• 1
    Leave It to Beaver

    Leave It to Beaver

    Follow
    ABC (ended 1963)
    Leave It to Beaver portrayed the iconic postwar American family: June the perfect housewife, Ward the dad (what did he do for a living, anyway? And why did he always wear a suit to dinner?), big brother Wally, and of course Theodore ("The Beaver"), the good-hearted kid whose adventures propelled the show. Leave It to Beaver debuted in October of 1957 on CBS. In the fall of 1958, CBS dropped the series. ABC picked it up and ran it for an additional 5 years. Few people know that Leave it to Beaver was the first American television show broadcast behind the Iron Curtain -- perhaps part of the reason for so many references to God, Sunday School, Breaking Bread, etc. In several episodes, there are subtle references to the Soviet Union. In episode #31 ( New doctor ): Wally, has a model plane. Look close, it,s a Russian bomber. With, the red star decals. In episode #119 ( Beaver's House Guest ), the two boys are wearing their camp sweatshirts. With the name Camp Chekov on it. Propaganda? Maybe. What the average American family was like in the 1950's? I don't think so. What ever, I guess it worked. The series focuses on Theodore Cleaver (Beaver). Beaver (who was 7 when the series began) is your basic everyday little boy who had a knack of getting himself into trouble at every turn. His older brother Wally, is just entering his teen years and often wonders out loud how Beaver could be so dumb to get himself into stupid situations. (Examples: getting himself locked in the principals office, letting the bathtub overflow, letting the washing machine overflow, getting his head stuck in a fence at the park, constantly losing things (cats, change, etc.) His parents are your everyday 1950's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, who do their best to understand and support Beaver and Wally as they grew up. Other characters were mostly friends of Wally and Beaver. Wally's friends included Lumpy Rutherford and the two-faced Eddie Haskell. Eddie was courteous to June and Ward but when the grown ups weren't around he was a bully to Beaver and his friends. Beaver's friends include Whitey Whitney, Gilbert Gates/Bates/Harrison (inconsistent last name), Larry Mondello and Richard Rickover. Beaver's teachers, Miss Canfield and later Miss Landers were seen frequently as well as Lumpy's father, played by Richard Deacon known for his role on The Dick Van Dyke Show. While most people lump in Leave it to Beaver with other family sitcoms, such as Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, this series was truly an original, and very much ahead of its time. It showed the world through the eyes of a young boy, and sometimes dealt with rather controversial subjects. One episode ("Beaver and Andy") dealt frankly with the subject of alcoholism. Another episode ("Beaver's House Guest") showed how divorce can affect a child. In 1985, Leave It to Beaver was in a full blown revival after a 1983 reunion movie, Still the Beaver, when a spin-off series, with the title of the reunion movie, was proposed. It later begin airing in syndication under the title, The New Leave It to Beaver and starred all of the original cast members except Hugh Beaumont who died on May 14, 1982. First Telecast: October 4, 1957 Last Telecast: September 12, 1963 Episodes: 234 B&W Episodes +1 Unaired B&W Pilot Theme Song: "The Toy Parade" Written by: Melvyn Leonard, Mort Greene & Dave Kahn Spin-offs: The New Leave It to Beaver NOTE: All air dates have now been verified through TV Guide. CBS Broadcast History October 1957-March 1958----Fridays----7:30 p.m. March-September 1958----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. ABC Broadcast History October 1958-June 1959----Thursdays----7:30 p.m. July-September 1959----Thursdays----9:00 p.m. October 1959-September 1962----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. September 1962-September 1963----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) Never hit the top 30moreless
  • 2
    The Mickey Mouse Club

    The Mickey Mouse Club

    Follow
    ABC (ended 1959)
    "Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?" Next to Howdy Doody (which it helped unseat), The Mickey Mouse Club was the defining children's television program of the 1950's. The show, which aired daily, featured a true variety of entertainment: singing, dancing, guest stars, classic Disney cartoons, serials, and a group of talented kids who became overnight sensations—the Mouseketeers. Led by adult leader Jimmy Dodd, and flanked by hefty Disney animator Roy Williams, the Mouseketeers sang and danced their way into the hearts of the first TV generation.

    The standout of the group was Annette Funicello. Young America watched as the lovely and talented teenaged beauty developed before their very eyes. Annette soon starred in her own serial on the show, and went on to a successful career in film and music.

