The order in which the episodes of Bewitched were completed sometimes has little in common with the dates that the episodes were aired. Screen Gems has published a listing of the dates on which the episodes were completed and the dates on which they were first aired. Note that the date of completion is the date on which the episode was ready to go to the network. Filming had to have been completed several days to several weeks before then to allow for editing, cutting to length, and final packaging before the delivery date.
The pilot episode was filmed in late November of 1963 and a completion date of 12/6/63 is given. The show was then marketed, sold to the network, sponsors were lined up, and Bewitched was scheduled to air in the fall of 1964, beginning on 9/17/64. Even then, production was delayed. Elizabeth was two to three months pregnant when the pilot was filmed, and by the time the show was sold, her condition did not exactly fit the image of a new bride. Consequently, filming was done without her scenes for several episodes . When Elizabeth was able to work again, after the birth, a rush was made to film her scenes and five episodes were quickly completed. Episodes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 all show a completion date of 9/11/64.
There was more than one season when shooting was scheduled around Elizabeth's pregnancies. She became pregnant again about the middle of the shooting for the first season. Beginning the second season with the announcement that Samantha was pregnant, this was carried to the middle of the second season when Tabitha was born in episode 54 which was completed 12/10/65. There was a three-month break between the completion of episode 49 and 54, with episodes 50-53 having been completed earlier. Filming of Elizabeth's scenes ended sometime before that since her second child was born in August of 1965. In the fifth year, Elizabeth again became pregnant about half way through the filming of the season, and with eight episodes to yet be filmed, Dick York collapsed and was off the show for good. In the last episode in which York appeared, the episode started off with Darrin's birthday party, and Samantha telling him that she had one more surprise, one for both of them. It could well be that in the original script she was to tell him that she was expecting. However, with the script (later aired as # 167) having to be completely rewritten to salvage as much of York's role as possible, this announcement is put off until # 168, which was completed immediately after the revised episode # 167 was done. The airing schedule was altered to make it look as if York were around all season. Starting with episode # 160, four straight shows were aired with no Darrin, he was back in for # 164 (held since August of 1968), off for two more episodes, back in the remade # 167, off for two more, and was in the last episode of the season, # 170 ( which had been held since September of 1968). Filming continued during April, completing episodes 171, 172, 174, and 185 with Dick Sargent as Darrin. This allowed the use of Samantha's pregnancy in the plots, yet gave the cast and crew an extra month after Elizabeth had her third child before it was necessary to begin the Fall filming for the sixth season.
Several things that seemed strange when viewed by the aired schedule fall into place when looking at the production schedule. In # 152, Samantha is rather thin. Yet in # 153, aired the next week, she is fairly well filled out. Looking at the production schedule shows that episodes 152 and 153 were completed almost four months apart. Also, in episodes 142 and 144, finished before # 152, and in episodes 143 and 145, finished immediately after # 152 she is thin. Yet in episodes 156 and 157, finished on either side of # 153, she is heavier.
Another problem that is partly resolved is the switching of the cars Darrin drives. By the aired schedule, he bounces back and forth between cars on almost a weekly basis. By the production schedule, while there are still car changes, this weekly bouncing between cars is greatly reduced. For example, he uses the same car in episodes 40, 44, 46, and 48 which were filmed together. This also happens in episodes 141, 145, 146, and 152.
Filming around the availability of Elizabeth was common, but was also done for Dick York. York missed two episodes ( 89 and 100) in the third season due to illness or death of his father, and these two episodes were not filmed together. However, in the fourth season he missed four episodes (129, 133, 134, and 136) due to back problems. A check of the production schedule shows that these four episodes were finished together, and spread out over the season to hide the fact that he was out for a month. The fifth season where York missed eight episodes has already been mentioned.
In the eighth season Maurice's episodes were filmed together, but the airing was spread out. He appeared in three episodes that season, between episodes 234 and 242, but the span of completion dates for these episodes is three weeks. In two seasons, he appeared in paired episodes: 175-176 and 180-181. These paired episodes, while not always in order, were completed consecutively.
It is obvious that the episodes were not always filmed to completion. In addition to filming around Elizabeth's pregnancies, other episodes show signs of scenes being filmed at different times. As mentioned, some of # 126 was filmed in one season and finished in the next. Episode # 164 has a scene near the end with a short scene obviously filmed at another time. In # 170, the teaser appears to have been filmed at a different time than the body of the episode. Also, in episodes 6 and 10, the teasers have no bearing on the episodes and could have been filmed at any time.
