The Donna Reed Show (TV Series 1958–1966)


The Donna Reed Show (TV Series 1958–1966)

The Stones consist of loving homemaker Donna, her pediatrician husband Alex, and their children Mary and Jeff. Many situations arise like when they found a baby on their doorstep or take in a rebellious youth or when Donna tries to patch up marital spats among friends.
IMDb   7.4 /10
RottenTomatoes  8.3 /10
Creator William Roberts
Release Date1958-09-24
GenreComedy, Family
Content RatingTV-PG (TV-PG)
AwardsWon 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations.
CompanyAmerican Broadcasting Company (ABC), Screen Gems Television, Todon
Donna Stone 275 episodes, 1958-1966
Jeff Stone 275 episodes, 1958-1966
Dr. Alex Stone 272 episodes, 1958-1966
Mary Stone 192 episodes, 1958-1965

The Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show is an American sitcom starring Donna Reed as the middle-class housewife Donna Stone. Carl Betz co-stars as her pediatrician husband Dr. Alex Stone, and Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen as their teenage children, Mary and Jeff. The show originally aired on ABC from September 24, 1958, to March 19, 1966.


The series was created by William S. Roberts and developed by Reed and her then husband, producer Tony Owen. Episodes revolved around typical family problems of the period such as firing a clumsy housekeeper, throwing a retirement bash for a colleague, and finding quality time away from the children. Then-daring themes such as women's rights and freedom of the press were occasionally explored.

The show had an uncertain start in the ratings and was almost cancelled, but fared better when it was moved from Wednesday to Thursday nights. In the show's middle seasons, Fabares sang what became a #1 teen pop hit "Johnny Angel", and Petersen had above average success with the song "My Dad", also introduced during the course of the series.

The Donna Reed Show was one of television's top 20 shows in 1963–1964. Reed was repeatedly nominated for Emmy Awards between 1959 and 1962, and won a Golden Globe as Best Female TV Star in 1963. She eventually grew tired of the workaday grind involved in the program, and it was cancelled in 1966 after 275 episodes.

The series was sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, with Johnson & Johnson as the principal alternate sponsor (succeeded in the fall of 1963 by The Singer Company). Following first-run, the show entered daytime reruns on ABC and then syndication on Nick at Nite and TV Land for several years. It is currently shown on Decades. The first five seasons have been released on DVD.

This show was the first TV family sitcom to feature the mother as the center of the show. Reed's character, Donna Stone, is a loving mother and wife, but also a strong woman, an active participant in her community, a woman with feelings and a sense of humor. According to many of Reed's friends and family, Reed shared many similarities to the character that she portrayed on screen, implying that the fictional Donna Stone was a near-identical copy of Reed herself.

In a 2008 interview, Paul Petersen (Jeff Stone) stated:

depicts a better time and place. It has a sort of level of intelligence and professionalism that is sadly lacking in current entertainment products. The messages it sent out were positive and uplifting. The folks you saw were likable, the family was fun, the situations were familiar to people. It provided 22-and-a-half-minutes of moral instructions and advice on how to deal with the little dilemmas of life. Jeff and Mary and their friends had all the same problems that real kids in high school did.

Petersen continued,

That's what the show was really about, the importance of family. That's where life's lessons are transmitted, generation to generation. There's a certain way in which these are transmitted, with love and affection.


Episodes revolve around the lightweight and humorous sorts of situations and problems a middle-class family experienced in the late 1950s and the early 1960s set in fictional Hilldale, state never mentioned.

Donna, for example, would sometimes find herself swamped with the demands of community theatricals and charity drives; Mary had problems juggling boyfriends and finding dresses to wear to one party or another; and Jeff was often caught in situations appropriate to his age and gender such as joining a secret boys' club, avoiding love-smitten classmates, or bidding at auction on an old football uniform.

Alex was the family's Rock of Gibraltar, but often found himself in situations that tested his patience: in one episode, Donna volunteered him as the judge of a baby contest, and, in another episode, Mary insisted her gawky, geeky boyfriend was the spitting image of her father. Very occasionally eccentric relatives would descend on the Stones to complicate the household situation.


David Tucker writes in The Women Who Made Television Funny that most family sitcoms of the 1950s such as Father Knows Best, The Life of Riley, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet focus on the father figure with the mother as "adjunct". He points out however that The Donna Reed Show "established the primacy of the mother on the domestic front" and notes that Mother Knows Better was even briefly considered as the show's title. Though The Donna Reed Show did sometimes use recycled Father Knows Best scripts that had been slightly altered, such as character name changes.

The series was created by William Roberts and developed by Reed and her then husband, producer Tony Owen (the production company "Todon" is an amalgamation of their first names.) Roberts intended the show to respectfully picture the many demanding roles a stay-at-home woman was expected to master - wife, mom, companion, housekeeper, cook, laundress, seamstress, PTA officer, choir singer, scout leader, etc. - all the while being "effervescent, immaculate, and pretty." Reed stated, "We started breaking rules right and left. We had a female lead, for one thing, a strong, healthy woman. We had a story line told from a woman's point of view that wasn't soap opera." In addition, Reed described her show, accordingly: "I would call The Donna Reed Show a realistic picture of small town life - with an often humorous twist. Our plots revolve around the most important thing in America — a loving family."

In its first year on the struggling ABC network, the show was up against Milton Berle's popular Texaco Star Theater and Reed ratings were low. ABC nearly cancelled the show, but it was renewed and ratings improved when the show was moved from Wednesday to Thursday nights. The series flourished for the next seven years, ranking #30 in 1961-62 and #16 in 1963–64. In a 1964 interview, Reed said, "We have proved on our show that the public really does want to see a healthy woman, not a girl, not a neurotic, not a sexpot...I am so fed up with immature 'sex' and stories about kooky, amoral, sick women."

The opening credits showed Reed coming down the stairs to answer the telephone. She hands the receiver to Alex, then goes to the front door to hand the children their bag lunches and schoolbooks as they leave for school. Alex then leaves, kissing his wife good-bye. On some opening themes, he forgets to kiss Donna good-bye, but returns as she closes the door to give her a quick kiss. She closes the door and smiles happily. A late series variant showed Donna departing after her husband, possibly for shopping, church or community matters, or some other concern. Reed brought personal friends Esther Williams, Jimmy Hawkins, and Buster Keaton to the program in guest spots.

On February 1, 1962, Fabares debuted her single "Johnny Angel" in the episode "Donna's Prima Donna". It rose to #1 and sold over a million copies. Petersen introduced his single "My Dad" eight months later on October 25, 1962. It peaked at #6.

By 1962 Reed felt the writers were running out of fresh ideas and had exhausted plot devices. She also wanted to spend more time with her family and was worn out from producing nearly 30 episodes a year. To coincide with Fabares's plans to leave at the end of season 5 (1962-1963), Reed and her husband decided to end the show. Since the series was still very popular ABC offered Reed a more lucrative contract with an extension of three seasons, to which she agreed. Their new contract called for fewer episodes and other incentives to allow Reed more personal time.

Beginning in Season 6 there was a reduction in the number of episodes produced, and work hours were shortened to please Reed. In the spring of 1966, Reed had grown tired of the weekly grind and wanted to retire. The program was rated #89 during its final season. After 275 episodes and eight seasons on ABC, The Donna Reed Show ended its prime-time run. Reed expressed no interest in taking on another series, declined television guest appearances, and shunned films because she thought their depictions of women vapid.

She did express interest in a television reunion for the Stone family at one point, but the concept was discarded after Carl Betz's death in 1978. Tucker writes that women's lib supporters of the 1970s targeted the Donna Stone character as an unrealistic portrait of a modern woman and a stereotype of the impossibly perfect wife and mother. He believes that Reed "gave motherhood a tinge of glamour it usually lacked on TV".

Cast changes

In season 5, (1963) Mary departed for college, reducing Fabares's appearances, something which continued yearly with her role becoming a minor character. Fabares left the full-time cast to pursue opportunities in films. She eventually returned seven times for guest appearances (Season 6 episodes 8, 11, 14; Season 7 episodes 5, 15, 30; Season 8 episode 13). Following Fabares's departure, Petersen's real-life sister Patty Petersen joined the show as Trisha, a runaway orphan eventually adopted by the Stones. The program achieved its highest Nielsen ratings in Season 6, reaching #16 after Fabares' departure. A possible reason for higher ratings was the addition of new characters, Ann McCrea and disc jockey-turned actor Bob Crane as the Stones' neighbors, Midge and Dave Kelsey. This not only provided both Donna and Alex with best friends, but co-conspirators, as well. So popular were their roles that by the fall of 1964, both McCrea and Crane began receiving billing in the opening credits of the program. Crane left the series in 1965 to star in the CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes. As a result, he was written out of the show although his character continued to be referred to and McCrea's character remained with the program. Also, towards the end of the series, actor Darryl Richard was regularly featured as Jeff Stone's best friend, Morton "Smitty" Smith. Richard first appeared in 1962 and "Smitty" became a major character after Season 6. Janet Landgard was a series regular from 1963-1965 as Karen Holmby.

Characters and cast


  • Donna Stone (Donna Reed) is the idealized middle class housewife to Alex, and the mother of Mary and Jeff. She grew up on a farm and became a nurse. She sometimes works as a nurse on the show. Donna was married to Alex when she was 18 and the couple live in fictional Hilldale. She participates in community activities such as charity campaigns and amateur theatricals. Like several television wives and mothers of the 1950s, she inexplicably wears heels, pearls, and chic frocks to do the housework. (Note: In one episode, it is revealed that Donna Stone's maiden name, like Donna Reed, is Donna Belle Mullenger and she is also from Denison, Iowa.)
  • Alex Stone (Carl Betz) is a pediatrician. Like most television couples of the 1950s, Alex and Donna sleep in twin beds. The two show a physical affection for each other slightly more intense than other television couples of the period.
  • Mary Stone (Shelley Fabares) is 14 "almost fifteen" and a freshman in high school when the show opens. She has a few boyfriends during the course of the show with Jimmy Hawkins as Scotty being a regular. Mary plays the piano like a professional and studies ballet. She leaves the show to attend college.
  • Jeff Stone (Paul Petersen) is "almost twelve" when the show opens. He is a typical American boy; he plays sports, likes to eat, and teases his older sister. Jeff is a complex character: he champions the underdog at school but cheats at board games. Atypical for the fictional children in 1960s sitcoms, Jeff and Mary often get away with "talking back" to their parents.
  • Trisha (Patty Petersen) is a runaway orphan the age of eight whom the Stones adopt after Mary leaves for college. She remained for the duration of the program.


  • Dr. Dave Kelsey (Bob Crane) and his wife Midge (Ann McCrea) are friends of the Stones. Dave, Alex's colleague, appeared for the first time on March 14, 1963 in the episode "The Two Doctor Stones". Dave continued on the series until 1965; Midge appeared from 1963–1966. Crane's character was written out of the show at the end of season 7 when he was cast in the CBS series, Hogan's Heroes. McCrea remained with the show until its conclusion.
  • David Barker (Charles Herbert) - a young military school student who the Stones look after in many episodes. David is very disobedient and troubled in the beginning but the Stone family soon grow to love and reform him.
  • Uncle Bo (Jack Kelk) is Dr. Boland, Alex's bachelor colleague and friend in the first season.
  • Morton "Smitty" Smith (Darryl Richard) is Jeff's best friend and first appeared on the show in 1962.
  • Zachary Blake (Stephen Pearson) is Jeff's friend in the early seasons.
  • Herbie Bailey (Tommy Ivo) is Mary's fairly regular boyfriend.
  • Scotty (Jimmy Hawkins) is another of Mary's boyfriends. He appeared in two first-season episodes as her boyfriend 'George Haskell'. Hawkins' character returned to the show in season 3 as 'Scotty', one of Mary's dates (for seasons 3-4) then as 'Jerry' for seasons 7 & 8 (his last appearance was in December, 1965).
  • Roger (Jan Stine) is Mary's boyfriend in several third-season episodes.
  • Angie (Candy Moore) is Jeff's girlfriend in several fourth season episodes. Moore returned to the program during season 8 as Jeff's 'new' girlfriend Bernice/Bebe, in episodes 3, 12, 16, & 19. Moore had just finished 3 seasons playing Lucille Ball's teenaged daughter Chris on The Lucy Show. Moore was written out after season 3 (1965). Moore had acted on the program from 1962–1965. 'The Lucy Show' was her last acting assignment as a major character on a regular network program.
  • Babs (Melinda Plowman) is Mary's first season best girlfriend.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wilgus (Howard McNear and Kathleen Freeman) are busybody Stone neighbors in season one.
  • Lydia Langley (Mary Shipp) is Donna's snobbish acquaintance in the early seasons.

