel, a veteran radio actress, regularly appeared in the company of Dimension X and had a running part in Amanda of Honeymoon Hill in the 1940s. For a brief while in 1949 she played the lead on Dumont TV network's only daytime soap opera, A Woman to Remember, which went to weeknights after a couple of months.

The Doctor's Wife was obviously one of those "replacement" serials as NBC scurried to find acceptable programming for the masses after losing such longstanding listener favorites as Portia Faces Life and When a Girl Marries. Regretfully, the network would soon be tearing up much of its daytime programming schedule, disrupting listening habits that had been formed by millions decades before, in an effort to reinvent itself. The Doctor's Wife would be prominent among the handful of "new breed" serials after the web pulled the plug on such old-timers as Just Plain Bill, Lorenzo Jones, Front Page Farrell, Backstage Wife, Stella Dallas and other traditional fare.

If anyone knows more about The Doctor's Wife, feel free to add appendages here.

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