Sunday, July 20, 2008

CBS Fall TV Preview (From 1961)

video

This is a fascinating video of CBS's self promotiion for their fall television season. See how many shows you remember and how many you have never heard. Like every year, every show is promoted as being sensational. Interesting to note that this is when The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mr. Ed, and The Chipmunks premiered. Also, count how many shows were shown on Sundays. I wonder what time prime time started back then?

2 comments:

Clyde said...

Boy, that balloon graphic was just awesome! Okay, here's what you need to know (all times would be EST)

If my memory serves me correctly, Sunday night prime time began at seven...sort of. There were some network shows on before seven although it wasn't considered prime time. That would be the G.E. College Bowl, 20th Century and Mr. Ed. Lassie would hit the air at 7 p.m. which was considered primetime. This was in fact followed by Dennis the Menace at 7:30 p.m., Ed Sullivan at 8 p.m., and the the following four half hour shows from 9 p.m. - 10 p.m.: General Electric Theater, Jack Benny, Candid Camera, and What's My Line.

On weekdays, primetime began at 7:30 p.m. for the most part. preceded at 7 p.m. by the network news on CBS and NBC. ABC did not as of yet hava a daily newscast.

Some of these shows disappeared rather quickly. There is an episode of Robert Young's Window on Main Street on the first season DVD of Father Knows Best. What they didn't tell you on this promo though was that the Marshall Dillon show that was on Tuesday were nothing more than Gunsomke repeats with first run episodes remaining on Saturday Night.

Likewise, Father Knows Best was reruns as well. The Gertrude Berg Show (Mrs. G. Goes to College) was history after one season. Frontier Circus was the worst of the lot though as it looked totally cheesy in every way imaginable. I don't even remember it but I laughed out loud when that guy asked that woman what was wrong right after she took a dive off the high wire.
I'd like to see some episodes of this show because I think it would be a hoot.

Father of the Bride I only vaguely remember. How do you sustain that idea over a full season, let alone possibly several? They managed to do it for one somehow.

Checkmate is available on DVD and is supposed to be pretty good so I may check it out. Route 66 is suppoosed to be one of the best of that era as well although there are some complaints that the DVD transfer of one of the seasons was very poorly done. I vaguely remember Hennessey, but it is considered a forgotten but very underrated classic.

riesen2b said...

Well done! I'd kind of like to take a look at Frontier Circus myself. All in all though, it looked like a pretty good year for CBS. BTW, did you get that Honey West Promo clip I sent to your email?

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