Guest stars

The Donna Reed Show featured several celebrity guest stars appearing as themselves during its eight-year run. Baseball player Don Drysdale appeared in four episodes while Willie Mays appeared in three episodes and Leo Durocher once. Musician Harry James and singers Tony Martin and Lesley Gore appeared as themselves. Gore was featured in the series' finale, "By-Line--Jeff Stone", on March 19, 1966. Lassie and film director George Sidney appear as themselves in the 1961 episode "The Stones Go To Hollywood". The episode plugged Sidney's then current feature film, Pepe, in which Reed made a cameo appearance. Teen heartthrob James Darren guest starred as a pop singer with the measles.

Silent film comedian Buster Keaton guest starred in two episodes, "A Very Merry Christmas" (December 24, 1958) as Charlie, a hospital janitor who brings gifts to the children's ward, and "Now You See It, Now You Don't" (1965). Child actor Charles Herbert also had a recurring guest role in four episodes as David Barker, a runaway child whom the Stones assist. In the 1960 crossover episode "Donna Decorates", Jay North appeared with his Dennis the Menace co-star, Joseph Kearns as Mr. George Wilson. Esther Williams guest starred as Molly, a fashion designer and friend of Donna's who is herself about to marry a doctor in "The Career Woman" (1960). In real life, Williams and Reed had been close friends since the early 1940s, when they were rising MGM contract stars.

Several actors guest starred numerous times in different roles including Richard Deacon, Gale Gordon, Harvey Korman, Miyoshi Umeki, Doodles Weaver, and Dick Wilson.

As Fabares co-starred in the Mickey Mouse Club serial Annette before the Donna Reed Show, four other Annette co-stars (Deacon, Cheryl Holdridge, Doreen Tracey & Mary Wickes) would also make respective guest appearances on this show.

Other notable guest stars include:

  • Lee Aaker
  • Jack Albertson
  • John Astin
  • Raymond Bailey
  • Bobby Buntrock
  • Bobby Burgess
  • Harry Cheshire
  • Dabney Coleman
  • Richard Conte
  • Ellen Corby
  • Johnny Crawford
  • Kim Darby
  • Stuart Erwin
  • Tiger Fafara
  • Jamie Farr
  • Florida Friebus
  • Harold Gould
  • George Hamilton
  • Arte Johnson
  • DeForest Kelley
  • Ted Knight
  • Sheila James Kuehl
  • Charles Lane
  • Cloris Leachman
  • Gigi Perreau
  • Marion Ross
  • William Schallert
  • Hal Smith
  • James Stacy
  • Tisha Sterling
  • Olive Sturgess
  • Stephen Talbot
  • Marlo Thomas
  • Mary Treen
  • Jesse White
  • William Windom
  • Estelle Winwood
  • Will Wright


Season 1 (1958–59)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Weekend Trip"Andrew McCulloughPhil LeslieSeptember 24, 1958
Donna tries to arrange a skiing weekend for the family, because she and the kids aren't seeing enough of father Alex. Donna can't understand why their obstetrician friend Dr. Boland (Jackie Kelk) can get off, but not Alex. Alex has one particularly sick boy that he doesn't want to leave. Alex also says he can't go because he's to be a witness in a court case for banker George Heiser (Howard Wendell). Donna manages to remedy all the obstacles and the family gets ready to leave. Jeff's sudden case of Chicken Pox puts the trip on hold.
22"Pardon My Gloves"Oscar RudolphAlan Lipscott & Bob FisherOctober 1, 1958
Donna is vying for a role in an amateur stage production and doesn't get along so well with Lydia the director. Things get worse when Jeff comes home with a black eye, given to him by Lydia's son Chunky. Donna decides to quit the play, but when she hears that Jeff was fighting because Chunky said Donna couldn't act, she returns to her part. Meanwhile, Donna and Alex try to teach Jeff how to fight.
33"The Hike"Oscar RudolphJay Sommers & Don NelsonOctober 8, 1958
An emergency forces Dr. Stone to pull out of an overnight camping trip with Jeff and his friends. Donna volunteers to take over and, once in the woods, comes up with an ingenious solution to her inexperience. And it wasn't help from the forest ranger as Alex suspects.
44"Male Ego"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterOctober 15, 1958
Mary gives a speech on motherhood during a "Freshman Class Essay Contest" that has everyone praising Donna. Alex starts to feel under-appreciated. When Donna's reputation as a "super-mom" becomes the talk of the town, Alex begins to wonder even more about his worth. So, Donna turns Alex's birthday party into an homage to father Stone. Lawrence Dobkin appears as Dr. Winfield Graham, Alex's friend. Alvy Moore appears as reporter Hank Cole of the Daily Sentinel.
55"The Football Uniform"Oscar RudolphWilliam Cowley & Peggy ChantlerOctober 22, 1958
Donna and Mary organize items the Stone family plan to donate to a charity auction. Meanwhile, Jeff has his heart set on getting a football uniform. Alex and Donna tell him he must save his money to pay for it. With the boys' football team due to be photographed for the local newspaper, Donna arranges for Jeff to "win" the uniform at the auction, with humorous results.
66"The Foundling"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonOctober 29, 1958
At the breakfast table, Donna reminds her family that Kathleen (Fintan Meyler), an Irish woman with no boyfriends, will be coming to clean the house today. Mary goes to see if Tony the milkman (Paul Picerni) has arrived, instead, she finds an abandoned baby in a basket, left on the Stone's doorstep. Alex, who thinks the baby should be turned over to the authorities, fears the family is becoming too attached to it. Donna decides to play baby detective. She finds out the baby belongs to Tony. His wife has passed away and he hoped Donna could take care of him. Donna tries a little matchmaking between Tony and Kathleen.
77"Three Part Mother"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterNovember 5, 1958

Donna has a bit of a problem: how can she attend Jeff's basketball game, Mary's initiation into her girl's club and her husband's speech - all at the same time? With a little running around, she manages. Ross Elliott appears as family friend, Woody Graham.

