• 101
    Ben Casey

    Ben Casey

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Dr. Ben Casey was a resident neurosurgeon at County General Hospital along with Dr. Zorba, the chief of Neurosurgery. Casey's hard nosed demeanor and no nonsense approach made him almost unlikeable but he saved lives and that's what counted.moreless
  • 102
    The Patty Duke Show

    The Patty Duke Show

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Number Eight Remsen Drive, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York, the residence of the Lane family: Martin, the managing editor of the New York Chronicle; his wife, Natalie; their daughter, Patty, a perky, bubble gum chewing teenager who dug Paul Anka records and slumber parties; their son Ross; and their glamorous, intellectual Scottish cousin, Cathy Lane, who is residing with them until she completes her high school education and is able to rejoin her father, Kenneth Lane, a foreign correspondent for the Chronicle. Stories depict the lives of two pretty high school girls, sixteen-year-old identical cousins: Patty, the average American girl, possesses an unquenchable thirst for life and the ability to complicate matters that are seemingly uncomplicatable; and Cathy, shy, warm, and sensitive, possosses a love for the arts, and, treasuring her European unbringing, sometimes encounters difficulty as she tries to adjust to the American way of life. The girls confused everybody in their middle-class neighborhood by mischievously switching personalities at critical moments. Richard was Patty's boyfriend, a part-time Western Union messenger. Mrs. MacDonald was the family housekeeper. In this show's final season, it was followed by another popular teen-com, Gidget. The Patty Duke Show's run on Nick at Nite was from September 1988 to August 1993. First Telecast:September 18,1963
    Last Episode:May 04,1966
    Last Telecast: August 31,1966 Episodes: 104 B&W Episodesmoreless
  • 103
    The Banana Splits Adventure Hour

    The Banana Splits Adventure Hour

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    NBC (ended 1970)
    In the best tradition of The Monkees. THE BANANA SPLITS ADVENTURE HOURwas an one hour long show featuring the Banana Splits band itself - the animal bubblegum psychedelic band created by Hanna-Barbera. The costumes for the characters were made by Sid & Marty Krofft and the series introduced Barry White as a songwriter. It also included several cartoon segments.The first of these was "The Arabian Knights", the adventures of a team with certain special powers who use them to protect Arabia from the Evil Empire. The second segment was "The Three Musketeers", defenders of the Queen of France to protect her from various enemies. The third segment was "The Hillbilly Bears" from The Atom Ant Show. The fourth segment, the longest of the show, was "Danger Island" set in the South Pacific where the Haydn Family and their fellow-travelers fight against enemies on that island. The fifth and final segment was "The Micro-Ventures" in which the Carter family shrink themselves for adventures. One or two songs were performed on the show by the Banana Splits, and one known fact is that their theme song "The Tra-La-La Song (1 Banana, 2 Banana, 3 Banana 4) hit No. 89 in the charts on February 8, 1969. The show lasted two seasons on NBC-TV "In Living Color" from September 7, 1968 to September 5, 1970 on Saturday mornings at 9:30-10:30am.moreless
  • 104
    My Favorite Martian

    My Favorite Martian

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    My Favorite Martian first aired in September of 1963 on CBS and was probably one of the first sitcoms with a "bizarre" or fantasy premise to emerge in the early to mid 1960's. It joined the ranks with Mister Ed which began in 1961. The series centered around Tim O'Hara, who worked as a reporter for The Los Angeles Sun. Tim stumbled across a space-ship that crashed and discovered a Martian. Tim became friends with the Martian and began passing him off as his Uncle Martin. After all it wasn't that hard to pass him off, he could speak English and looked human. The only thing physically odd about him was that on occasions he would reveal a retractable antennae that would come out of the top of his head. Martin made it clear that he wasn't going to reveal himself to anyone other than Tim and he worked on his space ship while staying with Tim in the apartment above Mrs. Lorelei Brown's garage and when he wanted to, he would display his abilities that included, telepathy, moving objects just by pointing and he could make himself invisible. Lorelei Brown was your typical busybody who was always snooping around and Martin constantly always found himself almost being discovered by her. Angela was Lorelei's daughter. In 1963, Bill Brennan was introduced as Lorelei's boyfriend and yet another threat to Martin. First Telecast: September 29, 1963
    Last Telecast: September 4, 1966
    Episodes: 107 Episodes
    (75 B&W and 32 Color) CBS Broadcast History September 1963-September 1966----Sundays----7:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or Better) #10 in the 1963-1964 Season
    #24 in the 1964-1965 Season
    moreless
  • 105
    Land of the Giants

