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    Today Show

    Today Show

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    NBC
    On January 14 1952, The Today Show, a long running morning news program on NBC, went on the air. It aired at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Time) as a 2-hour news and information show. For many years it was a 2-hour program from 7:00 to 9:00 ET, until NBC expanded it to 3 hours (7-10 A.M. Eastern Time) on October 2, 2000. On September 10, 2007 a fourth hour was added to the show. Today was the first of its genre when it first signed on with host Dave Garroway. The show successfully blends national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's The Early Show, and the Canadian series, Canada AM. The show is filmed and produced at studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, New York, just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather or other events from outside. Today was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Later, he became president of the company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as chairman of the board for another year. The show is currently hosted by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and Ann Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, and Flyod Kalber. Popular former weathercaster Willard Scott still appears on the show daily doing the 100th birthday announcements he first became famous for in the 1980s.moreless
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    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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    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
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    The Perry Como Show

    The Perry Como Show

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    NBC (ended 1963)
    Welcome to The Perry Como Show guide at TV.com. Perry Como's first series, "The Chesterfield Supper Club" ran on NBC from December 24,1948 through June 4, 1950 after his success on the radio program of the same name. Due to Perry's popularity the series was renamed, "The Perry Como Show," and aired on CBS from October 2, 1950 through June 24, 1955. He moved back to NBC on September 12, 1955 when he took over "The Kraft Music Hall." The Kraft series lasted through June 12, 1963. From 1963 through 1967, Como continued his association with Kraft by doing "Kraft Music Hall" specials. He then did many holiday specials until 1993.moreless
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    The Bob Hope Show

    The Bob Hope Show

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    NBC (ended 1975)
    The Bob Hope Show hosted by Bob Hope, debuted on April 9, 1950. During the 1952-1953 season, NBC rotated with other variety shows in a Sunday night block known as "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (Sept. 1950 to Dec. 1955). Also known as, "The Chevy Show with Bob Hope." When the first special debuted in October of 1950 it was the most expensive television program made up to that point - costing an astronomical $1,500 a minute to produce. Bob Hope had his own television show and radio show at the same time. For the next three seasons, The Bob Hope Show was broadcast once a month on Tuesday nights, giving Milton Berle a week off. Bob ended his radio show in April, 1956. Bob Hope also had another show by a similar name, "The Bob Hope Show (All Star Revue)". In addition, he performed in "Specials" for many years. It is the longest running variety program in television's history with a record of 45 years of televised entertainment.moreless
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    The Steve Allen Show

    The Steve Allen Show

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

    Hopalong Cassidy

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    NBC (ended 1954)
    The first significant Western to appear on network television was The Hopalong Cassidy Show, which began in 1949. It starred movie-cowboy legend William Boyd as Hopalong, a character he had played in sixty-six movies between 1935 and 1948. In the Hopalong Cassidy Show on television, Hoppy was still owner of the Bar 20 Ranch and had a sidekick, Red Connors, who was the perfect foil for Cassidy, who, unlike most cowboys heroes, dressed all in black and, with snow-white hair, cut quite a fugure atop his horse Topper. William Boyd died September 12, 1972; Edgar Buchanan died April 4, 1979.moreless
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    The Red Skelton Show

    The Red Skelton Show

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    NBC (ended 1971)
    Welcome to The Red Skelton Show guide at TV.com. Season 1 and 2 (1951-53) on NBC 30 mins.
    Season 3-18 (1953-70) on CBS 30 mins. (1954 Summer show) Red Skelton Review 60min. (1962-70) Red Skelton Hour Season 19 (1970-71) Monday on NBC 30 mins. (1951-52) Emmy Best Comedy Show. Best Comedian.
    (1958-59) Emmy nom for Best Comedy Series
    (1959-60) Emmy nom for Director in Comedy
    (1959-60) Emmy nom for Program in Humor
    (1960-61) Emmy for Writing in Comedy
    (1961-62) Emmy nom for Director in Comedy
    (1961-62) Emmy nom for Program in Humor
    (1961-62) Emmy nom for Writing in Comedy
    (1962-63) Emmy nom for Program in Comedy
    (1962-63) Emmy nom for Program in Variety
    (1962-63) Emmy nom for Writing in Comedy
    (1964-65) Emmy nom for Entertainment
    (1965-66) Emmy nom for Variety Series
    (1966-67) Emmy nom for Electronic Production.
    (1969-70) Emmy nom for Choreography. Ratings: (1951-52) #5moreless
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    The Colgate Comedy Hour

