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    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
  • 2
    The Twilight Zone

    The Twilight Zone

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    CBS (ended 1964)
    The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic. They may be scary or just thought-provoking. Most episodes have unexpected endings and a moral lesson. But, no matter what, it's "a journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are that of the imagination." Rod Serling, creator and host of the series, won two Emmys for outstanding writing (1960 & '61), and the Golden Globe in 1962 for best TV director/producer. Reruns of the original Twilight Zone can be seen on the US Sci Fi channel. This is the Original 1959 series, not the CBS The Twilight Zone (1985) version nor the UPN The Twilight Zone (2002) version. CBS Programming History October 1959-September 1962 ..... Friday 10:00 January 1963-September 1963 ..... Thursday 9:00 September 1961-September 1964 ..... Friday 9:30 May 1965-September 1965 ..... Sunday 9:00 Note: Seasons 1-3 & 5 have a running time of 30 minutes. All of the episodes in Season 4 have a running time of one hour.moreless
  • 3
    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
  • 4
    Today Show

    Today Show

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    NBC
    On January 14 1952, The Today Show, a long running morning news program on NBC, went on the air. It aired at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Time) as a 2-hour news and information show. For many years it was a 2-hour program from 7:00 to 9:00 ET, until NBC expanded it to 3 hours (7-10 A.M. Eastern Time) on October 2, 2000. On September 10, 2007 a fourth hour was added to the show. Today was the first of its genre when it first signed on with host Dave Garroway. The show successfully blends national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's The Early Show, and the Canadian series, Canada AM. The show is filmed and produced at studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, New York, just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather or other events from outside. Today was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Later, he became president of the company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as chairman of the board for another year. The show is currently hosted by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and Ann Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, and Flyod Kalber. Popular former weathercaster Willard Scott still appears on the show daily doing the 100th birthday announcements he first became famous for in the 1980s.moreless
  • 5
    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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  • 6
    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
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    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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    CBS (ended 1962)
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a mystery and suspense anthology hosted by the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Each 30 minute episode included opening and closing vignettes featuring Hitchcock who would often explain some aspect of the day's show and would often offer subtle (or not so subtle) jabs at the shows sponsors. The series premiered on CBS on Sunday, October 2, 1955 in the 9:30-10:00 PM timeslot opposite ABC's The Original Amateur Hour and NBC's Alcoa-Goodyear Playhouse. In its sixth season the show moved to NBC and was shown on Tuesday 8:30-9:00 PM. On NBC it served as the lead in for two other anthology shows Thriller and The Dick Powell Show. Alfred Hitchcock Presents featured both original works produced directly for television and adaptations of existing source material. Some authors whose work was adapted for the series include: Alexander Woollcott, Ambrose Bierce, Cornell Woolrich, Frederic Brown, Henry Slesar, H.H. Munro (aka Saki), John Cheever, John Collier, John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, and Robert Bloch. The show also featured work by famous (or later famous) directors Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman. It also served as a proving ground for stars and future stars: Charles Bronson, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Peter Lorre, Robert Duvall, and Vera Miles. In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was expanded to one hour and was shown under the title the The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1985, the these shows experienced a revival under the title Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Spinoff: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Revivals: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985) Broadcast History CBS: October 1955-September 1960----Sunday----9:30 p.m.
    NBC: September 1960-June 1962----Tuesdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #6 in the 1956-1957 Season
    #12 in the 1957-1958 Season
    #24 in the 1958-1959 Season
    #25 in the 1959-1960 Season Emmy Awards and Nominations 1955 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Action or Adventure Series Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Best MC or Program Hose (Male or Female) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock, "The Case of Mr. Pelham" Best Director (Film Series) Winner: Edward W. Williams, "Breakdown" Best Editing of a Television Film 1956 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Series (Half-Hour or Less) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Best Male Personality (Continuing Performance) Winner: James P. Cavanagh, "Fog Closes In" Best Teleplay Writing (Half-Hour or Less) 1957 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Anthology Series Winner: Robert Stevens, "The Glass Eye" Best Direction (Half-Hour or Less) 1958 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock, "Lamb to the Slaughter" Best Direction of a Single Program of a Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) Nominated: Roald Dahl, "Lamb to the Slaughter" Best Writing of a Single Program of a Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) 1959 Nominated: John J. Lloyd Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction and Scenic Design Nominated: Edward W. Williams, "Man from the South" Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Television 1960 Nominated: Edward W. Williams, "Incident in a Small Jail" Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Television Other Awards or Nominations The Golden Globe Awards (Voted each year since 1944 by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association): 1957 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Television Program Look Magazine's Annual Television Awards (Voted initially by poll of TV executives, producers, directors, advertising executives and TV columnists, then, in 1955, via polls taken of TV critics and editors. The Award was Presented annually from 1950 to 1959 by the editors of Look magazine): 1955 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Best Director 1956 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (One-Half Hour) 1957 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (One-Half Hour) Television Champion Awards (Voted each year since 1949 by polls of the nation's TV critics taken by the publishers of Television Almanac. The awards ceased in 1972): 1955 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program 1956 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program 1960 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program First Telecast: October 2, 1955
    Last Telecast: June 26, 1962
    Unaired Episodes: 1 Episodes: 266 B&W Episodes
    (266 half-hour episodes, 1 three-part episode) moreless
  • 8
    Perry Mason

