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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
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    CBS Evening News

    CBS Evening News

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    CBS
    The CBS Evening News is a TV institution, having some of the most well-known journalists in the world anchor it through its many decades on the air. The show was at it's peak when it was hosted by the iconic Walter Cronkite from 1962 to 1981. Dan Rather took over and was the anchor until 2006.

    The show is currently anchored by Katie Couric, who takes over from Bob Schieffer. The half hour show covers both international and domestic news.moreless
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    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
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    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

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    PBS
    Sesame Street is a widely recognized and perpetually daring experiment in educational children's programming. This show has taken popular-culture and turned it upside-down. The fast-paced advertisements that had parents of the new era worrying for their children were the basis for the original format of this show. The show has often satirized pop culture, and made itself easier for parents to watch along too. And thus, the positive impact this show has had on modern society is beyond another. No show is more recognized the world over by as many generations and walks of life. Shown in its original format or with changes to reflect a regional education focus, Sesame Street is now seen in over 140 countries. The show that Entertainment Weekly named the "20th Best Ever Show" has changed the education scene to focus on "entertainment." This has turned out to be a valuable theory that not only helps the medicinal learning go down easier, but it also increases the effectiveness of the information being taught. In an almost backwards sense, the show stays fresh by recycling programming ideas every three years, by which time a new group of kids is watching. Unlike most PBS Kids shows, which have an original run, then go into continuous repeats until getting dropped by PBS or sold to another network, Sesame Street has created many new episodes every season since its debut Nov. 10, 1969. American teachers now expect children to arrive on the first day of school knowing the basics about letters, numbers, and language. "Kindergarten now does what first grade used to do," creator Joan Ganz Cooney has said, "and I think that's directly due to Sesame Street." International versions have changed Sesame Street to be more relevant to their culture and environments. They adjust the unique American inner city, with a cast made up mainly of Muppets, African-Americans, Spaniards and Chinese to reflect their own lifestyles. For example, Canada's Sesame Park features a small suburban town inhabited by folks like an otter and a bear, a bush pilot, a disabled child in a wheel-chair and her cat and Russia's Ulitsa Sesame set in a Russian dvor (courtyard) has a 9-foot tall tree spirit who has his joyous and problem-solving Muppet friends. No show can help in tumultuous or troubled times like Sesame Street. For example: • The Israelis and the Palestinians have now merged their independent spin-offs, to help teach the fighting cultures to accept each other for who they are, not what they have done in the past. • The original American Sesame Street helped children deal with the incidents of 9-11 • On the week of October 4-8, 2004, Sesame Workshop actually dug up reruns of Sesame Street episodes from its 32nd season, in which a hurricane plundered the neighborhood. This move was to come to grips with those disabused by the four hurricanes that struck Florida in a six-week span the previous August and September. It also sent a message about the news' propensity for covering violent acts. • The current South African government has not taken much action on the matters of HIV and AIDS, so in 2003, the South African version of Sesame Street added in a 5-year-old girl monster who manages to go about daily life with ease, even though she intercepted HIV through a blood transfusion shortly after birth. This led to an American backlash, even though her exposure in the States has always been restricted to sesameworkshop.org. Undoubtedly, she is the hardest-edged Muppet since Jim Henson's ill-fated "Creatures from the Planet Gorch" on Saturday Night Live's first season. • No other puppet than a Muppet, namely Elmo, could be taken seriously when asking America's congressional Education Appropriations Subcommittee for more funding to school music programs, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play." (Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich's Congress chose instead to divert to Sesame Street production funds from other PBS series. Among the casualties was one of Sesame Street's godchildren, Ghostwriter.) •In the mid-70s, they introduced Linda Bove, a deaf actress playing a deaf librarian that lives a life equal to all the rest of the area's inhabitants. Please note that Sesame Street's air time varies between various PBS stations in America. In recent years, a few PBS stations have dropped the show (including WNYE in New York, whose last airing was in June 2003). sesame street even had a touring show, SESAME STREET LIVE,which has just recently celebrated 25 years of performing. Characters Cookie Monster Cookie Monster has always had a passion for cookies, gobbling them up whenever he can. However, in order to promote healthy eating habits, Cookie Monster recently learned that cookies are a "sometime" food. So now, Cookie Monster also eats fruits and vegetables in addition to his trademark snack. Elmo Elmo is a cute little red monster, who wants to know more about the world he is growing up in. Oscar the Grouch Oscar lives in a dustbin, sure its not the most hygienic of places, but Oscar isn't the most hygienic of creatures. He likes to cause mischief but also enjoys learning. Ernie and Bert Best friends and room-mates, both showing us how people get along with each other and how sometimes you may even fall-out with your best friend. The Count The Count, would teaches us to count, whether it be really difficult numbers or easy numbers, the Counts thing is maths and counting, and he sure is good at it. Big Bird A huge yellow bird, who's everyone's friend. No matter what species, color or race you are.moreless
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    General Hospital

