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    American Bandstand

    American Bandstand

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    ABC (ended 1989)
    American Bandstand brought rock 'n' roll music into millions of households and showed Americans how to do the latest dance steps. Dick Clark, "America's Oldest Teenager" hosted the series for most of its run.
    Regular Bandstand segments were "The Spotlight Dance," "Rate-A-Record" and The "American Bandstand" Top 10 Countdown. "The Spotlight Dance" featured 2 or more couples dancing to a softer tune. "Rate-A-Record" had teenage contestants rate and comment on a record played on the show. The "American Bandstand Top Ten" was a countdown of the Top 10 hits of the day.
    American Bandstand began as a local Philadelphia show called Bandstand, which made its debut October 13, 1952 on WFIL-TV Channel 6.
    The series was retitled American Bandstand on August 5, 1957 when ABC began broadcasting it nationwide. For its first 6 seasons, American Bandstand aired Mondays through Fridays.
    Two major changes took place during the 1963-64 season. On September 7, 1963, it became a once-a-week series airing Saturday afternoons. A few months later on February 8, 1964, production of the show moved from Philadelphia, PA to its new home in Los Angeles, CA.
    Despite the changes, American Bandstand's fans remained loyal to the series, as it continued to present the latest music and dances. It even inspired another long-running dance show, Soul Train.
    American Bandstand's long association with ABC ended on September 5, 1987. The series returned 2 weeks later on September 19, 1987 in first-run syndication. On April 8, 1989, American Bandstand made another move, this time to the USA cable network. It also featured a new host, David Hirsch. This version lasted only 6 months with the final show airing on October 7, 1989. In 1995, VH-1 began showing c episodes of American Bandstand. These edited 30-minute reruns featured many of the stars that the show helped make famous.
    Bandstand Air Dates (local Philadelphia show)
    (1) "Bob Horn's Bandstand" (hosted by Bob Horn) October 13, 1952 - July 6, 1956
    (2) "Bandstand" (hosted by Dick Clark) July 9, 1956 - August 2, 1957
    American Bandstand Air Dates
    Weekday Afternoon shows (ABC-TV network, Monday-Friday) August 5, 1957 - August 30, 1963
    Broadcast times:
    August 5-November 15, 1957 - AB aired from 3:00 to 4:30pm.
    November 18, 1957-October 10, 1958 - AB was split into 2 shows airing from 3:00 to 3:30pm and from 4:00 to 5:00pm. AB was split up by the game show Who Do You Trust?
    October 13, 1958-September 29, 1961 - one show airing from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.
    October 2, 1961-September 28, 1962 - from 4:00 to 4:50pm*
    October 1, 1962-August 30, 1963 - from 4:00 to 4:55pm.*
    Note: *From October 2, 1961 through August 30, 1963, AB was followed by "American Newsstand," a current affairs program produced by ABC News.
    Nighttime shows (ABC network, Monday nights 7:30-8:00pm) In addition to the weekday shows, American Bandstand had a 13-week (October 7 - December 30, 1957) Prime-time run. (Note: This shouldn't be confused with The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show, which ran from February 15, 1958 to September 10, 1960.)
    Saturday Afternoon shows (abc-TV network) September 7, 1963 - September 6, 1986 During these 23 years, the air times varied anywhere between 12:30 and 2:30pm on Saturdays (sometimes earlier on the West Coast). Most of these shows were an hour long. (Some episodes were shortened for sporting events.)
    On AB's Last Season on ABC-TV, it aired from 12:30 to 1:00pm (from September 13, 1986 through September 5, 1987).
    Syndicated American Bandstand episodes ran from September 19, 1987 to August 27, 1988 (times varied by city). This version was syndicated by LBS Communications. (According to some sources the syndicated series ran through April 1, 1989. But we haven't been able to find any listings past August 27, 1988.)
    USA Cable Network (Saturday afternoons) From April 8 to October 7, 1989, AB aired from 12noon to 1:00pm. David Hirsch was the host of this final version.moreless
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    Leave It to Beaver

    Leave It to Beaver

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    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
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    The Donna Reed Show

