Program Profile Bachelor
Tuesday nights at 8:00 ABC / 1957-1962
sitcom appeared on all three networks during a five-year run -on
ABC for this last season. John Forsyth plays Bentley Gregg, raising
his niece Kelley in Beverly Hills. Sammee Tong co-starred as the
mildly stereotypical Oriental houseboy Peter Tong.
the last season, Kelley entered college and met her fiance - but
the show was cancelled before she could get him to the altar.
Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
nights at 9:00 CBS / 1953-1962
season for this anthology program hosted by Ronald Reagan.
Electric Theater broadcast some of
the finest dramas of TV's early days, with big-event performances
by film stars who rarely appeared on television, including James
Stewart, Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Joan Crawford and Gene Tierney.
a quaint sitcom set in the 1920s, lasts this one season.
ABOUT THIS: The 1920s was as distant to the people
of 1961 as the mid-sixties are to us!
1956 - 1961, Virginia Graham hosted a daytime talk show called
Food For Thought.
led the ratings with their afternoon offerings:
at noon. The wayward spouses in Rosehill, New York were the original
Desperate Housewives. Ran from 1951-1980.
of two CBS live 15-minute broadcasts that filled the 12:30 - 1:00
slot. Poor Joanne, surrounded by tragedy in 1961. She had survived
the death of her first husband, a brush with the mob, the birth
and death of her infant son - now her teenage daughter has been
paralized. This program aired from 1951-1980.
you liked your 'stories' you probably enjoyed tuning in to the
trials and tribs of the citizens of Five Points. Notice I didn't
say GOOD citizens! The Guiding Light aried live for
fifteen minutes at 12:45 on CBS from 1952-1968 before expanding
to a half-hour format. I think this show is STILL on the air!
1:30 - As The World Turns entered its fifth year.
4:00 until 4:15, the Dennis family was laid bare in The Brighter
Day. A cast shakeup in 1961 led to the demise of this show
year for the creepy goings-on in Monticello; airing from 4:30
until 5:00, capping off the network's afternoon soaps. Things
between Mike and Sara turned sad when Sara was fatally run down
by a bus while saving their toddler's life in early 1961. The
public was so upset at this turn of events that the actress who
played Sara had to come on the following day and assure everyone
she was okay. The Edge of Night was broadcast live from
New York until 1975 and ran until 1984.
nights at 8:00 ABC / 1961-1962
sitcom with Peggy Cass as Elinore Hathaway and Jack Weston as
her husband Walter. They portray your typical
Los Angeles suburbanites with three kids - except
that the kids happen to be trained chimps. The Marquis Chimps,
in fact- a performing troupe well-known for their appearances
on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
chimps (named Enoch, Charlie and Candy) are taken in by real estate
agent Walter Hathaway to help out Walter's pal, theatrical agent
Jerry Roper (played by Harvey Lembeck). Hilarity ensues.
to be confused with Me And The Chimp from a decade later.
karaoke, before American Idol, there was Sing
Along with Mitch on NBC. You would 'follow the bouncing
ball' displaying the lyrics to the tune at the bottom of the TV
screen - and vocalize along at home with the hopelessly corny
'Sing-a-long Gang' that
backed up Mitch.
series debuted as monthly specials in January, 1961. A smash hit,
the program went weekly after returning in the fall of that year.
Bandleader Mitch Miller remained popular until 1964, a time in
pop music when melodies became less important than the artist
making the record. Leslie Uggams was a regular, reruns were broadcast
in the summer of 1966.
Wednesday nights at 10:00 NBC / 1961-1962
variety show starring Bob Newhart when he was known for his hilarious
"Button-Down" comedy albums (Bob Newhart was an accountant before
he became a comedian).
musical guests, a large group of repertory players and opening
monologues that had Newhart 'on the phone' with different historical
characters were regular features. Sounds like a winner to me!
This critically acclaimed series won an Emmy and a Peabody award,
but attracted few viewers away from 'Naked City' on ABC.
Newhart tried the variety format again in 1964, but 'The Entertainers'
(with rotating hosts) was an even bigger flop. Newhart's next
series was a sitcom in 1972 (also called 'The Bob Newhart Show')
- that was a monster hit.
the first season since 1951, there was no Lucy on the CBS primetime
schedule. The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
ended in 1960, The
Lucy Show didn't begin until 1962. I
Love Lucy comics books were still on sale in 1961, however.