    General Hospital

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    ABC
    General Hospital, the multi Emmy Award-Winning drama series hailed by critics as the 'The Greatest Soap Opera of All Time', will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in 2013. The tradition of passion, intrigue, and adventure takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles, set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves, and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. And, as always, love and danger continue to abound whether on the docks, in the ER, at brownstones, or trespassing on Quartermaine property with contemporary story lines and unforgettable characters. In the past several years, General Hospital has been praised by national organizations for elevating the public awareness of several important social issues. It has received three SHINE awards for its continued contribution to the awareness of sexual responsibility. The Ryan White Foundation presented its 1996 Ryan's Angels Award to "General Hospital" for the moving and thorough examination of HIV/AIDS through the characters of Robin, Stone, and the Nurses' Ball. The show was further honored by the American Red Cross for its HIV/AIDS-related storylines. Several other prestigious awards have been bestowed upon "General Hospital" for confronting sexual child abuse, organ donation, and other social issues as well. The program inspired Port Charles, the spin-off series that premiered in June 1997, and ended October 2003. In 2007 the 3rd spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift premiered which revolves around the interns and the doctors working the night shift at the hospital and ended October 2008. GH has had lots of movie and tv stars (and those in the making) over the years such as Demi Moore, Jack Wagner, Vanessa Marcil, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Martin, Rick Springfield, John Stamos, among others, as well as other soap opera stars. General Hospital is the longest-running dramatic serial on the ABC Network, and is the longest-running daytime drama produced on the West Coast. In May of 2000, General Hospital made Daytime Emmy history as the only Daytime drama to ever receive the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama series a record seven times, marking the show's fifth win in six years (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000). It had also garnered the Emmy Award as Outstanding Daytime Drama Series in 1980-81 and 1983-84. In the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of TV Guide, General Hospital was hailed as the "All-Time Best Daytime Soap." General Hospital was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. General Hospital currently airs Monday-Friday (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET; & 1:00-2:00 p.m., PT) on the ABC Television Network. GH also reruns current episodes at 10pm, 3am, and 10am-as well as a weekend marathon on SOAPnet, the 24 hour Soap Opera Network.moreless
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    Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

    Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

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    CBS (ended 1972)
    Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered on September 13, 1969. This cartoon introduced four kids and a dog named Scooby-Doo. These kids were Daphne Blake, Freddy Jones, Velma Dinkley, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, and their mascot. They traveled around in a green van known as "The Mystery Machine" and solved many scary mysteries along the way. In 1972, this show became The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which were hour-long episodes in which the gang teamed up with famous animated stars and celebrites to solve mysteries. This format aired until 1973. Scooby-Doo was so popular to Hanna-Barbara that it spawned many different cartoon series throughout the 1970's and the early 1980's. These shows were as follows: The Scooby-Doo Show, a revamped format of this show, Scooby and Scrappy-Doo, which introduced the character Scrappy-Doo, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, and the last incarnation, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, which featured the cast as kids. After more than a decade-long absence of original weekly shows, a new series, What's New Scooby-Doo?, began airing in September 2002. Theme Song Lyrics Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? We got some work to do now, Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? We need some help from you now. Come on, Scooby-Doo, I see you Pretending you've got a sliver, But you're not foolin' me, 'Cuz I can see The way you shake and shiver! You know we got a mystery to solve So Scooby-Doo, be ready for your act! (Scooby: Uh uh!) Don't hold back! And Scooby-Doo, if you come through You're gonna have yourself a Scooby Snack! That's a fact! Scooby-Dooby-Doo, here are you, You're ready and you're willing! If we can count on you, Scooby-Doo I know you'll catch that villian! Show Times Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! airs repeats every Monday-Thursday on Boomerang at 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, it also technically airs Tuesday-Friday early mornings at 1:00 AM. It also airs on Cartoon Network Saturday early mornings at 4:30 AM. Scooby-Doo Where Are You? released 9 movies currently in 1999 - present. Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island Scooby-Doo And The Witch's Ghost Scooby-Doo And The Alien Invaders Scooby-Doo And The Cyber Chase Scooby-Doo And The Monster Of Mexico Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster Scooby-Doo And The Legend Of The Vampire Aloha Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo in Where's Your Mummy? The show also lead to a current 10th series Shaggy And Scooby-Doo Get A Clue due to start this fall on CW. There were two live action Scooby-Doo Movies recently released in 2002 and 2004. Character Bios: Scooby "Scoobert" Doo: (Don Messick) Scooby-Doo is a great, "Great Dane". Though he's supposed to help the gang for sniffing out the clues, he's always the one running away from them. His very best friend is Shaggy! (Original name: Too Much) Freddy Jones: (Frank Welker) Freddy is the leader of the gang, he makes sure everything is going right! He usually pairs up with Daphne or Velma when looking for clues. (Original names: Geoff, Ronnie) Daphne Blake: (Heather North) Blinded by her beautiful looks, Daphne is also very ditzy at times. She is the one always finding the clues but not on purpose. She's also the one who gets kidnapped a lot and held for randsom. She should have her very own randsom note! (Original name: Kelly) Norville "Shaggy" Rogers: (Casey Kasem) Shaggy is a scaredy-cat just like Scooby. Only problem is neither one of Scooby or Shaggy is cats and they still got that nickname! Shaggy's best friend and dog is Scooby-Doo! (Original name: W.W.) Velma Dinkley: (Nicole Jaffe) Velma is the smartie of the bunch. She comes in handy when the gang doesnt know the name of something or needs help... Literally! (Original name: Linda) FAQ What is the investigating club that Scooby and the gang belong to? Mystery, Inc. What type of dog is Scooby-Doo? A Great Dane. What is Scooby-Doo's real name? Scoobert-Doo. How many classic Scooby-Doo episodes are there? 310 episodes comprising 230 half-hours.moreless
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    60 Minutes