    The Donna Reed Show

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    The Donna Reed Show premiered on September 24, 1958, on ABC. The show revolves around housewife, Donna Stone, and her family--husband Alex who is a pediatrician, 14 year-old Mary, and 11 year-old Jeff. The Stone family reside in the midwestern town of Hilldale. Donna was the perfect American housewife and mother. She was always neatly-groomed, lovely, good-natured, thoughtful, and capable. Alex was handsome, well-respected in his profession, usually thoughtful and sometimes ill-tempered. Mary was a typical teenage girl of the time, pretty, popular, and prone to bouts of insecurity now and then. Jeff was the average boy, rambunctious, bright, preferred sports to studies, and a total burden to his sister. The episodes involved the usual family problems and adventures, with Donna usually saving the day in her quiet, capable way. In addition, Alex's career as a pediatrician figured prominently in many episodes, and the president of the AMA had a cameo in one episode, "Quads of Trouble" in season 7 . The show won many awards from various civic, educational, and medical groups due to it's wholesome nature and it's handling of topics like adoption, prescription drug abuse, home safety. In 1963, Shelley Fabares, who played Mary, left the show to pursue a movie career and thus Mary went away to college having up to that point been a student at the local college. To fill the void, Paul Petersen's real-life little sister, Patty Petersen, joined the cast as Trisha, a little girl adopted by the Stones. Also in 1963, Ann McCrea and Bob Crane joined the cast as the Stones next-door neighbors, Midge and Dave Kelsey. Bob Crane remained with the show till 1965 and Ann till 1966. Both Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen had short but successful recording careers during the run of the show. In January, 1962, Paul sang "She Can't Find Her Keys" in the episode, "For Angie With Love", and "My Dad" in the episode, "My Dad" from October, 1962. February, 1962, Shelley sang "Johnny Angel" in the episode, "Donna's Prima Donna", and "Big Star" in the episode, "Big Star" from November, 1962. The Donna Reed Show was on the air for 8 seasons on ABC. From September, 1958-September, 1959, it aired on Wednesdays at 9pm. Then from October, 1959-January, 1966, it aired on Thursdays at 8pm. And finally, from January, 1966-Spetember, 1966, it aired on Saturdays at 8pm. Donna Reed's husband, Tony Owen, was executive producer of the show, and the show was a "Todon Production", with "Todon" being a combination of the first syllables of their first names--"To" for Tony and "don" for Donna.moreless
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    Maverick

    Maverick

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    Maverick told the story of the Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart, card sharps who lived during the Old West era. The show was originally a straightforward adventure tale, but it evolved when the writers began adding comedy to the scripts. Bret quickly became the television western's first quasi-mercenary, a character who would help the forces of justice but usually only if he stood to profit from doing so. When he resorted to gunfire, he wasn't the West's finest marksman. In fact, he was much more likely to outsmart his opponent or slip out the back door once trouble began. The writers also added a foil for Bret - his brother Bart. Bart was more conservative than the devilish Bret, but just as unlikely to join any fight that could be avoided. The two characters began alternating as leads on the show as they journeyed through small towns with odd names like Oblivion and Apocalypse. Along the way, they associated with fellow card sharps like Dandy Jim Buckley and Gentleman Jack Darby. There was also Samantha Crawford, a lovely female rogue who loved to challenge the Maverick brothers to see who could out-con the other.

    All these elements helped make Maverick a television western that stood apart from the crowd. Audiences responded to the mix of traditional Western adventure and good-natured humor, making the show an instant hit. Bret Maverick, in particular, became a hero for many armchair cowboys. As a result, the writers began to play up the comedy elements even more, expanding the storylines to satirize other prime time programming. Maverick lampooned everything from Gunsmoke to Dragnet. The show would also use actors known for other roles, like Edd "Kookie" Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip, for cameo roles designed to make viewers' heads turn.

    Maverick continued to enjoy solid ratings through the end of the 1950's, but hit a snag in 1960 when James Garner left the program over a contract dispute. To replace him, the producers introduced a new Maverick cousin, Beau. Beau had been sent to London for disgracing the family name during the Civil War (by winning a medal). Beau would be played by Roger Moore, who would later move on to greater fame as James Bond. The show also briefly added another brother, Brent, played by Robert Colbert, before finally ending its run in the summer of 1962. Since then, Maverick has continued to be a popular member of the cult television pantheon. Its enduring status as a beloved show led to two short-lived follow-up series, Young Maverick and Bret Maverick. There was also a 1994 movie version of Maverick which featured James Garner alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. The follow-ups proved that the magical Maverick mixture of laughter and tumbleweeds was an enduring, age defying source of great family entertainment.

