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    The Twilight Zone

    The Twilight Zone

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    CBS (ended 1964)
    The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic. They may be scary or just thought-provoking. Most episodes have unexpected endings and a moral lesson. But, no matter what, it's "a journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are that of the imagination." Rod Serling, creator and host of the series, won two Emmys for outstanding writing (1960 & '61), and the Golden Globe in 1962 for best TV director/producer. Reruns of the original Twilight Zone can be seen on the US Sci Fi channel. This is the Original 1959 series, not the CBS The Twilight Zone (1985) version nor the UPN The Twilight Zone (2002) version. CBS Programming History October 1959-September 1962 ..... Friday 10:00 January 1963-September 1963 ..... Thursday 9:00 September 1961-September 1964 ..... Friday 9:30 May 1965-September 1965 ..... Sunday 9:00 Note: Seasons 1-3 & 5 have a running time of 30 minutes. All of the episodes in Season 4 have a running time of one hour.moreless
  • 2
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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  • 3
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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    CBS (ended 1962)
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a mystery and suspense anthology hosted by the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Each 30 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 shows sponsors. The series premiered on CBS on Sunday, October 2, 1955 in the 9:30-10:00 PM timeslot opposite ABC's The Original Amateur Hour and NBC's Alcoa-Goodyear Playhouse. In its sixth season the show moved to NBC and was shown on Tuesday 8:30-9:00 PM. On NBC it served as the lead in for two other anthology shows Thriller and The Dick Powell Show. Alfred Hitchcock Presents featured both original works produced directly for television and adaptations of existing source material. Some authors whose work was adapted for the series include: Alexander Woollcott, Ambrose Bierce, Cornell Woolrich, Frederic Brown, Henry Slesar, H.H. Munro (aka Saki), John Cheever, John Collier, John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, and Robert Bloch. The show also featured work by famous (or later famous) directors Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman. It also served as a proving ground for stars and future stars: Charles Bronson, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Peter Lorre, Robert Duvall, and Vera Miles. In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was expanded to one hour and was shown under the title the The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1985, the these shows experienced a revival under the title Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Spinoff: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Revivals: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985) Broadcast History CBS: October 1955-September 1960----Sunday----9:30 p.m.
    NBC: September 1960-June 1962----Tuesdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #6 in the 1956-1957 Season
    #12 in the 1957-1958 Season
    #24 in the 1958-1959 Season
    #25 in the 1959-1960 Season Emmy Awards and Nominations 1955 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Action or Adventure Series Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Best MC or Program Hose (Male or Female) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock, "The Case of Mr. Pelham" Best Director (Film Series) Winner: Edward W. Williams, "Breakdown" Best Editing of a Television Film 1956 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Series (Half-Hour or Less) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Best Male Personality (Continuing Performance) Winner: James P. Cavanagh, "Fog Closes In" Best Teleplay Writing (Half-Hour or Less) 1957 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Anthology Series Winner: Robert Stevens, "The Glass Eye" Best Direction (Half-Hour or Less) 1958 Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) Nominated: Alfred Hitchcock, "Lamb to the Slaughter" Best Direction of a Single Program of a Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) Nominated: Roald Dahl, "Lamb to the Slaughter" Best Writing of a Single Program of a Dramatic Series (Less Than One Hour) 1959 Nominated: John J. Lloyd Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction and Scenic Design Nominated: Edward W. Williams, "Man from the South" Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Television 1960 Nominated: Edward W. Williams, "Incident in a Small Jail" Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Television Other Awards or Nominations The Golden Globe Awards (Voted each year since 1944 by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association): 1957 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Television Program Look Magazine's Annual Television Awards (Voted initially by poll of TV executives, producers, directors, advertising executives and TV columnists, then, in 1955, via polls taken of TV critics and editors. The Award was Presented annually from 1950 to 1959 by the editors of Look magazine): 1955 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Best Director 1956 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (One-Half Hour) 1957 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Dramatic Series (One-Half Hour) Television Champion Awards (Voted each year since 1949 by polls of the nation's TV critics taken by the publishers of Television Almanac. The awards ceased in 1972): 1955 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program 1956 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program 1960 Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Best Mystery Program First Telecast: October 2, 1955
    Last Telecast: June 26, 1962
    Unaired Episodes: 1 Episodes: 266 B&W Episodes
    (266 half-hour episodes, 1 three-part episode) moreless
  • 4
    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
  • 5
    Fury

    Fury

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    NBC (ended 1960)
    Fury chronicled the story of Joey, an orphan boy befriended by Jim Newton a recently widowed horse rancher, who's wife and son were killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. Joey was brought to court for breaking a window. Jim had seen the whole incident and went to court with Joey, he told the Judge that Joey was innocent, and convinced the Judge to let Joey come stay at the Broken Wheel.moreless
  • 6
    Tales of Tomorrow

    Tales of Tomorrow

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    ABC (ended 1953)
    Tales Of Tomorrow was a science fiction anthology program that aired on the American Broadcasting Company network between 1951 and 1953.
    The episodes aired live and featured the top sci-fi stories up until that time, with a total series run of 85 half hour episodes over two seasons.moreless
  • 7
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1950)

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1950)

