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    Today Show

    Today Show

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    NBC
    Welcome to The Today Show guide, on January 14 1952 "Today" began it's journey as TV's longest 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 Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. Al Roker does weather updates and Natalie Morales reads news headlines. 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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    The Roy Rogers Show

    The Roy Rogers Show

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    The Roy Rogers Show was a contemporary western television program that ran for six seasons on NBC and then ran for over three seasons as reruns Saturday mornings on CBS.
    Situated in the west, but in times current to the show's production, it featured Roy as a ranch owner, his real life wife Dale Evans as a restaurant owner, and Pat Brady as the cafe's cook.
    The program also included lots of visual devices that kids would like, including a jeep that would ride off without a driver, lots of horses including Roy's golden palomino Trigger, and future television series star of his own, Bullet, the wonder dog.
    Each week, Roy would be seen fighting corruption, rescuing the helpless, or lending aid to the needy. It was a show of constant action and high morals, reflecting on the real lives of Roy and Dale, who were both devout Christians and believed in high family values.
    And there was lots of music in each episode, including the still oft sung ending theme, Happy Trials:
    Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then. Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again. Some trails are happy ones, Others are blue. It's the way you ride the trail that counts, Here's a happy one for you. Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then. Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again. Happy trails to you, it's great to say "hello". And to share with you the trail we've come to know. It started on the day that we met Jesus, He came into our hearts and then he freed us. For a life that's true, a happy trail to you. Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then. Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again. Roy Rogers Riders Club Rules: 1. Be neat and clean. 2. Be courteous and polite. 3. Always obey your parents. 4. Protect the weak and help them. 5. Be brave but never take chances. 6. Study hard and learn all you can. 7. Be kind to animals and take care of them. 8. Eat all your food and never waste any. 9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly. 10. Always respect our flag and our country.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 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 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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    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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    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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    Meet the Press

    Meet the Press

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    NBC
    Meet the Press debuted on November 6, 1947, and has become the longest-running television show in the history of broadcasting. Watch as the current moderator interviews some of the most influential people in Washington.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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    The Ruff & Reddy Show

    The Ruff & Reddy Show

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    NBC (ended 1964)
    The Ruff & Reddy Show was Hanna-Barbera's first cartoon series which featured a cat (Ruff) and dog (Reddy) in serialized adventures, with thirteen episodes comprising a story arc. Ruff, was voiced by Don Messick, and Reddy was voiced by Daws Butler.

    Hanna and Barbera opened their cartoon studio the same year MGM (the studio they worked for) closed down its cartoon studio. After much effort, they were able to sell Ruff & Reddy to NBC, but they were only able to get $2700 per half hour of cartoon show, so all the meticulous detail into making the Tom and Jerry shorts were eschewed for a production-line process. Bill and Joe, taking a cue from 1949's "Crusader Rabbit," reasoned the best way to offset the low production values was to create appealing heroes and captivating storylines. Ruff and Reddy made their way through clandestine escapades squaring off against villains like Scarey Harry Safari, Killer and Diller, and Captain Greedy and Salt Water Daffy. Assisting our heroes in several adventures was wacky scientist Professor Gizmo.

    The show was first aired on NBC in December 1957 as part of live action host segments. Jimmy Blaine was the host on the show's first run (1957-60), and Captain Bob Cottle replaced him in the second run (1962-64). When the show went into syndication, the opening titles, which were never shown on the NBC telecasts, were seen with the "H-B Enterprises" card. The theme song was also heard for the first time:

    Get set, get ready Here comes Ruff and Reddy They're tough but steady Always rough and ready

    They sometimes have their little spats Even fight like dogs and cats But when they need each other That's when they're Ruff and Reddy Ruff & Reddy episodes appeared on Family Channel's "Incredible Animals" cartoon show in 1992 and recently the series has aired on Cartoon Network and its sister channel Boomerang.moreless
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    Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers

    Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    The Tales Of The 77th Bengal Lancers is set in late 19th century India and even though these stories are fictional, the series is based on the exploits of the real Bengal Lancers, the famed British Cavalry unit. Colonel Standish was the commander of the 77th and working under him were two lieutenants Rhodes and Storm.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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    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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    M Squad

    M Squad

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

    NFL on NBC

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

    The Deputy

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    NBC (ended 1961)
    Early 1880's Arizona Territory was the setting for this western. The show is mainly concerned with the differences between Chief Marshal SIMON FRY (HENRY FONDA) who is dedicated to his job and Storekeeper CLAY MCCORD (ALLEN CASE). CLAY is an expert shot, but doesn't want to use a gun because he believes that they are the major cause of frontier violence. However, he is persuaded many times to be THE DEPUTY to help the aging town marshal in Silver City, HERK LAMSON (WALLACE FORD), keep order when the Chief Marshal was out of town. CLAY had a younger sister, FRAN (BETTY LOU KEIM), who helped him run the store. SGT. HAPGOOD TASKER (READ MORGAN) was an Army sergeant whose job was to set up a supply office in Silver City. When this character was introduced to the show, the HERK and FRAN characters were dropped. HENRY FONDA provided narration for all the episodes and was seen only when his character was in town. September 1959-September 1961 NBC Saturday 9:00 -9:30 pmmoreless
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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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    Kraft Music Hall

    Kraft Music Hall

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    NBC (ended 1971)
    Welcome to the Kraft Music Hall guide at tv.com. The Kraft Music Hall started as a radio program that aired on NBC's radio network from 1933 until 1949. Bing Crosby hosted the radio series from 1935-46. In its many years on television The Kraft Music Hall went through many format changes: --The Milton Berle Show (October 1958 - May 1959) 30-minute weekly variety series. --The Dave King Show (May 1959 - September 1959) 30-minute Summer replacement series. --The Perry Como Show (1959 - 1963) 60-minute weekly variety series. The Perry Como shows from Fall 1959 through June 1963 were actually titled "Kraft Music Hall." This started when Kraft took over as sponsor. (Note: These episodes are not included on this episode guide. There is a separate Perry Como Show guide on TV Tome.) --Kraft Music Hall specials hosted by Perry Como (1963 - 1967) After the cancellation of Perry Como's weekly variety series, Kraft continued to sponsor specials featuring the singer. During this time, NBC aired roughly five or six "Kraft Music Hall" specials a year. (Note: I don't have a complete list of these specials but I'll list all of the ones that I'm aware of.) --The Kraft Music Hall (September 1967 - May 1971) A weekly 60-minute series with guest hosts. This series was unique because it dealt with a different theme each week. Thanks to Marty Farrell for providing many of the 1968-70 episode titles and details.moreless
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    Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers

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    NBC (ended 1955)
    Wally Cox played a timid science teacher at Jefferson Junior High School.
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