    Aired Sunday nights at 7:30pm on ABC. The final season aired Sunday nights at 6:30pmmoreless
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    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
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    The Rifleman

    The Rifleman

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

    The Lone Ranger

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    ABC (ended 1957)
    "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi Yo Silver!" The Lone Ranger. "Hi Yo Silver, away!" With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!" ======================= Company credits: Production Companies * Apex Film Corp. (1949-1954) * Wrather Productions Inc. (1954-1957) Awards Emmy Awards 1950 -- Nominated -- Best Film Made for and Viewed on Television 1949moreless
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    77 Sunset Strip

    77 Sunset Strip

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    ABC (ended 1964)
    Private eye Stu Bailey is a suave, cultured former OSS officer who is an expert in languages. His partner, Jeff Spencer, is also a former undercover government agent, and like Bailey, a judo expert. The duo works out of an office at no. 77 Sunset Strip in Hollywood, but their cases lead them all over the world. The Stu Bailey character was originated by Roy Huggins in a story called "Death and the Skylark", published in Esquire Magazine in December 1952. Huggins later adapted this story into an episode of Warner Bros' ABC TV series Conflict entitled "Anything for Money", broadcast on 16 Apr 1957, starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. This led to the idea of building a series around the private eye character.moreless
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    Adventures in Paradise

    Adventures in Paradise

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    This series featured Gardner McKay as Adam Troy, the captain of a freelance schooner called the Tiki. Troy was a Korean War veteran who found adventure across the South Pacific that ranged from Hong Kong to Pitcairn Island. James A. Michener created Adventures In Paradise and sold the original idea to television, then dropped out of the project.moreless
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    Bachelor Father

    Bachelor Father

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    Bachelor Father debuted in the fall of 1957 on CBS and centered around the life of the wealthy attorney and bachelor, Bentley Gregg who lives in Beverly Hills, California. Bentley Gregg lived with his niece, Kelly, whose parents had died in a car accident. He would later legally adopt her as his own. Also living with Bentley and Kelly was Peter Tong, the Oriental houseboy who kept the Gregg household in shape. Jasper was the family dog. The stories often revolved around Bentley's endless goal of finding the right woman to settle down with, as well as Kelly's growing up and going through high school. At the end of the fourth season, Kelly graduated high school and the next season began college. Other recurring characters included, Ginger, Kelly's best friend who had three different last name changes over the years, Howard was Kelly's on-again, off-again boyfriend, who was later replaced by Warren. NOTE: This series has the distinction of having aired on each of the three major networks during in 1957-1962 run. First Telecast: September 15, 1957 Last Telecast: September 25, 1962 Episodes: 157 B&W Episodes CBS Broadcast History September 1957-June 1959----Sundays----7:30 p.m. (Alternating weekly with The Jack Benny Show)
    NBC Broadcast History June 1959-September 1961----Thursdays----9:00 p.m.
    ABC Broadcast History October 1961-September 1962----Tuesdays----8:00 p.m.
    Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or Better) Never ranked above 25moreless
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    The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

