• 141
    Beat-Club

    Beat-Club

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    ARD (ended 1972)
    The legendary West German rock series Beat-Club was broadcast from September 1965 through December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, Germany and produced by the regional TV network Radio Bremen, which at that time was part of the German Government radio chain ARD. Radio Bremen was the sole producer for episodes 1 – 34. Episodes 35 through 74 were produced jointly by Radio Bremen and the WDR network. Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch. Gerhard ("Gerd") Augustin was a well-known disc jockey in Bremen and northern Germany. In 1963 he was the first DJ to spin records at local clubs. He was a moderator (co-host) of the first seven Beat-Club shows.

    Michael Leckebusch, a former trumpet player in a theatre band in Hamburg, came to work for Radio Bremen's TV station in 1965. He became the director of Beat-Club. Uschi Nerke joined Augustin as co-host of Beat-Club. She started with the first show and remained with the series through the end of its run. (She was not, however, involved in the concept or creation of the show.) Beat-Club premiered September 25, 1965. While this premiere episode may appear tame, the TV network at the time feared complaints by parents and other adults who didn't like rock music. This show, in fact, began with a plea by German TV personality William Wieben for tolerance. Rough translation: "Good day, dear Beat friends. The time has come. In few seconds we will begin the first show on German television made especially for you. As for you Ladies and Gentlemen who do not like Beat (rock) music, we ask for your understanding: this is a live show for young people. And now we're taking off..."

    Beat-Club
    is believed to have been Germany's first rock music series. Beat-Club should not be confused with another German TV series, Beat! Beat! Beat!, which premiered in 1966. Beat! Beat! Beat! was produced in a different city (Frankfurt am Main), by the regional network Hessischer Rundfunk. The series went through many format changes in its 7 years on the air. At first the show took on a (sort of) Cavern Club look. The walls behind the stage were brick - no fancy sets. The bands performed live while audience members were shown dancing. Sometime after show #8, Dave Lee Travis became a co-host. Travis had been a D.J. with "Radio Caroline," a pirate radio station that broadcasted into Britain from an offshore ship. Eddie Vickers, a soldier with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), appeared sporadically as host during 1966-67.

    Dave Lee Travis' last appearance as host was on episode #45. His replacement was Dave Dee, of "Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky, Mick & Titch." Dave Dee appeared on episodes 46 through 53.

    Around 1967, the series switched from live performances to lip-synching. The look of the set also changed, from the brick walls to the more familiar set with large cards in the background displaying the names of the performers. Another change around this time was the introduction of the "Go-Go-Girls," a troupe of young women who danced to recordings of current hits.

    "Beat Club" switched from black & white to color on December 31, 1969 (episode #50). Starting with episode 46 (September 1969) most of the music guests started performing live again.

    The final Beat-Club program aired in December 1972. The series was replaced by Musikladen, which lasted until 1984. Uschi Nerke was a co-host on Musikladen from 1972-1980.moreless
  • 142
    The Jack Paar Program

    The Jack Paar Program

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    NBC (ended 1965)
    The Jack Paar Program hosted by Jack Paar began after he left The Tonight Show to host this primetime weekly talk-variety show. Jack featured more topical subjects and films that he himself recorded. His flair for the dramatic and indepth news-like delivery made this program interesting and informative as well as entertaining.moreless
  • 143
    Mayberry R.F.D.

    Mayberry R.F.D.

