• 1
    I Love Lucy

    I Love Lucy

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    CBS (ended 1957)
    Cuban-born bandleader, Ricky Ricardo, and his wife, Lucy, live in a Brownstone apartment building on East 68th Street in New York City. The beautiful but daffy Lucy has the nasty habit of getting into jams, scrapes, and predicaments of all kinds. The Ricardos' best friends and landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz, frequently find themselves in the middle of Lucy's outlandish escapades, whether she's plotting to land a part in her husband's nightclub act, determined to write her first novel, or concocting yet another sure-fire "get-rich-quick" scheme. After Lucy gives birth to their only child, Little Ricky, Ricky achieves great success as an entertainer. Ricky is asked to go to Hollywood to star in his first motion picture. Together, the Ricardos and the Mertzes drive to California for Ricky's big break. Along the way, they are held at gunpoint when they try to flee a rundown motel, square-dance their way out of a Tennessee jail, and put on a benefit show for Ethel's hometown friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once in Hollywood, star-struck Lucy spills a tray of desserts on William Holden, gets trapped in John Wayne's dressing room, and wrestles with with a dog guarding Richard Widmark's estate. By the time Ricky has finished his movie, Lucy has developed quite a reputation, and all of Hollywood is relieved to learn that the redheaded dynamo is on her way home. Shortly after the Ricardos return home to New York, the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra is booked for an extensive European tour, and Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel soon find themselves visiting England, France, Switzerland and Italy, where Lucy ends up barefoot in a vat - stomping grapes in a small vineyard. Back in the States, Lucy and Ricky decide to move to the country so that Little Ricky can enjoy the benefits of "clean, fresh, air and homegrown foods." The Ricardos break the news to Fred and Ethel and buy a home in Westport, Connecticut, but the Ricardos and Mertzes can't stay apart for long, and soon Fred and Ethel relocate to Westport, renting the Ricardos' guest house. With the Mertzes close by, Lucy grows tulips that melt in the sun, learns all about how NOT to raise chickens, battles with a runaway lawn mower, and experiences many other joys that country life has to offer. Nielsen TV Ratings History: #3 in the 1951-1952 season #1 in the 1952-1953 season #1 in the 1953-1954 season #1 in the 1954-1955 season #2 in the 1955-1956 season #1 in the 1956-1957 seasonmoreless
  • 2
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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  • 3
    Leave It to Beaver

    Leave It to Beaver

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    Leave It to Beaver portrayed the iconic postwar American family: June the perfect housewife, Ward the dad (what did he do for a living, anyway? And why did he always wear a suit to dinner?), big brother Wally, and of course Theodore ("The Beaver"), the good-hearted kid whose adventures propelled the show. Leave It to Beaver debuted in October of 1957 on CBS. In the fall of 1958, CBS dropped the series. ABC picked it up and ran it for an additional 5 years. Few people know that Leave it to Beaver was the first American television show broadcast behind the Iron Curtain -- perhaps part of the reason for so many references to God, Sunday School, Breaking Bread, etc. In several episodes, there are subtle references to the Soviet Union. In episode #31 ( New doctor ): Wally, has a model plane. Look close, it,s a Russian bomber. With, the red star decals. In episode #119 ( Beaver's House Guest ), the two boys are wearing their camp sweatshirts. With the name Camp Chekov on it. Propaganda? Maybe. What the average American family was like in the 1950's? I don't think so. What ever, I guess it worked. The series focuses on Theodore Cleaver (Beaver). Beaver (who was 7 when the series began) is your basic everyday little boy who had a knack of getting himself into trouble at every turn. His older brother Wally, is just entering his teen years and often wonders out loud how Beaver could be so dumb to get himself into stupid situations. (Examples: getting himself locked in the principals office, letting the bathtub overflow, letting the washing machine overflow, getting his head stuck in a fence at the park, constantly losing things (cats, change, etc.) His parents are your everyday 1950's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, who do their best to understand and support Beaver and Wally as they grew up. Other characters were mostly friends of Wally and Beaver. Wally's friends included Lumpy Rutherford and the two-faced Eddie Haskell. Eddie was courteous to June and Ward but when the grown ups weren't around he was a bully to Beaver and his friends. Beaver's friends include Whitey Whitney, Gilbert Gates/Bates/Harrison (inconsistent last name), Larry Mondello and Richard Rickover. Beaver's teachers, Miss Canfield and later Miss Landers were seen frequently as well as Lumpy's father, played by Richard Deacon known for his role on The Dick Van Dyke Show. While most people lump in Leave it to Beaver with other family sitcoms, such as Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, this series was truly an original, and very much ahead of its time. It showed the world through the eyes of a young boy, and sometimes dealt with rather controversial subjects. One episode ("Beaver and Andy") dealt frankly with the subject of alcoholism. Another episode ("Beaver's House Guest") showed how divorce can affect a child. In 1985, Leave It to Beaver was in a full blown revival after a 1983 reunion movie, Still the Beaver, when a spin-off series, with the title of the reunion movie, was proposed. It later begin airing in syndication under the title, The New Leave It to Beaver and starred all of the original cast members except Hugh Beaumont who died on May 14, 1982. First Telecast: October 4, 1957 Last Telecast: September 12, 1963 Episodes: 234 B&W Episodes +1 Unaired B&W Pilot Theme Song: "The Toy Parade" Written by: Melvyn Leonard, Mort Greene & Dave Kahn Spin-offs: The New Leave It to Beaver NOTE: All air dates have now been verified through TV Guide. CBS Broadcast History October 1957-March 1958----Fridays----7:30 p.m. March-September 1958----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. ABC Broadcast History October 1958-June 1959----Thursdays----7:30 p.m. July-September 1959----Thursdays----9:00 p.m. October 1959-September 1962----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. September 1962-September 1963----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) Never hit the top 30moreless
  • 4
    Looney Tunes

    Looney Tunes

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    Cartoon Network
    Looney Tunes is a show that reruns classic cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, Pepe le Pew, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn and more. These classic characters were featured in 1000+ theatrical cartoons and many prime-time specials made for TV as well as numerous classic cartoon excerpts. Looney Tunes was originally aimed at an adult audience when it aired for the first time in 1955, but unfortunately it was censored. It eventually became a show for children known as The Bugs Bunny Show in 1960, which aired on ABC. Looney Tunes made it's way to Nickelodeon along with numerous Warner Bros. classic cartoons including some of their oldest black-and-whites and almost their complete canon of '60s cartoons. This show started in 1988 and ended in 1999. Now, the Boomerang block on Cartoon Network is the only place in the US where you can still see these timeless classic characters and their animated antics.moreless
  • 5
    What's My Line?