    The Colgate Comedy Hour

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    NBC (ended 1955)
    The Colgate Comedy Hour was a big-budget variety series featuring some of the biggest names in show business. Variety shows hosted by a major comedian were common in the early fifties, but the Colgate show was different in featuring alternating hosts. Some performers, like Phil Silvers or Ray Bolger, would only host once or twice, while the "regular" hosts appeared roughly once a month. At that time, variety meant variety, so the talent featured on Colgate ran the course from opera to vaudeville, from adaptations of Broadway shows to dog acts; and always lots of comedy. During it's entire Sunday night run, its main competition was Toast of the Town on CBS, a program better known to us today asThe Ed Sullivan Show.
    The series was also one of TV's priciest. According to the 7/9/50 issue of the New York Times, the first season would cost $25,000 weekly in airtime and $50,000 in talent and production charges.
    The show was broadcast live from New York's International Theatre almost exclusively during the first season. The regular rotation of hosts were: Eddie Cantor, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (the sole surviving original hosts to stay with the series for its entire run), Fred Allen, Bob Hope and his fill-in Bobby Clark. Fred Allen called it quits after just a few telecasts. He didn't like television---and it showed. Once a month, an episode was sponsored by Frigidaire rather than Colgate. On those nights, the title of the series was shortened to The Comedy Hour. Those episodes are included in this listing. Colgate ended its first season as the fifth highest rated series on TV.
    Season two brought about a move to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood since television had, for the first time, the technology to broadcast live from the West Coast. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello joined the line-up of regular hosts, keeping company with Martin/Lewis, Cantor, Donald O'Connor and the occasional Hope. Jackie Gleason, then starring on DuMont's Cavalcade of Stars , kicked off the season of television's highest-budget series! This season, the series again ranked at number five.
    Season three found Eddie Cantor out for several months, having had a heart attack hours after his first show of the season. He would return in the spring, but more guests hosts than usual were employed during his recovery. For this season, Colgate ranked as seventh most popular.
    Jimmy Durante joined Martin/Lewis, Abbott/Costello, Cantor and O'Connor as hosts of the fourth season. The 11/22/1953 telecast was quite historic. It was the first public broadcast using NBC/RCA's new color technology. Several hundred sets were set up around New York for people to view the program. Donald O'Connor had the honor of hosting that week. For the first time in its run, the series didn't take an official "summer break"; the episodes that filled the time slot until the fall premiere are included in this listing.
    Season five found the series in decline. It dropped in the ratings from tenth to twenty-seventh, while Ed Sullivan's show rose to number five! This coincided with a new production team taking over the show and the departure of most of the series' regular hosts. Instead, big splashy events and musical extravaganzas were scheduled. The public was disinterested and the critics weren't very kind. With falling fortunes, the series found itself pre-empted often for special programs. Again, a summer edition of the series with the revised title The Colgate Variety Hour filled the hot months and those episodes are included here.
    The end was near for this once-great series. Martin and Lewis did appear twice, but shows were mostly hosted by Robert Paige or Gordon MacCrae. The Colgate Variety Hour ended its run on Christmas night 1955 with a program of holiday music. During this final half-season, the show didn't make it into the top thirty rated shows.moreless
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    Alcoa Theatre

    Alcoa Theatre

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    NBC (ended 1960)
    Alcoa Theatre was an anthology series from Television's Golden Era. This show had a variety of different names. Alcoa Theatre Turn of Fate (57-58) Goodyear TV Playhouse and Alcoa-Goodyear Theatre. Alcoa Theatre won an Emmy in 1958 as Best Dramatic Series.moreless
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    The Jack Paar Show