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    Mayberry R.F.D. premiered in 1968 as a spin off of The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68) with the highest ratings, at the time, of any new show in the history of television. Andy Griffith had grown tired of doing The Andy Griffith Show, so it was decided to continue the show using a different format. Sam Jones arrived in Mayberry during the final season of The Andy Griffith Show. He was very similar to Andy and, also, had a son. The last episode of The Andy Griffith Show served as the pilot for Mayberry R.F.D. In the first episode of Mayberry R.F.D., Andy and Helen were married. Don Knotts also gave a special appearance as Barney Fife. Shortly after Andy and Helen were married, they moved away. Most regulars from The Andy Griffith Show did stay including Howard Sprague, Emmett Clark, Goober Pyle, and, for the first two seasons, Bee Taylor. In 1971, Mayberry R.F.D. was cancelled by CBS in an effort to rid itself of its image as the "hillbilly" network. Main Title Theme Song "The Mayberry March" written by Earle Hagen and Carl Brandt CBS Broadcast History September 23, 1968 - September 6, 1971 ---- Mondays ---- 9:00 - 9:30 P.M. Nielsen Ratings Season 1 (1968-69) #4 (25.4) Season 2 (1969-70) #4 (24.4) Season 3 (1970-71) #15 (22.3) First Telecast: September 23, 1968 Last Telecast: March 29, 1971 Episodes: 78 color episodesmoreless
  • 144
    Top Cat

    Top Cat

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    The misadventures of a smart-aleck, street-wise alley cat name T.C., and his pals Benny, Choo Choo, Fancy, Brain and Spook; who get into many acts of trouble with Officer Charlie Dibble, and always have each other. Watch Top Cat on Boomerang. Like The Flintstones, Top Cat was another situation cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera Theme song lyrics: Top Cat The most effec-tu-al Top Cat Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T. C. Providing it's with dignity Top Cat The indisputable leader of the gang He's the boss He's the VIP He's a championship He's the most tip top - Top Cat Yes he's the chief He's the king, but above everything He's the most tip top - Top Cat!moreless
  • 145
    The Munsters

    The Munsters

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    The Munsters was one of the two "creepy" sitcoms that began in 1964. CBS aired The Munsters and ABC aired The Addams Family. Both of them lasted only two years and finished their network run within a week of each other.

    The Munsters live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

    Show Characters

    Herman Munster: The irascible head of the family. One of Frankenstein's monsters, he works at a funeral parlor, and has the same intelligence as some of the "stiffs" he works with.

    Lily Munster: Also known as the family homemaker. She has long flowing black hair with a white streak, and manages to keep up her appearance, despite cleaning and cooking.

    Eddie Munster: A typical American boy who howls at the moon and goes to sleep with his Woof-Woof.

    Marilyn Munster: The plain one of the bunch, is actually an all American beautiful blonde, who also goes to college.

    Grandpa Munster: The original Count Dracula, who was born and raised in Transylvania and doubles as a mad scientist. First Telecast: September 24, 1964 Last Telecast: September 1, 1966

    Episodes: 70 B&W Episodesmoreless
  • 146
    Get Smart

    Get Smart

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    NBC (ended 1970)
    In 1965 the cold war was made a little warmer and a lot funnier due in part to the efforts of an inept, underpaid, overzealous spy: Maxwell Smart, Agent 86. The hit comedy series 'Get Smart' is the creation of comic geniuses Buck Henry and Mel Brooks. Henry teamed with Brooks to create what has undoubtedly become one of the finest parody/satires of all time. The project seemed headed for success from the start: ABC had green lighted it based on the strength of the concept, and they had an actor already under contract to play Smart. Brooks was approached to write the pilot. As he was looking for a way to finance his new movie The Producers, he agreed. Deemed "not funny", the initial script was rejected by ABC. Undaunted, the production team shopped the script around and NBC accepted it with one minor change. They wanted Don Adams in the title role. And so, an unlikely legend was born. Set in Washington, D.C., the show features Agent 86 (Maxwell Smart), his boss (The Chief), Smart's partner and later wife (Agent 99) and a host of other agents both good and evil. Perhaps one of the most important elements of the show is the gadgetry created to help Smart in his quest to keep the free world free. On this show, anything including the kitchen sink can be a phone, a tape recorder, a camera or weapon. Looking for an Agent? Check under your seat cushion. Want a weapon? Try your finger-gun. Need to make a phone call? Open up that bologna sandwich. The show was painted in the broadest of strokes and played every moment for its own delightful reality. In order to give the agents of CONTROL, a series of worthy opponents, KAOS was created. Smart and 99 battled the likes of Mr. Big, The Claw, and Siegfried. On the home front, Max and 99 had a relationship that developed as the show ran and eventually they married. 99 soon gave birth to twins (a boy and a girl) and the Smart family (and the show) began to experience some growing pains. Get Smart ran from 1965 through 1970 on both NBC and CBS. For one month in 1995 FOX attempted to bring the series back with some changes; Max as the Chief, 99 as a Congresswoman, and the Smart twins were now inexplicably only one child. Despite the lack of success experienced by the sequel, Get Smart remains a favorite by agents and civilians alike. (TV Land) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Telecast NBC September 18, 1965 - September 20, 1969 CBS September 26, 1969 - September 11, 1970 Broadcast History Sep 1965 - Sep 1968, NBC Sat 8:30-9:00 Sep 1968 - Sep 1969, NBC Sat 8:00-8:30 Sep 1969 - Feb/Apr - Sep 1970, CBS Fri 7:30-8:00 Episodes 138 Episodes On Film 1 Episode in Black And White; 137 Episodes In Color -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------moreless
  • 147
    The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

