Photo: David, Ozzie, Harriet, and Rick Nelson. Ozzie and Harriet Nelson Papers.
In 1944 "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" began on radio. This was a comedy about the adventures and misadventures of a typical middle-class American family. Their sons, David and Eric (Ricky), were too young to be on the air, so professional actors read their parts. By 1949, however, Ozzie decided to let his sons become part of the show. In 1952 ABC turned the show into a television series. Ozzie Nelson was the show's producer, director, and head writer. The show ran for a phenomenal fourteen years, becoming one of TV's longest-running family comedies. The combined run of the radio and TV versions of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" was an incredible twenty-two years.