10 things to know about Our Miss Brooks
Before Mary Tyler Moore paved the way in the newsroom, Eve Arden was a pivotal force on television as the wise and witty teacher in Our Miss Brooks. The beloved classic started off as a radio show in 1948 and ran until 1957. Within those years, from 1952 to 1956, it took on a new life as a sitcom, and later as a film once the show's run was over.
Here are some fun facts about Our Miss Brooks and everyone's favorite TV teacher:
Miss Brooks was inspired by a real life teacher.
Eve Arden remembered her third grade teacher fondly and tried to give Miss Brooks that same “smiling quality.”
Two 'Brooks' regulars premiered on I Love Lucy.
Richard Crenna and Gale Gordon both had their TV debut on I Love Lucy. In fact, Gordon almost played Fred.
It was a Desilu production.
Being cost effective, Brooks used Lucy’s equipment, some of the same crew, and even the same director (William Asher) at times.
Eve and Lucy got along.
While tabloids liked to speculate at a rivalry, all signs pointed to the opposite. As the vice president of Desilu, Lucy benefited from Our Miss Brooks’ success.
Also, Arden appeared on I Love Lucy free of charge. Desi Arnaz later returned the favor appearing on Our Miss Brooks, and much later, hired Arden for The Mothers-In-Law.
Arden and Brooks might have been friends.
According to Richard Crenna, Arden had Brooks’ best qualities, especially her humor. She once politely asked a crewman not to swear with teenagers on the set.
The original budget was $32,000 per episode.
General Foods was the sponsor, and a live audience of roughly 300 people laughed along.
Arden was pregnant during season 2.
However, since Miss Brooks – emphasis on the “miss” – was unmarried, the pregnancy couldn’t be written into the storyline like I Love Lucy did. Instead, costumes and set pieces hid Arden’s baby bump.
'Our Miss Brooks' had four different mediums.
The series began as a radio show, transitioned into television, and later, became a movie and a one issue comic book.
While the TV series never resolved the Boynton-Brooks romance, the 1956 film did. In the end, Boynton finally proposed, only to have a chimpanzee steal away the ring.
The original Mr. Boynton wasn’t boyish.
Jeff Chandler originated Mr. Boynton on the radio. But when the series turned to television, Chandler’s build and budding film career left the opportunity for Robert Rockwell to take.
Eve Arden almost wasn’t Miss Brooks.
Shirley Booth was originally intended to be the star with the series titled “Our Miss Booth.” Eventually, the radio pilot was rewritten, and Arden took the helm with great success.