CNN Showbiz


Sitcom fan drafts floor plans of classic shows

September 20, 1995

More floor plans

From Correspondent Ron Tank

HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- Ask Mark Bennett about his favorite television sitcoms and he may tell you more than you want to know.

"You can be in Rhoda's apartment and listen to what's going on in Mary's apartment through that air duct," he says.

Bennett doesn't just watch TV, though. He draws it. His passion is creating blueprints of the homes his favorite characters live in.

"I related really, really heavily to 'em and as far back as I can remember," he says. "I've drawn blueprints of TV houses, my favorite families, the Brady Bunch, Samantha Stevens. 'Leave It to Beaver' was the first house I drew."

Of course there was no real Beaver Cleaver house, just a few rooms on a sound stage. So Bennett improvised on it and 45 other floor plans based on what he'd seen on TV.

"You have to watch every episode," says Bennett. "The Clampett mansion was, I mean, Miss Jane told us in the first episode that there were 23 rooms and you got figure out where to put all those rooms. And they only gave you three or four sets -- the cement pond, Granny's cabin, the kitchen, the pantry and the foyer in the living room."


Bennett's drawings include the Brady Bunch home, Bob and Emily Hartley's Chicago apartment on the "Bob Newhart Show", the Jetsons' futuristic round house, Rob and Laura Petrie's home on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and Ricky and Lucy's New York apartment in "I Love Lucy."

"Producers buy 'em, set designers, directors, people who worked on TV shows or worked on the lot where these TV shows were filmed," says Bennett.

Bennett's clientele may soon expand however. He's been discovered by an art gallery.

"I'll be doing a show for Mark in December," says Christopher Ford, director of the Mark Moore Gallery. "I know I can definitely get him gallery representation in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, you know, Europe venues, galleries in London and Paris."

Speaking of cities, Mayberry, North Carolina, is here. So is Gilligan's Island. Lots of other shows are still in the planning stages.

pencil drawing

In the meantime, Bennett continues to refine his sketches in his spare time. His regular job is delivering mail in Beverly Hills, but just like his TV heroes, he has bigger plans.

"I want 'The Cosby Show,'" he says. "I don't know why, but I have intricate sketches of that show and I'd love to do 'The Cosby Show' next."

See more of Mark Bennett's work on the next page.

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