    Land of the Giants

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    This two-season series details the adventures of the three crew and four passengers of the sub-orbital spacecraft Spindrift. They are drawn through a space warp that crashes them onto a planet where everything is 12 times normal size. The castaways struggle to repair their damaged craft and somehow get back to Earth while being hunted by the totalitarian government that rule the planet. Despite the inherent scientific impossibilities (something 12 times as large would weigh 144 times as much, making it impossible for the "giants" to move), Land of the Giants, the last of Irwin Allen's four 60's s.f. programs, was highly-budgeted (about $250,000 an episode: a record for the time), features some decent characterization, and is another of the 60's shows to feature a competent African-American in a leading role.moreless
  • 106
    NFL on CBS

    NFL on CBS

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    CBS
    Starting in 1956, CBS cobbled together ten regional networks to televise NFL games across America. Eleven of the 12 teams - all but Cleveland - signed on with CBS. For 38 consecutive years, CBS televised NFL games through the 1970 season and the National Football Conference after the merger. After the 1993 season, FOX won the rights to the NFC and NBC continued with the American Football Conference. When NBC's contract expired, CBS won the rights to televise AFC games.
    .
    With the 2009 season, the NFL on CBS celebrated 50 seasons on the air. The milestone 5,000th telecast came on the afternoon of November 28, 2010 in a Week 12 game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders.moreless
  • 107
    The Lucy Show