    The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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    CBS (ended 1965)
    The Alfred Hitchcock Hour was a mystery and suspense anthology hosted by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Each 60 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 show's sponsors. The series premiered on CBS on Thursday, September 20, 1962, in the 10:00-11:00 PM time-slot opposite ABC's Alcoa Premiere and NBC's The Andy Williams Show. In its third season, the show moved to NBC and was shown on Monday 10:00 to 11:00 PM. On NBC it was broadcast opposite ABC's Ben Casey and CBS's Slattery's People. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour featured both original works produced directly for television and adaptations of existing source material. Some authors whose work was adapted for the series include: Cornell Woolrich, Ellery Queen, H.G. Wells, Henry Slesar, John Wyndham, William Link, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Bloch. The show also featured work by famous (or soon to be famous) directors Alfred Hitchcock, Sydney Pollack, and William Friedkin.moreless
  • 148
    Peter Gunn

    Peter Gunn

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    NBC (ended 1961)
    Welcome to the Peter Gunn guide at tv.com. Mystery/Detective show "Peter Gunn" was telecast on NBC for two seasons moving over to ABC for it's third final season. Peter Gunn was a private detective in the film noir tradition. All of the shows were black and white and featured the music of Henry Mancini. The action of the show was closely tied to the musical score and you could usually tell what was happening on the screen by the music accompanying it. The show was set in and around Mother's Jazz Club in Los Angeles. Pete, as his friends called him, was often aided by police Lieutenant Jacoby. At the jazz club, Mother was joined as a regular character by Edie Hart, a jazz singer and Pete's girlfriend. Henry Mancini released an album called Music from Peter Gunn featuring the theme and music from this show. It won a Grammy award at the first Grammy award presentation. The Characters: Peter Gunn: The title character of the show. He's the hip, sophisticated version of the detectives of the past. All those that came after him looked back to him for inspiration. Edie Hart: Pete's girlfriend and a jazz singer at Mother's Jazz Club. Mother: The owner of Mother's Jazz Club and very protective of her friends. Lieutenant Jacoby: Pete's pal and informant from the police department. Recurring Characters: Barney: The bartender at Mother's Jazz Club. Emmett: The piano player at Mother's Jazz Club. Wilbur: The owner of the beatnik club. Sgt. Lee Davis: Desk sergeant at headquarters.moreless
  • 149
    Naked City

    Naked City

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    A police drama filmed entirely in New York City. The show was initially 30 minutes long during the first season (1958-1959). The second season didn't start until 1960, when it was expanded to an hour. The series was famous for their signature closing of every episode, "There are 8 million stories in the Naked City, this has been one of them"moreless
  • 150
    Wagon Train

