Long before the Kardashians or the Osbournes ever appeared on screen, there were the Nelsons. Ozzie, Harriet, David and Ricky all starred in the appropriately titled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, in which they played themselves; eventually, they even brought their real-life romantic partners into the show. The series was all very wholesome and supremely popular with audiences of the ’50s and ’60s, too.
Yet while plenty of time has passed since the show left the airwaves, there are still several behind-the-scenes secrets to be revealed that only the most avid fans of the Nelsons will know. Like the following 20 facts, for instance…
20. The family would have been paid even if the show had been canceled
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet first started out as a 1944 radio series; this in turn was followed by a feature film entitled Here Come the Nelsons. Furthermore, that movie proved so popular that a TV series starring the clan was commissioned by ABC. Patriarch Ozzie wanted to make absolutely sure the vaunted show paid off, though. And so he negotiated a contract that ensured that he and his family got paid even if the ABC project ended up flopping – a deal that was unparalleled at the time.
19. The show is still one of the longest-running sitcoms in American history
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet has 14 seasons in all, and so it was the most enduring American TV comedy ever until a little animated show called The Simpsons overtook it in 2004. At the moment, it’s still the longest-running live–action sitcom, though – or it will be until It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reaches its own 14th season.