    The Jack Paar Show

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    NBC (ended 1962)
    Tonight Starring Jack Paar began when Jack replaced Steve Allen as the show's host. The title changed to The Jack Paar Tonight Show, then the name was later changed to The Jack Paar Show. Jack's announcer at first was Franklin Pangborn but was replaced with Hugh Downs who remained with Paar for the rest of his tenure. Jack's old army buddy Jose Melis conducted the band and comedienne Dody Goodman became Jack's sidekick. Jack said of himself. "I'm complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent, generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split, it's shredded." He brought a fresh approach and a wonderful interactive manner to his program involving all his guests.

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    The Voice of Firestone

    The Voice of Firestone

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    NBC (ended 1959)
    The Voice of Firestone began on the first Monday evening in December, 1928, the initial program was broadcast on a national network. Speaking over the airwaves at that time, Harvey S. Firestone said that he hoped the Voice of Firestone would be "a wholesome feature in your household." By short wave, the broadcast was carried to all corners of the world. The broadcast was carried by 41 stations. It featured the Firestone orchestra under the direction of Hugo Mariani. Guest soloists were Franklin Baur, Vaughn De Leath and Stefana Di Stefana. Since that first broadcast December 3, 1928, the program has been devoted exclusively to the best in all types of music and as featured many of the world's greatest artists. The original theme song of the program was Memory Lane. In 1936 it was replaced by a composition-In My Garden, by Idabelle Firestone, wife of Harvey Firestone and "In My Garden" remained the opening signature until 1941. It was replaced as the opening theme by another of Mrs. Firetone's compositions "If I Could Tell You". "In My Garden" became the closing theme song. When the program first went on the air, Hugo Mariani was the orchestra conductor. He was succeeded by William Daly, who died in 1937. Alfred Wallenstein, who succeeded Daly, became conductor of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra in 1943, and Howard Barlow became conductor for the program. March 21, 1948 marked a milestone for The Voice of Firestone. When the Voice of Firestone moved into the studio to put on its radio program, the lighting equipment used for the previous day's telecast was still up. On the spur of the moment Firestone decided to telecast as well as broadcast its show that evening. The Voice of Firestone became the first commercially sponsored musical program to be televised. At that same time it became the first to be simulcast on AM, FM, TV and short wave. Much thought was given during the next year to ways and means of making the program as interesting to the eye as it had always been to the ear. During the Summer of 1949 many of these problems were solved and on September 5, 1949 simulcasting of The Voice of Firestone began on a regular basis. On May 3, 1954 The Voice of Firestone was telecast in color from the Colonial Theater in New York. Many of the World's greatest opera stars have appeared on The Voice of Firestone through the years. Richard Crooks was first heard on the program in 1932 and appeared so regularly that he established a record surpassing that of any other Metropolitan star with a radio program. Some of the highlights during its history included the American television debut of Jeanette MacDonald on November 13, 1950. Fred Waring fronted two theme shows--one on college songs (co-starring Sterling Holloway) and one an Easter Program. Many shows (in abbreviated editions) were presented on the program. These included "Scherezade" (with Roberta Peters), "Carmen" (with Robert Merrill and Rosalind Elias), "Romeo and Juliet" (with Peters, Nicolai Gedda and William Walker and Jerome Hines' "I Am the Way" with Hines playing Christ with Walker, Mildred Miller and David Starkey as his co-stars. In 1958 The Voice of Firestone took a different direction trying to keep up with the changing times. The show now hosted and narrated by John Daly would feature not only classical music but popular music with a different guest conductor including Arthur Fiedler, Wilfrid Pelletier and Harry John Brown. This would only last until June 1, 1959 when The Voice of Firestone would leave the air. A return after a three year hiatus in 1962 of The Voice of Firestone would only last a Season. The Firestone family was deeply involved in the production of the program. When the show debuted in December, 1928, Harvey S. Firestone greeted the audience with the following words: "As each week brings you a new Firestone program, we hope your enjoyment may bring us all closer together and that The Voice of Firestone may always have a friendly echo in your memory." Firestone and his son Harvey, Jr. both served as hosts for the radio version of the show. Idabelle Firestone composed the music for both the show's opening and closing themes. Words for the opening theme "If I Could Tell You" were written by Madeleine Marshall while words for the closing theme "In My Garden" were written by Lester O'Keefe. The show's most frequent guest was Rise Stevens with 47 appearances. The artist most identified with the radio program was Richard Crooks, who began appearing on the show in 1932. He ended his career in 1945 when he lost a top note during a Firestone program and retired on the spot. Leonard Warren was also a frequent guest on the show with his co-stars in two appearances being Nadine Conner and Dorothy Warenskjold. Many awards have been bestowed upon The Voice of Firestone program. The Chamber of Commerce of the United States honored the program for its contribution to the culture of America. Another honor was the Sylvania Award for an outstanding contribution to creative television technique. The program carries the approval of parent-teacher associations (or juvenile listening. The National Association for Better Radio and Television cited it as the outstanding program in both radio and television categories. It has won the Governor's Award of the State of Ohio "for consistently furthering culture in entertainment," and was recognized by the Ohio Education Association for "outstanding service in behalf of public education." The Lee De Forest Award was bestowed on Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., as the individual responsible for "the most outstanding contribution to the cultural development of radio and television." The George Foster Peabody Radio-Television Award, one of the highest honors in the field of entertainment, was presented to Firestone in 1956. The award, covering the year 1955, cited The Voice of Firestone for "the exclusive beauty and high quality of its program structure" and the company for "highest sensitivity not only in the matter of superb program standards but also in its understanding of advertising proprieties." Several times the program has been selected as the best classical musical program in the annual critics' polls conducted for Fame Magazine by Television Today and Motion Picture Daily. The 1958 Christmas program won Christopher Awards for Frederick Heider, producer; Richard Dunlap, director; and Harold Flender and David Gregory, writers. The program also has received two Freedoms Foundation awards, and numerous other awards from such organizations as the American Legion Auxiliary and the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Still another distinction occurred on January 20 when The Voice of Firestone presented a simulated telecast at the White House. The occasion was a State Dinner in honor of President and Senora Frondizi of Argentina for which President and Mrs. Eisenhower requested a typical North American program of classical and semi-classical music. The performance was the first such in the history of official While House entertainment. The program starred Rise Stevens and Brian Sullivan of the Metropolitan Opera. Oscar Shumsky, violinist, and was conducted by Wilfrid Pelletier. Many hours of the program's time have been donated through the years for special tributes and public service messages about the activities and programs of such organizations as the National 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America, Red Cross, USD and other associations working to improve the health and welfare of the world's people. In honor of the company's 30 years of continuous live music programming on The Voice of Firestone, the American Federation ol Musicians presented a plaque to Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., in 1958, accompanied by a letter expressing the "grateful good wishes of 260,000 members" who proclaim "you and The Voice of Firestone the alltime champions of live music and musicians."moreless
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    Dragnet