    Wagon Train

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    NBC (ended 1965)
    Wagon Train followed the trials and tribulations of pioneering families as they set out from the East to carve out a new life in the West soon after the American Civil War. For some of the travellers it was a happy ending, but not for all, which only heightened the drama along the way. Such a structure ensured that the scriptwriters had a wide scope for their stories which , more often than not, revolved around the characters rather than the action, although the series had more than it's fair share of that too. With a new storyline nearly every week and a larger than average budget for the time, it was never difficult for the producers to attract well known guest stars in front of the cameras with some famous names behind the cameras too. Wagon Train was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic between 1957 and 1965. It survived cast changes to the leading actors and changes to the format which is testimony enough to the show's popularity. Even now fans who watched it back then remember it with fondness, and regular re-runs ensure it's continuing popularity with newer generations.moreless
  • 151
    The F.B.I.

    The F.B.I.

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    The F.B.I. was Quinn Martin Productions's longest running series. It was unique as its stories were loosely supervised by at the time, current FBI director J. Edgar Hoover himself who watched over the presentation of proper bureau procedure.

    After each week's episode, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. would step from behind the part of Inspector Erskine and directly address the audience, asking for help to catch real criminals that were on the run.

    The show was sponsored by the Ford company which provided numerous vintage cars for chasing, crashing, and, occasionally, simple transportation.

    After the Watergate scandal, the public's perception of the American government and its institutions was tarnished and changed forever. In 1974, The F.B.I. was cancelled after 9 years and 240 episodes.moreless
  • 152
    Here Come the Brides

    Here Come the Brides

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    The Bolt Brothers bring 100 prospective brides to Seattle in order to avoid losing their logging crew. Production Companies * Screen Gems Television Distributors * American Broadcasting Company (ABC) (original airing) * Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001) * Sony Pictures Television (2002-) -------------------------- Filming Location Columbia/Warner Bros. Ranch, Burbank, California, USA -------------------------- CREW: Directed by Bob Claver Irving J. Moore E.W. Swackhamer Writing credits (in alphabetical order) Larry Brody writer Jo Heims writer N. Richard Nash writer John O'Dea writer Jay Simms writer Skip Webster writer Produced by Robert Jon Carlson .... associate producer Bob Claver .... executive producer Paul Junger Witt .... producer Stan Schwimmer .... producer Original Music by Warren Barker Jack Keller (song "Seattle") Hugo Montenegro (song "Seattle") Ernie Sheldon (song "Seattle") Cinematography by Fred Jackman Jr. Film Editing by Asa Boyd Clark Stunts David Cass Jr. .... stunts David S. Cass Sr. .... stunts Gary Epper .... stunts Whitey Hughes .... stunts George Orrison .... stunts Alan Tomason .... stunts Jesse Wayne .... stunts Henry Wills .... stunts Other crew Carl Boles .... gaffer Stephen Lodge .... set costumer Scotty McEwin .... camera operator Pat McGrath .... key costumer Randall Robinson .... second assistant camera -----------------------------------moreless
  • 153
    The Invaders

    The Invaders

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    ABC (ended 1968)
    "The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it "their" world. David Vincent has seen them, for him it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a short cut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has "already" begun."moreless
  • 154
    M Squad

    M Squad

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    NBC (ended 1960)
    Lee Marvin starred as Lt. Frank Ballinger, a plainclothes detective assigned to an elite police group known as M Squad. 117 Episodes. 30 min. B&W
  • 155
    Lock-Up

    Lock-Up

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    (ended 1961)
    Welcome to the Lock Up guide at TV.com. The cornerstone of American jurisprudence is that people charged with a crime by the state have the presumption of "innocence," and are so considered by the society at large, until they are proven "guilty" in a court of law. Every week in the late 1950's Lock Up revealed for American television viewers an account of the unjustly accused. The shows broader theme is that when individuals are charged with a crime not all is as it first appears and a thorough investigation is duly warranted in order to ferret out the vital facts pertinent to the case. Enter Philadelphia attorney-at-law Herbert L. Maris who has an uncanny sense of who's guilty and who may be getting a raw deal by the justice system in America. Maris represents the defendants and his practice is to fight for those who have been unjustly charged by the powers that be. The show began with the following introduction: These stories are based on the files and case histories of Herbert L. Maris, prominent attorney, who has devoted his life to saving the innocent. Lock Up was a black and white, one half-hour show that premiered in September 1959 and ran two seasons, ending in June 1961. Due to its one half-hour format, other than Lt. Weston, the show had little time for the development of secondary characters, and provided a rather quick and compact story with not much embellishment. Because of these limitations, today, a half-hour drama is just not produced. ZIV Television Programs, a producer of over forty television shows during the 1950's including Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, Science Fiction Theatre, and others, produced the television show.moreless
  • 156
    Supermarket Sweep