    Perry Mason

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    There are few actors so closely tied to a persona than Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. This long-running series was built upon Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff, that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations. It was the first mystery series to feature chalk or tape outlines to mark the spots where bodies were found. Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was always at Perry's side in the courtroom where hapless Hamilton Burger (William Tallman) was the Los Angeles District Attorney who never seemed to win. As to the myth that Perry Mason never lost, there were two episodes where it did occur... but you'll have to watch to find out. The show was revived in 1973-74, with other actors in the familiar roles (Monte Markham as Mason), and then again with the some of the original cast, in a string of feature length TV films from 1985 until Raymond Burr´s death in 1993.moreless
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    Rawhide

    Rawhide

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    Rawhide is the continuing saga of a group of Texans taking a 3000 head herd of cattle north to market.
  • 10
    Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke

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    CBS (ended 1975)

    Dodge City, known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the plains, is a typical frontier city of the late 1800s with typical problems ranging from rumored Indian raids to bank and stage robberies, cattle rustling, and family feuds. All of these must be dealt with within the law and that task falls to Matt Dillon, US Marshal (James Arness).

    Dillon is a man who prefers the use of logic over the use of the gun but the nature of the people passing through Dodge doesn't always leave him that choice. Aided by various assistants and deputies over the years (played by Dennis Weaver, Burt Reynolds, and Ken Curtis), he does his best to keep the lawless element out of his town and his territory. Matt often solves his crimes through keen observation and deduction, an innovative approach for the times.

    Crucial information about cases is often provided by his beautiful companion, Long Branch owner Kitty Russell(Amanda Blake), while they drink beer or whiskey in her establishment. Matt also often exchanges banter or bounces his theories off of the crusty town doctor, Galen Adams (Milburn Stone).moreless
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    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
  • 12
    Amos 'n' Andy

    Amos 'n' Andy

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    CBS (ended 1953)
    Alvin Childress and Tim Moore starred in what is considered by some to be the most offensive television program of all time. Despite its controversy, it was also one of first TV shows to have a predominantly black cast.
    "Amos 'n' Andy" began as a weekly series airing Thursday nights on CBS. Twenty-seven new episodes were broadcast through January 3, 1952. This was followed by 25 weeks of reruns. When new episodes returned on July 10, 1952, "Amos 'n' Andy" became a bi-weekly series. By June 11, 1953, the date of the final CBS broadcast, only 52 "Amos 'n' Andy" episodes had been aired. An additional 13 episodes premiered in Fall 1953 when the series became nationally syndicated. (In most cities, the syndicated run began with these 13 new episodes, followed by reruns of the 52 CBS shows.) In August 1954, filming began on "The Adventures of Kingfish," an "Amos 'n' Andy" spinoff slated to premiere January 4, 1955 on CBS. But according to an article in the January 1, 1955 issue of Billboard magazine, "Kingfish" was taken off the schedule before it could even make its debut. Later that month, the 13 "Kingfish" episodes premiered in first-run syndication as part of the "Amos 'n' Andy" series. With these final 13, there were now a total of 78 "Amos 'n' Andy" episodes.moreless
  • 13
    Candid Camera