    What's My Line?

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    CBS (ended 1967)
    Welcome to the What's My Line? guide at TV.com! Show Type: Game Show with Panel. First Telecast: February 2, 1950. Last Telecast: September 3, 1967. Producers: Mark Goodson & Bill Todman. Schedule: Currently not being aired on GSN or any other station. Synopsis: What's My Line? was one of network television's longest running and most beloved prime time game shows with a broadcast run of seventeen and one-half years. The game consisted of four panelists trying to guess the occupation of a guest contestant. As the questioning rotated, a panel member asked questions and the guest would answer either "yes" or "no." A contestant received $5 for each "no" answer. Ten "no" answers ended the game in favor of the contestant. A mystery guest segment was also included in which the panelists were blindfolded. The mystery guests were paid $500 as an appearance fee whether they won or lost the game. This was in addition to the maximum $50 game winnings. Guest panelists were paid $750 as an appearance fee. The regular panelists were under contract and were paid "much more" stated Gil Fates in his 1978 What's My Line? book. From 1950-1967, John Daly hosted the "classic" CBS What's My Line?, to which this site is devoted. In September 1968, What's My Line? was revived as a syndicated daily show (M-F) which lasted until 1975. Thanks for visiting us! Enjoy your stay! And now... TIME FOR EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE GUESSING GAME!moreless
  • 6
    The Honeymooners

    The Honeymooners

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    CBS (ended 1978)
    328 Chauncey Street, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York is where the apartment residences of the Kramdens and the Nortons stand. These four people, fifteen years after the depression are still struggling to make ends meet. Ralph Kramden and Alice Gibson married following his acquiring employment as a bus driver with the Gotham Bus Company. Edward Lillywhite Norton, a sewer worker, and his wife, Thelma 'Trixie', live above the Kramdens. The stories depict the sincere attempts of two men attempting to better their lives, and the ensuing frustrations when their schemes to strike it rich inevitably backfire. Although "The Honeymooners" is one of the best remembered comedy highlights of TV's golden age, it was seen for most of its history as a segment within other programs. From 1951-1952, "The Honeymooners" was first seen as a sketch within DuMont's "Cavalcade of Stars", with Pert Kelton originating the role of Alice and with Art Carney's first appearance as a cop. (See season 1). Carney wouldn't appear as Ed Norton until 11/2/1951 along with Elaine Stritch portraying Trixie in her 1 & only appearance. Joyce Randolph would join the cast on 12/7/1951. On 3/30/1952, with Gleason and company departing to CBS in the fall, Gleason, Kelton, & Carney perform a 10 minute "Honeymooners" sketch on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" (Season 5, Episode 30) titled "The Ring Salesman". This sketch can be found on the "The Honeymooners Lost Episodes" DVD Box Set." On 5/4/1952 Gleason, Kelton, & Carney perform a 10 minute "Honeymooners" sketch on "Toast of the Town" (Season 5, Episode 35) titled "Alice And Ralph Get Dressed For A Date Last Night". This sketch can be found on rare "Best of Ed Sullivan" VHS's, it is not on the DVD box set. In the fall of 1952, Jackie moved his show to CBS and "The Jackie Gleason Show" was born. (See seasons 2, 3, & 4), Audrey Meadows assumes the role of Alice. In 1955 Gleason wanted a respite from the full-hour live weekly variety show. It was decided to film a full season of half-hour Honeymooners shows. All hail "The Classic 39" (see season 5). In 1956, after the less-than-anticipated response to the filmed "Honeymooners", Gleason returned to a regular variety format for 1 additional season (see season 6). In 1957 as part of the final season of "The Jackie Gleason Show", Jackie brought aboard Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy to create what is now known as the 1957 - Trip To Europe musical episodes. In 1960, Jackie Gleason brings back Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton in the "Jackie Gleason Special: The Big Sell." Not available on DVD. The Honeymooners sketch that is performed is a take on the classic 39 "Ralph Kramden, Inc." In 1962, after a 5 year hiatus from weekly Television, Jackie returned with "Jackie Gleason and His American Scene Magazine" (see season 6). From 1962 to 1964 this show was from New York. Only 2 "Honeymooners" sketches were performed with Sue Ann Langdon taking on the role of Alice and Patricia Wilson as Trixie. In 1964 Jackie moved his "American Scene Magazine" from NY to Miami, retitled it "The Jackie Gleason Show." To move the entire crew and staff Jackie chartered a train of 14 cars for over 100 passengers and dubbed it "The Great Gleason Express". This would be where the remaining "Honeymooners" would be filmed, though still set in Bensonhurst. In 1966, Audrey Meadows returned for 1 special episode, "The Adoption", a classic Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy musical episode featuring Ralph & Alice's attempt to adopt a baby. This would be the last episode filmed in black & white and is a precursor to what is now known as the "Color Honeymooners" over the next 4 seasons. From 1966 to 1970, the majority of these episodes were Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy mini-musicals, now known as the "Color Honeymooners". Sheila MacRea would portray Alice and Jane Kean as Trixie. These episodes can be seen on the "American Life TV Network" with all 4 seasons on DVD. On 9/30/1968 Jackie appears uncredited as Ralph Kramden in one of the funniest episodes of "Here's Lucy" titled "Lucy Visits Jack Benny". Jack Benny appears as himself. Tis episode appears on "Here's Lucy" DVD Season 1. On 10/11/1973, Jackie Gleason brought "The Honeymooners" back in a 1 time special that aired on CBS titled "Women's Lib" (see season 12). On 5/22/1974, Jackie Gleason and Julie Andrews portray Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton on the special "Julie & Jackie: How Sweet It Is". This would mark the only time Jackie would portray Ralph alongside anyone else portraying Ed Norton. Jackie always said he could never do Ralph without any other guy other than Art Carney. From 1976 to 1978, the last 4 "Honeymooners" were filmed in Miami and Atlantic City (see season 12). These holiday themed specials that aired on ABC would see the return of Audrey Meadows as Alice and Jane Kean as Trixie. On February 6, 1985 Jackie Gleason holds a press conference at New York's "21 Club" with Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph by his side. It is here that Jackie announces that the "The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes" will make their television debut on Showtime in September 1985. On May 13, 1985 NBC airs "The Honeymooners Reunion" a new special showing numerous clips and scenes of upcoming "Lost Episodes". From May through August 1985 the "Museum of Broadcasting" presents "Discovery: Lost Episodes" airing 17 "Lost Episodes" ready for public viewing. On September 2, 1985 Showtime airs a 3 & 1/2 hour "Lost Episodes Marathon" airing 8 complete "Lost" classics. In September 1986 the "Lost Episodes" made their non-cable debut bumping the total # of "Honeymooners" episodes in syndication from 39 to 118. Thank you Jackie Gleason!! NOTE: This episode guide contains all episodes of "The Honeymooners" that were either sketches as seen on "The Jackie Gleason Show" and "American Scene Magazine" as well as the "Classic 39" and TV specials. All "Honeymooners" specials as well as specials that celebrated Jackie Gleason in which "Honeymooners" clips and sketches aired are in the "Specials" link. A new website maintained by the Gleason estate is now up & fully running at http://www.jackiegleason.com/moreless
  • 7
    The Donna Reed Show