    The Lucy Show

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    CBS (ended 1968)
    The Lucy Show was Ms. Ball's follow-up series to her classic I Love Lucy and subsequent Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour series of specials. To insure its success, she brought along many crew members from her previous series, including the writing staff. During the course of its run, the show underwent several format changes. Initially, the series was set in small town Danfield, New York. Lucy Carmichael was a widow with two children, Chris and Jerry, who shared a house with her buddy Vivian Bagley (Vivian Vance) and her son Sherman. In the first handful of shows, neighbor and occasional boyfriend Harry Conners (Dick Martin) was featured. Many of the plots during the show's first few seasons revolved around parenting and Lucy and Viv's involvement in the community. But Lucy was still Lucy, meaning trouble for anyone who became involved in her ingenious schemes. Holding the keys to her trust fund was tightwad banker Mr. Barnsdahl (Charles Lane) who endured Lucy's numerous attempts to get at more of her money. At the start of the second season, Lucille met her perfect foil in Gale Gordon, who as banker Theodore J. Mooney, was now in charge of Lucy's account. He bellowed ("Mrs. Carmichael!!!"), huffed, puffed and launched into hothead mode at the slightest provocation. Season two also marked the beginning of the series being filmed in color. Oddly, CBS was still transmitting its programming in black and white. It wasn't until later reruns that these episodes were ever seen in color. (Desilu knew that color was inevitable and having shows shot in color would improve their value later in syndication.) Tired of commuting from her home in the east for a supporting role, Vivian Vance left the show as a regular at the end of the third season. (She still made guest appearances every year or so.) This brought about major changes in the format of the series. In the fourth year, the writers had Lucy's daughter go to college and her son enrolled in a military academy, effectively making Lucy single and childless. (Her kids were basically sent to that same black hole where son Chuck on Happy Days would be sent--the place where characters just disappear, never to be mentioned again.) Lucy moved to an apartment in Los Angeles where, in one of TV's most unbelievable coincidences, Mr. Mooney had also transferred to work at the Westland Bank. He still had control over Lucy's money; he would eventually hire her to work at the bank. In an effort to fill the void left by Viv's departure, Joan Blondell was hired to play Lucy's neighbor and partner in crime. Unfortunately, the two actresses did not get along and Blondell was released from her contract after just two shows. Soon, I Love Lucy alumnus Mary Jane Croft would take over the sidekick role as Mary Jane Lewis. As the plots became centered on Lucy and Mr. Mooney at the bank the situations became increasingly more far-fetched. By the end, the series generally featured a weekly appearance by a famous star playing him or herself. The series was brought to a close by Ms. Ball who had sold Desilu Studios to Paramount. Rather than do a show she didn't own, she canceled The Lucy Show, reformatted and returned in the fall with Here's Lucy. Note: In the listing for this series, the writer who began the series as "Madelyn Martin" worked under many variations of her name. Here, she's listed on episodes as "Madelyn Pugh Davis", regardless of how it appeared in the episodes' credits.moreless
  • 108
    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    The life and loves of a young dreamer as he progresses from high school to a stint in the army and then college. Stories related Dobie's continual thoughts about the future, his running battle with his father over the prospect of acquiring work, his relationship with his "good buddy", slacker Maynard G. Krebs, and his endless romantic heartaches, most of which center around Thalia Menniger, a beautiful, but greedy and self-centered young woman who struggles to improve Dobie and find him the job that will enable him to make "oodles and oodles of money" though not for her, the last hope her family has, but for her family, a sixty-year-old father with a kidney condition, a mother who isn't getting any younger, a sister who married a loafer, and a brother who is becoming a public charge. Season three related Dobie and Maynard's experiences as army privates. In season four, after completing their military service, and still undecided about life, Dobie and Maynard enrolled in college.moreless
  • 109
    The Dean Martin Show

    The Dean Martin Show

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    NBC (ended 1974)
    This long running comedy-musical variety series premiered September 16, 1965 on NBC. It remained on the network's schedule for 9 seasons.
    Joining Dean as a regular was pianist Ken Lane.
  • 110
    Shindig

    Shindig

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Shindig! was a rock 'n' roll series that ran from September 16, 1964 through January 8, 1966 on the ABC TV network.

    Shindig! was created and produced by Jack Good who had previously produced rock 'n' roll TV shows in his native Britain. With such shows as "Oh Boy!," "Wham!" and "Boy Meets Girls," he perfected his type of fast-paced rock 'n' roll series. In 1962, Good produced a pilot for American TV titled "Young America Swings the World" which was originally ignored, but eventually became one of three Shindig! pilots.

    Shindig! premiered on September 16, 1964. During its first season, Shindig was broadcast Wednesdays at 8:30pm Eastern. Premiering as a half-hour series, it expanded to an hour in January 1965.

    Most of the top American and British rock/pop acts of the mid-1960s appeared onShindig!. The British performers often appeared in segments taped in the U.K.

    Shindig! was different from the rock 'n' roll programs previously seen on American television. Shindig's music appeared to be non-stop, often only interrupted by the commercial breaks. And the performances were live...or so it seemed. In recent years it's been revealed that the backing music and many of the vocals were pre-recorded. The music and vocal tracks were recorded a day or two before the episode was videotaped. To make sure that these "mimed" performances looked live, the performers rehearsed numerous times.

    Shindig! was hosted by Los Angeles disc-jockey Jimmy O'Neill. Other series regulars included The Blossoms, a female group who provided the back-up singing. The Wellingtons were the male back-up singers. (Another male group, the Elgibles, often appeared in place of the Wellingtons.) There were also the Shindig dancers, a troupe made up of 10 (or so) young women who performed choreographed dances.

