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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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 Big Story

    The Big Story

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    NBC (ended 1958)
    The Big Story was a long running anthology series which presented dramatizations of actual stories and real crimes that featured newspaper reporters who got involved and helped solve crimes, capture criminals and prove those who were wrongly accused of crimes were innocent. The show was filmed in the exact locations of the actual stories when possible, with parts of the show airing live from the studio. The actual reporter who is featured won a $500.00 award for having their story told and was interviewed at the end of each episode. The Big Story aired on NBC for eight seasons and then went into syndication for season nine. The ninth season stories are listed in this guide in alphabetical order since those episodes would air at different dates and times depending on location of broadcast. 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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    Concentration

    Concentration

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    Game show producers Jack Barry and Dan Enright created this classic game show, based on the children's matching memory game. The first match aired on August 25-29, 1958, but it seemed doomed when Barry and Enright (because of their roles in the fast-unfolding Quiz Show Scandals) were forced to relinquish their ownership of the game. However, NBC-TV took over production and the rest is history. 2 contestants, including a returning champion, competed to solve a rebus hidden beneath a board of 30 numbers (1-30). The board itself concealed the names of prizes(good or joke),wild cards and other action cards (described below). Each player in turn, called out a pair of numbers. No match gave his/her opponent control of the board, but a match gave whatever prize was printed on the card or allowed him/her to perform an action. It also revealed to pieces of the rebus (identifying a person, phrase, place, thing, etc.); the player could try to solve the rebus, but even if he/she was wrong, he/she kept control. In addition to all those prizes, there were the following action cards: WILD - Self-explanatory; provided an automatic match. Early on, players uncovering 2 WILD cards won a $500 bonus and chose two additional number, the prizes went on that contestant's side and 4 pieces of the rebus were revealed. Late in the run, getting 2 WILD cards in the same turn won the player a new car – usually the Chevrolet Nova – which he/she kept, regardless of the game's outcome. Take One Gift - The contestant at that moment was allowed to take a prize his/her opponent might have in their possession and put it in his/her own rack. Usually, there were 2 sets of these per game. Forfeit One Gift - The player immediately had to give up one of the prizes he/she had in his possession to his/her opponent. Also 2 sets per game. Also included were 2 or 3 joke prizes (such as a banana peel or torn teddy bear). These actually served as insurance markers against opponents' Take cards and the Forfeit cards he/she might stumble upon. Only upon correctly solving the puzzle on the rebus does a player actually win what he/she claimed from the board (he/she also earned $100 if there were no prizes in his/her rack). The loser forfeits all his/her gifts. For the 1st 2 seasons of the show (1958-1960), there's no bonus game. The 1st end game was "The Envelope and its Mysterious Contents" (which hid cash amounts or a grand prize such as a car) in 1960. Later that time, "The Cash Wheel" which allowed a player to win up to $2000 cash by spinning a carnival wheel in 1962. Champions continued until either defeated or by winning 20 games (reportedly accomplished just once, in 1966 by Ruth Horowitz, though other 20-game champions have been documented in recent years). Another noted contestant is Ralph Branca, a Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who won 17 games. Beginning in 1963 The top 4 winners each season returned to play a best 4 out of 7 World Series style "CONCENTRATION Challenge of Champions Tournament." The grand prize was $1000, a trip around the world plus "The Connie" (a trophy modeled after Rodin's The Thinker). On March 23, 1973, after 3796 episodes (featuring a reported 7,300 rebuses), the show ended its 15-Season run on NBC. The 1st puzzle was "It Happened One Night" & The last puzzle was "You've Been More Than Kind." It was replaced by Baffle. Concentration will stand for all time as the longest-running game show in NBC history. The longevity of the show was finally eclipsed in April 1987 by the 1972 version of The Price is Right. Concentration now ranks fourth on the long-run list of long-running daytime/syndicated game shows (behind TPiR and the syndicated runs of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!). Goodson-Todman Productions was awarded the rights to the show and produced a five-a-week syndicated revival of the show on September 10-14, 1973, which ran 5 years (to this day, this is the only Goodson-Todman series that was NOT their original creation). The game was the same as before, with two new contestants competing each day. The rules basically were the same, except the idea of joke prizes was scrapped as well as Forfeit One Gift. They were replaced by a new Free Look space, which upon a match allowed the contestant to briefly open up two as-of-yet available numbers, which he/she thought would help him solve the rebus. Also, Narz announced the whereabouts of four of the prizes (to give players a "head start") at the outset of each game; and, uncovering both WILD cards in a single turn earned the player a $250 bonus, which he/she kept regardless of the game's outcome. And, the player was spotted another $250 if he/she solved the rebus and didn't have any prizes. The winner played a new bonus round called Double Play, with a new car as the top prize for solving two rebuses within 10 seconds. During the 1977-1978 season, players determined their Double Play prize package by choosing two squares from a 10-space board and competing for the first prize package matched. The show returned in 1987 as Classic Concentration; see that title for more details. Both versions of Concentration offered an impressive array and variety of prizes. One retrospective of the original series reported the following prize tally: * 512 cars. * 397 boats. * 1,287 domestic and foreign trips and cruises. * 12 trips around the world. * 857 fur coats. * Numerous diamonds. Additionally, there were countless gift certificates, travel trailers, airplanes, swimming pools, furniture, kitchen appliances (large and small), rooms of furniture, clothing, stereos and televisions, fantastic nights out on the town and virtually any other item seen in any mail-order catalog. One history of the 1958-1973 series reported the total prize giveaway at $10 million. Speaking of prizes, the prize values were deliberately much, much smaller than those of the big-money quiz shows implicated as part of the scandals of the late-1950s. Barry and Enright deliberately kept the winnings low-value to avoid any suggestion that it, too, was tainted. Usually, there was at least one prize worth more than $1000; however, nearly all the other prizes were worth less than $500 with some in the $10-$100 range. A board of prizes rarely totalled more than $2000-$3000 and champions rarely took home more than that in merchandise during their stay (though some longer-lived winners approached $10,000). Milton Bradley (and later, Pressman and Endless Games) marketed home versions of Concentration (and later, Classic Concentration); millions of copies of more than 25 editions of this best-selling, enduring game have been sold since the first one went on sale in 1959.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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    Goodyear Television Playhouse

    Goodyear Television Playhouse

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    Goodyear Television Playhouse was an anthology series that for six years from the fall of 1951 through the fall of 1957, presented full hour live dramas, originating from New York, on Sunday evenings. The series ran on alternate weeks with Philco Television Playhouse. In the fall of 1955 the title was shortened to Goodyear Playhouse and a new sponsor took the alternate Sundays with The Alcoa Hour. A young playwright by the name of Paddy Chayefsky wrote several original dramas for this series. Two of them were made into award winning motion pictures, they are "The Catered Affair" and "Marty". In 1957 the overall title for the changed to "A Turn of Fate" a designation that swas soon dropped. Initially there was to be a rotating roster of regular stars (David Niven, Robert Ryan, Jane Powell, Jack Lemmon, and Charles Boyer) but that concept petered out by the end of the first season.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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    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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    Laramie

    Laramie

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    NBC (ended 1963)
    Welcome to the Laramie guide at TV.com
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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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    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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