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    (ended 1955)
    Sherlock Holmes came to American television with this series filmed primarily in France for the U.S. market. The man behind it was American producer Sheldon Reynolds whose previous hit had been Foreign Intrigue. The series was filmed at the new Epinay-sur-Seine studios just outside of Paris where the main set, Holmes' apartment, was constructed, as well as Baker Street outside the building. Michael Weight was hired to design the famous flat after having done the Sherlock Holmes exhibit for the "Festival of Britain." Some generic outdoor scenes of Holmes and Watson coming and going were filmed at locations around London and woven into episodes as needed, generally as background visuals for Watson's narration. A fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Reynolds wanted his Holmes to be different from the well-known screen versions starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Reynolds' Holmes would be youthful and excited about solving crimes, not the all-knowing elder statesman of the movies. To play this character, Reynolds cast Ronald Howard, a 36-year-old actor born in London and raised in America. (He was the son of film actor Leslie Howard.) For Dr. John Watson, accomplished film and theater actor Howard Marion-Crawford was selected. His Dr. Watson was not the batty old bonehead who was of no help to anyone. Instead, Watson had a good sense of humor, actually had medical skills, enjoyed putting his fists to work when needed, and got a kick out of going undercover. This series enjoyed positive reviews from American media publications with plans to film a second season announced. Unfortunately, they never materialized.moreless
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    The Public Defender

    The Public Defender

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    CBS (ended 1955)
  • 9
    The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu

    The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu

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    Alpha Home Entertainment
    The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu was a television series in 1956. From September 1956 to November 1956, Hollywood Television Service produced 13 episodes and one season of the Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu. Hollywood Television Service's main company, Republic Pictures, paid 4 million dollars to Sax Rohmer to produce 78 episodes, but they were not produced due to a court battle between Sax Rohmer and the producers of the show. The character Dr. Fu Manchu was created by Sax Rohmer and he was played by Glen Gorden in the television series. Dr. Fu Manchu is an mad scientist who plans to destroy western civilization because of revenge for unknown events that happend in the past. The television series depicts these malicious plans and the acts of another character named Sir Dennis Nayland Smith, who thwarts these plans. The television show is directed by famous serial director Franklin Adreon, and it is very similar to a serial.moreless
  • 10
    Lock Up

    Lock Up

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    Alpha Home Entertainment
    Cases taken from the files and case histories of renowned Philadelphia defense attorney Herbert L. Maris.
  • 11
    Dateline Europe

    Dateline Europe

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    Alpha Home Entertainment
    Dateline Europe was a mystery series filmed in Europe and produced for American television between 1951 and 1953. Originally titled Foreign Intrigue, it was later syndicated under the title Dateline Europe. All 156 episodes were directed and produced by John Padovano. The series follows two foreign correspondents for Consolidated News as they attempt to uncover spy rings throughout the European continent. These correspondents are cleverly portrayed by Sydna Scott (as Helen Davis) and Jerome Thor (as Robert Cannon). Between 1953 and 1955, the show was syndicated under two additional titles: Overseas Adventure and Cross Current. Television audiences of 1950s America were thrilled with this intriguing glimpse into what was then present-day Europe in the aftermath of World War II. You are in for the ride of your life as you follow Helen and Robert through a winding series of mysteries, dangers, and near-misses. Don't miss out on this magnetic portrayal of a fascinating time in our world's history!moreless
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    Homer Van Meter: Richard Crane, Myron Healey, Tudor Owen, Richard L. Bare

    Homer Van Meter: Richard Crane, Myron Healey, Tudor Owen, Richard L. Bare

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    Alpha Home Entertainment
    Homer Van Meter: Richard Crane, Myron Healey, Tudor Owen, Richard L. Bare take Chicago by the bullet in this non-stop action thrill-ride. Public Enemy no. 18, Homer Van Meter (Richard Crane), joins master gunman John Dillinger (Myron Healey) on an American Midwest cross-country, bank-robbery spree. Free from penitentiary, Dillinger dares all, challenging anyone and any thing in his way while leading police into a perilous, mind-bending pursuit. Unforeseen alliances ricochet to jeopardy, disassembling not only their hunters, but Van Meter and Dillinger themselves threatening every law-abiding (and non law-abiding) citizen in their trajectory, when the unthinkable happens. Van Meter uncovers more than he bargained under Dillinger's circle of influence, and the knowledge he gains creates unique opportunity. Have the authorities taken on more, attempting capture of underworld forces, than is beyond anyone's control? Has what Van Meter discovered change everyone's lives? Richard L. Bare directs this exciting, quick-step premonitory of thrill and mayhem.moreless
  • 13
    Follow That Man

    Follow That Man

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    Alpha Home Entertainment
    Follow That Man, aka Man Against Crime, a crime drama broadcast by CBS, NBC and DuMont Television between 1949 and 1956, was a true original. This series paved the way for modern day shows featuring private detectives. The main character Mike Barnett (Ralph Bellamy, 1949-1955 and Frank Lovejoy, 1956), a freelance private eye based in New York, opens the series with a bang - well, a spray of gunfire to be more precise. This classic tough guy oozes the alpha machismo and wise cracking savvy integral to that era. During the series Barnett takes on the wiliest criminals and the most dangerous cases that have him on the trail of jewel thieves, rescuing friends from con men and even partnering up with a female cop in one episode to help him recover over $200,000 worth of stolen diamonds. This series is for any fan of vintage detective procedural, with plenty of violence and heroic action to ease even the jitteriest jones for classic crime drama.moreless
  • 14
    The Bespoke Overcoat

    The Bespoke Overcoat

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