    Shindig also had a roster of performers who appeared on a semi-regular basis. These included The Righteous Brothers, Glen Campbell, Donna Loren and Bobby Sherman.

    Unlike other shows of the time, Shindig! did not have its own theme song. (The 1965 Shindig! LP begins with a "theme" song, but it's unlikely that it was ever performed on the TV series.) Most of theShindig! episodes began with an opening song or medley performed by the Shindig guests and regulars. The medley consisted of short excerpts from current hits, vintage rock 'n' roll songs, along with gospel, country and folk songs. And the episodes ended with a finale, with a different song performed each week.

    Shindig ignited a (short-lived) trend in television which could probably best be described as "rock 'n' roll...with go-go dancers." In January 1965, NBC introduced Hullabaloo, a variety show featuring rock 'n' roll guests and Shindig-type dancers. A few months later, the syndicated rock shows "Hollywood A Go-Go" and "Shivaree" premiered. And in July 1965, ABC added Where the Action Is to its weekday schedule. While Action's format was different from Shindig, it did feature a troupe of dancers called "The Action Kids." Shindig's influence can also be seen in two theatrical movies: "The T.A.M.I. Show" (recorded in October 1964) and "The Big T-N-T Show" (1966).

    Instead of airing reruns, ABC produced new Shindig episodes for the Summer of 1965.

    The finalShindig! episode produced by Jack Good aired on June 30, 1965. Beginning with the July 7, 1965 show, former Shindig director Dean Whitmore took over as producer.

    For its second season,Shindig!was split into two 30-minutes shows airing Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30pm. The episodes from 30Sep65 through 30Oct65 featured guest hosts.

    Shindig's cancellation was announced in late October 1965. Dean Whitmore has often been blamed for the downfall of the series. Supposedly, when Whitmore took over, the show lost its pacing. To be fair, most of the episodes that aired from July through October 1965 are actually quite good. Although there were some changes, Whitmore didn't drift too far from Jack Good's original format. It remained a fast-paced show. Even the addition of guest hosts didn't hurt the show too much. Instead of taking over the whole show, the guest hosts usually sang one song and introduced a few of the other acts.

    What probably hurt Shindig's popularity was the large number of rock 'n' roll shows on U.S. television by the Fall of 1965. As mentioned earlier, "Hullabaloo," "Hollywood A Go-Go," "Shivaree" and "Where the Action Is" were on the air. ABC also had the long running "American Bandstand." In September 1964, "The Lloyd Thaxton Show," previously a local Los Angeles series, became nationally syndicated. As if that wasn't enough, almost every large U.S. city had its own local rock 'n' roll TV series.

    Another factor affecting Shindig's ratings had to have been time-shifting by local affiliates. Many ABC affiliates chose not to air Shindig in its regular Thursday/Saturday 7:30pm time slot (opting for syndicated or locally produced programs). These stations usually moved Shindig to non-prime time hours. While some time-shifting occurred during the first season, it became even more wide-spread for Shindig's 2nd season.

    It wasn't until after the cancellation was announced that Shindig's quality started to decline.TheShindig!episodes from November 1965 through January 1966 are an odd mixture of programming. While some of these final shows resemble Jack Good's original series, there were others that looked nothing like Shindig and have nothing to do with rock 'n' roll. Examples of this are the episodes spotlighting Louis Armstrong (4Nov65 & 11Nov65); George Maharis (27Nov65) and Johnny Mathis (25Dec65).

    Shindig's cancellation was part of a mid-season reshuffle at ABC, which the network called "The Second Season." The final Shindig aired on January 8, 1966. As if to add insult to injury, many of the songs performed on that final Shindig were presented as sketches saluting the new ABC shows! One of these sketches was a tribute to "Batman," the series that replaced Shindig!