    The Donna Reed Show

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    The Donna Reed Show premiered on September 24, 1958, on ABC. The show revolves around housewife, Donna Stone, and her family--husband Alex who is a pediatrician, 14 year-old Mary, and 11 year-old Jeff. The Stone family reside in the midwestern town of Hilldale. Donna was the perfect American housewife and mother. She was always neatly-groomed, lovely, good-natured, thoughtful, and capable. Alex was handsome, well-respected in his profession, usually thoughtful and sometimes ill-tempered. Mary was a typical teenage girl of the time, pretty, popular, and prone to bouts of insecurity now and then. Jeff was the average boy, rambunctious, bright, preferred sports to studies, and a total burden to his sister. The episodes involved the usual family problems and adventures, with Donna usually saving the day in her quiet, capable way. In addition, Alex's career as a pediatrician figured prominently in many episodes, and the president of the AMA had a cameo in one episode, "Quads of Trouble" in season 7 . The show won many awards from various civic, educational, and medical groups due to it's wholesome nature and it's handling of topics like adoption, prescription drug abuse, home safety. In 1963, Shelley Fabares, who played Mary, left the show to pursue a movie career and thus Mary went away to college having up to that point been a student at the local college. To fill the void, Paul Petersen's real-life little sister, Patty Petersen, joined the cast as Trisha, a little girl adopted by the Stones. Also in 1963, Ann McCrea and Bob Crane joined the cast as the Stones next-door neighbors, Midge and Dave Kelsey. Bob Crane remained with the show till 1965 and Ann till 1966. Both Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen had short but successful recording careers during the run of the show. In January, 1962, Paul sang "She Can't Find Her Keys" in the episode, "For Angie With Love", and "My Dad" in the episode, "My Dad" from October, 1962. February, 1962, Shelley sang "Johnny Angel" in the episode, "Donna's Prima Donna", and "Big Star" in the episode, "Big Star" from November, 1962. The Donna Reed Show was on the air for 8 seasons on ABC. From September, 1958-September, 1959, it aired on Wednesdays at 9pm. Then from October, 1959-January, 1966, it aired on Thursdays at 8pm. And finally, from January, 1966-Spetember, 1966, it aired on Saturdays at 8pm. Donna Reed's husband, Tony Owen, was executive producer of the show, and the show was a "Todon Production", with "Todon" being a combination of the first syllables of their first names--"To" for Tony and "don" for Donna.moreless
  • 8
    Maverick

    Maverick

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    Maverick told the story of the Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart, card sharps who lived during the Old West era. The show was originally a straightforward adventure tale, but it evolved when the writers began adding comedy to the scripts. Bret quickly became the television western's first quasi-mercenary, a character who would help the forces of justice but usually only if he stood to profit from doing so. When he resorted to gunfire, he wasn't the West's finest marksman. In fact, he was much more likely to outsmart his opponent or slip out the back door once trouble began. The writers also added a foil for Bret - his brother Bart. Bart was more conservative than the devilish Bret, but just as unlikely to join any fight that could be avoided. The two characters began alternating as leads on the show as they journeyed through small towns with odd names like Oblivion and Apocalypse. Along the way, they associated with fellow card sharps like Dandy Jim Buckley and Gentleman Jack Darby. There was also Samantha Crawford, a lovely female rogue who loved to challenge the Maverick brothers to see who could out-con the other.

    All these elements helped make Maverick a television western that stood apart from the crowd. Audiences responded to the mix of traditional Western adventure and good-natured humor, making the show an instant hit. Bret Maverick, in particular, became a hero for many armchair cowboys. As a result, the writers began to play up the comedy elements even more, expanding the storylines to satirize other prime time programming. Maverick lampooned everything from Gunsmoke to Dragnet. The show would also use actors known for other roles, like Edd "Kookie" Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip, for cameo roles designed to make viewers' heads turn.

    Maverick continued to enjoy solid ratings through the end of the 1950's, but hit a snag in 1960 when James Garner left the program over a contract dispute. To replace him, the producers introduced a new Maverick cousin, Beau. Beau had been sent to London for disgracing the family name during the Civil War (by winning a medal). Beau would be played by Roger Moore, who would later move on to greater fame as James Bond. The show also briefly added another brother, Brent, played by Robert Colbert, before finally ending its run in the summer of 1962. Since then, Maverick has continued to be a popular member of the cult television pantheon. Its enduring status as a beloved show led to two short-lived follow-up series, Young Maverick and Bret Maverick. There was also a 1994 movie version of Maverick which featured James Garner alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. The follow-ups proved that the magical Maverick mixture of laughter and tumbleweeds was an enduring, age defying source of great family entertainment.