Note: Although aired later, this episode seems to introduce the series.
88"Change Partners and Dance"James V. KernWilliam RobertsNovember 12, 1958
Mary wants to go to the "Varsity Prom" with handsome George Haskell (Jimmy Hawkins), the basketball star who works in the school library. Donna suggests she invite him home, which Mary does, but it's Donna that gets all of his attention. Donna comes up with a plan to get George more interested in Mary.
99"Dough Re-Mi"Oscar RudolphAlan Lipscott & Bob FisherNovember 19, 1958
Donna needs to raise money for the hospital committee. She wants to get concert pianist Anton Duval for a charity benefit. Donna doesn't know that the new girl in school, who has a crush on Jeff, is Mr. Duval's daughter Antoinette. To help his mother get into Duval's good graces, Jeff agrees to have dinner with Antoinette.
1010"Guest in the House"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonNovember 26, 1958
Mary tells Donna there's a policeman at the door. He's there with David Barker (Charles Herbert ), a 7-year-old runaway who won't say where he belongs and was standing outside the house. Turns out, he ran away from the hospital where Alex was tending to him. Donna senses the boy needs some motherly attention, and persuades Alex they should keep him for Thanksgiving break. David is incorrigible because he doesn't want to go back to military school and he thinks his Air Force father doesn't love him. A reunion with his father makes everything better.
1111"The Baby Contest"Oscar RudolphWilliam Cowley & Peggy ChantlerDecember 3, 1958
Donna's Women's Club wants to organize a baby beauty contest. Everyone but Donna wants pediatrician Alex to be the judge. Alex believes that he might as well "close up shop" because all the losing mothers will be mad at him. Will Alex be able to choose the right baby without offending everyone else? Virginia Christine appears as Margaret Lang, a mother who is ashamed of her "homely" baby. Anne Whitfield, Ruth Terry and Dorothy Morris appear as some of the other mothers.
1212"The Beaded Bag"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterDecember 10, 1958
It's Donna's birthday and she claims there's nothing she wants as a present. Donna's friend Patsy Cole (Angela Greene) informs Alex that Donna has been eyeing a beaded hand bag. So, he thinks Donna is using a feminine trick to get him to buy her the bag. Alex buys the bag and tells Donna that her feminine trick worked. Donna, upset by this, returns the bag. Will she wind up with the bag in the end? Mary Treen appears as Miss Winters, the department store clerk.
1313"The Busy Body"Oscar RudolphTeleplay by
Henry Sharp, Kay Lenard
and Jess Carneol
Story by
Kay Lenard & Jess Carneol
December 17, 1958
Uncle Fred (Rhys Williams), Donna's uncle, swoops in for an unexpected visit and immediately gets into everybody's business. He causes a rift between Mary and her boyfriend. He also tells the Mayor (Irving Bacon) off on the phone. He insults Mrs. Adams (Ann Doran), the mother of one of Alex's patients. But in a twist, these people actually wind up appreciating what Uncle Fred said and did.
1414"A Very Merry Christmas"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterDecember 24, 1958
Donna is frantically making last-minute preparations for Christmas and is disappointed when no one seems to care for the fruitcakes she is giving for Christmas presents. Donna believes people have lost the Christmas spirit. She also can't seem to find out who plans the Christmas party for the children who cannot leave their ward and return home for the holiday. Donna learns that Charlie (Buster Keaton), the hospital handyman, is usually in charge of the party. But, this year there is no one to help him. Donna helps Charlie throw the children a special party.
1515"Mary's Double Date"Oscar RudolphAlan Lipscott & Bob FisherDecember 31, 1958
Mary has three potential dates to the Junior Prom. She can't decide if she should go with left tackle Ernie (Bobby Burgess), or right tackle Phil. Mary prefers Ernie, but must string Phil along while waiting to see if Ernie will break up with his girlfriend Angela. Another classmate, Charlie, fawns over Mary. But, Mary isn't romantically interested in him. Ernie does ask Mary, but when Phil calls, a confused Donna says Mary will go with him. The boys find out and both of them cancel on Mary. A firmer and more confident Charlie comes to the rescue.
1616"Jeff's Double Life"Oscar RudolphBill ManhoffJanuary 7, 1959
Donna and Alex return home from a dinner party and learn that neighbor Celia Wilgus (Kathleen Freeman) almost called the police, due to a noisy party at the Stone's house. Mary confesses that she had some friends over including a bongo drummer. Their parents warn Mary and Jeff, "People expect a doctor and his family to set an example." So, when Jeff injures his arm in the drummer's stolen car, he's afraid to see his father for treatment. Posing as "John Smith", he goes to Dr. Barry (Peter Adams), another pediatrician who is new in town.
1717"Nothing But the Truth"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonJanuary 14, 1959
David Barker (Charles Herbert), who had previously spent Thanksgiving with the Stones, decides he would like to visit them again. He tells them that it's his birthday even though it's actually not for several more months. After Jeff gets in trouble for lying, young David hears Mary say, "People who tell lies don't go to Heaven." That night David confesses his lie to Jeff, and he really feels bad about it. The next day David tells Donna it's not his birthday. She says it's OK and they'll have a party anyway.
1818"It's the Principle of the Thing"Oscar RudolphJerry Davis & Tom AugustJanuary 21, 1959
Mr. Popkin (Hans Conried) doesn't have the money to pay for his son's (Robert L. Crawford Jr.) expensive treatment and he won't allow Alex to do it for free. Donna figures she can hire him for household chores instead, with disastrous results. Donna learns Popkin has a talent for making toys, and tries to get them displayed in Mr. Johnson's (Richard Deacon) toy store. Meanwhile, Jeff and shill Mary try to sell Popkin's toy rabbits on the street, but get in trouble with the law. In the end, Popkin's toy rabbits prove to be quite popular.
1919"Jeff vs. Mary"Oscar RudolphStory by : Alan Lipscott & Bob Fisher
Teleplay by : Henry Sharp & Alan Lipscott & Bob Fisher
January 28, 1959
When Dr. Boland (Jackie Kelk) comes by for the night, Mary is allowed to stay up late, and entertain with her piano playing. Neither Donna nor Alex seem interested in watching Jeff performing his new magic act. Jeff thinks his parents don't love him as much as they do Mary. His friend Zack tells Jeff it's "The Law of Vanishing Returns" or, how a second child isn't as loved as the first born. To prove Donna and Alex love their son as much as their daughter, Donna plans to have Jeff overhear a conversation she and Alex have, on the family's newly installed intercom system. Except it is Zack that hears it and he sets Jeff straight.
2020"Have Fun"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonFebruary 4, 1959
Mary comes home in tears because thinks her first date with Herbie Shields (George Hamilton) was a disaster. Donna tells Mary about her own first date with Alex on a New Year's Eve. Donna says it was a disaster as well and she did everything wrong. Later, Alex tells Mary his version of the date in which he believes he did everything wrong.
2121"Donna Plays Cupid"Oscar RudolphStory by : Alan Lipscott & Bob Fisher
Teleplay by : Henry Sharp & Alan Lipscott & Bob Fisher
February 11, 1959
Donna decides that bachelor Dr. Bo Boland needs a woman and wants him to meet her friend Ceil. While at dinner with Alex and Donna, Bo and Ceil are uncomfortable, but get along. Then Ceil's old boyfriend Herbie Armbruster (Hal Baylor) shows up. Herbie came by to ask Donna's help in reconciling with Ceil. But, when he sees Ceil and Bo together, he demands that Ceil marry him. Of course, that is exactly what Ceil wanted and Bo doesn't mind going back to his old lifestyle.
2222"Love Thy Neighbor"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterFebruary 18, 1959
Alex & Donna help friends celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Celia (Kathleen Freeman) and Wilbur (Howard McNear ) have been arguing over Wilbur's secretary Miss Sanders (Maudie Prickett) because Celia thinks he pays too much attention to her. Celia leaves Wilbur after the party and arrives at Donna's door. Donna lunches with Wilbur to try and find out if he is interested in Miss Sanders. But, Donna winds up giving Wilbur the impression that she is interested in him.
2323"The Report Card"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterFebruary 25, 1959
Donna is upset when Jeff brings home a less than stellar report card. Jeff's teacher (Irene Vernon) tells Donna he is a smart boy, but is not very interested in learning. When Jeff befriends "straight A" student Phil Adams, Donna thinks he's only interested in copying the smarter boy's homework. But, Jeff has a lesson for his mother.
2424"Boys Will Be Boys"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonMarch 4, 1959
Young David Barker is brought to Dr. Stone from military school because of a dog bite, and he's permitted to stay the weekend. He and Jeff are left alone late one night, and watch a gangster show. Later, in his sleep, suffering from a guilty conscience over some forbidden cake, Dave has a dream that re-enacts the program with Donna, Alex and himself as the characters. Will Alex and Donna punish the boys by not taking them to the ball game? Carleton Young appears as Major Ryan, from the military school. John Harmon and Ric Roman appear as characters in the gangster show.
2525"The Ideal Wife"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterMarch 11, 1959
Donna comes to the conclusion that she's too nice for her own good. Fed up, Donna decides to change her sunny disposition, and begins barking orders. It doesn't take long for her to find out she is not happy with the "new" Donna. Cleaning man Mac (Sid Tomack) helps Donna find balance in her life. Don C. Harvey and Frances Robinson appear Dr. Harry Marcy and Ellen Marcy.
2626"Mary's Campaign"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterMarch 18, 1959
Mary is running to be the vice-president of her class. But Donna doesn't like the way she, or rather her campaign manager Cathy Robinson (Gigi Perreau), is running her campaign. Cathy's plan is to "sell" Mary by emphasizing her good looks, and encouraging her to make flowery promises. Donna tells Mary it's better to be yourself. And while Mary loses, she's glad she didn't win if it meant being someone she isn't.
2727"The Flowered Print Dress"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterMarch 25, 1959
After inviting newlywed couple Jim and Carol Berke over for dinner, Donna begins to feel Alex is taking her for granted and that their marriage is in a rut. Donna tries to impress Alex with a daring new dress, but he says he liked her in a "flowered print" dress, which she can't recall. When the Stones go out to dinner with older couple Dr. Martin Butler (Addison Richards) and his wife (Lillian Bronson), things begin to fall into place.
2828"April Fool"Oscar RudolphJerry Davis & Tom AugustApril 1, 1959

Buzz Berry (James Darren), Mary's favorite rock singer, is coming to town for a show. On the night of the show, however, Buzz comes down with the measles, and is taken to the Stones' house to be treated by Alex. Jeff tells manager Lou Vance (Jesse White) that Buzz should hide from fans at the Stone's home. When word leaks out that he is staying there, the Stones' house is besieged by his adoring fans, but Mary tells them it was an April Fool's joke. All the girl's are now mad at Mary until Buzz finds a way to make things right. Ted Knight appears as Phil Martin, manager of the Civic Auditorium.

Note: "There's No Such Thing" (the record Mary plays) was Darren's first Colpix single.
2929"The Parting of the Ways"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonApril 8, 1959
Mary's friend Babs (Melinda Plowman) is upset because she thinks her parents are breaking up, which they are not. Donna is afraid the family might "drift apart" if they don't spend more time together. When a card game turns into a family fight, the kids think Donna and Alex may be the next couple to split up. Mary then tells Babs about the fight. Mrs. Myra Keppler (Mary Lawrence) comes over to console Donna. Everyone finds out that no one is splitting up.
3030"The Hero"Oscar RudolphTeleplay by John Whedon
Story by Nate Monaster
April 15, 1959
Biff Jameson (Ben Gage), Alex's old college roommate and former Rose Bowl star, comes to visit. Everyone's opinion of Biff is based upon his past glory and Biff is tired of living in the past. His job has him just speaking about his football days. The next day Biff plays football with a bunch of Jeff's friends. One friend, George Haskell (Jimmy Hawkins), knocks Biff down and injures him. Biff tells his boss off and Alex suggests he stay in town and get a job helping young boys.
3131"Do You Trust Your Child?"Oscar RudolphJerry Davis & Tom AugustApril 22, 1959
After a successful PTA speech, all of Hilldale considers Donna an authority on teen parenting. Donna adopts the belief that children are capable of making good decisions on their own. Helen Brooks (Florida Friebus) asks Donna's advice regarding Leonard (Richard Tyler), the annoying young man who is dating her daughter Nancy (Roberta Shore). Donna advises Mrs. Brooks to "have faith", predicting the couple will break up. Donna's beliefs are tested when Mary starts dating Leonard.
3232"Grateful Patient"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterApril 29, 1959
Alex rushes to offer medical assistance to neighbor Celia Wilgus (Kathleen Freeman), who has been accidentally hit with a golf iron. As a reward, grateful husband Wilbur (Howard McNear) offers Alex in on a real estate deal. Wilbur says they have a chance to triple their money. Donna and the kids start planning on how they'll spend the windfall. Alex urges caution to no avail. Will their ship come in?
3333"The Testimonial"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterMay 6, 1959
When Donna finds out the towns favorite doctor plans to retire, she decides he should have a retirement dinner with testimonials from his patients and peers. As plans progress, Donna finds out Dr. Jason (James Bell) does not want to retire regardless of his age. Olive Blakeney appears as Mrs. Jason. Harry Cheshire appears as the Mayor.
3434"Miss Lovelace Comes to Tea"Oscar RudolphHenry SharpMay 13, 1959
Donna's work in a charity campaign leaves her with no time for housework. When they decide to hire a maid, the family learns maids are hard to find. Finally, English ladylike Mrs. Lovelace (Estelle Winwood) is hired. But, the rest of the family discovers that she isn't really able to cook or clean. Soon, Jeff is vacuuming, Mary is cooking, and Alex is making beds, so Donna doesn't find out. Mrs. Lovelace does wind up helping Donna in a more important way. Esther Dale appears Mrs. Abrogast, a potential maid. Margaret Dumont appears as Mrs. Westcott Trilling, a sponsor of the charity campaign.
3535"Tomorrow Comes Too Soon"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterMay 20, 1959
Alex and Donna are both tired of the day to day routine. Alex suggests he and Donna "try to get away for a weekend," without the children. Of course, Alex is unable to coordinate his schedule. But, when both Mary and Jeff are invited on weekend trips, Donna and Alex find their wish to be alone is unexpectedly granted. So, how long will it be until Donna misses the children?
3636"Advice to Young Lovers"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonMay 27, 1959
After a fight with boyfriend George, Mary announces, "I'm through with boys!" Mary thinks he has something for her friend, Babs. In order to renew George's interest, Donna advises Mary to show an interest in another boy. Despite all of Donna's suggestions and schemes, Mary and George get back together on their own.
3737"Operation Deadbeat"Oscar RudolphSi Rose & Seaman JacobsJune 3, 1959
Jeff is living beyond his means and has been borrowing money from Mary. Alex wants Jeff to learn the value of money and pay it back. Soon Jeff has jobs as both a newspaper delivery boy and a supermarket worker. When Donna tries to get Alex to forgive the debt, they discuss the patients who still owe Alex for his services , such as Mr.Finsterwald (Alan Reed). Donna decides to collect on those bills. When she learns about delinquent Mr. McDonnell (William Keene), Donna's kind-heartedness comes through.