No other correlations have been found to indicate that filming was regularly scheduled around the availability of any one actor/actress. The first one to come to mind was Agnes Moorehead, who appeared in 57% of the episodes. It seemed that grouping her episodes would make sense, but there is no apparent switching of the schedule to give her a number of consecutive episodes to be filmed and then several weeks off.
The availability of the facade and/or sound stages could have entered into the scheduling of filming, but no large scale correlation is evident to indicate that this happened.
If the episodes had been shown in the order they were completed, the schedule would have looked like this:
Season 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6, 11, 8, 9, 10, 12-15, 17, 16, 18-21, 23, 22, 24, 25, 34, 26-33, 35, 36. Note that # 1 was completed 12/10/63. It was 9 months before another episode was finished. Numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 all have the same completion date of 9/11/64.
Season 2: 37-39, 44, 46, 40, 48, 41, 45, 43, 47, 42, 52, 50, 53, 49, 54-62, 65, 63, 64, 66-74, 87, 88, 78, 74. Note: there was a three month break between 49 and 54, and 10 weeks between 73 and 74 when three shows for the next season were completed.
Season 3: 76, 75, 82, 83, 77, 85, 79, 84, 80, 81, 90, 86, 89, 92, 91, 93, 94-101, 105, 102-104, 106, 107, 109. Note that episodes 87, 88, and 78 (color) were completed in the second season before episode 74 (B&W).
Season 4: 110, 127, 122, 112, 126, 115, 114, 108, 111, 113, 116, 117, 120, 118, 119, 121, 123, 128, 124, 130, 131, 125, 134, 129, 133, 136, 132, 135, 137, 138-140. Note that # 126 was the sixth episode completed for the fourth season. However, Samantha wears the original heart necklace in this episode, meaning that at least that part of it was filmed before # 101 in the third season. Also note that # 109 was filmed at the end of the third season.
Season 8: 236, 229, 230, 232, 233, 235, 231, 234, 242, 237-240, 241, 243, 246, 247, 244, 251, 248, 252, 253, 249, 250, 254. Note that # 245 was completed about half way through the seventh season, but was not shown until the middle of the eighth season.
Over the years there was considerable shifting of the filming schedule to accommodate the various needs of the cast and crew. The filming sequence of episodes two through five has already been addressed, as have other shifts. Season eight offers an interesting insight into the timing of the filming of the episodes. Because of the major change in the hairstyles of Samantha in season eight, a track can be made from a season seven hairstyle through a transition to the later season eight hairstyle. The transition went something like this:
1. Dark blonde hair with the top combed straight back (a distinctly season seven style).
Type 1 Hairstyle from 205
2. Dark blonde hair with the beginning of a part on the right side.
Type 2 Hairstyle from 229
3. Light blonde hair with no part.
Type 3 Hairstyle from 235
4. Light blonde hair with a part on the right.
Type 4 Hairstyle from 236
5. Light blonde wavy hair with a part in the middle.
Type 5 Hairstyle from 233
6. Light blonde straight hair with curls at the end and a part in the middle (season eight final style).
Type 6 Hairstyle from 232
7. Light blonde straight hair that is parted in the middle with dark roots showing.
7 Hairstyle from 249
This leads to the following assignment of the probable order in which the main body of the filming was done:
# 236 - Filmed mostly in season seven with the first scene, the teaser, and then the body of the episode. Type 2 hair in teaser, while the episode has types 1, 3, and 4 styles.
# 229- # 230 - Filmed together, but the teaser for # 229 was not filmed at the same time as the trailer for # 230. The type 2 hairstyle in teaser on # 229, a slight variation in the body of the episode where her hair shows, and type 3 in the trailer of # 230.
# 231 - Teaser filmed earlier than the rest. Loch/boat scenes filmed at a later time than the rest of the episode. Type 1 hairstyle in the teaser, types 5 and 6 in the body of the episode.
# 233 - Trailer filmed later than the body of the episode. Type 5 hair in the teaser and body of the episode, type 7 in the trailer.
# 234 - Filmed as a single unit. Type 5 in the teaser, slight variation on 5 in the rest of the episode.
* When more than one episode number is listed, the hairstyles in the episodes are the same, so the exact order cannot be determined by hairstyle.
Also See: A Bewitched Production