    The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

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    ABC (ended 1961)
    The first of its kind...the original adult western. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp was the first in a wave of new TV westerns aimed at adults (previous entries, such as The Cisco Kid and The Lone Ranger, were considered fodder for the after-school crowd). The show was then followed, in the same season, by Gunsmoke on CBS, Frontier on NBC and Wyatt's fellow ABC show Cheyenne. It was these four shows alone that started an incredible and unmatched phenomena that would see up to 28 new westerns premiering during the 1958 primetime TV season. But only a handful of them were able to dominate a few of the top 10 spots in the network ratings and Wyatt Earp was one of them. Wyatt Earp was inspired by the legendary events of the real life Frontier Marshal who lived from 1848 to 1929. The show followed Earp from his days as a Marshal in Ellsworth and then later Dodge City (this caused some confusion amongst viewers since Matt Dillion was the Marshal of Dodge City in Gunsmoke) and finally to the infamous Tombstone, Arizona. Along the way Wyatt would encounter such figures as John Wesley Hardin, the Thompson Brothers, Doc Holliday and Earp's brothers Virgil and Morgan. Bat Masterson would also appear before getting his own series (where he would be played a different actor). The show even featured the famous Buntline Special, a foot-long-barreled Colt .45 single-action revolver which many believe to be the kind of gun that the real Wyatt carried and was given to by Ned Buntline. The series would conclude in 1961, after six full seasons, with an epic five episode story that told of how Wyatt took on Old Man Clanton and the Ten Percent Gang in a final showdown at the O.K. Coral with the help of his brothers and Doc Holliday. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is not as well known today as most other classic westerns such as Gunsmoke and Bonanza simply because it didn't last as long and was not shot in color. But ask any baby boomer who grew up in front of the television during the '50s and they'll easily recall Wyatt Earp with fond memories. By today's standards, the series was rare in that Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, an author and playwright, didn't just write the first episode (based on the 1931 biography by Stuart N. Lake), he wrote the majority of the 226 episodes throughout the series' entire six season run. This Desilu production originally aired from 1955 to 1961 on ABC, Tuesdays at 8:30pm. Witness for yourself how well this superb series, starring Hugh O'Brian, still holds up by watching newly restored episodes on TV Land every weekend at 3pm. Recently Rerun Episodes: Feb 5 - Wyatt Earp Becomes a Marshall Feb 5 - Wyatt Earp Comes to Wichita Feb 6 - Dodge Gets a New Marshall Feb 6 - Wyatt Meets Doc Holliday Feb 12 - Time for All Good Men Feb 12 - Sweet Revenge Feb 13 - Wyatt Earp Rides Shotgun Feb 13 - One Feb 19 - Two Feb 19 - Three Feb 20 - Four Feb 20 - The Bounty Killer Feb 26 - The Mysterious Cowhand Feb 26 - King of the Frontier Feb 27 - Little Brother Feb 27 - Tombstone Mar 5 - Wells Fargo Calling Marshall Earp Mar 5 - A Murderer's Return Mar 6 - China Mary Mar 6 - Wyatt's Bitterest Enemy Upcoming Reruns Mar 12 - Old Slanders Never Die Mar 12 - Requiem for Old Man Clanton Mar 13 - Just Before the Battle Mar 13 - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Currently no more episodes are scheduled. Theme Song I'll tell you a story a real true life story A tale of the Western frontier. The West, it was lawless, but one man was flawless and his is the story you'll hear. Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, Brave courageous and bold. Long live his fame and long life his glory and long may his story be told. Well he cleaned up the country The old wild west country He made law and order prevail. And none can deny it The legend of Wyatt Forever will live on the trail. Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, Brave courageous and bold. Long live his fame and long life his glory and long may his story be told. Lyrics by Harold Adamson Music by Harry Warren Performed by The Ken Darby Singers And Johnny Westernmoreless
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    Candid Camera

    Candid Camera

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

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

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    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
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    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
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    One Step Beyond

    One Step Beyond

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    ABC (ended 1961)
    Outside the known is irreality, and one step beyond that is Surrealism. John Newland introduces reported cases of supernatural phenomena, whose poetry is revealed in magnificent and almost brutally compressed dramatizations. One Step Beyond was mainly filmed at M-G-M Studios, Hollywood, and partly at M-G-M British Studios, Borehamwood, Herts. It premiered nine months before The Twilight Zone, and was also known as Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. All episodes are directed by Newland himself, a dab hand whose trademark is subtle, balletic camera work. This series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional stories with supernatural twists and turns, this program sought out 'real' stories of the supernatural, including ghosts, disappearances, monsters, etc., and re-creating them for each episode. No solutions to these mysteries were ever found, and viewers could only scratch their heads and wonder, "what if it's real?"moreless
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    The Trouble With Father