    Aired Sunday nights at 7:30pm on ABC. The final season aired Sunday nights at 6:30pmmoreless
  • 9
    Tom and Jerry

    Tom and Jerry

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    CBS (ended 1980)
    Tom and Jerry was originally the very first, and earliest of the Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. It went through many phases and took place from anywhere from inside a house, to anywhere in outer space. The show was of course, about a cat and a mouse, and several other characters. The two never really talked, even though they do sing, yell, gasp, laugh, count, or say "Aha!!"; and that several other characters spoke more often. They would later end up in several TV series, and also in a few movies, however many would say that they didn't like the way the movies turned out. All of the episodes were distributed by MGM. Here's more info about the show in general: Pilot Episodes: The Pilot Episode was called "Puss Gets The Boot" and was also the first one with Mammy in it. Tom looked very different and was called Jasper. It was produced by Harman-Ising Productions. Fred Quimby: Fred Quimby was the Producer of Tom & Jerry for many years. He is also the Producer of Tex Avery's Cartoons. Tom's fur would eventually become blue. CinemaScope: These cartoons had more people in them. There were narrators, and many conversations between the adults. Lewis Marshall became an Animation Director, and Hanna-Barbera were the Producers. Rembrandt: Only seeing the older Tom & Jerry cartoons, and not having enough information on the show, Ted Pierce, Gene Deich, and William L. Snyder and the rest of the crew had trouble in producing their episodes of Tom & Jerry. Sib Tower 12 Incorporated: One of the last producers of Tom & Jerry, this version has the famous opening with the yellow background and the red letters (except for the 5 letters O and J) where Tom hisses and Jerry waves. The producer was Chuck Jones, and the cartoons look ahead of their time. There were several new characters, including a yellow bulldog, and Tom's Girlfriend, The Shark, Jerry's Dog, and several robots where Tom was a security operator at a cheese mine. Other people that worked on the show were Les Goldman, Maurice Noble, Michael Maltese, Tom Ray, Earl Jonas, Lewis Marshall, Eugene Poddany, Bill Lava, Dean Elliott, Carl Brandt, Mel Blanc, June Foray, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, Don Foster, and Walter Bien. They would later do several Dr. Seuss cartoons along with Depatie-Freeling Entertainment, the Cricket seties, Duck Dodgers, and many other Award Winning shows. Filmation: Many years later, Filmation attempted to produce Tom & Jerry. It was a TV show called The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show. It seemed to look like all the Tom & Jerry cartoons in the 1950s and 1960s. They also aired and produced some other MGM cartoons, like the ones that are directed by Tex Avery. The episodes of The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show are mentioned here. TV: The New Tom and Jerry Show and The Tom and Jerry Kids Show: HB's TV versions. Neither lasted long, but several people still remember Them. They weren't that violent either. They were about the characters trying to solve everyday problems. Tom & Jerry Kids had other charachers as kids that were also produced by Fred Quimby, Including Tex Avery's Cartoon Characters. Now: Tom & Jerry was recently produced by AOL Time Warner and Turner Home Entertainment. They aren't the best cartoons. Tom and Jerry is currently airing on Cartoon Network! Check your local listings! Every episode of Tom & Jerry can be seen on Cartoon Network and Boomerang for one hour, and also The Sib Tower 12 Inc Cartoons can be seen with The Chuck Jones Show.moreless
  • 10
    The Ed Sullivan Show

    The Ed Sullivan Show

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    This long-running variety series premiered on June 20, 1948 with the title Toast of the Town. (The Toast of the Town link covers the first 8 seasons of Ed Sullivan.)

    The series was re-titled The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955 (the beginning of the 9th season). Although the name had changed, it remained the same variety show with "something for everyone." There continued to be a diverse guest line-up which included singers, musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, circus acts, plate spinners and acrobats.

    But now there was now a new type of guest: the rock 'n' roll performer. While Ed booked a few rock 'n' roll acts on "Toast of the Town," these performers became even more prominent on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

    One of the most famous rock 'n' roll acts was, of course, Elvis Presley. Ed had at first scoffed at the idea of booking Elvis, who had already appeared on "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show" amid much controversy. But as Elvis' popularity grew, Ed relented and booked him for three appearances.

    Then there were the famous Beatles appearances. Legend has it that Ed booked the Beatles without hearing even a note of their music. While visiting England, Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow Airport on October 31, 1963 when the Beatles' plane arrived. The British press and hundreds of fans were there to greet them. Upon seeing all the frenzy, Ed signed the band to appear on his show. Beatlemania was already in full swing when the Beatles arrived at New York's JFK airport on February 7, 1964. On February 9, the Beatles made their "Ed Sullivan" debut. The Beatles' three 1964 Sullivan appearances were among the highest rated TV programs of the 1960's.

    In 1967, Ed's NYC studio, Studio 50, was officially re-titled "The Ed Sullivan Theater." The ratings of The Ed Sullivan Show began to drop in 1968. CBS cancelled the series in 1971. The final new show aired on March 28, 1971 which was followed by several weeks of reruns. The series' network run ended on June 6, 1971 (which was a repeat of the February 7, 1971 show). At the time of the cancellation, CBS did not give The Ed Sullivan Show the sendoff that it deserved. Instead of ending with a tribute show focusing on all the great moments of the past 23 years, the show quietly went off the air. But in the 33 years since the series was cancelled, CBS has aired numerous tribute shows giving the series the recognition it deserves.

    Syndicated, cable TV and PBS repeats:

    In 1980, a "Best of Sullivan" series hosted by John Byner appeared in syndication. Each episode was an edited 30-minute version of the original 1-hour shows. This version has not been broadcast since the 1980's.

    Around 1992, a new 30-minute "Ed Sullivan" series was syndicated. These were edited versions of the original shows (but often clips from other episodes were added). This version later appeared on the TV Land cable network (1996-1998).

    From 2001 through 2004, PBS stations across the U.S. aired edited versions of The Ed Sullivan Show (usually airing two 30-minute programs back-to-back). These were produced by WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh. --The first PBS season (2001-02) consisted of the 1990s shows that were edited for commercial TV. To fill in the commercial breaks, WQED added new intros by Shirley Jones. --For the 2002-03 PBS season, WQED publicized a new package of 76 Sullivan shows. (These do not have Shirley Jones.) Ten of these shows have not been seen since their original broadcasts. The other 66 were previously shown in the 1990s but were slightly re-edited with a few "missing" performances restored. This group of Sullivan shows continued into the 2003-04 season.

    A different series, titled "Ed Sullivan's Rock 'N' Roll Classics," first appeared in the 1990's on VH1 (in the US). This version features rock and pop music clips taken from various Ed Sullivan episodes. This series is currently available on VHS and DVD.

    For information about The Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town, contact: SOFA Entertainment 9121 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069 Fax: 310-276-0242 greg.vines@sofaent.com www.sofaentertainment.com Sofa Home Entertainment SOFA Entertainment owns the right to every Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town.