    60 Minutes

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    CBS
    60 Minutes has been on the air since 1968, beginning on a Tuesday, but spending most of its time on Sundays, where it remains today. This popular news magazine provides both hard hitting investigations, interviews and features, along with people in the news and current events.

    60 Minutes has set unprecedented records in the Nielsen's ratings with a number 1 rating, five times, making it among the most successful t.v. programs in all of television history. This series has won more Emmy awards than any other news program and in 2003, Don Hewitt, the creator (back in 1968), was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy, along with the 60 Minute correspondents. For the 2009 season, correspondents include Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon, Scott Pelley, Morley Safer, Katie Couric, Byron Pitts, Lara Logan, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper, and Andy Rooney. Added to the 11 Peabody awards, this phenomenally long-lived series has collected 78 awards up to the 2005 season and remains among the viewers top choice for news magazine features.moreless
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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Welcome to the Coronation Street guide at TV.com. Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
  • 9
    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
  • 10
    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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  • 11
    Star Trek

    Star Trek

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    NBC (ended 1969)
    "Space...The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!"

    The series is set in the 23rd century where Earth has survived World War III then moved on to explore the stars. Humanity has allied with other alien races and formed the United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet serves as its exploratory and military branch. Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a crew of 430 men and women, contacting new life forms, conducting diplomat missions, and exploring the unknown.

    Star Trek premiered on NBC after executive producer and creator Gene Roddenberry produced not one but two pilots to convince them of the quality of his show. The series ran two years but never achieved good ratings despite building a small but solid fan following. A letter-writing campaign convinced NBC to run a third season, but Roddenberry left in protest and the network buried the show in a late Friday night time slot.

    After its three-year run Star Trek began running syndication where it was discovered by legion of new fans and became a phenomenon. This led to an animated series, six movies, and four spin-off television shows. Despite its short network run, Star Trek has become one of the most successful shows in television history.

    Aside from its three main stars, Star Trek featured a large cast of reoccurring guest stars that includes James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney. Other notable guest stars include Diana Muldaur, Gary Lockwood, Ricardo Montalban, Sally Kellerman, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, John Colicos, Roger C. Carmel, William Campbell, Ted Cassidy, Michael Ansara and Elisha Cook, Jr. Notable writers for the series include Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, George Clayton Johnson, Jerry Sohl, Jerome Bixby, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and D.C. Fontana.moreless
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    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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    The Brady Bunch