    Dragnet

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    NBC (ended 1959)
    The program opened each week with these words from Det. Sgt. Joe Friday: "This is the city, Los Angeles, California. I work here, I carry a badge." Then that arresting theme music began to play ("Dum-de-dum-dum"). Probably the most successful police drama in television history. Dragnet's hallmark was its appearance of realism, from the documentary-style narration by Joe Friday, to the cases drawn from the files of the real L.A.P.D., to its attention to the details of police work ("It was 3:55. . . We were working the day watch out of homocide"). Viewers were reminded of the unglamorous dead ends and the constant interruptions of their private lives that plague real policemen, and this made the final shoot-out and capture of the criminal all the more exciting. At the end of each episode, after the criminal was apprehanded, an announcer would describe what happened at the subsequent trial and the severity of the sentence. The series was created and directed by Jack Webb himself. It's catchphrases and devices became national bywords and were widely satirized. There was Webb's terse "My name is Friday--I'm a cop," and "Just the facts, ma'am" It was revived in 1967 as Dragnet 1967 and again in 1989 as "The New Dragnet". This was followed by a short-lived revival in 2002 with Ed O' Neill as Joe Friday. The series was renamed L.A. Dragnet in 2003 and canceled shortly thereafter. A theatrical film in 1987 with Dan Ackroyd and Tom Hanks also surfaced. Other spinoffs included Adam-12 (1968-75) and Emergency (1972-77).moreless
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    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
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    Kraft Television Theatre