    And thanks to Historic Films for their on-line database. Their website has been very helpful in verifing guest lists and other information.moreless
  • 11
    The Three Stooges Show

    The Three Stooges Show

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    AMC (ended 1959)
    The Three Stooges are Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and at various times, Shemp Howard, Curly Howard, Joe Besser, or Curly-Joe DeRita. They are three good-hearted fools who have a knack for screwing up even the simplest task. A typical episode of The Three Stooges Show includes Moe slapping Larry, several eye pokes, head conks, and the ever possible pie fight. Destruction seems to follow the Stooges around!moreless
  • 12
    The Jack Benny Program

    The Jack Benny Program

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    CBS (ended 1965)
    Jack Benny made his television debut after a long career in vaudeville, radio and film. During his radio series he cultivated the traits that his television character would have as well. Jack's on-air persona was of a vain, stingy character who always claimed to be age 39. Jack's radio show aired on NBC & CBS from 1932-1955, overlapping the TV show.

    Joining him from his radio cast were Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, as Jack's wise-cracking valet; Dennis Day, the naive, somewhat dense tenor who sang on the show; and Don Wilson the announcer.

    Seen on a more irregular basis was Mary Livingstone, Jack's real-life wife. On the show Mary did not play Benny's spouse (Jack's character always remained single) but her role was never defined. In Mary's first appearances she played a fan of Jack's; later she portrayed Jack's secretary. Mary, who suffered from stage fright, made few television appearances before retiring from show business in 1959.

    Also appearing were: - Frank Nelson (the man who always harassed Jack, greeting him with an obnoxious "YEEESSSS"), - Artie Auerbach (who played Mr. Kitzel), - Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny, who often played Professor LeBlanc, Jack's violin teacher as well as many other roles).

    Jack Benny moved into television slowly: - In his first season (1950-1951), he only performed 4 shows. - By the 1951-1952 season, Jack was ready to do 1 show approximately every 6 weeks. - In the third season (1952-1953), the show was broadcast every 4 weeks. - During the 1953-1954 season, The Jack Benny Program aired every 3 weeks. - From 1954-1960, the Benny programs aired every other week, rotating with such shows as Private Secretary and Bachelor Father. - Beginning in the 1960-1961 season, The Jack Benny Program began airing every week.

    It is also worth noting that the show moved from CBS to NBC prior to the 1964-65 season.moreless
  • 13
    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Welcome to The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet guide at TV.com. The real-life Nelson family - Ozzie, his wife Harriet and their sons David and Ricky - played themselves in this long-running sitcom, where Ricky got his start as a teen idol. When the Nelson boys grew up and married their sweethearts, Kris and June, their real-life wives played their TV wives. The series began as a radio program in 1944. At that time David and Ricky were played by actors. It wasn't until 1949, when radio personality Bing Crosby's sons began to play themselves on Bing's show that the real David and Ricky decided to join the Nelson family radio show. The "adventures" the family experienced every week involved very little conflict or friction. Problems and misunderstandings were solved quickly and with a shared laugh over the silliness of it all.moreless
  • 14
    Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best

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    CBS (ended 1960)
    Father Knows Best was the classic wholesome family situation comedy. It was set in the typical Midwestern community of Springfield, where Jim Anderson was an agent for the General Insurance Company. Every evening he would come home from work, take off his sport jacket, put on his comfortable sweater, and deal with the everyday problems of a growing family. In contrast to most other family comedies of the period, in which one of the other parents was a blundering idiot, both Jim and his wife Margaret were portrayed as thoughtful, responsible adults. When a family crisis arose, Jim would clam the waters with a warm smile and some sensible advice. When Father Knows Best went on television in 1954, the three children were aged 14 [Bud], and 9 [Kathy]. As the seasons passed two of them graduated from High School, first Betty [1956] and then Bud [1959]. Neither left home, howevery, both electing to go to Springfield's own State College. The Andersons were truly an idealized family, the sort that viewers could relate to and wish to emulate. The children went through the normal problems of growing up, included those concerning school, friends, and members of the opposite sex. They didn't always agree with their parents, but the bickering was miminal, and everything seemed to work out by the end of the half-hour. Father Knows Best began as an NBC radio series in 1948, with Robert Young in the starting role. He was the only member of the radio cast that made the transition to TV in 1954. The TV series was not partculiarly successful at first and CBS cancelled it in March 1955. A flood of viewer protests demanding that the program be reinstated and moved to an earlier time slot so that the whole family could watch it, prompted NBC to pick it up for the following season with an 8:30 p.m. started time. Father Knows Best prospered for the next five years.moreless
  • 15
    The Bullwinkle Show