Season 2 (1959–60)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
381"That's Show Business"Oscar RudolphJerry Davis & Tom AugustSeptember 24, 1959
Mary is excited to be included in a school play. Kenny (Lee Aaker) is a classmate who also was accepted, but he dropped out since he stutters. Mary convinces him to remain in the play and his stuttering stops. Kenny is paired with Mary for a dance routine. Mary, however, is not happy about it because he is so much shorter than her. She suggests he gets lifts for his shoes and his stuttering starts again. He does and trips toward the end of the dance. Will Mary dance with Kenny again for the next days show?
392"Sleep No More My Lady"Oscar RudolphHenry SharpOctober 1, 1959
Donna & Alex fly to New York where Alex will give a speech at a medical convention. Donna is so excited for Alex that she cannot sleep. Alex suggests she take a tranquilizer to help her get some rest. At first she refuses, but later while Alex is asleep, she takes several. Now, during the convention, Donna is in a daze and keeps falling asleep. Because of this, Alex is unable to complete his speech. Donna explains things to Dr. Elias Spaulding (Richard Gaines), who is running the convention, and Alex is able to give his speech the next day.
403"A Penny Earned"Oscar RudolphTom AugustOctober 8, 1959
After Alex completes a newspaper quiz called "Test Your Wife", Donna learns she gets a perfect score for being thrifty. Donna plans to wear an old dress to a formal wedding that is coming up. But, when Louise Collier (Irene Hervey) questions that decision, Donna says she'll buy a new one. However, every time Donna tries to become a spendthrift, she backs down. Raymond Bailey appears as George Collier.
414"A Friend Indeed"Oscar RudolphTom AugustOctober 15, 1959
Doug is a new friend of Jeff's. Fran, Doug's mother, praises Donna for having such a wonderful, perfect child when her child is noisy and impolite. Jeff is starting to get in trouble at school, but he tells Donna and Alex it's not him doing the bad things. Alex and Donna figure out that Doug is getting Jeff in trouble because he resents that his mother is always praising Jeff. Donna comes up with a solution to the problem.
425"The First Child"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterOctober 22, 1959
After a nervous couple (Alice Backes and Dave Willock) have their first baby, Alex can hardly get any sleep or spend any time with the family because of their constant cries for help.
436"Going Steady"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterOctober 29, 1959
Mary wants Jeff to be more friendly with a girl named Meredith Penner (Sherry Alberoni) so that Mary will have an excuse to meet Meredith's older brother Don. Jeff might be willing to do so - if the price is right. Now that Jeff is going to Meredith's party, the whole school thinks they're going steady. He is not happy about it. Mary meets Don and thinks he's a bore, but Jeff is still stuck going to the party.
447"The Neighborly Gesture"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonNovember 5, 1959
New neighbors, Joe (Robert Nichols) and Eleanor Moody, move in next to the Stones. Jeff learns that Joe was in the Air Force and finds him very fascinating. Jeff tells Alex all the great things that Joe can do, and Alex starts to get very jealous. Joe tells Alex that all Jeff can talk about when he is over is what a great dad he has. Alex finds himself feeling a lot better.
458"Nothing Like a Good Book"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonNovember 12, 1959
Lydia Langley, a neighbor, invites the Stones to dinner with a group of friends. She spends the evening bragging about the intellectual books she reads. Donna tries to bring some culture to her children, who have no interest in it. Donna wants Alex and her to read War And Peace to set an example. Donna joins Lydia's book club and is told she has a couple days to give a report on War and Peace. Maybe this striving for culture isn't a right fit for the Stone family. J. Edward McKinley appears as Professor Peabody. Frank Wilcox appears as Bartley Langley, Lydia's husband.
469"Flowers for the Teacher"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonNovember 19, 1959
Jeff complains that Miss McGinnis (Marion Ross), the teacher at school, does not like any of the students and that's why she is so strict. Jeff and some of the other boys in class fake being sick so they don't have to go to school. Donna visits the teacher and finds she is actually afraid of the students as it is her first teaching experience. Donna finds a way to fix it.
4710"All Mothers Worry"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterNovember 26, 1959

Jeff's friend Phillip changes at Jeff's home after football practices. Donna finds out and realizes Margaret Dorsey (Ann Doran), Phillip's mother, does not know he is playing football. Margaret is afraid her boy will get hurt. Jeff and Phil get to meet some L.A. Rams players when they come to town. Phil gets hurt during a scrimmage. The Rams award the game ball to Phil and Margaret now understands that she has to let Phil be a boy. William Schallert appears as Bert Rose, the Ram's publicist.

Note: L.A. Rams players Sid Gillman, Jon Arnett, Bill Wade, Don Burroughs and Les Richter make an appearance.
4811"Jeff Joins a Club"Oscar RudolphTom AugustDecember 3, 1959
Walter, a new kid in town, follows Jeff around all the time, no matter how many times Jeff tries to lose him. Walter tends to brag about the things he has. When Jeff & Walter try to join a club, the group denies Jeff since he is a friend of Walters. Walter tells Jeff he knows the club wouldn't let Jeff in because of him. Jeff decides the club can't tell him who he can be friends with. Donna helps the two boys start their own club.
4912"The Punishment"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterDecember 10, 1959
Donna is upset when Mary and Jeff arrive home late and she reprimands them. Alex comes home and it is all smiles for dad from Mary and Jeff. Donna is mad because she is always the one to yell at the children. Now, neither Donna nor Alex want to punish Mary or Jeff because neither of them want to seem like the bad parent. Mary and Jeff start to wonder what's going on.
5013"A Difference of Opinion"Ida LupinoNate MonasterDecember 17, 1959
Donna is forced to accept a dinner invitation from Phyllis Baker (Ann Rutherford). She and her husband Harry are a couple that neither Donna nor Alex enjoy. This causes an argument between them whether to go or not go, and they try to hide their fights from Mary and Jeff. Hal Smith appears as one of the guests at the dinner party.
5114"The Homecoming Dance"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonDecember 24, 1959
Mary's friend Herbie (Tommy Ivo) invites her to a dance at a nearby college with a blind date, and she would have to stay overnight in the dormitory. At first Donna is against it because she thinks Mary is too young. The Stones agree to let her go, but only because they are going to drive her to and from. Stan, Mary's blind date, turns out to be a bit obnoxious, but Mary turns the tables on him.
5215"The Lucky Girl"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterDecember 31, 1959
It seems as if all of Donna's friends are complimenting her on having such a wonderful husband, and that she is such a lucky girl. Donna wonders if they think she is not good enough for Alex and that it was just pure luck she got such a guy. Kristine Miller and Mona Knox appear as some of Donna's friends.
5316"The Broken Spirit"Lawrence DobkinNate MonasterJanuary 7, 1960
Jeff's been causing problems lately, so Alex has a talk with him about behaving. While on his paper route, Jeff throws Mr. Barnhill's (Raymond Hatton) newspaper on the front stairs. Later, the family learns from Alex that Mr. Barnhill had broken his leg falling on the stairs. Jeff's attitude changes, and everyone thinks it is because of the talk. Actually, he is feeling guilty and feels he must be on his best behavior. When Jeff visits Mr. Barnhill in the hospital, he finds out that the man tripped down the cellar stairs.
5417"The Secret"Norman TokarNate MonasterJanuary 14, 1960
Mary's friend Carol (Roberta Shore) is engaged to Matthew, but does not want her family to know. Carol asks Mary to hide the ring and have her boyfriend's letters sent to the Stone residence. Donna and Alex start to wonder about Mary's secret, the mail and if she's the one getting married.
5518"The New Mother"Oscar RudolphJohn WhedonJanuary 21, 1960

David Barker (Charles Herbert) has run away from his boarding school and returns again to the Stone family. Major Barker, David's father, is getting remarried, and David is afraid he will have to stay in the boarding school instead of being with his father and new mother. Major Barker comes to the Stone house and explains to David that he is not getting married after all. It seems the woman was not interested in being a mother to David.

Note: This was the last of Charles Herbert's four appearances on The Donna Reed Show.
5619"Just a Housewife"Oscar RudolphNate MonasterJanuary 28, 1960
After being stopped for an interview by Jerry Parker (Jerry Hausner), a gimmicky radio showman at a grocery store, Donna takes a stand against being called "just a housewife". Donna confronts Jerry Parker again and tells him that women can be more than just housewives. All the women in the neighborhood congratulate Donna and she becomes a local celebrity. C. Lindsay Workman appears as Jim, a friend of Alex's.
5720"The Free Soul"Norman TokarFrank Tarloff (as David Adler)February 4, 1960
Dan Harris (Myron McCormick), a friend of Alex's father, visits the Stones and tells the family of his exciting travels. Jeff gets caught up in the excitement and wants to be a free soul like Dan. So much so, that one day Jeff just leaves school after lunch. Mrs. Sutton (Aline Towne), a mother of one of Jeff's friends, also mentions some of Jeff's unusual behavior. Dan manages to get Jeff to come back to reality.
5821"The First Quarrel"Robert Ellis MillerNate MonasterFebruary 11, 1960
Friends of Alex and Donna's, who have only been married a few years, have their first quarrel. Donna helps Alice understand how to handle a quarrel. Alex tells Donna she should try to keep out of the situation, but then he helps Jim with contrary advice. When Donna finds out what Alex did, they have a quarrel as well. Eventually, both couples work out their differences.
5922"A Place to Go"Norman TokarJohn WhedonFebruary 18, 1960
Donna's Womans Club is looking for a project. They find out from the police that the neighborhood boys are playing in an abandoned building. The women decide to build a proper gathering place for the children. They ask several local businessmen for donations. The women fix the youth house up so nice, the boys have no interest in playing there. Lester Vail appears as Matthew Sarples, the real estate man. Stafford Repp appears as Sgt. McDermott. Howard Wendell appears as George Heiser, the bank president.
6023"A Night to Howl"Lawrence DobkinJohn WhedonFebruary 25, 1960
Mary discovers poetry, and then worries that her mother and father lost their passion for life and things are boring for them. To prove her wrong, Donna and Alex decide to go out on a Monday night and leave the kids home. It does not go as planned. First they wind up at an Italian restaurant, then a diner, and after not being able to eat at either, back home. But, they tell Mary they went everywhere and had a great time. Mario Siletti appears as a waiter.
6124"The Editorial"Lawrence DobkinNate MonasterMarch 3, 1960
Jeff is promoted to editor of his school newspaper. In his first editorial he speaks out against too much homework. It is a well written piece, but the teachers do not think it should be published. Jeff prints the piece on his own and hands them out at school. Because of that, he is fired from the paper and he then leads a homework boycott in his class. Jeff learns there may be a better way to get his point across.
6225"The Gentle Dew"Norman TokarJohn WhedonMarch 10, 1960
When it seems Mary and Jeff are not always doing their homework or chores, Alex decides to lay down the rules and make sure everyone sticks to them. Donna thinks the rules are a bit harsh. Mary goes out on a date and Alex tells her to be home by 9:30. Alex and Donna then go to Ben and Kay (Aline Towne) Wiley's house to play cards. Alex comes home at 9:30 to check up on Mary and believes she is intentionally staying out late. Turns out she was home and in bed by 9:00.
6326"The Fatal Leap"Andrew McCulloughJohn WhedonMarch 17, 1960
Alex is invited to a wedding of his former college roommate Moose Edwards, who had some wild nights and lots of dates. Alex is also invited to the bachelor party. Donna is worried about what might happen, because she thinks Alex envy's Moose's prior lifestyle. At the party, the boys learn that Moose has given up his partying ways. Jack Albertson and Florence MacMichael appear as Madeline and Jack Richards.
6427"The Perfect Pitch"Norman TokarTom & Helen AugustMarch 24, 1960
Jeff is excited to try out for the track team and even plans to practice to get in shape for the tryouts. But then Donna finds out he has perfect pitch in music and thinks he should take music lessons and learn the trumpet. The only problem is that Jeff has no talent for the trumpet. The family needs to find someone to convince Donna of this fact.
6528"Pickles for Charity"Norman TokarNate MonasterApril 7, 1960
The Woman's Medical Auxiliary host a dance event. While the dance was a success, raising funds was not. Each member of the Auxiliary decides to make up her share and raise money to pay for the dance deficit. Donna decides to sell homemade pickles. Mr. Ross (William Newell), the grocer, agrees to let Donna sell her pickles at his store. Jeff and Mary try to sell the pickles, but have no luck. Alex, without Donna knowing, buys up the pickles. Tiger Fafara appears as Charlie, a boy who works at the grocery.
6629"Mary's Growing Pain"Lawrence DobkinJohn WhedonApril 14, 1960
Mary's decides to not go on a ski trip when her friend Roger says he's driving up with another girl. She is disappointed and feels she is unattractive. However, when Dr. Somers, an intern from the hospital, visits Alex at his home, her mood lightens up immediately. Mary envisions a life with Dr. Somers, but Donna reminds her of the age difference. In the end, Mary is back on speaking terms with Roger.
6730"Alex Runs the House"Lawrence DobkinTom & Helen AugustApril 21, 1960
Jeff visits his Uncle and Aunt on their farm by himself. Donna is worried and misses Jeff so much, Alex suggests she go to the farm as well. Donna's friend Wilma (Renee Godfrey) tells her she should go so Alex can see how much he needs her. Alex and Mary have to take care of the house and meals while she is gone and it doesn't go well. When Donna comes home, Alex tells her that they managed just fine. Donna finds out that wasn't quite true.
6831"The Career Woman"Lawrence DobkinNate MonasterApril 28, 1960
Molly (Esther Williams), an old friend of Donna's, comes to visit. She is now a well-known fashion designer, and is thinking about marrying a doctor named David who wants to practice in a small town. Molly doesn't know if she could take being married to a small town doctor. When David shows up, Donna and Alex find a way to get the two together.
6932"Jeff, the Financial Genius"Hy AverbackHenry SharpMay 5, 1960
Jeff wants an advance on his allowance to buy items for his latest project. When that fails, he tries borrowing from everyone. Alex finds out he owes a lot of people money, and puts Jeff on a strict budget until he pays everyone back. Jeff takes to selling and trading many of his possessions at bargain basement prices. Alex decides to show Jeff how to make a better deal, but gets taken in the process. In the end, it's Jeff that winds up making the best deals. Herb Vigran appears as Mr. Sprague, the Swap Shop owner.
7033"Mary's Crusade"Lawrence DobkinNate MonasterMay 12, 1960
Mary's friend Ellen is very smart at school, but plain looking. No one asks her out. Mary decides to give Ellen a makeover to show the boys in school that Ellen is just as pretty as she is smart. Mary promises Ellen she won't go to the upcoming dance unless she can get Ellen a date. Ellen tells Mary she's been invited to another party and wants Mary to go to the dance. Donna finds out that Ellen made the party up, so Mary, to keep her promise, turns down an invite to the dance. A fortunate turn of events allows both girls to go to the dance. Carole Wells appears as Melanie, one of the popular girls. Anthony 'Scooter' Teague appears as Don. Barbara Luddy appears as Ellen's Mother.
7134"The First Time We Met"Robert Ellis MillerNate MonasterMay 19, 1960
Donna & Alex have different memories of how they originally met. Dr. Hank Landers (Bob Hastings), who is single and would like to stay that way, is invited over for dinner. Donna wants to set him up with someone, but Alex says no. Nurse Pat Archer (Kaye Elhardt) is very interested in Hank. Donna finds a way to get Hank to ask Pat out. C. Lindsay Workman appears as Dr. Kane.
7235"The Gossip"Robert Ellis MillerFrank TarloffMay 26, 1960
Donna's friend Kay (Maxine Cooper) tells her that she is pregnant, but to keep it a secret. Kay is afraid she might lose her job if her boss finds out she is pregnant. Donna only tells one other friend, Emily (Elisabeth Fraser), and before long it is all over town. Donna feels horrible that she was the start of the gossip. But, it turns out, she is not the only one to start stories. Sheila Bromley appears as Margaret Harrison. Almira Sessions appears as Elsie, Kay's housekeeper.
7336"Love's Sweet Awakening"Robert Ellis MillerFrank TarloffJune 2, 1960
Petie, a neighbor's child, returns home for a visit while on break from military school. Since Petie was a favorite friend of Mary and Jeff, he visits the Stones. Petie is smitten by Mary's grown-up looks, but she doesn't give him a second thought romantically. Donna finds a way for Petie to get a date with Mary. Dan Tobin and Jeanne Bates appear as Petie's parents. Carole Wells appears as Melanie, Mary's friend.
7437"The Wedding Present"Hy AverbackPhil SharpJune 9, 1960
Donna and her friend Louise (Molly Dodd) are to meet a very influential woman named Mrs. Manning (Harriet MacGibbon) at the decorators. While there, and to impress Mrs. Manning, Donna thinks about purchasing an expensive art object. Mr. Jason (Tommy Farrell), of the decorator shop, agrees to let her take it home and think about it. She is afraid to tell Alex about it, so it gets hidden. When Alex's Aunt Lettie calls to say she is visiting, Alex says they have to put out her wedding gift. Not remembering what gift she gave, Alex puts out the statue along with many ugly things he finds in the attic. Aunt Lettie never shows up, but Mrs. Manning does, much to Donna's embarrassment.
7538"Cool Cat"Andrew McCulloughJacqueline TrotteJune 16, 1960
A seemingly stray cat follows Jeff home, and the family votes whether to allow "Harry the cat" to stay. The next day, Alex takes the cat back to where Jeff first saw it. But, Harry comes back. Turns out the cat is female, and slowly brings her family of kittens into the house. Jeff & Mary give the kittens away, just as Alex finds out they are pedigree and worth $100 each. Donna comes up with a way to get the kittens back.

