The Patty Duke Show

The Patty Duke Show is an American sitcom that ran on ABC from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, with reruns airing through August 31. The show was created as a vehicle for rising star Patty Duke. 105 episodes were produced, 104 of them airing over three seasons. Most episodes were written by either Sidney Sheldon or William Asher, the show's creators.

The Patty Duke Show
The Patty Duke Show season one opening
Created bySidney Sheldon
William Asher
Written byGary Abrams
William Asher
David Butler
Arnold Horwitt
Roy Kammerman
Sidney Sheldon
Directed byBruce Bilson
Harry Falk
Claudio Guzmán
Stanley Prager
Alan Rafkin
James Sheldon
Don Weis
StarringPatty Duke
William Schallert
Jean Byron
Paul O'Keefe
Eddie Applegate
Theme music composerSid Ramin
Robert Wells
Opening theme"Cousins"
performed by The Skip-Jacks
Composer(s)Sid Ramin
Harry Geller
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes104 + unaired pilot (list of episodes)
Producer(s)William Asher
Stanley Prager
Bob Sweeney
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Chrislaw Productions
Cottage Industries, Inc.
(season 3)
United Artists Television
DistributorUnited Artists Television
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1963 
April 27, 1966
Followed byThe Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights (1999 TV movie)


Patty Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City, although the setting and characters resemble more simple Middle America (United States). Her father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle; Patty affectionately addresses him as "Poppo." Her "identical paternal cousin," Cathy Lane (also played by Duke), is sophisticated, brainy and demure and her father, Kenneth (also played by Schallert), Martin's identical twin brother, also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent. Cathy moves to the United States from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend Brooklyn Heights High School. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for some of the comedic situations on the show. Though the character of "Cathy" received first billing over the character of "Patty" in the show's opening credits, virtually all episodes centered around Patty's misadventures, with Cathy often only playing a minor supporting role. The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with what is supposed to be a slight Scottish accent (though in fact it has little resemblance to one); not surprisingly, however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy also have an additional identical cousin, the Southern belle Betsy (also played by Duke), featured in the season two episode "The Perfect Hostess."


  • Patty Duke - Patty Lane and Cathy Lane; Duke also "guest-starred" as Betsy Lane in the episode "The Perfect Hostess" (1965)
  • William Schallert - Martin Lane; Schallert also had a dual role as Kenneth Lane in three season 1 episodes "The House Guest" (1963), "The Christmas Present" (1963) and "Auld Lang Syne" (1964) and as Uncle Jed in the season 3 episode "A Visit from Uncle Jed" (1966)
  • Jean Byron - Natalie Lane, Patty's mother
  • Paul O'Keefe - Ross Lane, Patty's brother
  • Eddie Applegate - Richard Harrison, Patty's boyfriend

In the series unaired pilot episode, Mark Miller played Martin Lane and Charles Herbert played Ross Lane.

Recurring roles

Notable guest stars



The show's theme song, "Cousins," which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture (including Rocko's Modern Life where it was parodied as the theme song to "The Bloaty and Squirmy Show"), illustrates the two girls' differences: "...where Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe and crêpes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..." The song was performed by a five-voice vocal ensemble called "The Skip-Jacks," which featured actress and Playboy model Stella Stevens and also performed The Flintstones' theme song.[1]

Visual effects

The dual role for Duke challenged special effects for its time, considering that television special effects were rare in the early 1960s, particularly for a sitcom. In all episodes, Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through use of a split-screen effect. The technically ambitious traveling matte process was also used from time to time, particularly in the pilot. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind). To differentiate the two characters to the viewing public, the character Patty wore a flip-fall hairpiece, while Cathy's character wore a more conservative turn-under hairstyle.


Already a budding star in her own right, Duke was further thrust into the public consciousness through the show. As the series went on, her star power from the series allowed her to enter popular music, appearing on two episodes of Shindig! in 1965 to release a Top Ten single, "Don't Just Stand There," in one of her two appearances on the series.

PopMatters wrote that although the show's episodes are occasionally very predictable, "it's all in good fun".[2]



The ABC network was interested in producing a show with Duke as the star, but had no concept of what the show was to be about. Producer and writer Sidney Sheldon asked Duke to spend a week with his family at their home to generate ideas. During this time he noticed that Duke had two distinct sides to her personality (later in life she would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder), so came up with the concept of identical paternal cousins with contrasting personalities. According to Duke, he successfully captured her personality in the two characters.

Filming locations

The Patty Duke Show, filmed in New York rather than Los Angeles, was an exception to the trend of producing shows on the West Coast. Until the early 1960s, New York City had dominated national network production. New formats and innovations such as coast-to-coast coaxial cable service, film and video tape allowed for the move west. By 1963, most filmed television programing was produced in or around Hollywood. Game shows such as What's My Line and soap operas such as As The World Turns and The Ed Sullivan Show still originated from New York. When the series' unaired pilot episode was filmed on New Year's Day 1963 featuring Miller and Herbert in the roles of Martin and Ross Lane, respectively, the show was filmed at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, California, with San Francisco as the setting for the series. When the series was picked up by ABC, with Duke at the age of 16, the possibility of a problem came into play if production remained on the west coast. California's strict child labor laws, (known informally as the Coogan laws named after famed 1920s child actor Jackie Coogan), curtailed the number of hours that child actors could work. It was thus decided that production would originate from New York, as it did not have such stringent laws. This would allow producers to devote more time to the production since not only did Duke effectively carry the show, but as a native of Manhattan, New York, it made getting to the studio easier. With the switch to the East Coast, it was decided to reset the show in Brooklyn Heights with filming in the Chelsea Studios.