    The Bullwinkle Show

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    (ended 1963)
    The Bullwinkle Show is a funny animated cartoon about a dimwitted moose (Bullwinkle) and his spunky flying squrriel friend (Rocky) getting in and out of adventures and foiling the plans of their archenemies (Boris and Natasha). Rocky is the smarter of the two. He likes to fly in the air and cook salami soufflé. Bullwinkle isn't the brightest star in the sky, he likes to hang out with his buddy Rocky. Boris is the short bad guy with the black suit and is the one with the "brains." Natasha is a tall skiny dark haired lady that assists in Boris's evil scheme. Both are sent to do evil plots by their boss, Fearless Leader. First airing on ABC in 1959 with Rocky and Bullwinkle, the show was called "Rocky and his Friends". At that time, the show was in black and white. Later in 1961, the show moved to NBC with Bullwinkle's popularity, the show was renamed "The Bullwinkle Show". Then, the show began to run in color. The show would always air with a Bullwinkle segment, the "Fractured Fairy Tales" then "Mr. Know-it-All", "Peabody's Inprobabale History" Another Bullwinkle segment and finally "Bullwinkle's Corner". "Hello poetry lovers" One of segments on the Bullwinkle Show...Bullwinkle's Corner Bullwinkle always tries to recite a famous poem, but stuff always happens: Boris wrecks the poem, Rocky doesn't do his part right, or it's just plain Bullwinkle's fault! Rocky and Bullwinkle have been on TV for more than 40 years throughout various syndication. The show started in black and white called Rocky and His Friends, then went to color called The Bullwinkle Show. TV-G Characters Rocket J. "Rocky" Squirrel One of the main stars of the show. Rocky is just an all-american flying squrriel who wears a blue aviator's helmets. Bullwinkle J. Moose The Main Moose. Bullwinkle is a dimwitted moose who always goes anywhere without little buddy (Rocky). He and Rocky live in a little town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. Narrator The guy who lets ya' know what's going on. When narrating, he uses awful puns or confused words that makes you wanna laugh or wanna make Rocky, Bullwinkle, and everyone else get sore. Boris Badenov A Pottsyvainaian spy who is always wanting to "kill moose and squirrel" with his parter, Natasha. Natasha Fatale Boris's partner in crime. Fearless Leader Boris and Natasha's boss and the one who comes up with the plans to defeat Rocky and Bullwinkle. Mr. Big A midget villain who wanted Bullwinkle's upsidasium. Then was sent to the moon, where he made metal munching mice to destroy American TV. He appears in "Upsidasium" and "Metal-Munching Mice", Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz One of Rocky and Bullwinkle's friends. His fullname is Wrongway Peachfuzz and no wonder because he does everything the wrong way. Gidney and Cloyd Moonman The moonmen duo and Rocky and Bullwinkle's friends. Gidney is the one with the moustache and Cloyd is the one with the scrootch-gun. They appeared in "Jet Fuel Formula" and "Metal-Munching Mice" Chaunzy and Edgar Two old timers that are frequently seen in the show. Usually you see them saying "Well there's something you don't see everyday Chauntzy" "What's that Edgar?" Uncle Dewlap Bullwinkle's dead uncle who was twice removed, once for vagrancy, and the other for loitering. Fairy She introduced Fratured Fairy Tales and is always getting squished by the fairy tale book. Edward Everett Horton The guy who let's you know what's going on in Fractured Fairy Tales. Mr. Peabody A Genius dog who can go back in time with his "WAYBAC" machine. SHERMAN was a orphen boy that Mr. Peabody adopted. Other Minor Characters Dudley Do-Right A mixed-up Canadian mounty who is "always there to save the day". He appears in Upsidasium, Buried Treasure and The Last Angry Moose. Nell Fenwick> Dudley's vision of lovelyness. Nell is the daughter of Ispector Fenwick. She appears in Upsidasium, Buried Treasure and The Last Angry Moose. Inspector Nathaniel Fenwick The Inspector of the R.C.M.P. (royal canadian mounted police) and Dudley's role model. He appears in Upsidasium, Buried Treasure and The Last Angry Moose. Horse Dudley's horse that Nell love. He appears in Upsidasium, Buried Treasure and The Last Angry Moose. Snidley K. Whiplash Dudley's archenemy and Nell's secret admirer. He appears in Upsidasium, Buried Treasure and The Last Angry Moose. Aesop An ancient Greek fableteller and alway's had a moral. He appears in Upsidasium, Metal-Munching Mice, Greenpernt Oogle, Rue Britannia, Buried Treasure, The Last Angry Moose, and Wailing Whale. Junior Aesops's son. He appears in Upsidasium, Metal-Munching Mice, Greenpernt Oogle, Rue Britannia, Buried Treasure, The Last Angry Moose, and Wailing Whale. History Rocky and Bullwinkle was originally to be part of the "Frostbite-Falls Revue." It was about a group of forest animals running a TV station. The group included Rocket J. Squirrel, Oski Bear, Canadian Moose (Bullwinkle), Sylvester Fox, Blackstone Crow, and Floral Fauna. The show was created by Jay Ward's former partner Alex Anderson, but it never sold. Airing format From seasons 1-2 were formated as one Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon, then a Fractured Fairy Tale (or Aesop and Son), Mr. Know-it-All, then Peabody (or Dudley Do-Right), another Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon, and finally Bullwinkle's Corner. Season 1 and 2was in black and white, although, some syndicated stations play the colorized season 1 episodes, but NO ONE plays the black and white season 2 episodes. From season 3-5 were formated as one Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon, Mr. Know-it-All, then a Fractured Fairy Tale, another Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon, and finally Bullwinkle's Corner, and one last B&R cartoon. Marathons of the Bullwinkle Show Rocky and Bullwinkle's You call this a marathon? Marathon This marathon was aired on July 2000 on Cartoon Network in response to the movie debut June 29, 2000. BOOMERANG Rocky and Bullwinkle Marathons In September 2003, BOOMERANG had 24 hr. R&B marathons every Friday starting a 8 AM. Original Air times But first, a little brief show info... ABC Years 1959-1961 at 6:30 PM Sundays, and Thursdays, 1964-1974 at 6:30 PM ?. NBC Years 1961-1964 at 6:3O PM Sundays FOX43 Years 2000-2001 at 6:30 AM Monday-Friday NICKELODEON Years 1990-199? at ?:?? ?? ?-? CARTOON NETWORK Years 1996-2001 at 11:00 pm Saturday-Sunday. BOOMERANG Years ?-2002 at 4:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 8:00 PM/2003-present at 7:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 11:00 PM. Current Line Up: BOOMERANG has Bullwinkle on at 7:00AM, 3:00PM, and 11:00PM. See "Boomerang" for complete up-to-date line-up.moreless
  • 16
    Dennis the Menace

    Dennis the Menace

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    This is the 1959 CBS live-action situation comedy based on the comic strip by Hank Ketcham. Dennis is portrayed as the helpful menace that always seemed to cause chaos. Dennis Mitchell lived at 627 Elm Street with his parents, Henry and Alice. Next door was his best friend, Mr. Wilson (though the feeling was, certainly, not mutual). Dennis always was around to help Mr. Wilson whether he wanted the help or not. The allure of the series was to see how Dennis would unintentionally mess things up for Mr. Wilson. The series lasted four seasons, but, perhaps, could have lasted longer. Joseph Kearns, the actor who portrayed Mr. George Wilson, died during the show's third season. This left a huge void that even veteran actor Gale Gordon (Mr. John Wilson) couldn't fill. He was introduced toward the end of the third season, and the series was cancelled the following year. Main Title Theme Song "Dennis the Menace" by Irving Friedman CBS Broadcast History October 4, 1959 - September 22, 1963 ---- Sundays ---- 7:30 - 8:00 P.M. Nielsen Ratings - Top 30 Season 1 (1959-60) 16 (26.0) Season 2 (1960-61) 11 (26.1) Season 3 (1961-62) 17 (23.8) Season 4 (1962-63) Not In Top 30 First Telecast: October 4, 1959 Last Telecast: July 7, 1963 Episodes: 146 black-and-white episodesmoreless
  • 17
    The Yogi Bear Show

    The Yogi Bear Show

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    (ended 1988)
    Yogi & Boo Boo are two bears who live in Jellystone Park. Yogi is always getting into trouble. He steals picnic baskets, tries to escape from the park, and other things. Ranger Smith always tries to stop him, and sometimes succeeds. Boo Boo, the level headed one, tries to steer Yogi in the right direction, but Yogi never listens. So, Boo Boo unwittingly helps him.

    Yogi Bear was originally part of "The Huckleberry Hound Show". In 1961, Yogi got his own show. In 1988, the show was called "The New Yogi Bear Show". And this show is one of the Hanna-Barbera's greatest hits.