    The Brady Bunch

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    The Brady Bunch was first seen in September 1969, Friday nights on ABC. The series was created by Sherwood Schwartz the same person who had created Gilligan's Island, 5 years earlier. In this series, Michael Paul Brady marries Carol Ann Tyler Martin and they combine their families. Mike had three sons from a previous marriage and Carol had three daughters also from a previous marriage. Mike's previous wife had died and the fate of Carol's previous husband was never explained. However, creator Sherwood Schwartz, originally intended Carol to have been divorced, but ABC balked at that idea. So thus we have two parents (Mike and Carol),six kids (Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby & Cindy), one housekeeper (Alice), and the family dog (Tiger), all living under one roof. Thus setting the scene for one of the most popular family sitcoms of all-time. The first season revolved mainly around the family adjusting to living together. The following seasons then revolved mainly around the six kids growing up and going through puberty and childhood adolescents. Other notable characters included, Sam Franklin, who was Alice's steady boyfriend, appeared several times throughout the 5-year run. In the final season, the character of Oliver, Carol's nephew was introduced mainly to add some of the cuteness back into the show since Cindy and Bobby had outgrown that stage. The series ended it's run in 1974, but the Brady family was far from gone. Two years prior, a animated cartoon, The Brady Kids had been created and aired Saturday mornings. In 1977, a variety show, The Brady Bunch Hour was created but lasted after only a handful of episodes. In 1981, NBC decided to break apart the reunion movie, The Brady Girls Get Married into a weekly series called, The Brady Brides. That too failed. Then the Brady Bunch was revived yet again in 1988, with the CBS TV-movie, A Very Brady Christmas. The movie was the highest rated TV movie of the year and forever cemented The Brady Bunch's immortality in pop culture. To date, the last spin-off aired in 1990 as a weekly hour-long drama called, The Bradys. In 1989, most of the cast returned to their roles on an episode of the short lived, series, Day by Day. The episode was called A Very Brady Episode. Interesting enough, Christopher Daniel Barnes starred in the series and would later portray Greg in the 1995 feature film, The Brady Bunch Movie and a year later in A Very Brady Sequel. Spin-offs: The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides and The Bradys ABC Broadcast History September 1969-September 1970----Fridays----8:00 p.m. September 1970-September 1971----Fridays----7:30 p.m. September 1971-August 1974----Fridays----8:00 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) Never hit the top 30 First Telecast: September 26, 1969 Last Telecast: August 31, 1974 Episodes: 117 Color Episodes Theme Song: "The Brady Bunch" Written by: Frank DeVol and Sherwood Schwartz Sung by: The Peppermint Trolley Company (Season 1) and The Brady Kids (Seasons 2-5) Here's a story of a lovely lady, Who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, The youngest one in curls. It's a story, of a man named Brady, Who was busy with three boys of his own. They were four men, living all together, Yet they were all alone. 'Till the one day when the lady met this fellow, And they knew they we're much more than a hunch. That this group must somehow form a family. That's the way (we)* all became the Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch. That's the way (we)* became the Brady Bunch. *they instead of we during Season 1 only.moreless
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    The Andy Griffith Show

    The Andy Griffith Show

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    CBS (ended 1968)
    The Andy Griffith Show is definitely a TV classic. It ran from 1960 to 1968, producing 249 episodes.

    The main character, Andy (Andy Griffith), was a widowed father of the polite little boy named Opie (Ron Howard) and is a sheriff, who works with nervous and very suspecting Barney Fife (Don Knotts). They all live in the nice southern town of Mayberry. But, Mayberry can get a little dangerous when the town drunk Otis Campbell (Hal Smith) is on the loose. Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) is Barney's sweetheart, although Andy had to help him describe his feelings to her. Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) is the very loving and caring, but stern housekeeper for Andy and Opie. Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) is the bone-head, thoughtless, but humorous character. He is a gas attendant. Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) is Gomer Pyle's cousin. They are very alike, you could say, and arrives in Mayberry when Gomer decides to enlist in the United States Marine Core. The show had two spin-offs: Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D.

    Top 20 Ratings: 1960-1961 - #4 1961-1962 - #7 1962-1963 - #6 1963-1964 - #5 1964-1965 - #4 1965-1966 - #6 1966-1967 - #3 1967-1968 - #1

    Awards for The Andy Griffith Show: Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967.

    Frances Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in 1967.moreless
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    Gilligan's Island

    Gilligan's Island

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    CBS (ended 1967)
    Gilligan's Island centered around a group of people who were stranded on an uncharted deserted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. They all were on a boat tour, which found itself in the middle of a storm leading them to crash on an island! Those stranded include, Gilligan, the Skipper, a millionaire (Thurston Howell III) and his wife (Lovey Howell), a movie star (Ginger Grant), a professor (known as "The Professor"), and Mary Ann. Gilligan was the first mate on the boat, the SS Minnow. Most episodes dealt with the castaways trying to get off the island, but their attempts seemed to always be foiled by Gilligan. Broadcast History- Sept 1964-Sept 1965, CBS Sat 8:30-9:00 Sept 1965-Sept 1966, CBS Thurs 8:00-8:30 Sept 1966-Sept 1967, CBS Mon 7:30-8:00moreless
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    Hogan's Heroes

