It was CBS, not ABC, who debuted the iconic show. During the first season, the family sitcom didn’t make the cut with Nielsen ratings, and the big one got away. ABC gladly took over production and aired the program until 1963.
Sixty years later, ABC is still raking it in with two successful spinoffs, home media sales, and tie-in revenue.
Tony Dow Became a Sculpture Artist
After his time playing Wally concluded, he signed up for the National Guard and went back to school, but his true success came later.
Dow’s art was recognized in 2008 when one of his bronze sculptures was chosen for display by de la National des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre. Today he works with burlwood. He started selling his wood creations in the 2000s.
Jerry Mathers Was Scouted at the Age of Two
He was a toddler out shopping with his mom in a Los Angeles department store when the public relations director spotted him. They needed a catalog model for Mathers’ size because the original 2-year-old model had grown out of the clothing, according to an AARP interview in 2011.
His mom was a little hesitant at first but relented after the PR rep said they could keep the clothes.
The ABC Network Landed the Show
When poor Nielsen ratings left "Leave it to Beaver" on the chopping block, backroom wrangling kicked into high gear. In his 1998 autobiography, "And Jerry Mathers as 'The Beaver,'" Mathers revealed why ABC landed the show.
He said it was Purina pet food that sealed the deal. The company offered the most money to sponsor the program and sealed a contract with ABC.
Leave It to Beaver Was Launched on the Same Day as Sputnik
October 4, 1957, was a momentous day in the United States. On the upside, one of the greatest and most enduring television programs debuted, but on the other hand, Russia took the lead in the space race, flinging its Sputnik 1 satellite into outer space.
It represented a stinging defeat for the U.S.A. in the Cold War battle, and it triggered public support for the race to the moon. In the end, it would identify the ‘50s as much as the Cleaver family did.