    Kraft Television Theatre

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    NBC (ended 1958)
    Welcome to The Kraft Television Theatre guide at TV.com. This live anthology drama series was the first weekly commercial network program. From May to December 1947, NBC aired the show on Wednesday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; for the rest of its run, it was broadcast on Wednesday, 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. From 1953 to 1955, another series of the same name was shown on ABC concurrently with the one on NBC. For a short time in 1958, the series abandoned its anthology format and ran with recurring characters and situations. From April to September 1958, the show was known as "Kraft Mystery Theatre." This program was a prestigious showcase for its sponsor, Kraft, winning many awards and becoming a Wednesday night institution. By the end of its run, more than 650 plays, drama and comedy productions, both original and adaptations for TV, had been presented. One of the most awarded episodes was "Patterns" written by Rod Serling and directed by Fielder Cook with performances from Ed Begley, Richard Kiley, Everett Sloane, Elizabeth Montgomery, and many others. To see any of these episodes is a virtual delight, with such performers as James Dean, Rod Steiger, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Jack Lemmon, Grace Kelly, Lee Remick, Anthony Perkins, Helen Hayes, Cloris Leachman, John Newland, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Colleen Dewhurst, Jack Klugman, George C. Scott, Lee Grant, to name a few. A must see for everyone.moreless
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    Matinee Theater

    Matinee Theater

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    NBC (ended 1958)
    Welcome to the Matinee Theater guide at TV.com. This daily anthology show - created and produced by Albert McCleery and hosted by John Conte, featured original teleplays, as well as adaptations of literary classics. The final credit at the end was a shot of producer Albert McCleery's signature on a card. A crew member, showing only his hand and arm, would underline his signature with a flourish. One day McCleery's wife was watching the show at home and complained of the unkempt appearance and poor grooming of the signer. McCleery had a wax cast of his hand and arm made and from then on crew members used this wax hand to sign his ending credit each day!moreless
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    The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

    The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

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    NBC (ended 1962)
    The Dinah Shore Chevy Show premiered in 1956 as a series of monthly specials, the following season it became a weekly series filled with wonderful guests performing in skits, songs and dance. Dinah's warm and friendly style endeared her to all, that Southern charm and her talent won over a nation. The trademark theme song "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet" was followed by a resounding kiss "Mwah!" which she gave the audience at the end of each show.moreless
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    Bat Masterson

    Bat Masterson

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    NBC (ended 1961)
    Bat Masterson carried a gold topped cane, wore a derby, and clothes that were more suited for an eastern city than in Tombstone, Arizona. He was a professional gambler, a scout, an Indian fighter and a lawman. He used his cane and his 'wits' before resorting to his gun. The series is based upon the legend created by the real William Bartley "Bat" Masterson.moreless
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    The Philco Television Playhouse

    The Philco Television Playhouse

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    NBC (ended 1955)
    Welcome to The Philco Television Playhouse guide at tv.com This live dramatic anthology series featured top name actors and actresses in original TV plays and adaptations of novels, short stories and plays. Perhaps the most elaborate production during the first season was "Cyrano de Bergerac" with Jose Ferrer and seven sets to recreate 17th century Paris. From 1951 till the show finished in 1955 Philco Television Playhouse alternated weekly with Goodyear Television Playhouse. This series was also known as TV Playhouse, since the sponsors Philco and Goodyear alternated weekly.moreless
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