    Hogan's Heroes

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    Set in a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, Hogan's Heroes is lightly based on the play/film, "Stalag 17." Hogan's Heroes focuses on the exploits of five main prisoners of war (Hogan, LeBeau, Newkirk, Carter & Kinchloe who, while under the cover of being typical prisoners of war, are really secretly doing their best to sabotage the German war effort through whatever means necessary. They communicate regularly with the outside, easily move throughout the camp and outside to town by using numerous tunnels, and have all the munitions, money, and uniforms to do pretty much as they please. While the enemy is often gullible, easily fooled or downright incompetent, the real strength of Hogan's men is the elaborate ruses and sometimes dangerous lengths they will go to in order to complete their missions. These missions included regular sabotage, helping prisoners escape, and aiding the underground opposition. The more elaborate tasks include immobilizing battalions, confusing the German general staff, and kidnapping important scientists. The silly Germans of Stalag 13 are the head Sergeant (Schultz) and the camp Kommandant (Klink). For those who only know the show peripherally, it is dismissed as being produced in poor taste because of the horrors of WWII, but this show takes place in a POW camp run by the German Luftwaffe and not the SS or Gestapo. The exploits of Hogan's heroes were often based on real POW stories from WWII. Leon Askin as General Burkhalter, Howard Caine as Gestapo Officer Major Hochstetter, and Bernard Fox as British Colonel Crittendon appear as recurring characters to cement the show's ensemble cast. Enjoy the show.moreless
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    Green Acres

    Green Acres

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    Successful New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas gives up the rat race to fulfill his dream: living the life of the traditional American farmer. Fighting the move to rural life is his glamorous, boa-wearing, city-loving wife, Lisa. This quaint premise, however, doesn't begin to capture the screwball absurdity of Green Acres. After a few episodes that were somewhat rooted in reality, the series' true oddness started to bloom. The characters see the opening credits as they appear on screen (or on chicken eggs); they talk with baseball-playing pigs who become movie stars; fife music accompanies Oliver's patriotic speeches and is heard by everyone but him; a full-sized Eiffel tower is built on the Douglases' lawn. Hooterville is clearly operating in its own bizarre universe where Oliver is the only normal, reasonable person--and that's questionable at times. The tiny town revolves around Sam Drucker's General Store, where Sam acts as shopkeeper, postmaster, justice of the peace and publisher of the "Hooterville World Guardian". He's one of the more level-headed residents of the valley, but that's relative. The other locals are considerable more bizarre and are a constant frustration to Oliver. Hank Kimball, the county agricultural agent, is a prime example. His short-term memory is so poor he regularly forgets what he's talking about mid-sentence. Fellow farmer Fred Ziffel is an elderly overalls-wearing man who, with his wife Doris, treats their pig Arnold like an actual child. Arnold attends school, reads, writes, skates, and speaks several languages (though they all sound like oinking). Con man Eustace Haney, who sold Oliver his dump of a farm, is always trying to fleece someone out of their cash. Apparently possessing ESP, he shows up outside of Oliver's door with whatever he and Lisa have just been discussing. The Douglases' farmhand, Eb, lives in their barn and considers Oliver and Lisa to be his parents. Lisa, a stylish Hungarian woman who Oliver met during the war, is hardly cut out for domestic life. Wearing ostrich feathers and diamonds around the farm, she can only cook "hotscakes" (badly) and her mangling of the English language is impressive. Matt Groening once accurately described Green Acres as "Oliver Douglas in hell". All he wants to do is farm, but the constant interruptions from the loony locals, the endless double-talk, the ambitious pig all conspire to make it impossible. Oliver earns his reputation as a "hothead" as his face turns red and he bellows about the latest aggravation.
    Green Acres
    began when CBS handed Paul Henning, the very successful producer of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junctionmoreless
  • 18
    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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    The Andy Williams Show (1962)

    The Andy Williams Show (1962)

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    NBC (ended 1967)
    Welcome to The Andy Williams Show (1962) guide. First of two variety shows on NBC. After Andy Williams' successful summer replacement series "The Chevy Showroom starring Andy Williams" ended in 1959, NBC was quick enough to give Andy his own variety series. His charming, warm and friendly manner along with his magnificent voice brought many big name performers to the show and introduced everyone to a new generation of talent. Andy Williams discovered The Osmond Brothers performing at Disneyland and booked them on his show, they appeared on December 20, 1962 singing "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas" and "Side By Side". In 1967 Andy reduced his schedule to three specials per year and returned again fulltime in 1969.moreless
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    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
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