December Bride

December Bride is an American sitcom that aired on the CBS television network from 1954 to 1959, adapted from the original CBS radio network series of the same name[1] that aired from June 1952 through September 1953.

December Bride
Lily (Spring Byington) helps guest star Mickey Rooney with a crap game set up as a trap for those who robbed his home.
Created byParke Levy
Written byBill Davenport
Lou Derman
Arthur Julian
Parke Levy
Bob Schiller
Directed byWilliam Asher
Frederick de Cordova
Jerry Thorpe
StarringSpring Byington
Frances Rafferty
Dean Miller
Verna Felton
Harry Morgan
Theme music composerEliot Daniel
Composer(s)Wilbur Hatch
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes156
Producer(s)Frederick de Cordova
Parke Levy
Running time30 minute
Production company(s)Desilu Productions
CBS Television Network
DistributorCBS Films
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 4, 1954 (1954-10-04) 
May 7, 1959 (1959-05-07)
Related showsPete and Gladys


December Bride centered on the adventures of Lily Ruskin, a spry widow played by Spring Byington, who was not, in fact, a "December" (rather old) bride but very much desired to become one if the right man were to come along. Aiding Lily in her search for this prospective suitor were her daughter Ruth Henshaw (Frances Rafferty) and son-in-law Matt Henshaw (Dean Miller), and her close friend Hilda Crocker (character actress Verna Felton). A next-door neighbor, insurance agent Pete Porter (Harry Morgan), was frequently seen. Married miserably himself, according to his constant complaints about his unseen wife Gladys, he also envied Matt's positive relationship with Lily as he despised his own mother-in-law. The pilot episode premiered on October 4, 1954, and involved Lily Ruskin moving in with her daughter and son-in-law. Most of the scenes filmed for the series took place in the Henshaws' living room.

First-run episodes of December Bride aired on television for 5 seasons (1954-1959), sponsored by General Foods' Instant Maxwell House Coffee. During the first four seasons, the program was not shown in the summer, supplanted by "summer replacement" series (such as Ethel and Albert) but in its final year, repeat episodes were run in its time slot during the summer months.

Thanks in part to its following I Love Lucy, December Bride had high ratings its first four seasons[2] - #10 in 1954-1955, #6 in 1955-1956, #5 in 1956-1957 and #9 in 1957-1958. When CBS moved it to Thursdays in the fall of 1958, ratings fell dramatically, and the series went off in 1959.[3]

In 1960, a new series titled Pete and Gladys debuted, set around many of the same characters; this new series focused on Pete Porter and his now-seen wife Gladys. Hilda Crocker appeared in 23 episodes of the new series, which aired until 1962.

After its production had ceased, CBS used repeat episodes to fill slots in its prime time programming. In July 1960, December Bride repeats were used to fill in for the second half of the Friday 9 pm Eastern time slot vacated by Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, running until the beginning of the fall schedule in 1960, and again as a temporary replacement on Thursday nights in April 1961. Additionally, repeats were shown on CBS as a daytime program from October 1959 until March 1961. The daytime repeats, and an attempt to syndicate the show, were ratings failures; it was this phenomenon that prompted Michael Dann, an executive at CBS, to use the concept of "hammocking:" inserting a weak or new series in-between two better-established shows to improve its viewership.[4]


Guest stars


Parke Levy, who created and wrote December Bride, owned 50% of the program, and Desilu and CBS owned 25% each.[5]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
134October 4, 1954 (1954-10-04)May 23, 1955 (1955-05-23)1034.7
231October 3, 1955 (1955-10-03)May 14, 1956 (1956-05-14)637.0
330October 8, 1956 (1956-10-08)May 6, 1957 (1957-05-06)535.2
431October 7, 1957 (1957-10-07)May 19, 1958 (1958-05-19)930.7
531October 2, 1958 (1958-10-02)May 7, 1959 (1959-05-07)N/AN/A


Script Supervisor was DaLonne Cooper[6]


  1. Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  2. Shapiro, Mitchell E.; Jicha, Tom (2015). The Top 100 American Situation Comedies: An Objective Ranking. McFarland. p. 151. ISBN 9781476623405. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  5. "'December Bride' Shifts to Vidpix; Desilu Producing". Billboard. February 27, 1954. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. Fred Sica Says He Was Defending Self in Row. (January 31, 1957). Los Angeles Times, p. 4.


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.