    Another popular element of the show was the serialized adventures of The Hardy Boys and Spin and Marty. Veteran Disney child actor Tim Considine starred in both, making him what many refer to as the "Honorary Mouseketeer." Other serial performers included Tommy Kirk, David Stollery, and Roy Barcroft.

    Days of the Week: Monday - Fun With Music Day Tuesday - Guest Star Day Wednesday - Anything Can Happen Day Thursday - Circus Day Friday - Talent Round-Up Day Theme Song: Who's the leader of the club That's made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse!

    Mickey Mouse!

    Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!

    Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree! M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse club We'll have fun We'll be new faces High! High! High! High!

    We'll do things and We'll go places All around the world We'll go marching

    Who's the leader of the club That's made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse!

    Mickey Mouse!

    Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!

    Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree! M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-Emoreless
  • 3
    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

    Follow
    ABC (ended 1966)
    Welcome to The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet guide at TV.com. The real-life Nelson family - Ozzie, his wife Harriet and their sons David and Ricky - played themselves in this long-running sitcom, where Ricky got his start as a teen idol. When the Nelson boys grew up and married their sweethearts, Kris and June, their real-life wives played their TV wives. The series began as a radio program in 1944. At that time David and Ricky were played by actors. It wasn't until 1949, when radio personality Bing Crosby's sons began to play themselves on Bing's show that the real David and Ricky decided to join the Nelson family radio show. The "adventures" the family experienced every week involved very little conflict or friction. Problems and misunderstandings were solved quickly and with a shared laugh over the silliness of it all.moreless
  • 4
    Sandy Dreams

    Sandy Dreams

    Follow
    ABC (ended 1951)
    primetime children's show
  • 5
    The Woody Woodpecker Show

    The Woody Woodpecker Show

    Follow
    ABC (ended 1958)
    Woody Woodpecker was a brash, high-strung woodpecker whose trademark was his staccato laugh, "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha". The character first appeared in the 1940 Andy Panda short, Knock Knock, voiced by Mel Blanc. When Blanc signed an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers, he was replaced by the man who originally designed Woody, Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, a former Schlesinger Studios animation director who had helped develop Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Woody received a permanent voice in 1952, when Lantz's wife, actress Grace Stafford, anonymously auditioned for and was awarded the job. The theatrical cartoon business was losing money in the 1950's. By 1956 there were only seven animation producers in the short-subjects business, and by the end of the decade that number would dwindle down to three. Movie theater owners were finding that they could release features with reissued cartoons, or no cartoons at all, and the audiences would still come. Walter Lantz and his distributor, Universal Pictures, knew that the only way to subsidize the rising costs of new shorts was to release their product to television. Norman Gluck from Universal's short-subjects department made a deal with the Leo Burnett Agency to release some older Lantz product on television. Burnett handled the Kellogg's cereal account, and Lantz soon met with the Kellogg's people to sign the contract. Lantz complied his best films into a half-hour TV show which he hosted himself. Additional live action & animation segments were created, such as "Woody's Newsreel" and "Around The World with Woody". 30-minute animated escapades of the world-famous woodpecker and other Walter Lantz character, including Andy Panda and Chilly Willy. Host-producer Lantz intergrated new footage with his theatrical cartoons and appeared with informative looks at the animation process. The Woody Woodpecker Show originally ran on the ABC-TV network from October 3, 1957 through September 25, 1958. Sponsored by Kellogg's, each episode featured three theatrical cartoons, with new animated Woody wraparounds and live action hosting chores handled by Lantz himself. The live-action segments were directed by Jack Hannah. Hannah was fresh from the Disney Studio where he had done similar live-action/animation sequences for the Disney show. Woody also appeared in animated commercials for Kellogg's. The series was seen once a week, on Thursday afternoons, replacing the first half hour of the shortened Mickey Mouse Club. After the initial year on ABC, The Woody Woodpecker Show was syndicated until 1966. In 1970, it reappeared on network television, with 26 additional episodes assembled by Lantz for NBC-TV. The 1976 show featured cartoons (and additional cartoons) from the early days to the later days, all products of full animation that created the appearance of natural movement. Other characters featured were Buzz Buzzard, Gabby Gator, Space Mouse, Homer Pigeon, Charlie Beary, Charles Beary Jr., Sugarfoot, Cuddles, Smedley, and Knothead and Splinter. Voices were Grace Stafford(Mrs. Walter Lantz) as Woody, and Daws Butler, Walter Tetley, Dal McKennon, June Foray, and Paul Frees.moreless
  • 10:00 pm
    48 Hours
    NEW
    CBS