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Irene Tedrow (1949)
Erin O'Brien-Moore (1950-52)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||unknown|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||November 3, 1949 – June 19, 1952|
The Ruggles was perhaps the earliest family sitcom to be shown on American television. The series, broadcast live on ABC, with a few episodes recorded on kinescope, began November 3, 1949, and ended on June 19, 1952. The show was also one of the first to originate from Hollywood rather than New York City, where most radio programs had been produced.
Cast and changes
The star was comedian Charlie Ruggles, playing a character with the same name. His wife, Margaret Ruggles, was played in the first season by Irene Tedrow, thereafter by Erin O'Brien-Moore. The television family also had four children: college co-ed Sharon Ruggles (Margaret Kerry), high school student Chuck Ruggles (Tom Bernard), and the young twins, Donna and Donald, played by Judy Nugent and Jimmy Hawkins. During the second season (1950-51), Lonnie Burr played an occasional recurring character named Oliver Quimby, a know-it-all neighbor kid.
Charlie Ruggles was a department manager for a company. His boss, Mr. Williams, and his secretary Miss Peabody, were seldom seen, and the exact nature of the firm's business was never clearly stated. His wife Margaret kept house, while their daughter Sharon attended UCLA, though she lived at home. Son Chuck was in high school, and the twins were in elementary school.
Most shows took place in the Ruggles living room and kitchen, with just the family members in attendance. Because the shows were broadcast live, the set had to be large and elaborate. There was no audience on the set, and no laugh-track. Recorded theme music was played for entrances and exits. The final episode of the show, broadcast June 19, 1952, featured the wedding of Sharon Ruggles.