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Ricky Segall - Killer of The Partridge Family

One certain indicator that a TV show is slipping is the pointless addition of a new character. It is especially true when a child is added to a show's cast in a desperate attempt to attract more youthful viewers. Along those lines, who remembers little Ricky Segall on The Partridge Family? For many die-hard fans of the show, Segall is the Partridges' equivalent of "Cousin Oliver"--Robbie Rist's character who is often unfairly blamed for killing The Brady Bunch. The Partridge Family was a top-20 show in both 1971-72 and 1972-73. For reasons best known to ABC, for the 1973-74 season it was moved from its secure Friday night time slot to Saturdays at 8 p.m. where it hopelessly had to compete against All In The Family on CBS. Furthermore, someone at ABC thought the Partridge kids were getting up in years--after all Suzanne Crough (who played youngest child Tracy) was an old lady of ten in 1973--and thus alienating younger viewers. Enter four-year-old singer Ricky Segall who played neighbor Ricky Stevens. Sporting a Prince Valiant haircut, Stevens' shtick was to act cute and warble a kids' tune. (Ricky's father wrote his songs!) Segall appeared in ten of the first twelve episodes in the 1973-74 season before vanishing from the show without any explanation. Only in his first episode did his character have a meaningful role. (New to the neighborhood, Ricky's mom did not like showbiz folks.) The Partridge Family was cancelled after the 1973-74 season with 96 total episodes made. Segall had a spotty TV and movie career after his stint on The Partridge Family. Today he is a married ordained minister with three children. At last report Segall was living and preaching in Canada.

 

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