mothers in law

The Mothers-in-Law

The Mothers-in-Law was a weekly American television sitcom starring Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard. The show ran from 1967 to 1969, and was produced by Desi Arnaz after the dissolution of both his marriage to Lucille Ball and Desilu Productions. Most of the episodes were written by Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr., who had worked with Arnaz on I Love Lucy. Arnaz would make some guest appearances as a matador from Barcelona, Spain.


Eve (Eve Arden) and Herb Hubbard (Herbert Rudley) lived next door to Kaye (Kaye Ballard) and Roger Buell (played by Roger C. Carmel and Richard Deacon) for 15 years. Herb was a successful lawyer. Roger was a television writer who worked at home. The Hubbards were very straightlaced, the Buells were off-the-wall and fun loving. (Series producer Arnaz initially wanted Ann Sothern for the part of Mrs. Buell, but NBC vetoed her as having a style too close to Arden's to strike sparks.) Despite the differences of the two couples, including an age disparity of about twenty years, they were best friends.

The Buells' son Jerry (Jerry Fogel) and the Hubbards' daughter Susie (Deborah Walley) fell in love while in college, married, and set up housekeeping in the Hubbards' garage. Both sets of parents had different ideas of how they should live their lives and the meddling of the mothers-in-law provided the premise for the TV show. During the second season, the couple had boy/girl twins.


The show, however, suffered the same problem virtually all of the shows in the same NBC Sunday time slot suffered through the 1960s. Despite being sandwiched between The Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza, the show never garnered the ratings NBC had hoped for. NBC considered canceling the show after the first season, but agreed to renew the show for the same price as the first season. All cast members agreed to do the second season for the same money except for Carmel. The producers let him go and replaced him with Richard Deacon. The second season did even worse than the first and NBC opted not to renew again. On "The Doris Day" DVD Set-Season 4, Kaye Ballard remarks that the network wanted Cosby (referring to The Bill Cosby Show) that replaced The Mothers-in-Law during the 1969-70 season.


The Mothers-in-Law has not been syndicated in many years. Speculation is that the show is considered "too outdated." Others have said that is has something to do with Desi Arnaz's estate. A religious cable channel carried the show for a while in the 1990s. Whatever the reason, the show has been gone for a long time but select scenes can be seen on

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