Season 3 (1960–61)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
761"Weekend"Andrew McCulloughSam AdamsSeptember 15, 1960
To break the routine, the Stones decide to go away to somewhere different for an extended weekend. But, when Alex and Donna arrive, the actual accommodations are nothing like the fancy place they saw in the brochure. They decide that they will leave early. But, they talk to the owners, Charlie & Sunny Cooper (Parker Fennelly and Mary Treen), and feel sorry for them. The Cooper's just can't make a go of the resort. After finding out how much hunting and fishing there could be, Alex tells the Coopers to make their place into a Hunting resort.
772"The Mystery Woman"Norman TokarBarbara AvedonSeptember 22, 1960
While eating lunch with Mary at a restaurant, a woman named Wanda Harman (Andrea King) approaches Donna as a long lost friend. The next day she calls and invites Donna & Alex to dinner on Saturday at her home. Donna cannot remember who the woman is, but she saw the initials H.M. on her purse. Donna gets in touch with various women with those initials, but none of them are the right person. It's not until Mary's friend Herbie says something, that Donna realizes who the woman is.
783"Donna Decorates"Andrew McCulloughSeymour FriedmanSeptember 29, 1960

Donna has her kitchen remodeled and new appliances installed. Also, Alex's birthday is coming up, and no one can think of a gift to get him. Donna decides to take Alex's favorite chair to John Coutts (George Ives) to be refinished, thinking that would make a perfect gift. But, now Donna thinks the new chair makes the other living room furniture look drab. Donna gets some unexpected help while redecorating. George Cisar appears as Baxter the electrician. Paul Marco appears as a painter.

Note: Jay North and Joseph Kearns reprise their roles from the CBS series "Dennis the Menace" in this episode, which aired on ABC. This marks one of the earliest times in TV history that two scripted series on different networks cooperated on a multi-network crossover, not counting variety shows.
794"The Love Letter"Robert Ellis MillerTom & Helen AugustOctober 6, 1960
The Stones hire handyman Nick (Jay Novello) to do repairs around the house. Nick asks Jeff to help him write a love letter to his girlfriend Kitty. Donna finds Jeff's practice letter laying around, and thinks Jeff is in love with a classmate. Donna and Mary run into Donna's friend Jean Brown (Irene Vernon) and find out Jean has a daughter called Kitty. Donna invites the Brown family over hoping to help Jeff out. Things do not go well and Donna feels bad for Jeff. The family later finds out from Nick the real story about Kitty. Maurice Manson appears as Mr. Brown.
805"How the Other Side Lives"James SheldonJohn WhedonOctober 20, 1960
Mary returns home from a weekend visit with her friend Ginny Currier. She just raves about how wonderful her friend's home is. Mr. Currier comes by to drop off Mary's coat. Mary is completely embarrassed by the way the house and her family looks. Donna invites Ginny over for the weekend. Mary proceeds to put on airs in front of Ginny. Donna has to explain to Mary, that while Ginny has everything she wants, there are things that Mary has that Ginny doesn't.
816"Alex's Twin"Jeffrey HaydenNate MonasterOctober 27, 1960
Mary meets a boy at school that reminds her of her father. She thinks Elroy looks like what her father might have looked like at that age. Once they meet, Alex cannot believe Mary sees a resemblance between him and gawky Elroy. Alex tries to set up Mary with Dr. Higgins' (C. Lindsay Workman) handsome son Jim (Joseph Gallison). Alex's friend Jack Richards (Jack Albertson) brings over Miss Graham (Cheerio Meredith), an old school teacher. Even she thinks Elroy looks like a young Alex. It's not until Elroy does something brave, that Alex starts to feel they're alike.
827"Worried Anyone?"Robert Ellis MillerClifford GoldsmithNovember 3, 1960
Mary is going out with Scotty (Jimmy Hawkins) in a car he built himself. When Donna and Alex find the parts of the car are from cars that have been in wrecks, Donna gets worried. Alex tells her everything will be OK. But, once Alex sees the car, even he gets worried. Through a misunderstanding, Alex believes Scotty and Mary have been in an accident. He calls all around town looking for them, causing Mary to become quite embarrassed.
838"Higher Learning"Jeffrey HaydenHugh Wedlock & Howard SnyderNovember 10, 1960
The school issues an intelligence test to the students, and Jeff gets a score that ranks him as a genius. Mr. Conroy (Richard Deacon), the principal, believes Jeff should be sent to a special school in Chicago. After much deliberation, Alex and Donna decide he should go. Jeff, however, just made the first string football team and doesn't want to go. Jeff proceeds to fail the entrance exam for the school.
849"Never Marry a Doctor"Andrew McCulloughJohn WhedonNovember 17, 1960
When Les (Eddie Firestone) has trouble paying his baby's doctor bill Donna let's him do some work on the house in exchange. $20.00 suddenly disappears that Donna was to give to Ellen Cruikshank (Maxine Stuart) for a charity. Ellen implies that Les is unreliable and could have taken it. Jeff doesn't want to see Les get into trouble so, using his own money, says he found the missing money. Mary may have the answer to what really happened to the $20.00.
8510"It Only Hurts When I Laugh"Jeffrey HaydenDouglas MorrowNovember 24, 1960
Alex proves the old adage that doctors make the worst patients when he goes into the hospital for an appendectomy. Donna helps Fred Miller (Carter DeHaven), a patient who doesn't want to leave the hospital because he's all alone. Helen Kleeb appears as Nurse Jane.
8611"The Model Daughter"Robert Ellis MillerTom & Helen AugustDecember 1, 1960
Mary decides she wants to be a model. She wins a scholarship to a modeling school, but Alex finds the added costs at every turn expensive. Meanwhile, Alex finds an old camera of his, and wants to start using it again. He takes a few modeling pictures of Mary. Mary doesn't think the pictures are good enough to submit, so she quits the school. Alex finds a way to get Mary interested in modeling again. Henry Beckman appears as Hal, Alex's friend.
8712"Decisions, Decisions, Decisions"Jeffrey HaydenTheodore & Mathilde FerroDecember 8, 1960
Mary has a bad case of indecisiveness and asks Donna for advice on clothes, errands, boys, and more. She ends up having a date with Roger and his cousin from New York, Larry. Larry takes them to a Beatnik Club. And to further show off to Mary, he then takes them to an expensive dinner club. Only problem is that Larry doesn't have any money and keeps borrowing from Roger. When they can't pay the check, Mary tells the Headwaiter (Harvey Korman). He says he understands and she can send the money. Mary tells Donna she has come to a decision to always tell the truth. Dick Wilson appears a waiter.
8813"Donna Goes to a Reunion"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonDecember 15, 1960
Donna is looking forward to attending her college reunion. Alex decides to go with her. While there, Alex hears about Duke, a former boyfriend of Donna's and he gets a little jealous. The women decide to reenact their cheer-leading cheer and Donna gets a black eye the day of the dance. Donna goes to the dance anyway because her old roommate Hope (Fay Baker), who supposedly married Duke, is there. Turns out Hope didn't marry him, so Alex doesn't have to deal with an old flame. Barbara Perry appears as Buffie.
8914"Someone is Watching"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonDecember 22, 1960

While Jeff's friend Gordie (Michael McGreevey) is showing off his new scooter he accidentally hits a tree. He pretends his leg is hurt much worse than it is so that he can stay at the Stone's house. Jeff feels guitly, because while Gordie was riding around, he wished Gordie would hit a tree. Donna finds out why he does not really want to go home. Apparently, he doesn't get along with his Stepmother (Betsy Jones-Moreland). Plus, he fakes a lot of things in order to receive things he wants from his father.