    In the early 1990's Rhino Home Video released twelve Shindig tapes on VHS. These were not complete episodes but compilation tapes with themes such as "Groovy Gals" and "Sixties Superstars."
    Surviving episodes

    --All of the Shindig episodes survive as 16mm kinescopes.

    All but four of the Shindig!episodes were originally shot on videotape. But most of ABC's copies are from 16mm kinescopes, which were made during the show's 1964-66 network run. Kinescopes were a videotape-to-film transfer produced by aiming a 16mm film camera at a TV monitor. The quality of the kinescopes aren't bad but they don't match up to the picture and sound quality of the 2" master videotapes.

    Here is a list of known videotape clips and shows.

    Videotape clips (hopefully, the complete episodes survive on videotape):

    --1964 Pilot: Videotape clips of audience members appear on the home video release of "The Beach Boys: An American Band."
    -- 07Oct64 (Episode #4): Videotape clips of the Beatles' performances and the Karl Denver finale survive.
    -- 23Dec64 (Episode #16): A videotape clip of the Beach Boys performing "Dance, Dance, Dance" appears on "The Beach Boys: An American Band."
    -- 27Jan65 (Episode #21) Videotape clips of Bobby Sherman ("Splish Splash") and Glen Campbell ("Dixieland Rock") were shown on "Good Morning America" in February 1984.
    --26May65 (Episode #37) The Howling Wolf segment survives on videotape.
    -- 30Jun65 (Episode #42) A videotape clip of Jerry Lee Lewis ("Rockin' Pneumonia") was shown on "Good Morning America" in February 1984.

    Complete Episodes:
    -- 4Aug65 (Episode #47) Dixie Cups / Great Scots / Nooney Rickett 4
    -- 11Aug65 (Episode #48) Ronettes / Donovan / Rolling Stones
    -- 08Sep65 (Episode #51) Patty Duke / Guilloteens / Searchers
    --30-Sep-65 (Episode #56) Mickey Rooney / the Turtles / Lesley Gore

    --Note: As mentioned above, all of the Shindig episodes survive as 16mm kinescopes. The above list is an attempt to catalog all of the known surviving 2" network videotapes. It's been reported that some of the above 2" tapes are held by someone other than ABC/Disney, and that this other company may have videotape masters of additional Shindig episodes.

    The four Shindig episodes shot directly on film were the two "Shindig in London" shows and the two "Shindig in Europe" shows. The "Shindig in London," shows, filmed at the Richmond-On-Thames Jazz Festival, aired 04-Dec-1965 & 09-Dec-1965. The "Shindig in Europe" episodes were broadcast on 18-Dec-1965 and 01-Jan-1966.

    Note: This guide is a fan site and is not associated with ABC/Disney. It is edited by Tom Alger.

    Thanks to everyone who's helped with this guide, including: -- Gary Belich - gary558@yahoo.com
    -- Ben Chaput - editor of the RVSP (Rock Video 60s Project) and the RVSP Message Board.
    --Charlie Harvey - editor of the Unchained Melody Collection website.moreless
  • 111
    F Troop