    Candid Camera

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    ABC (ended 2004)
    Allen Funt got wise to the power of comedic humiliation in the Army. He was known to secretly tape record his fellow servicemen's complaints about the state of things and then broadcast the recordings on the Armed Forces Radio. Stunts like those led to his national radio show, called Candid Microphone, which debuted in 1948 and peppered radio waves time and again for thirty years. That radio show led to a TV show that after over 50 years continues on the PAX network, hosted by Peter Funt (Allen's son) and co-hosted by Dina Eastwood (wife of Clint Eastwood). -The first "reality" show. -The longest-running comedy show on TV. -The current version of the theme song (beginning in Nov. 1999) is sung by Little Richard. Broadcast History Armed Forces Radio / ABC-Radio - 1947 "Candid Microphone" ABC-TV - Aug. 1948, Sun. 8:00 – Oct. 1948, Wed. 8:30 – Nov. 1948, Fri. 8:00 NBC - May 1949, Sun. 7:30 (name changed to Candid Camera) July 1949, Thu. 9:00 CBS - Sept. 1949–Sept. 1950, Mon. 9:00 ABC - Aug. 1951 - May '52 NBC - June 1953, Tue. 9:30 – Aug. 1953, Wed. 10:00 CBS - 1959–1960 (a segment within The Garry Moore Show) CBS - Oct. 1960–Sept. 1967, Sun. 10:00 syndicated - 1974–'78 CBS - May 1990, Fri. 8:30 - Aug. '90 syndicated - 1991–'92 CBS - Feb. 1997, Fri. 8:30 – Jan. 2000, Sat. 8:30 – June 2000, Fri. 8:30 PAX - Jan. 2001, Sun. 7:00 (now 60 min.) June 2001, Wed. 8:00 – Jan. 2003, Sat. 8:00 – Oct. 2003, Sun. 7:00 – Jan. 2004, Sun. 6:00moreless
  • 14
    Guiding Light

    Guiding Light

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    CBS (ended 2009)
    The late soap journalist Christopher Schemering once wrote that soap operas are not just dramas; "they're little pockets of American history." So it's only fitting to consider that at one time, The Guiding Light,-the longest running program in broadcast history, spanning 71 years-- brought fifteen-minute bits of escapism to war-weary housewives, as their men trudged off to fight the indignities of WWII. It brought social awareness to a nation that began to think about the big picture beyond their picket fences and suburban streets. Soap opera is a truly dynamic genre that reflects life as it is lived, the quintessential American art form. Although berated and belittled, the soap opera has an illustrious lineage, with no less than the books of Charles Dickens as an inspiration. Created by the legendary, if not iron-fisted Irna Phillips, The Guiding Light began its life on January 25, 1937. Originally, the show focused on the Chicagoan suburb of Five Points, a bustling enclave of German-Jewish immigrants hoping to find their own piece of the American dream. Giving them the hope and inspiration they needed was a kindly minister named Reverend John Ruthledge (voiced by Arthur Peterson of Soap fame). The Reverend's sermons of hope and forgiveness made such an impression that a bestselling book was published of his most popular homilies. The Reverend's message could be summed up by his favorite mantra from Edwin Markum "There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone, all that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own." On the desk near his window, the minister placed an old lantern, a "guiding light" to those parishioners passing in the cold, hopeless night. In the 1940's the Reverend Ruthledge enrolled as a chaplain to do his part of the war effort. However, when the production of the show moved to the west coast, Peterson refused to join them, so Irna Phillips had the minister die when his plane was shot down overseas. His "friendship lamp" went too with the production move to the town of Selby Flats, California. Reverend Matthews took over for the late Rev. Ruthledge as the center of hope and inspiration. However, by the time that the show was slated to move to television, the religious undertones of the show were virtually gone and the focus was moved yet again to the family Bauer. * Guiding Light was cancelled on April 1, 2009 and the last episode aired on September 18, 2009.moreless
  • 15
    Meet the Press

