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The Donna Reed Show was telecast on ABC at 10:00 p.m. opposite Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theatre, and it drew terrible ratings. It was only after the wife of the chairman of the board of Campbell Soup, their sponsor, used her influence and got the show moved to Thursdays that it found its audience. The show ran from 1958 to 1966. There were 276 episodes altogether.

When Paul first started playing Jeff Stone, he was just 4'3" tall, which is one reason he got the job. Donna herself was a petite 5'4". Paul got this part the day after he turned thirteen.

The storylines were about things that happened in real life, things that people could identify with. Like Jeff accidentally

Carl, Paul, Shelley, Donna and Patti
The Cast
making a date with two girls, or Mary running for class president. That's what helped make the show more memorable, because the storylines were very relatable. Paul even had a hand in writing some of the scripts for the last few episodes.

Paul's real life sister Patti (whom Paul called "Little Bits"), joined the show from 1963 to 1966 as adopted sister Trisha. Their mom insisted that they both have lots of singing, piano and dancing lessons.

Patti now enjoys teaching computer science and English at a Catholic school and volunteers as Coach/Scorekeeper for the girl's softball team. She is mom to a son and daughter, Tim and Melissa. Like Paul, Patti is also a writer.

Both Paul and Patti are active members of The Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts.

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