30 December 2011 | raysond
Mona McCluskey: Commentary
When this short-lived sitcom premiered on NBC-TV in the fall of 1965,the Peacock network's programming had 95% of its shows already in color for the 1965-1966 season. At the time shows like "I Spy", "Get Smart",and "The Dean Martin Show",and "My Mother The Car" which premiered that year were in color,with the exception of "I Dream of Jeannie",the other new sitcom that was in black and white.
The short-lived sitcom "Mona McCluskey" was one of those shows that NBC presented as "the following program is brought to you in living color " for the 1965-1966 season. The short-lived series starred Juliet Prowse(the only time this dancer and the woman who was almost engaged to marry Frank Sinatra to ever appear on a weekly television series)who was this big-time Vegas movie-star showgirl who marries an Air Force Officer by the name of Mike McCluskey(played by Denny Miller? Yes,that Denny Miller...the man who was also starred in the worst Tarzan movie ever!)who was determined to continue his career in the military while his wife was living on his income. She is determined to be a housewife or housefrau who basically cooks and cleans wearing nothing but expensive gowns and negligees. She can't cook-continuously makes sandwiches or some combination of it. In just about every episode she keeps getting into one situation after another while mooching off her husband's income. The one good thing about the sitcom is that audiences will get to see Juliet Prowse's singing abilities and spectacular dance sequences. And that was it. The show itself was a total waste,and it didn't last not one season,and it was gone by the Spring of 1966.
Not only did Robert Strauss was in some episodes,but also actress Elena Verdugo who were wasted here due to their good talent. Looking at the show the question becomes obvious. It had experienced writers,superb production values,but in all the series fell flat. The producer of this was none other than George Burns,whose other sitcom "Wendy and Me"(which was over at ABC)became one of the biggest flops of the previous season. After this series,George Burns never again will produced another comedy show for television.
Produced by George Burns,under his production company McCadden Productions in association with United Artists Television,the short-lived series "Mona McCluskey",which aired in color,produced 26 episodes that ran from September 16,1965 until the final episode on April 14, 1966. The series also starred Bartlett Robinson, Herbert Rudley, Robert Strauss,and Elena Verdugo(who would go on to star opposite Robert Young on the medical drama series "Marcus Welby,MD"). The guest stars that were on this short-lived series ranged from a beau of talent: from Mike Henry(of "Tarzan" fame),to Sal Mineo(who starred in episode 18:"The General Swings At Dawn"),to Barry Kelley,and even a special appearance by George Burns.