Note: This episode was broadcast three days before Christmas but did not feature a Christmas story. Instead at the end the four of them all wished the audience a Merry Christmas, while holding signs for Campbell's Soup and Johnson & Johnson, the show's sponsors.
9015"The Lean and Hungry Look"Robert Ellis MillerTom & Helen AugustDecember 29, 1960
Mary wants Jeff to pay her back from a loan so she can buy a new sweater. Mary and Alex find Donna exercising in the backyard. The dress she bought last season is tight and she's determined to lose weight. Alex says exercise won't do it alone, Donna will have to give up all sweets. Donna says that's not a problem, but then that's all she can think about. Alex gives Donna a hard time about her dieting, that is, until he can't fit into his dinner jacket. When Mary finally gets her new sweater, she finds she can't fit into it either.
9116"Character Building"Jeffrey HaydenClifford GoldsmithJanuary 5, 1961
Donna writes an editorial for the paper about how parents should make their children follow thru on things. Donna gets upset with Mary and Jeff starting projects and never finishing them, losing track of items they used last, and more. She decides to make them mend their ways. But, she does wonder if she's going to far. Kristine Miller appears as Edna, Donna's friend. Danny Sue Nolan appears as Mildred, another friend.
9217"World's Greatest Entertainer"Norman TokarBarbara AvedonJanuary 12, 1961
Jeff seems to be in a slump because lately everything he does goes wrong. Hoping to build him up, the rest of the family starts to praise him for anything he does and he begins to feel better. Jeff does some impressions for Alex and Donna, and even though they aren't very good, his parents rave about them. Jeff then decides to try out for the PTA Talent show with those impressions. Donna comes up with a way to get Jeff to forget about performing in the show. Connie Sawyer appears as Mrs. Lubner, the woman in charge of the show.
9318"Variations on a Theme"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonJanuary 19, 1961
Donna is tired of everyone using the piano as a drop area for their belongings. Alex suggests selling it. Donna arranges for a pick up, but then Mary puts up a fight to save it. Donna learns the real reason why Mary really wants to keep it. Fuzzy, a neighbor boy, plays the piano and Mary wants to have him play at a party of hers to show up another girl who is having a party soon. Fuzzy can't make it and the party plans fall apart. Donna comes up with a way to solve Mary's problem. Ludwig Stössel appears as the Piano Tuner. Harvey Lembeck and Johnny Indrisano appear as piano movers.
9419"The Stones Go to Hollywood"Ted HaworthPhil SharpJanuary 26, 1961
When Donna, Mary, and Jeff find that Alex is going to Hollywood for a doctor's conference, they insist on going with him. They plan on two fast days of sight seeing and star gazing, but they mostly sit in the hotel due to heavy rains. However, Alex meets Director George Sidney at the conference. The Stones get an invite to the movie set where George Sidney is filming. George asks them if they would like to have a bit part in the movie. Donna has a dream about being a famous movie star. The family has second thoughts about being in the film. Midge Ware appears a secretary. Phil Arnold appears as an Assistant Director. Lassie makes an appearance.
9520"Donna Directs a Play"Robert Ellis MillerTom & Helen AugustFebruary 2, 1961
Mary and her classmates are rehearsing for a school play, but Mr. Hardy, the director, gets called back to Hollywood at the last minute. Mary suggests that Donna step in and direct. Donna begins to really enjoy her new position. But, then comes word that Mr. Hardy will be coming back. Donna says that it's fine with her. Mr. Hardy says that Donna did such fine job, he would like to have her co-direct with him.
9621"Trip to Nowhere"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonFebruary 9, 1961
When Ricky, a friend of Jeff's, brags about going on a camping trip with his father, Jeff says Alex is taking him camping also. Since Alex is unavailable, Donna decides to take him. But, Mary and a friend of hers are going with. Seems no one really wants to go. Before the trip, Jeff finds out his friend didn't want to go camping, either.
9722"The Geisha Girl"Norman TokarTom & Helen AugustFebruary 16, 1961
Donna meets the wife of Arthur Stemple (Douglas Dick), a new doctor at the hospital. Mrs. Chio Stemple (Miyoshi Umeki) is Japanese. Donna invites the Stemples and some other couples over for dinner. The other wives are surprised at how Chio caters to her husband. When the Stemples invite the couples over for dinner the next night, the two other couples cancel at the last minute. Donna thinks it's because the women don't like Chio, but it turns out they don't like the way Arthur has her waiting on him. Chio tells Donna she would like to learn some American customs and way of life.
9823"The Busy People"James NeilsonHugh Wedlock & Howard SnyderFebruary 23, 1961
Donna finds her and Alex's friends stay busy with music lessons and dance lessons. Donna decides she and Alex have to take some kind of lesson together. Donna signs them up for painting lessons so they can spend more time with each other. Alex has a plan for him and the other men to get out of these lessons. Donna figures out Alex's scheme and turns the tables on him. Alix Talton appears as Harriet.
9924"Tony Martin Visits"Robert Ellis MillerHugh Wedlock & Howard Snyder & Phil SharpMarch 2, 1961
Donna gets a parking ticket and does not think she is in the wrong. She decides to fight it in traffic court. While there, singer Tony Martin is also in court to pay a ticket. He decides to fight his ticket because Donna is fighting hers. Meanwhile, the family is upset with Donna as the court date will interfere with a planned ski trip. Roger Mobley appears as Tony Martin, Jr. Owen Bush appears as a cop. Herb Vigran appears as the Judge.
10025"Aunt Belle's Earrings"Robert Ellis MillerHenry SharpMarch 9, 1961
Donna wants to go to the Founders Ball but Alex does not. Alex is struggling with Oliver Greevy (Will Wright) about the price of some land for a new clinic. Donna's Aunt Bell visits. Turns out, Bell and Oliver know each other from years past. They broke up back then over an argument about going to the Founders Ball. They go out together a couple of times and Alex is not thrilled about it. Because of something Alex says, they once again stop seeing each other. Donna figures out a way to get them together and the four of them go to the Ball.
10126"Poodle Parlor"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonMarch 16, 1961
Donna and her friend Madeline (Florence MacMichael) decide to open a poodle parlor in town. Alex and Jack (Jack Albertson), Madeline's husband, think it's funny because they believe the women do not know anything about running a business. The women are determined, but find out there are only seven poodles in town. Now, they must come up with a way for their husbands to talk them out of their idea, so they don't have to tell them it would fail. Frank Wilcox appears as George Heiser, bank manager.
10227"Mary's Heart Throb"Norman TokarJohn WhedonMarch 23, 1961
Mary is babysitting the Damon's (Wilton Graff and Sara Seegar) young child. Older brother Rick comes home and tells Mary he left college. Rick says that he doesn't want his father deciding his future. Plus, he was turned down by the fraternity that his father wanted him to join and he is afraid to face his father. Donna talks to Mr. Damon and helps him to see how Rick feels. Meanwhile, Mary's boyfriend Herbie keeps misunderstanding why Rick is around.
10328"Donna's Helping Hand"Norman TokarJohn WhedonMarch 30, 1961
Dr. Steinhaus (Vladimir Sokoloff), the Board of Health Director, is to retire. Myra (Frances Robinson), Donna's friend, suggests that Donna should campaign to have Alex nominated. It would mean he could have regular office hours. Dr. Steinhaus would really like it if Alex took over the position, however, Alex enjoys his job as a pediatrician. Robert Shayne appears as Dr. Flanigan. Stuart Nisbet appears as a Reporter.
10429"The Merry Month of April"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonApril 6, 1961
Alex realizes it is the day before income taxes are due, and he rushes to prepare the papers. Donna says Alex should go to Harvey (Francis DeSales) the accountant, but Alex refuses. What Alex doesn't know is that Donna has already given Harvey the papers. And because of several mistakes Alex made, it's a good thing that Harvey did the returns. Franklin Parker appears as a Judge on a TV show. Hanna Landy appears as a Sales Girl.
10530"Music Hath Charms"Norman TokarJohn WhedonApril 13, 1961
While putting on a puppet show, Jeff accidentally breaks a gift that Donna purchased for Alex - a musical tobacco jar. The jar plays "Melancholy Baby" which Donna thinks is their song. Alex really doesn't like the music. Donna finds out it is broken and buys another one to replace it. Not knowing that Donna knows about the broken jar, Alex also goes out and buys one. Then, to top it off, Jeff manages to fix the original one.
10631"Let's Look at Love"Jeffrey HaydenClifford GoldsmithApril 20, 1961
Mary is upset when she learns that Roger and Elroy tossed a coin to see who would take her out. Mary does not want to be considered a pawn and decides to give up on boys. She wants to devote her life to science. Meanwhile, Alex is trying to read an important article and keeps getting disturbed. A boy named Stanley comes over to cut the grass. Betty finds out he is interested in science as well.
10732"For Better or Worse"Norman TokarStory by : Nate Monaster
Teleplay by : Phil Sharp & David R. Schwartz
April 27, 1961
Alex and his friends Jim, Joe and Ed are planning a fishing trip. Jim and Ed say they have to ask permission from their wives to go. Alex and Joe say they don't not have to ask for permission, that is, until they tell their wives they are going. Neither wife is thrilled and don't want them to go. Alex tells Joe he's not going, but Joe says he has a way to make his wife give in. Will Alex take Joe's advice? Frances Robinson appears as Myra, Joe's wife.
10833"Jeff, the Treasurer"Jeffrey HaydenJohn ElliotteMay 4, 1961
Jeff is elected class treasurer and brings home all the money in the class fund. Alex and Donna warn him to be careful, but of course Jeff misplaces the money and has to find it before the class picnic. When Miss Haskell comes by to pick up the funds, Alex fronts the money. Right before leaving for the picnic Jeff finds the money and is able to pay Alex back. Doodles Weaver appears as Mr. Perkins, the school janitor.
10934"The Good Guys and the Bad Guys"Robert Ellis MillerJohn WhedonMay 11, 1961
Donna & Alex are encouraging Jeff to join the church choir. Meanwhile in school, Jeff sticks up for Lenny (Stephen Talbot) when he is teased for being in the choir. Jeff is then teased by Jocko and some of the other boys. Jeff takes up weight lifting to muscle up in case of a fight. Choir director Mr. Trestle (Leonard Stone) talks to Jeff because he knows Jeff being teased. Jeff is to fight Jocko, but Mr. Trestle comes by and says it takes more courage to be in the choir. All the boys join, even Jocko. Bobby Clark appears as Gordie.
11035"Military School"Robert Ellis MillerHenry SharpMay 18, 1961
Herbie's friend Ken (Chris Robinson), who is in the military, is coming to visit. Herbie suggests that Mary and he take Ken with them to the school dance. Mary does not want to, but when she sees the handsome Ken, she changes her mind. Seeing all the attention Mary is paying to Ken, Herbie tries to set Ken up with Claudette (Adrienne Ellis). Ken wants nothing to do with her. Herbie then feels he has to take Claudette, but she turns him down. In the end, Mary and Herbie wind up going to the dance together.
11136"Mary's Driving Lesson"Robert Ellis MillerTom & Helen AugustMay 25, 1961
Mary asks Scotty to teach her how to drive. He starts out by telling her all about how cars work, what types of cars there are, etc. Mary just wants to learn how to drive. Donna and Alex think Mary should just go to a driving school, because when Alex tried to teach Donna, they would just get into fights. Mary still wants Scotty to teach her. Things do not go well and Mary and Scotty just wind up fighting.
11237"The Mustache"Jeffrey HaydenPhil SharpJune 1, 1961
Alex returns from a hunting trip with a mustache and beard. Paul the Barber (Doodles Weaver) talks Alex into keeping the mustache, which receives mixed reviews from the family. Donna, especially, is not fond of it. Alex and Donna get into a fight when they start being honest about things with each other. Meanwhile, Mary has a crush with a new boy at school who has more sophisticated views than all her friends. In the end, Alex shaves off the mustache.
11338"Mary's Little Lambs"Jeffrey HaydenTom & Helen AugustJune 8, 1961
Donna is out of town. Mary's friend Mark manages to talk Alex into having a teen party later that night. The next day, Mary and Mark open the house to a baby-sitting service. After the day is over, there is one child left that hasn't been picked up. Alex has to figure out who he belongs to. Karyn Kupcinet appears as Jeannie, a friend. Bobby Buntrock appears as a crying child.