    Supermarket Sweep

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    ABC (ended 2003)
    "Hey, the next time you're at the checkout counter and you hear the beep, think of all the fun you can have on, Supermarket Sweep! Following many years of waiting in the check out lines at local supermarkets Al Howard, with his wife, Alice, wondered what it would be like if just once the manager came to him and asked, "How would you like to run wild through the market and grab everything you can get your hands on and it won't cost you a cent!?" The idea of Supermarket Sweep was born. But, Al realized that he needed more than just 'running through a market' to make a successful game show, so he came up with other features, all relating to products we typically find in a market. Than he took his new show to ABC-TV and soon the show was viewed all across America, five days-a-week at 11 a.m. Eventually, Sweep went off ABC-TV but over the years, the TV audience never forgot the show that looked entirely different from any other game show. After all, what other show allows you to grab a supermarket shopping cart and act out your fantasy! Lifetime TV put the show back on in 1990. This time, Al created an exciting new element: the "Bonus Round." $5000 in cash was hidden somewhere in the market and a contestant team was given 60 seconds to find it. They had to solve 3 clues in that amount of time and if they did, their reward was the $5000 in cash! Have contestants been successful in finding the big money? Well, the record shows that up to this point in time, Supermarket Sweep has given away close to two million dollars in cash! (Yes, that's $2,000,000.00) The program used to be seen on PAX TV, but the show is no longer seen as of right now. But since PAX is famous for being America's "Family Network," the show is a perfect fit for them. After all, going to the supermarket is a family experience!moreless
  • 157
    NFL on NBC

    NFL on NBC

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    NBC (ended 1997)
    The first time a football game was ever aired on television was October 1, 1939 when an experimental NBC affiliate aired a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1955 NBC became the third over-the-air national home of the NFL (after ABC and DuMont) when they were the exclusive broadcaster of the Championship Game until 1963. From 1960-1961 select NBC affiliates also aired games involving the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts. From 1970-1997 NBC aired all Sunday afternoon games involving AFC teams, before that package moved to CBS with the start of the 1998 season. Football would later return to NBC in 2006, although as a different program: Sunday Night Football.moreless
  • 158
    Underdog

    Underdog

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    NBC (ended 1967)
    Welcome to the Underdog guide at TV.com. There's no need to fear! Underdog is here! When criminals in this world appear
    And break the laws that they should fear
    And frighten all who see or hear
    The cry goes up both far and near
    For Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
    Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
    Fighting all who rob or plunder
    Underdog. Underdog!
    When in this world the headlines read
    Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
    Who rob and steal from those who need
    To right this wrong with blinding speed
    Goes Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
    Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
    Fighting all who rob or plunder
    Underdog. Underdog!
    ** The original airing order of the episodes is not available, but if you uncover it or have some info to add, please submit it. Thanks. **moreless
  • 159
    The Saint

    The Saint

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Simon Templar is The Saint - adored by women, feared by his adversaries and a constant thorn in the side of police forces everywhere. A smooth-talking adventurer, the Saint goes in where angels fear to tread. Always where the action is, he courts danger with a smile, but his charm can sometimes be a lethal weapon. The Saint is always on a mission of mercy or intrigue, with a beautiful woman close at hand. He's Sir Lancelot without armor. A formidable enemy, an unwavering friend. (distributed world-wide by ITC)moreless
  • 160
    Disneyland

    Disneyland

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