Would you believe that until I started researching the house from the classic 1960s sitcom “Bewitched,” I had never seen a full episode of the show? My parents didn’t let us watch anything with witches or ghosts, so the show was banned in our house. (Don’t tell them that I went back and watched several seasons of it for this post! Ha.)
In the first season we got to see Darrin (Dick York) and Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) go house hunting. When Samantha and her mother Endora first visit the house at the beginning of Season One, it has just been built, and there isn’t a blade of grass in the yard:
Samantha fixes the place up with a quick twitch of her nose:
Oh, if only home improvement could be that easy! Samantha and Endora took turns trying different looks for the house and arguing about which was the best version.
When they step into the house for the first time, this is what it looks like:
You can see the backyard in this shot through the glass doors:
They fall in love with the place and buy it. Here’s how it looks after they move in:
What’s that penguin doing in there? I suspect some magic was involved… 😉
These episodes were originally in black and white but were later colorized. The tell-tale sign of colorization is when a character opens their mouth and their teeth look gray.
The interiors were all created on soundstages at Sunset Gower Studios.
According to 1164.com, a website for “Bewitched” fans:
The interior and backyard scenes, as well as some garage and front porch scenes, were all filmed in a soundstage. The set consisted of a modular (but complete) first floor and back yard. It also contained the hallway visible above the steps (though those doors at the top only led to tiny closets!).
The laundry area at the back of the kitchen (with the avocado appliances!) was pretty modern for 1964:
All of the upstairs shots were filmed on another set, often just a few rooms that were frequently changed around.
Check out the massive lamps on either side of their bed and the cushion that goes across the head of it. I wonder where they stashed their sleeping pillows during the day?
“Bewitched” was on the air for 8 years. In Season 2, Samantha and Darrin had a baby girl named Tabitha (whose name was spelled Tabatha for the first few seasons and then changed later on).
The den set on the first floor doubled as the nursery set for Tabitha. According to 1164.com:
For nursery scenes, they just put a fake wall up outside the door to hide the view into the kitchen. For den scenes, they put brown paneling up over the pink walls, covering the nursery window area with the plain wall near the den’s fireplace.
When Darrin gets home from work, we get a look at the garage and driveway:
The pilot for “Bewitched” was supposed to begin filming on November 22, 1963, but was postponed because of Kennedy’s assassination. The first episode aired in 1964.
The house was built on the back lot of the Warner Bros. Ranch (on West Oak Street in Burbank, California). It sits alongside other famous facades used for classic shows like “The Partridge Family” and “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Here’s a more recent photo of it taken on the back lot:
Did you know the Christmas Vacation movie was filmed in this neighborhood? “The Middle” is currently taping here, too, and there are frequent “Bewitched” house sightings in the Heck family’s neighborhood if you watch for it. 🙂