    Nowadays you can watch The Yogi Bear Show on Boomerang (the Cartoon Network's co-brother channel which features classical cartoons [great part of them were produced by Hanna-Barbera]. Yogi Bear also had a crossover with Huckleberry Hound! Yogi Bear was in Huckleberry Hound's universe, and Huckleberry Hound was in Yogi Bear's universe!moreless
  • 18
    The Trouble With Father

    The Trouble With Father

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    ABC (ended 1955)
    Early television was filled with bumbling fathers who were not the smartest member of the household. One of the earliest examples of this time-honored premise was Stu Erwin, head of the family, in "Trouble With Father".
    One of TV's first filmed sitcoms revolved around the Erwins who lived in an unnamed American town. Stu was a high school principal who, though not stupid, was something of a dullard who found himself in uncomfortable situations with regularity. June (Stu's real-life spouse) was his patient wife who busied herself by managing the household and being involved in numerous "ladies groups". Their oldest daughter was Joyce, a high school student, that was boy-crazy. Youngest daughter Jackie was a tomboy with a smart mouth who delivered most of the actual comedy lines. "Trouble With Father" is the prototype of the "perfect family" sitcom that one thinks of as representing the 1950s. Without the warmth of a "Father Knows Best" or "Leave it to Beaver", this series comes across today as heavy-handed and naive in it's depiction of life, social norms,and conformity: -There are no Eddie Haskells or Walter Dentons at Stu's school; all of the students at Hamilton High are earnest to the extreme. -Joyce's desire is only to get married once she decides on the boy. Her desire to wear a strapless gown is considered risque. -Stu regularly gives those types of long-winded speeches that "Green Acres" later made fun of by having "Yankee Doodle" play in the background. He'd pontificate with the utmost seriousness on most anything, from how studying Latin in school is crucial in life to freedom of the press to the superiority of men. The one "fly in the ointment" was young Jackie who said what was on her mind and delivered the zingers no one else would dare say. The series' recurring characters included handyman Willie, a rare Black character for the time, who was often employed in one of Stu's schemes. Though quite toned down, Willie was still in the tradition of the offensive Black servant stereotype: slow-moving, bugged-out eyes, and mumbling. Neighbors Harry and Adele Johnson were regularly seen friends/enemies of Stu and June. George Selkirk was a bossy school official who usually caused headaches for Stu. Actor Martin Milner played two roles in the series. Early on, he was Drexel Potter, a frequent boyfriend of Joyce. In the final season, he played Jimmy Clark, Joyce's new husband. "Trouble With Father" underwent several title changes during its run, including "Life With the Erwins", "The Stu Erwin Show" and finally "The New Stu Erwin Show". Airing on the then-struggling ABC network, the series aired new episodes in a bizarre fashion designed to get maximum usage out of the reruns. Season One consisted of 52 all-new episodes. Season Two (10/1951-4/1952) aired 26 new shows followed by 26 weeks of repeats. Beginning in the fall of 1952, every third episode was a rerun from previous seasons. For a full 65 weeks beginning in July 1953, ABC showed nothing BUT reruns. The final season was a traditional 26 episodes of new programs. It's during this last season that the series finally acquired a laugh track.moreless
  • 19
    My Friend Irma

    My Friend Irma

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    CBS (ended 1954)
    coming soon
  • 20
    Disneyland