    F Troop

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    ABC (ended 1967)
    F Troop was a classic comedy set in the Old West. Fort Courage was the home of the US Army's sorriest band of misfits, led by the well-meaning Captain Parmenter, scion of a distinguished line of military officers, but himself naive, clumsy, bumbling and reliant on the Army manual. The old hand of the fort was Sergeant O'Rourke, who secretly ran O'Rourke Enterprises, a string of profitable but not always upstanding businesses, on the side, including the town saloon and an Indian souvenir company. He was happy when Parmenter was assigned to Fort Courage, a commanding officer who would be easy to hide his shenanigans from. O'Rourke's sidekick was the loyal but not too bright Corporal Agarn. Their business partner was the cranky but affable Wild Eagle, chief of the Hekawi. Completing the circle was Wrangler Jane, the beautiful blonde owner of the general store in town. She was a expert in all things Western, including shooting, horseback riding and lassoing, and fancied the dashing, young captain who was too bashful to return her affections in public. The men of F Troop were a motley lot. Bugler Dobbs had a hard time playing anything but Yankee Doodle, and not well at that. Duffy would often hold forth on how he stood side by side with Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Vanderbilt, who often stood guard duty, was nearly blind and hard of hearing. Duddleson was a slob, sort of F Troop's equivalent of Peanuts' Pigpen. Hoffenmueller spoke no English. The rest were as incompetent as they were undistinguished. A running joke was the guard tower constantly falling down, usually blasted by the balky cannon but sometimes felled by something as simple as an arrow. Aiding and abetting O'Rourke in his numerous moneymaking schemes were the Hekawi, the most cowardly tribe in the country. Lacking the will and skills to fight, they turned to commerce, manufacturing the souvenirs for O'Rourke Enterprises and brewing the whiskey for his saloon. Chief Wild Eagle was helped by his second in command, Crazy Cat. Unlike other military comedies such as McHale's Navy or Gomer Pyle, nobody ever really hated each other, as Captain Binghamton did McHale and Sergeant Carter did Gomer. The show and all its characters were all in good-hearted fun, a family show for all ages. The theme song said it perfectly: "Where Indian fights are colorful sights but nobody takes a licking."moreless
  • 112
    Then Came Bronson

    Then Came Bronson

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    NBC (ended 1970)
    Welcome to the Then Came Bronson guide at TV.com. . . hang in there! Ever since the Hellenic Homer wroteThe Odyssey, tales of travel and adventure have been an important component of western literature. By the late nineteen fifties two works of art captured the imagination of readers and viewers of television. The first was Jack Kerouac's popular beat novel On the Road (1957). Then, ten years later, in the late sixties, Jim Bronson played on television a forlorn newspaperman disillusioned after the suicide of his best friend and "working for the man." In order to renew his soul he becomes a nomadic vagabond searching for the meaning of life and experience what life has to offer. In the process he shares his apparent noble values with the people he meets and lends a helping hand when he can. Our hero rides a Harley Sportster, and, as such, was viewed by many fans as a modern version of the solitary cowboy meandering the American west. The television series began with a movie pilot on Monday, March 24, 1969. The series was green-lighted for one year and began its first run on September 17, 1969. The introduction of the show was noteworthy. Bronson drives up to a red light and what seems to be a businessman in a car next to Bronson, says: Driver: "Taking a trip?" Bronson: "What's that?" Driver: "Taking a trip?" Bronson: "Yeah." Driver: "Where to?" Bronson: "Oh, I don't know. Wherever I end up, I guess." Driver: "Pal, I wish I was you." Bronson: "Really?" Driver: "Yeah." Bronson: "Well, hang in there." With that memorable introduction began a television series that is fondly remembered by many fans who vicariously lived Bronson's life during the late sixties. Hang in there . . . Fans of the show are encouraged to post their remembrances of the series in the Forum section.moreless
  • 113
    Danger Man

    Danger Man

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    The Danger Man is back! One of the most popular characters ever introduced to television screens, the original Danger Man swept the world, bringing international fame to the talented and good-looking star, Patrick McGoohan. Danger Man is now produced as one-hour programs, with vivid new stories which take Special Security Agent John Drake into even more tensely dramatic adventures in every part of the globe. He is a man who jousts with danger, a man who takes calculated risks, a man dedicated to his ideals. He respects his adversaries, and he respects the beautiful women who came into his life. Big-name stars support Patrick McGoohan throughout the series, and the producer is once again Ralph Smart, the man who created and devised Danger Man. All the episodes are directed by leading motion pictures directors who are masters of their craft. Excitement and suspense are the keynotes of stories which live up to the title. The emphasis is on Danger.moreless
  • 114
    CMA Awards