Duke turned 18 midway through the 1964-1965 television season; consequently, although the series was still popular and getting high Nielsen ratings, ABC wanted to shift the show's production to Los Angeles for the 1965-1966 television season, as Duke was now old enough to work longer hours. Duke refused to make the move, as she did not want to fly 6,000 miles round-trip daily to film the series; at the time, she was in the midst of breaking off her relationship with her managers, who were insisting upon the move (in reality, United Artists Television (UATV) refused ABC's demand for a switch to color, when Duke suspected that the studio executives said no as a negotiating ploy in the hope that the alphabet network would respond with an offer to pay more money for the series on the condition that it continued to film it in black-and-white). Although the 1965-1966 season began in New York, some of the later episodes were filmed in California. Had the series continued, The Patty Duke Show would have remained in Los Angeles, but its cancellation made a further discussion moot.


Repeats of The Patty Duke Show entered local markets as early as September 1966, days after exiting ABC prime time. It remained a mainstay of daytime independent station programming well into the 1970s. A new generation of viewers was introduced to the series by Nick at Nite cable, broadcasting a lengthy five year prime time run from September 19, 1988 to August 30, 1993. On June 30, 1995, Nick at Nite showed one episode of the series during their 10th-anniversary celebration. In 2005, both Nick at Nite and TV Land aired another episode of the series in honor of Nick at Nite's 20th anniversary. As of November 1, 2008, The Patty Duke Show is being syndicated on This TV as part of an early morning classic TV block. Prior to this, the show had not appeared in national syndication since Nick at Nite dropped it from its lineup in 1993. As of March 2009, the show was being broadcast daily on World Harvest Television, the cable/satellite channel operated by televangelist Lester Sumrall's LeSEA Broadcasting. Reruns of The Patty Duke Show were seen on Antenna TV from 2013 until 2015 as part of that channel's regular programming schedule. From November 4, 2013 to April 6, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes every day from 1:00-2:00pm ET; from April 7, 2014 to August 29, 2014, The Patty Duke Show aired back-to-back episodes weekday afternoons from 2:00-3:00pm ET; from September 1, 2014 to April 3, 2015, the show aired back-to-back episodes weekday mornings from 6:00–7:00am ET; from April 6, 2015 to September 11, 2015, it aired back-to-back episodes Monday-Friday from 9:00–10:00am ET. From January 4, 2016 to September 2, 2016, the series aired weekday mornings at 6:00am-6:30am on MeTV. As of September 3, 2018, the series airs weekday afternoons from 4:00-5:00pm ET on Light TV. In 2019, episodes aired on Saturday and Sunday on This TV.

Reunion movie

On April 27, 1999, the 33rd anniversary of the ABC cancellation of The Patty Duke Show, rival network CBS aired the TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited Duke, Schallert, Byron (in her final on-screen role, as she died in February 2006 of complications following hip replacement surgery), O'Keefe and Applegate. In Still Rockin', Patty and Richard married after high school, had a son, Michael (Alain Goulem), who in turn married (his wife Nancy is mentioned but is not seen as she is out of town on business), and had a daughter, Molly (Jane McGregor). Patty and Richard were amicably divorced after nearly 27 years of marriage, but towards the end of the movie, they reconcile. Cathy is a widow living in Scotland and has a teenage son, Liam McAllister (Kent Riley). Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Daily Chronicle. Most of the plot revolves around Patty's old rival, Sue Ellen Caldwell (portrayed by Cindy Williams as Kitty Sullivan, who played Sue Ellen Turner in 14 episodes over the first two seasons, was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie, yet Sullivan does appear as Sue Ellen in one of the segments from the TV series), who is planning on buying Brooklyn Heights High School (where Patty works as a drama teacher), razing it and replacing it with a mall, which is opposed by Patty, Cathy and the rest of the Lane family. Duke appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show to promote the reunion movie and the show's classic introduction was used to lead to her walk-on (with O'Donnell singing along to the theme).[3] She also promoted her Christmas movie, A Christmas Memory, based on the novel by Truman Capote.

Home releases

Shout! Factory has released all three seasons of The Patty Duke Show on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 37 September 29, 2009
The Complete Second Season 36 February 9, 2010
The Complete Third and Final Season 32 August 24, 2010

Social Security campaigns

In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for the Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or who grew up in the 1960s. In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Byron, who, as stated above, died in February 2006 from complications from hip replacement surgery) reprised their respective roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration.

Similar shows and films


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