Season 4 (1961–62)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1141"One Starry Night"Jeffrey HaydenSummer LongSeptember 14, 1961

Mary's careless driving leads to an unexpected romantic evening with Kip Dennis (James Darren), a young pop singer. Though, Mary doesn't know who he is, as he introduced himself as Jim Bryce. Jeff discovers who Jim really is. When Mary finds out, she is upset because of the way she threw herself at Jim. Jim is leaving for the army the next day. Donna tells Mary to just enjoy the happy memory.

Note: James Darren had previously appeared on the show playing another pop star. This episode started a small trend on the show, where a new song was introduced by the record label owned by the studio. In this case "Goodbye Cruel World" was introduced and it helped the song reach #3 in the charts, which would be the biggest hit of Darren's career.
1152"A Rose is a Rose"Robert Ellis MillerClifford GoldsmithSeptember 21, 1961
Jeff turned in a terrible paper to his English class that has his teacher Miss Nelson and parents upset at his grammar. He is told he has to redo the assignment - on the same day as the father/son baseball game. He finishes the paper, but Alex and Donna quickly realize that Mary helped. Thinking he might be sent to a boarding school, Jeff rewrites the paper and does a much better job. John Zaremba appears as Joe Smith, another parent.
1163"The Close Shave"Norman TokarSummer LongSeptember 28, 1961
Jeff has discovered he is growing whiskers. He decides that he is no longer a little boy and that he needs to start acting like a man. He insists on taking a job at Mr. Pearson's (Hal Smith) drugstore to pay his way at home. After getting his first pay envelope, he learns about taxes and deductions. Jeff begins to realize that he's not quite ready for manhood just yet.
1174"Mouse at Play"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonOctober 5, 1961
Donna's friend Iris (Cloris Leachman) is upset because her husband never notices anything new. Iris changes the color of her hair. Donna realizes Alex can also sometimes be unobservant. While Alex is away at a medical convention, Donna changes her hair color. When Alex comes home, Donna is afraid to show him her hair. She sneaks out and has it changed back. While talking to Donna, Alex mentions how good Iris looks and would Donna consider coloring her hair. John Astin appears as Eric the hair stylist.
1185"The Monster"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonOctober 12, 1961
Alex is taking a flight out of town. The discovery of mysterious animal prints in the backyard leads to a harrowing night for Donna and her children. In the middle of the night, they discover it's a large dog and they take it in. Later, someone tries to get in the front door and when Donna tries to call the police, the phone is dead. Turns out to be Alex, his flight was canceled do to a storm. Alex sees someone in the front yard. A Mr. Carlson (Bert Remsen) is looking for his dog. He sees how much Jeff likes the dog, and hopes the Stones will keep him.
1196"New Girl in Town"Jeffrey HaydenMichael FessierOctober 19, 1961
Mary offers to pay Jeff's way to a movie if he takes Angie (Candy Moore), a new girl in the neighborhood, to the movie with him. Mary's real interest is in Bill (Johnny Washbrook), Angie's brother. Despite Angie's initial attitude that boys don't like her, Jeff actually does. Daniel (Walter Brooke), Angie's father, comes over for a talk. He would like Jeff to see less of her, as she is tomboy enough. Donna gets Angie to dress like a girl. Jeff and Angie go to a party and she winds up doing things with all the other boys. Jeff leaves heartbroken. Angie comes to see Jeff and apologize.
1207"One of Those Days"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonOctober 26, 1961
Alex has a frustrating day where everything goes wrong and he is really frustrated with people. Donna convinces him that they should go on a picnic to relax, but even the relaxing trip has some twists. First they run out of gas. They walk to the house of an old man (Arthur Hunnicutt) and his wife and after having a friendly chat, borrow some gas. They then go to a lake that Alex went to as a child and talk to a little boy fishing there. It brings back fond memories for Alex. After returning home, where their children happily greet them, Alex realizes things aren't all that bad.
1218"All is Forgiven"Andrew McCulloughJohn WhedonNovember 2, 1961
Donna & Alex have dinner with their friends Millie (Patricia Barry) & Ed (William Windom) Corwin, but the evening turns into an argument between their friends. Millie & Ed decide to split up. Donna knows of a baby up for adoption and she schemes to get the Corwins to adopt the child. She invites them both over to dinner and shows them the baby. Mrs. Stedman (Nancy McCarthy), the young mother, comes over to see the baby. She explains why she can't keep the baby and Ed tells her he will find a job for her husband. That kind gesture makes Millie want to get back with Ed.
1229"The Electrical Storm"Barry ShearAndy WhiteNovember 9, 1961
Jeff is expelled from school when he and his friends pull a prank that causes the school bell to constantly go off. Mr. Heflin (Richard Deacon), the principal, calls Donna to let her know. Alex and Donna suspect something's wrong but want to wait until Jeff is ready to come to them. Several days go by with Jeff pretending to go school. Tired of waiting, Alex has a family meeting that finally starts to get some answers. Anne Sargent appears as Miss Tucker, a teacher.
12310"The Paper Tycoon"Jeffrey HaydenSheila J. LynchNovember 16, 1961
Jeff has a paper route and realizes it is not as easy as it seems. Donna asks him why he doesn't get someone to help him. Jeff decides to hire three other kids to do the work and he'd just sit back and collect the money. At first things go well, but then the complaints and problems start to happen. Jeff comes to understand that one can't get something for nothing.
12411"Private Tutor"Earl BellamyFrank FoxNovember 23, 1961
12512"Alex, the Professor"Jeffrey HaydenBarbara HammerNovember 30, 1961
12613"The Fabulous O'Hara"Barry ShearDouglas MorrowDecember 7, 1961
12714"Way of a Woman"Norman TokarJohn WhedonDecember 14, 1961
12815"A Very Bright Boy"Jackie CooperTrue BoardmanDecember 21, 1961
12916"The Toughest Kid in School"Norman TokarHenry SharpDecember 28, 1961
13017"Dr. Stone and His Horseless Carriage"Norman TokarSummer LongJanuary 11, 1962
13118"For Angie with Love"Norman TokarBarbara HammerJanuary 18, 1962
13219"Aloha Kimi"Norman TokarPaul WestJanuary 25, 1962
13320"Donna's Prima Donna"Barry ShearBarbara HammerFebruary 1, 1962
13421"Explorer's Ten"Barry ShearDavid R. SchwartzFebruary 8, 1962
13522"The New Office"Norman TokarLeo Solomon & Ben GershmanFebruary 15, 1962
13623"The Golden Trap"Jeffrey HaydenPaul WestFebruary 22, 1962
13724"Free Flight"Gene NelsonJohn WhedonMarch 1, 1962
13825"The Wide Open Space"Jeffrey HaydenSummer LongMarch 8, 1962
13926"The Fireball"Norman TokarPaul WestMarch 15, 1962
14027"Once Upon a Timepiece"Robert Ellis MillerDavid R. SchwartzMarch 22, 1962
14128"Hilldale 500"Barry ShearJohn WhedonMarch 29, 1962
14229"Winner Takes All"Norman TokarJohn WhedonApril 5, 1962
14330"Skin Deep"Jeffrey HaydenPaul WestApril 12, 1962
A friend sets Mary up on a blind date, and she is looking forward to it. When she learns the boy is not attractive, she wants to cancel the date. A dream helps her re-evalute and she has a wonderful time.
14431"The Fortune Teller"Jeffrey HaydenJohn WhedonApril 19, 1962
Donna is coaxed into being a fortune teller at the town's bazaar. Not knowing what to do, she ends up creating fortunes to tell people. Later, it turns out some of her predictions start to come true.
14532"Man of Action"Barry ShearPaul WestApril 26, 1962
Jeff and his friend Smitty seem to have Smitty's little brother tagging along with them. They convince Donna to watch him while they go to visit their girlfriends. Alex ends up watching the boy all day, missing a big golf date.
14633"Donna Meets Roberta"Jeffrey HaydenSummer LongMay 3, 1962

A friend tells Alex a woman (Roberta Sherwood, playing a fictional version of herself) is selling her house cheap, but in another year the house value will rise and Alex should consider buying it. Donna meets the woman, a mother like her with children to care for. In the "B" story, Jeff made a shrewd business deal. Donna persuades both that complete honesty is more important than making money.

NOTE- Todon Productions, Donna Reed's production company, used the end of that episode to introduce the pilot of Sherwood's own show, which co-starred Gale Gordon but never aired.
14734"The Caravan"Barry ShearPhil SharpMay 10, 1962
The family can't agree on a family trip, so they appoint Donna with decision-making power. She chooses a trip across the country in an RV. It turns out to be more work and problems for her, while everyone else seems to enjoy it.
14835"The Swingin' Set"Gene NelsonPaul WestMay 17, 1962

A new neighbor delivers a letter intended for Dr. Stone and meets Jeff when delivering the letter. Jeff is so starstruck, he forgets to ask her name. Smitty meets the same girl, Laurie (Mimsy Farmer) at the malt shop, and forces Jeff into a role as his wingman. Because of this, Jeff asks out Jan (Patricia Lyon), whom his mother was setting him up with. At the Junior Prom, they switch dates, and the evening becomes magical!

NOTE- While Shelley Fabares is absent from this episode, she can be heard singing "Johnny Angel" when the boys are in the malt shop. Also, Paul Petersen sings "Keep Your Love Locked" during a gimmick at the Prom.
14936"On to Fairview"Jeffrey HaydenPaul WestMay 24, 1962
Jeff gets a job at a bicycle shop to earn spending money. He wants a special gift for his girlfriend. Donna wants him to clean his room before going out so he might lose his job. After all this, Jeff gives the locket to his mother.
15037"The Man in the Mask"Norman TokarStory by : Tom & Helen August
Teleplay by : Paul West & Tom & Helen August
May 31, 1962
15138"The Father Image"Richard L. BarePaul WestJune 7, 1962
15239"Dear Wife"Stanley Z. CherryPaul WestJune 14, 1962