    CMA Awards

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    ABC
    Since their inception in 1967, the CMA Awards have been country music's most anticipated night of the year. The hottest stars in America's most popular music genre turn out annually to see who will be named the top talent in categories such as Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of Year, Musical Event of the Year and many more. Outstanding performances and top notch entertainment make this awards show a not-to-be-missed tradition for the country music follower.moreless
  • 115
    The Steve Allen Show

    The Steve Allen Show

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    NBC (ended 1960)
    The Steve Allen Show premiered June 24, 1956. For most of the series' run, NBC scheduled The Steve Allen Show Sundays at 8:00pm opposite CBS's "Ed Sullivan Show."
  • 116
    The Academy Awards

    The Academy Awards

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    ABC
    Since its inception in 1929, The Academy Awards has become the event of the year for film followers worldwide. A celebration of all things cinematic, the presentation of the iconic gold Oscar statuettes to members of the film community for excellence during the year represents the highest honor in filmmaking. The Oscars is one of the only awards ceremonies that've never been cancelled.moreless
  • 117
    ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

    ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

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    ABC
    World News Tonight is a nightly news program that airs on ABC.

    History:

    Harry Reasoner and Howard K. Smith had co-anchored the ABC Evening News from December 1970. In 1975, Reasoner assumed sole anchor responsibilities until his pairing with Barbara Walters, the first female network anchor, in Oct. 1976. Ratings for the nightly news broadcast declined shortly thereafter.

    On July 10, 1978, Roone Arledge, head of ABC's news and sports divisions, launched World News Tonight with a trio of anchors. From Washington D.C., the late Frank Reynolds assumed primary anchor responsiblities, while Peter Jennings (from London) and the late Max Robinson (from Chicago) - the first African-American network news anchor - provided secondary duties.

    From 1983 to 2005, the program as anchored by Peter Jennings. Following Jennings' death, the program was renamed on August 15, 2005, from World News Tonight with Peter Jennings to World News Tonight. Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff were named as co-anchors. Woodruff was severely wounded in January 2006 while reporting from Iraq. Vargas stepped down for maternity leave in May 2006 and Charles Gibson was named as permanent anchor.moreless
  • 118
    The Porter Wagoner Show

    The Porter Wagoner Show

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    (ended 1981)
    By the mid-1950s, the novelty medium of television was the obvious tool for product marketers to reach a wider audience than ever before. All kinds of advertisers were keen to sponsor shows to promote their wares to the vast new audiences.

    The Chattanooga Medicine Company had been keeping Southerners regular with Black Draught laxative and women's troubles forgotten with the 20% alcohol formula of Wine of Cardui for many years.However they saw an opportunity to increase their sales through television using the down-home appeal of country music.
    Red Foley's Ozark Jubliee was already successfully broadcasting, and Tex Ritter's Ranch Party had had a successful run, and there was ample room on the airwaves for yet another showcase of country music talent, and so auditions were held for the new Chattanooga Medicine Co. vehicle. One of the hopefuls was Porter Wagoner - others included Webb Pierce, Carl Smith and the Wilburn Brothers, who eventually got their own show. Sales of Black Draught laxative were to increase tenfold thanks to the immediate success of "The Porter Wagoner Show". Porter's natural talent, with his friendly, honest and trustworthy appeal combined with his showy rhinestone-laden outfits (Hollywood's Nudie suits), which even on black and white TV were a shimmering feature of the show. Despite Porter's initial nervousness, the obvious sincerity of his performances and a stellar line-up of regular and guest musicians, won audiences over and the show began it's phenomenally successful run in 1960, backed up by regular tours by the TV show's troupe. Porter noticed how many more fans they attracted in areas that received the TV signal. The show initially broadcast to eighteen stations, but pretty soon became syndicated nationwide.