    Disneyland

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    ABC (ended 1990)
    Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. Historically, the show is significant for two reasons. First, with thirty-four seasons, it is the longest-running prime time network series in history (not counting news programs; if one were to count news programs, 60 Minutes would take that title). Second, it was the first original television production by a major Hollywood studio. Other studios resented television for fear that it would keep people from going out to the movies. Thus, they refused to produce television programs, and they refused to let networks or stations use any of their more recent or better-known material. Walt Disney was the first Hollywood producer to do so. Disneyland was a mixture of cartoons, live-action adventures, documentaries, and nature stories. Some of these were made expressly for television, but others were former theatrical releases. Many of the early programs were designed to promote upcoming theatrical releases. One particular early success of the Disneyland series was the Davy Crockett trilogy. This was a phenomenal success in every aspect; the merchandising bonanza that followed sold $300 million worth of Crockett memorabilia. Thus, ABC wanted more adventure stories along the lines of Davy Crockett. Disney provided them, but none were nearly as successful. Along the way, in 1958, it was retitled Walt Disney Presents. Eventually the show became more reliant on original material, though pre-existing material was used at times. In 1961, his contract with ABC expired. He moved his show to NBC where he could broadcast it in color (ABC would not have the capability for color broacasting until 1962). It was rechristened Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, with an original theme song by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (who went on to write the song scores to such well-known Disney films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Bedknobs and Broomsticks). It premiered on NBC on Sunday, September 24, 1961. On NBC, he was able to re-air many of the ABC shows in color, as they had been filmed that way as insurance for possible future airings once color broadcasting, or "colorcasting," took hold. In September of 1966, doctors told Walt Disney, a lifetime chain-smoker, that he had lung cancer. Though the cancerous lung was removed, doctors told him that the cancer had been detected too late, and he died on Thursday, December 15, 1966. Knowing full well that no one could replace him as a host, Walt Disney Productions dropped the hosted introduction segments after the season's end. Luckily, Walt had filmed that all of that season's host segments before it was too late. The show changed its name to The Wonderful World of Disney on September 14, 1969, and dropped the Sherman Brothers theme song in favor of various alternating medleys of well-known songs from Disney movies and parks. The trusted Disney name continued to insure high ratings for the next few years. As popular tastes changed dramatically during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the public seemed to have largely begun to turn away from anything Disney (except theme parks and merchandise), seeing the name as symptomatic of a square, uptight, and unhip mindset that young people were coming to reject. The studio itself suffered from the lack of hit movies and accusations of incompetent management at the time. The ratings of the anthology series, however, remained reasonably stable, enough so that NBC renewed Disney's contract through 1978. In the fall of 1975, the show began a ratings decline when it was moved back to 7 PM from 7:30 PM. Disney's ratings fell from the Top 30 and continued to fall every year afterwards. The following year went face to with CBS's 60 Minutes. Though it had begun in 1968 and was scheduled on Tuesday, the CBS newsmagazine had been scheduled on Sunday evenings since the 1971-1972 season, and had been held back until after football season due to the risk of pre-emptions; it was this year that the show finally began its season in the fall. The show was easily able to beat ABC's Sunday night offerings but trailed the CBS newsmagazine by a wide margin. As the number of original installments decreased every year, so, too, did the ratings. In 1979, NBC (which, as a network, was also in the midst of a very public, humiliating decline) threatened Disney with cancellation unless the ratings improved. That fall, Walt Disney Productions rechristened the anthology series Disney's Wonderful World and commissioned a new, original theme song by John Debney and John Klawitter, new opening and closing credits, and a new announcer, Gary Owens (longtime announcer Dick Wesson committed suicide in January of that year). In a flashback to the original themed format, many episodes initially were divided into one of four categories: "Fantasy Night," "Adventure Night," "Comedy Night," and "Animation Night." Beneath the "happy new face" sung of in the new theme song, however, was more of the same: too little original material, airings of theatrical movies, and far too many reruns. In spite of this, the face-lift helped the ratings, so the show was renewed for the 1980-1981 season. But the next season saw only 10 installments that had not been aired on the anthology series before, and pre-emptions were far more frequent. Ratings for the show's 27th season did not improve, and in on December 30, 1980 NBC announced that it would not be renewing the series for next season. All was not lost that year, as the show was then immediately picked up by CBS. It was moved from its longtime Sunday night slot to Saturday night at 8 PM, as the network would not displace its highly-rated pride and joy 60 Minutes. Retitled Walt Disney, the show promised to present more original programming than it had in its final years on NBC. On September 26, 1981, after a huge advertising campaign by the network, the series premiered on CBS. Ratings improved against mediocre competition, and the show was renewed for another season (its 29th on network television). A few of these shows were pilots for series that were never picked up. The second CBS year saw an increase in the number of reruns (as opposed to last year's increase in new episodes), and the ratings dropped. Disney did, however, produce several midseason replacement series for CBS, but all of them failed. On Monday, April 18, 1983, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting launched The Disney Channel, a cable network created to showcase the large library of Disney cartoons, movies, and TV shows (the anthology series was rerun under the name Walt Disney Presents). Thus, in the eyes of CBS, the anthology series had outlived its purpose and was canceled. There were occasional network and syndicated specials, but all of Disney's television resources were concentrated on the cable service. When Michael Eisner became CEO of Walt Disney Productions in September of 1984, one of the first things he and his new regime did was express an interest in reviving Disney's presence on network TV. He had some success, as the Emmy-winning, Touchstone-produced sitcom The Golden Girls and the Saturday morning cartoon (a medium with which Walt Disney himself had refused to get involved due to fears of compromised quality) Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears both premiered on NBC on Saturday, September 14, 1985 and lasted several years. However, these particular shows were the exception, not the rule; a number of series that the new regime eventually launched failed (Wildside and The Ellen Burstyn Show, for instance). Also, of course, did the company plan to revive the anthology series. Now known as The Disney Sunday Movie, it made its much-hyped return to network television on February 2, 1986 after a hiatus of 2 years, 4 months, and eight days, replacing the dismally-rated Ripley's Believe it or Not. Just as Walt Disney had hosted the original until his death, Michael Eisner appeared in an introductory segment at the beginning of each episode. Nostalgia and ratings were high initially, but both eventually wore off. The show premiered at a two-hour length, but in the fall of 1987, once again being soundly beaten in the ratings regularly by 60 Minutes in its first hour, and by Murder, She Wrote in its second, it was shortened to one hour for its third and final season on ABC. NBC, which had not been able to launch a hit show in Disney's old time slot in the seven years since the show was axed by that network, picked up the show, which was renamed The Magical World of Disney. At first, a rotating "wheel" format was used, utilizing three different genres; every fourth week would be a special. This lasted until a few months into the following season. Eisner continued to host the show, but ratings on NBC were no better than they had been on ABC, and it limped through a two-year run here before the network pulled the plug for good. After 36 years (save for the September 1983-January 1986 hiatus), one of television's last remaining institutions from its golden age came to an unceremonious end. In 1995, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to buy out the ABC television network, which went through in January of 1996. In the fall of 1997, a family-oriented movie time slot was set aside on ABC and christened The Wonderful World of Disney. Ratings to date have been middling. Though the show is not currently repeated anywhere (The Disney Channel dropped it and all vintage Disney programming in September of 2002), episodes are slowly being released on DVD in the United States, and its legacy of quality television entertainment for all members of the family lives on in the hearts and minds of many. Here is a chronology of titles used for the series: Disneyland: October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958
    Walt Disney Presents: September 12, 1958-September 17, 1961
    Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: September 24, 1961-September 7, 1969
    The Wonderful World of Disney: September 14, 1969-September 2, 1979
    Disney's Wonderful World: September 9, 1979-September 13, 1981
    Walt Disney: September 26, 1981-September 24, 1983
    The Disney Sunday Movie: February 2, 1986-September 11, 1988
    The Magical World of Disney: October 9, 1988-September 9, 1990 The final name was used as an umbrella title for Disney movie airings on cable's The Disney Channel from September 23, 1990 to August 25, 1996. ABC Broadcast History (1954-1961):
    October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958: Wednesday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 12, 1958-September 25, 1959: Friday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 2, 1959-September 23, 1960: Friday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 25, 1960-September 17, 1961: Sunday, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM NBC Broadcast History (1961-1981):
    September 24, 1961-August 31, 1975: Sunday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 14, 1975-September 11, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    September 18, 1977-October 23, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 30, 1977-September 13, 1981: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM CBS Broadcast History (1981-1983):
    September 26, 1981-January 1, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    January 4, 1983-February 15, 1983: Tuesday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    July 9, 1983-September 24, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    (two irregularly scheduled airings on May 3, 1983 and May 21, 1983) ABC Broadcast History (1986-1988):
    February 2, 1986-September 6, 1987: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    September 13, 1987-September 11, 1988: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM NBC Broadcast History (1988-1990):
    October 9, 1988-July 2, 1989: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    July 9, 1989-July 23, 1989: Sunday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 6, 1989-February 25, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    March 4, 1990-April 15, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    April 22, 1990-May 6, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    May 27, 1990-July 22, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 5, 1990-September 9, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    First Telecast: October 27, 1954
    Last Telecast: September 9, 1990 Episodes: 751 (180 black and white episodes, 571 color episodes [as far as the format in which they were first broadcast]) (NOTE: many of these were originally theatrical releases, and a small number were specials aired at other times, but for purposes of their first airing on the anthology series they are counted as episodes)moreless
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