    The Trouble With Father

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    ABC (ended 1955)
    Early television was filled with bumbling fathers who were not the smartest member of the household. One of the earliest examples of this time-honored premise was Stu Erwin, head of the family, in "Trouble With Father".
    One of TV's first filmed sitcoms revolved around the Erwins who lived in an unnamed American town. Stu was a high school principal who, though not stupid, was something of a dullard who found himself in uncomfortable situations with regularity. June (Stu's real-life spouse) was his patient wife who busied herself by managing the household and being involved in numerous "ladies groups". Their oldest daughter was Joyce, a high school student, that was boy-crazy. Youngest daughter Jackie was a tomboy with a smart mouth who delivered most of the actual comedy lines. "Trouble With Father" is the prototype of the "perfect family" sitcom that one thinks of as representing the 1950s. Without the warmth of a "Father Knows Best" or "Leave it to Beaver", this series comes across today as heavy-handed and naive in it's depiction of life, social norms,and conformity: -There are no Eddie Haskells or Walter Dentons at Stu's school; all of the students at Hamilton High are earnest to the extreme. -Joyce's desire is only to get married once she decides on the boy. Her desire to wear a strapless gown is considered risque. -Stu regularly gives those types of long-winded speeches that "Green Acres" later made fun of by having "Yankee Doodle" play in the background. He'd pontificate with the utmost seriousness on most anything, from how studying Latin in school is crucial in life to freedom of the press to the superiority of men. The one "fly in the ointment" was young Jackie who said what was on her mind and delivered the zingers no one else would dare say. The series' recurring characters included handyman Willie, a rare Black character for the time, who was often employed in one of Stu's schemes. Though quite toned down, Willie was still in the tradition of the offensive Black servant stereotype: slow-moving, bugged-out eyes, and mumbling. Neighbors Harry and Adele Johnson were regularly seen friends/enemies of Stu and June. George Selkirk was a bossy school official who usually caused headaches for Stu. Actor Martin Milner played two roles in the series. Early on, he was Drexel Potter, a frequent boyfriend of Joyce. In the final season, he played Jimmy Clark, Joyce's new husband. "Trouble With Father" underwent several title changes during its run, including "Life With the Erwins", "The Stu Erwin Show" and finally "The New Stu Erwin Show". Airing on the then-struggling ABC network, the series aired new episodes in a bizarre fashion designed to get maximum usage out of the reruns. Season One consisted of 52 all-new episodes. Season Two (10/1951-4/1952) aired 26 new shows followed by 26 weeks of repeats. Beginning in the fall of 1952, every third episode was a rerun from previous seasons. For a full 65 weeks beginning in July 1953, ABC showed nothing BUT reruns. The final season was a traditional 26 episodes of new programs. It's during this last season that the series finally acquired a laugh track.moreless
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    Rocky and His Friends

    Rocky and His Friends

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    ABC (ended 1961)
    "Hello, knowledge thirsters." You may already know the program known to generations of cartoon lovers as "Rocky and Bullwinkle" was never actually called that onscreen, when originally presented. For the first two seasons, shown in the late afternoons, in black and white on the then-lowly ABC network, the show was actually called Rocky and His Friends. It then moved to the more prestigious NBC, whereupon it was shown in color, in primetime, and renamed "The Bullwinkle Show," the name always shown onscreen for syndication (more recently, for DVD, the onscreen titles have all been changed to "Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends," the new catch-all title). You will find two other program entries for Rocky and Bullwinkle in TV.com; one for The Bullwinkle Show, the other is titled The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Neither appears to have an editor right now, and have, in my view, a lot of errors that ought to be fixed, especially The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show one (which also has the least accurate name). Here you will only find out about the two seasons that originally ran on ABC (but were later shown in color, in reruns on NBC and ABC, and in syndication).moreless
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    The Lawrence Welk Show

    The Lawrence Welk Show

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    ABC (ended 1982)
    Welcome to The Lawrence Welk Show guide at TV.com.

    The Lawrence Welk Show was good old fashioned family entertainment at its best with all kinds of music, particularly from the Big Band Era. The show had a close-knit group of singers, dancers, and musicians known as the "Musical Family."

    The Lawrence Welk Show made its national television debut on July 2, 1955. It was originally filmed in black and white and then it went into color September 18, 1965. The show was on Saturday nights on ABC until 1971 when the network canceled the show; that year, it went into first-run syndication with new episodes being produced until 1982. Reruns began airing until 1983. There were also two Christmas reunion specials, in 1984 and 1985.

    On October 3, 1987, reruns of the The Lawrence Welk Show began airing on PBS, where they continue to air to this day. These shows were hosted by members of the Musical Family until the 2005 season, when Mary Lou Metzger interviewed former members of the Musical Family after each show.

    Below is a list of Lawrence Welk PBS specials: 2001 - Milestones and Memories 2003 - God Bless America 2005 - Precious Memories 2007 - Lawrence Welk's TV Treasuresmoreless
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    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
  • 20
    The Real McCoys

    The Real McCoys

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    The McCoy family moves from the mountains of West Virginia to California's San Fernando Valley. The leader of the clan is Grampa--a cranky old geezer with a distinctive voice and gait--but underneath it all, he has a heart of gold. Living with him are his grandson, Luke, and Luke's bride, Kate. Due to the death of Luke's parents, these three adults are raising Luke's teenage sister, Hassie, and his younger brother, Little Luke.moreless
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