    Aside from Porter, cast members included:
    Norma Jean, singer (through 1967)
    Dolly Parton, singer (1967-1974)
    Barbara Lea, singer (1974-1976)
    Linda Carol Moore, singer (1976-79)
    T Tommy Cutrer, announcer (through 1963)
    Hairl Hensley, announcer (1963-1966)
    Don Howser, announcer (beginning 1966)
    Benny Williams, banjo & guitar (through 1963)
    Buck Trent, banjo & guitar (beginning 1963)
    Little Jack Little, fiddle (through 1964)
    Mack Magaha, fiddle (beginning 1965)
    Don Warden, steel guitar
    Speck Rhodes, Double bass and comedian whose routine mainly consisted of social satire telephone commentary with an unseen girlfriend "Sadie."

    The half hour shows (initially made on a budget of $700 - $800 each) usually included about eight songs and a couple of commercials, performed by Porter and the cast. Who could forget the jingle:- "Black Draught makes you feel fresh and clean inside!" Norma Jean, the first girl singer on the show says that the cast used to joke that they were the regular members of the Porter Wagoner Show.

    For a time, the show was taped twice, once with commercials and once without, so that stations could insert their own commercials as required. The Show also produced and sold booklets for fans to purchase which featured photos and stories on the cast members enjoying time off with their families. These were however finally noticed by the authorities and deemed to be commercials over and above the acceptable time allowed during the show and were discontinued.

    Porter became known for his hard-working professional attitude. As well as taping the shows, the troupe was touring throughout the USA and Porter was producing lots of records, often uncredited. The workload took its toll on some. In December 1965, Billboard magazine reported that Norma Jean had quit the road tour and would be replaced by Jeannie Seely. Norma Jean continued to appear on Porter's TV show for another year and a half.

    In 1967, Norma Jean departed from the TV show "to spend more time with her family" (but in reality she was frustrated at Porter's refusal to divorce his long-separated wife (Ruth), and fulfil his promise to marry her because it would negate his wholesome image in the eyes of the TV audiences). Norma Jean was replaced by Dolly Parton. Dolly's songwriting talent had hugely impressed Porter (His introduction to her first appearance on the show performing Dumb Blonde: "She ain't no dumb blonde") and they began to perform duets of hers and others' songs, eventually becoming one of the most popular duet singing teams ever recorded.

    By the early-70s, with the rise of her solo career, Dolly began to feel that the routine of the Porter Wagoner Show was stifling her ability to pursue other opportunities. Initially, Dolly's departure from the series was amicable. In a February 1974 newspaper interview, Dolly discussed her reasons for leaving the show, with Porter giving his blessings. They were to remain partners in the Owe-Par Publishing Company. And, according to Porter, they agreed that he would manage Dolly's career for the next 5 years, receiving 15% of her income. But in 1979, Porter sued Dolly claiming breach of contract.

    Porter's TV series, meanwhile, remained in production through 1981. Singer Barbara Lea was added to the cast in 1974. Lea was then succeeded by Linda Carol Moore (1976-79). The final two seasons (1979-80 & 1980-81) featured no regular female singer.

    Porter Wagoner continued to be one of the hardest working men in the music industry with weekly Grand Ole Opry appearances and almost continuous production of recordings for new and established country artists. In 1988, Porter and Dolly repaired their relationship when they reunited at the Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry, 1943 to 1974) for an episode of the "Dolly" TV special.

    Porter died on October 28, 2007 from lung cancer.

    Reruns of the series have since been featured on US cable TV and even broadcast via the Internet on Willie Nelson's website. "The Porter Wagoner Show" is currently being shown on RFD-TV.moreless
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    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
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    Checkmate

    Checkmate

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    CBS (ended 1962)
    Checkmate Inc. was a San Franciso firm whose mission was to stop or "checkmate" a crime before it happened. Anthony George played Don Corey, the head of the firm, and Doug McClure played Jed Sills, Corey's assistant. Sebastian Cabot played a university criminology professor who served as a consultant to Checkmate. The show was originally on CBS Saturday nights at 8:30, immediately following "Perry Mason".moreless
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