Lassie (1954 TV series

Lassie (1954 TV series)

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Lassie
Title screen of Lassie (seasons 1–4)
Also known asJeff’s Collie (episodes 1–116)Timmy & Lassie (episodes 116–352)
GenreFamily
Adventure/Drama
Created byRobert Maxwell
StarringTommy Rettig
Jan Clayton
George Cleveland
Jon Provost
Cloris Leachman
Jon Shepodd
June Lockhart
Hugh Reilly
George Chandler
Robert Bray
Jack De Mave
Jed Allan
Ron Hayes
Larry Wilcox
Pamelyn Ferdin
Lassie (various dogs)
Theme music composerLes Baxter
Opening themeWhistle
Composer(s)Raoul Kraushaar
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons19
No. of episodes591 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)Robert Maxwell
Robert Golden
Dusty Bruce
Leon Fromkess
Production location(s)California
Running time26 minutes
Production company(s)Lassie Television
Robert Maxwell Associates
Jack Wrather Productions
DistributorIndependent Television Corporation
(1958-1959)
Wrather Corporation
(1971-1973)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution (on behalf of DreamWorks Classics)
Release
Original networkCBS (1954–1971)
Syndication (1971–1973)
Picture formatBlack-and-white film (seasons 1–10)
Color film (seasons 11–19)
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1954 –
March 24, 1973
Chronology
Related showsThe New Lassie

Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, both human and animal. The show was the creation of producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax and was televised from September 12, 1954, to March 25, 1973. The fifth longest-running U.S. primetime television series after The SimpsonsLaw & Order: Special Victims UnitGunsmoke and Law & Order, the show ran for 17 seasons on CBS before entering first-run syndication for its final two seasons. Initially filmed in black and white, the show transitioned to color in 1965.

The show’s first 10 seasons follow Lassie’s adventures in a fictional small farming community. Eleven-year-old Jeff Miller, his mother Ellen, and his grandfather are Lassie’s first human companions until seven-year-old Timmy Martin and his adoptive parents take over in the fourth season. When Lassie’s exploits on the farm end in the eleventh season, she finds new adventures in the wilderness alongside United States Forest Service Rangers. After traveling on her own for a year, Lassie finally settles at a children’s home for her final two syndicated seasons.

Lassie received critical favor at its debut and won two Emmy Awards in its first years. Stars Jan Clayton and June Lockhart were nominated for Emmys. Merchandise produced during the show’s run included books, a Halloween costume, clothing, toys, and other items. Campbell’s Soup, the show’s lifelong sponsor, offered two premiums (a ring and a wallet), and distributed thousands to fans. A multi-part episode was edited into the feature film Lassie’s Great Adventure and released in August 1963. Selected episodes have been released to DVD.

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