    Meet the Press

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    NBC
    Meet the Press debuted on November 6, 1947, and has become the longest-running television show in the history of broadcasting. Watch as the current moderator interviews some of the most influential people in Washington.moreless
  • 16
    Have Gun - Will Travel

    Have Gun - Will Travel

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    Paladin was not your normal gunfighter. He was an educated and a traveled man. A West Point graduate, he served as a Union officer during the Civil War. After the war, he went west and became a high-priced 'gun for hire.' He was based at the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco and enjoyed the finer things in life. He dressed in fancy clothes, enjoyed fine wine, gourmet food, opera, expensive cigars and he could play the piano. He read newspapers from all over the West looking for situations in which he could help, for a fee. Sometimes Hey Boy, the Oriental porter who worked at the Carlton, would bring Paladin a letter or 'wire' asking for his help. Usually, within the first few minutes, he was dressed for 'business' and on the trail. When working, he dressed completely in black including a black hat with a band of silver conchos and a custom holster with a silver chess knight on it. He carried a custom made pistol which was perfectly balanced and had a rifled barrel. He preferred to settle problems without violence whenever possible, but if forced to fight, he excelled. A master marksman and a quick draw, he was a match for most any man. And for those 'difficult times' he kept a derringer hidden under his belt, which saved his life on many occasions. His rifle, which was rarely used, also had a silver chess knight on the stock. This leads us to believe it was as carefully made as the pistol he carried. Before resorting to violence, Paladin would put his rich education and experience to work to try to find an alternate solution. In spite of his profession, he had a deep respect for the law and would often turn on his employers if he found they were the guilty party.moreless
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    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
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    Face the Nation

    Face the Nation

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    CBS
    Face The Nation is a news interview program which airs every Sunday morning, live from the CBS studio in Washington D.C. It is dedicated to interviewing newsmakers on the latest issues. Guests include government leaders, politicians, and international figures in the news. CBS News correspondents engage the guests in a lively roundtable discussion focusing on current topics. The show started on November 7th, 1954, and was originally broadcast on both CBS Television and Radio Networks. After close to two decades, the program was taken off CBS radio.moreless
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    The Rifleman

    The Rifleman

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    In an unusual twist on the standard Western, widower Lucas McCain struggles to successfully homestead his ranch in North Fork, New Mexico while raising his son Mark. Unfortunately, the Marshall of North Fork has a difficult time handling the weekly "bad guys," and Lucas must repeatedly get out his Winchester Rifle to protect himself, his son, and his neighbors. The Residents of North Fork: Lucas McCain....................................Chuck Connors Mark McCain.......................................Johnny Crawford Marshal Micah Torrance...................Paul Fix Sweeney, the bartender....................Bill Quinn May Sweeney, the bartender's wife.Helen Beverly Charlie Willard, storekeeper............Russell Collins Hattie Denton (1958-1960)..............Hope Summers Miss Milly Scott (1960-1962)...........Joan Taylor Lou Mallory (1962-1963)..................Patricia Blair Eddie Holstead, The Hotel Clerk...John Harmon Nels Svenson, the blacksmith.......Joe Higgins Nels Svenson, the blacksmith.......John Dierkes Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Edgar Buchanan Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Jack Kruschner Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Ralph Moody Angus Evans, the gunsmith............Eddie Quinlan Ruth, a hotel waitress......................Amanda Ames John Hamilton, the banker..............Harlan Warde Miss Aggie Hamilton........................Sarah Selby Josh Moore, Hardware Store..........Charles Tannen Toomey, the undertaker...................Robert Foulk Freddy Toomey, undertaker's son..Robert Crawfordmoreless
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    As The World Turns

    As The World Turns

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    CBS (ended 2010)
    As the World Turns first premiered on April 2, 1956, and has been a mainstay on CBS daytime ever since. The show takes place in the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois, and revolves around the lives of it's inhabitants. Originally the central family was the Hughes', however today the stories mostly resolve around the enormous Snyder family. As the World Turns is produced by Proctor and Gamble, the same company that produces Guiding Light, the only show to have a longer on-air tenure than ATWT. This year, ATWT celebrated its 54th Anniversary of being on the air in April 2010, the show will end it's run on Sept 17th 2010.moreless
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