Season 5 (1962–63)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1531"Mister Nice Guy"Jeffrey HaydenPaul WestSeptember 20, 1962
1542"Mrs. Stone and Doctor Hyde"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonSeptember 27, 1962
1553"To Be a Boy"Gene NelsonPaul WestOctober 4, 1962
1564"Who Needs Glasses?"Jeffrey HaydenSummer LongOctober 11, 1962
1575"Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary"Andrew McCulloughElroy Schwartz & Austin KalishOctober 18, 1962
1586"My Dad"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonOctober 25, 1962
1597"Fine Feathers"Gene NelsonAndy WhiteNovember 1, 1962
1608"Rebel with a Cause"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonNovember 8, 1962
1619"Big Star"Jeffrey HaydenPaul West & Barbara AvedonNovember 15, 1962
16210"Man to Man"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestNovember 22, 1962
16311"The Baby Buggy"Andrew McCulloughJohn WhedonNovember 29, 1962
16412"The Makeover Man"Andrew McCulloughJohn WhedonDecember 6, 1962
16513"The Winning Ticket"Andrew McCulloughPhil DavisDecember 13, 1962
16614"The Soft Touch"Andrew McCulloughBen Gershman & Milton PascalDecember 20, 1962
16715"Jeff Stands Alone"Andrew McCulloughBarbara AvedonDecember 27, 1962
16816"Just a Little Wedding"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonJanuary 3, 1963
16917"A Woman's Place"Andrew McCulloughNorm Liebmann & Ed HassJanuary 10, 1963
17018"The Chinese Horse"Gene NelsonPaul WestJanuary 17, 1963
17119"The New Look"Andrew McCulloughPhil DavisJanuary 24, 1963
17220"A Way of Her Own"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestJanuary 31, 1963
17321"Three is a Family"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestFebruary 7, 1963
17422"Big Sixteen"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonFebruary 14, 1963
17523"Pioneer Woman"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonFebruary 21, 1963
17624"The House on the Hill"Gene NelsonBarney Slater & Michael CramoyFebruary 28, 1963
17725"Where the Stones Are"Gene NelsonSeymour FriedmanMarch 7, 1963
17826"The Two Doctors Stone"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonMarch 14, 1963
17927"Everywhere That Mary Goes"Gene NelsonPaul WestMarch 21, 1963
18028"The Handy Man"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestMarch 28, 1963
18129"Friends and Neighbors"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonApril 4, 1963
18230"Boys and Girls"Barry ShearAndy WhiteApril 11, 1963
18331"All Those Dreams"Gene NelsonBarbara AvedonApril 18, 1963
18432"All Women Are Dangerous"Barry ShearPhil DavisApril 25, 1963
18533"The Big Wheel"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonMay 2, 1963
18634"Day of the Hero"Barry ShearPhil DavisMay 9, 1963

Season 6 (1963–64)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1871"The Playmate"Gene NelsonBarney SlaterSeptember 19, 1963
1882"Brighten the Corner"TBATBASeptember 26, 1963
1893"Whatever You Wish"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestOctober 3, 1963
1904"House Divided"TBATBAOctober 10, 1963
1915"The Boys in 309"TBATBAOctober 17, 1963
1926"The Bigger They Are"TBATBAOctober 24, 1963
1937"It Grows on Trees"TBATBAOctober 31, 1963
1948"Mary Comes Home"Gene NelsonBen Gershman & Milton PascalNovember 7, 1963
1959"Post Time"TBATBANovember 14, 1963
19610"Sweet Mystery of Wife"TBATBANovember 21, 1963
19711"What Are Friends For?"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonNovember 28, 1963
19812"A Touch of Glamor"Barry ShearErna LazarusDecember 5, 1963
19913"Air Date"TBATBADecember 12, 1963
20014"Moon-Shot"TBATBADecember 19, 1963
20115"Nice Work"TBATBADecember 26, 1963
20216"First Addition"TBATBAJanuary 2, 1964
20317"The Combo"TBATBAJanuary 9, 1964
20418"Who's Rockin' the Partnership"Barry ShearBen Gershman & Milton PascalJanuary 16, 1964
20519"Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Altar"Barry ShearBarbara AvedonJanuary 23, 1964
20620"Today I Am a Girl"Barry ShearPhil SharpJanuary 30, 1964
20721"Will the Real Chicken Please Stand Up?"TBATBAFebruary 6, 1964
20822"Guest in the Nursery"Paul NickellMilton Pascal & Ben GershmanFebruary 13, 1964
20923"Home Sweet Homemaker"TBATBAFebruary 20, 1964
21024"Teamwork"TBATBAFebruary 27, 1964
21125"Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be"Gene NelsonTommy TomlinsonMarch 5, 1964
21226"Pandemonium in the Condominium"TBATBAMarch 12, 1964
21327"A Day for Remembering"TBATBAMarch 19, 1964
21428"One Little Word"TBATBAMarch 26, 1964
21529"Love Letters Are for Burning"TBATBAApril 2, 1964
21630"Four's a Crowd"TBATBAApril 9, 1964
21731"My Son the Catcher"TBATBAApril 16, 1964
21832"The Pros and the Cons"TBATBAApril 23, 1964

Season 7 (1964–65)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
2191"Operation Anniversary"Fred de CordovaStory by : Frank Crow
Teleplay by : Tommy Tomlinson
September 17, 1964
2202"Dad Drops By"Gene ReynoldsPhil SharpSeptember 24, 1964
2213"Play Ball"Gene NelsonSam Locke & Joel RappOctober 1, 1964
2224"Who's Who on 202?"TBATBAOctober 8, 1964
2235"The Daughter Complex"TBATBAOctober 15, 1964
2246"The Tycoons"Barry ShearTBAOctober 22, 1964
2257"Instant Family"TBATBAOctober 29, 1964
2268"Royal Flush"Gene ReynoldsPaul WestNovember 5, 1964
2279"Circumstantial Evidence"TBATBANovember 12, 1964
22810"Anyone Can Drive?"TBATBANovember 19, 1964
22911"Surprise, Surprise"TBATBANovember 26, 1964
23012"Quads of Trouble"Fred de CordovaMannie Manheim & Erna LazarusDecember 3, 1964
23113"Donna's Bank Account"Barry ShearKeith Fowler & Phil LeslieDecember 10, 1964
23214"It's All in the Cards"Barry ShearLeonard GersheDecember 17, 1964
23315"Old Faithful"Fred de CordovaBarbara AvedonDecember 24, 1964
23416"Overture in A-Flat"TBATBADecember 31, 1964
23517"Thy Name is Woman"Gene NelsonBen StarrJanuary 7, 1965
23618"Joe College"Alan RafkinBarbara AvedonJanuary 14, 1965
23719"Painter Go Home"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestJanuary 21, 1965
23820"Home Wreckonomics"TBATBAJanuary 28, 1965
23921"The Windfall"TBATBAFebruary 4, 1965
24022"Now You See It, Now You Don't"Gene NelsonRichard Conway & Roland MacLaneFebruary 11, 1965
24123"The Gift Shop"Gene NelsonPaul WestFebruary 18, 1965
24224"The Stamp Collector"Andrew McCulloughSam Locke & Joel RappFebruary 25, 1965
24325"Peacocks on the Roof"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestMarch 4, 1965
24426"Guests, Guests, Who Needs Guests?"TBATBAMarch 11, 1965
24527"The Unheroic Hero"TBATBAMarch 18, 1965
24628"The Mysterious Smile"TBATBAMarch 25, 1965
24729"The Rolling Stones"TBATBAApril 1, 1965
24830"Indoor Outing"Fred de CordovaMilton PascalApril 8, 1965

Season 8 (1965–66)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
2491"Pop Goes Theresa"Andrew McCulloughPaul WestSeptember 16, 1965
2502"With This Ring"Lawrence DobkinDon Richman & Janet CarlsonSeptember 23, 1965
2513"Boy Meets Girl Machine"E. W. SwackhamerPaul WestSeptember 30, 1965
2524"Think Mink"Lawrence DobkinDavid Braverman & Bob MarcusOctober 7, 1965
2535"Four on the Floor"E. W. SwackhamerPaul WestOctober 14, 1965
2546"Charge"Jerrold BernsteinSam Locke & Joel RappOctober 21, 1965
2557"Do Me a Favor, Don't Do Me Any Favors"Lawrence DobkinJoel Rapp & Sam LockeOctober 28, 1965
2568"Author, Author"Jerrold BernsteinBarbara AvedonNovember 4, 1965
2579"Trees"Andrew McCulloughNathaniel CurtisNovember 11, 1965
25810"The Big League Shock"Andrew McCulloughLou ShawNovember 18, 1965
25911"The Gladiators"Alan RafkinPaul WestNovember 25, 1965
26012"Rally Around the Girls, Boys"Lawrence DobkinJack Harvey & Irving TaylorDecember 2, 1965
26113"Slipped Disc"Lawrence DobkinJack Harvey & Irving TaylorDecember 9, 1965
26214"Uncle Jeff Needs You"Lawrence DobkinSam Locke & Joel RappDecember 16, 1965
26315"Never Look a Gift House in the Mouth"Lawrence DobkinGary Abrams & Paul PetersenDecember 23, 1965
26416"How to Handle a Woman"Andrew McCulloughAndrew McCulloughDecember 30, 1965
26517"My Son, the Councilman"Lawrence DobkinRonny PearlmanJanuary 6, 1966
26618"Do It Yourself Donna"Lee PhilipsLou ShawJanuary 15, 1966
26719"When I Was Your Age"Andrew McCulloughJack RaymondJanuary 22, 1966
26820"Calling Willie Mays"Lawrence DobkinJack Harvey & Irving TaylorJanuary 29, 1966
26921"All This and Voltaire Too?"Lawrence DobkinErna LazarusFebruary 5, 1966
27022"The Return of Mark"Lee PhilipsTBAFebruary 12, 1966
27123"Is There a Small Hotel?"Andrew McCulloughTBAFebruary 19, 1966
27224"No More Parties, Almost"Andrew McCulloughClifford GoldsmithFebruary 26, 1966
27325"So You Really Think You're Young at Heart"Andrew McCulloughRick MittlemanMarch 5, 1966
27426"What Price Home?"Andrew McCulloughPaul West & Andrew McCulloughMarch 12, 1966
27527"By-Line: Jeffrey Stone"Andrew McCulloughTBAMarch 19, 1966


The series was originally syndicated by Screen Gems, and, later, Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television. In 2008, Sony lost the full rights to the estates of Donna Reed and Tony Owen.

Reruns aired on Nick at Nite from 1985 through 1994 and on TV Land from 2002 through 2004.

MeTV began airing reruns of the show (seasons 1 through 5) starting in September 2011.

In 2017 Decades began airing the show as part of their daytime "Through The Decades" lineup.

As at 2018, the first five seasons of the show are available on Amazon Prime Video in the US and Canada and on Tubi.

Home media

For a limited time in 2004, General Mills offered a DVD of two episodes inside boxes of Total cereal and Oatmeal Crisp. Virgil Films and Entertainment (under license from the estates of Donna Reed and Tony Owen) released the first three seasons of the show on DVD in Region 1. Virgil also released a four-episode "best of" DVD on April 13, 2010.

On December 17, 2010, it was announced that MPI Home Video had acquired the rights to release seasons 4 and 5 of The Donna Reed Show. Season 4 was subsequently released on December 20, 2011 and Season 5 was released on December 4, 2012.

On September 30, 2014, MPI Home Video re-released the first season on DVD. Season 2 was re-released on March 24, 2015. Season 3 was re-released on June 30, 2015.

The show's sixth, seventh, and eighth (the final) seasons are yet to be released on DVD.

SeasonEp #Release Date
Season 137October 28, 2008
September 30, 2014 (re-release)
Season 238July 28, 2009
March 24, 2015 (re-release)
Season 338December 1, 2009
June 30, 2015 (re-release)
Season 439December 20, 2011
Season 534December 4, 2012

Awards and nominations

1959Emmy AwardsNominatedBest Actress in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Comedy SeriesDonna Reed
1960NominatedOutstanding Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead or Support)Donna Reed
1961NominatedOutstanding Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead)Donna Reed
1962NominatedOutstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead)Donna Reed
1963Golden Globe AwardWonBest TV Star – FemaleDonna Reed
1994Young Artist AwardsWonFormer Child Star Lifetime Achievement AwardShelley Fabares
1997WonFormer Child Star Lifetime Achievement AwardPaul Petersen
2004TV Land AwardNominatedFavorite Teen Dream – FemaleShelley Fabares

In popular culture

  • In Gilmore Girls season 1 episode 14 "That Damn Donna Reed", Rory and her boyfriend Dean have a disagreement about women's roles after watching an episode of the show. The episode involved Reed's character making a lot of food. Later, Rory dresses up in a dress like Donna Reed and serves Dean a steak dinner.