Night at the Movies on NBC was the first prime-time major
motion picture night - "How To Marry A Millionaire" with Marilyn
Monroe was on the opening night.
two for The Flintstones
on ABC. The Flintstones began broadcasting in color
in 1962, one of the first series to do so. The networks didn't
offer an entire night of color shows until 1966.
cartoon called Calvin and The Colonel debuted with the
voices of radio's 'Amos 'n' Andy.'
The storylines were the basic Kingfish / Andy scenarios; to
avoid controversy, the characters - instead of being African-American
- were portrayed instead a fox, bear and other assorted animals.
Written and produced by the same people who brought us not only
Amos 'n' Andy but Leave it to Beaver, The Munsters
and Mayberry, R.F.D. Calvin and the Colonel
lasted only one season.
Dick Van Dyke Show was canceled by CBS after its first year
- but reinstated after producer Sheldon Leonard did an end-run
around the network and secured his own sponsors. The series,
considered one of the finest in TV history, stayed locked in
the top ten for the next four years.
66 was in its second year of four. The cast and crew would
travel to a different city for each episode. It took a crew
of 50 people, two brand-new baby-blue Corvettes, two tractor
trailers and other assorted vehicles to film this series, one
of the largest mobile film operations in TV history. "Most of
the guys don't like it because they're away from home too long,"
costar George Maharis noted in 1960, "but I love it because
I'm a bachelor."
Monday nights at 8:30 ABC / 1960-1962
6 was a clone of 77
and another of TV's very first spin-offs.
The young assistant (Van Williams as Ken Madison) from 'Bourbon
Street Beat' (1959-1960) moved to Miami Beach and teamed with
Troy Donahue ('Kookie's' short-lived replacement on '77 Sunset
Strip') as Sandy Winfield II, with Lee Patterson as Dave Thorne.
Together they form a detective agency that worked out of a docked
houseboat, close to the bathing suit clad babes that congregated
at the nearby resort hotel. Cowabunga, it was 'Charley's Angels'
'77 Sunset Strip' rip-off called 'Hawaiian Eye' aired from 1959-1963.
trio of hipster magazine reporters operating out of Hawaii provided
the premise for this adventure series starring Barry Coe, Brett
Halsey and Gary Lockwood.
few years later television began its long fascination with Hawaii
thanks to state of the art production facilities built by CBS
- Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I. and many other
shows were the result.
was popular at 11:30am on Saturday mornings with original
episodes airing from 1955 until 1960. 1961 was the first of five
years of reruns. 'Fury' starred Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond.
Benny got his start on TV in 1950 with an irregular Sunday
night timeslot - his very funny half-hour sitcom began airing
weekly in 1960 on CBS.
of five years for Hazel, who rocketed to the top of the
Nielsens. This was based on a one-panel comic strip in the Saturday
Evening Post; other shows based on comic strip characters
came along later in the sixties - 'Batman,' 'Blondie,' and 'The
Berg (The Goldbergs,
1949-1954) returned to CBS-TV with Mrs. G. Goes to College.
Berg played Sarah Green, essentially an older version of Molly
Goldberg, now a widow who returns to college. Despite being supported
by an all-star cast that included Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Leo Penn,
Marion Ross and Mary Wickes, this sitcom received tepid ratings.
The production was renamed 'The Gertrude Berg Show' mid-season
but expelled after a freshman year marked by bad reviews.This
was an ignemonious end to the TV career of Gertrude Berg, who
had created and presided over one of the most successful entertainment
industry creations of all time; she was rarely seen on television
Astaire's Premiere Theater (also
known as Alcoa Premiere, formerly Alcoa Theater)
was a prestigious anthology program hosted by the former MGM musical
star, who also appeared in some of the hour-long productions.
The series, which ran from 1961-1963, featured musical comedy
and dramatic productions starring prominent film stars like Shelly
Winters and Charlton Heston. Writers included Ray Bradbury and
C. S. Forrester.
Reed's family sitcom was still popular, back for a fourth
year for Naked City, Dennis the Menace, Dobie Gillis,
Bonanza, and Hawaiian Eye; third and
last year for The Detectives, and The
popular in 1961: The Defenders, The Untouchables, Leave
it to Beaver, Real McCoys, Alfred Hitchcock, The Price is Right,
To Tell The Truth, and Ozzie and Harriet.
programs that failed
to get renewed: Car
54, Where Are You?, Checkmate, 87th Precinct, The Bob Cummings
Show, The Investigators, Top Cat, Ichabod and Me, National Velvet,
Thriller (with Boris Karloff), andHennesey
with Jackie Cooper and James Komack.
at 9:00 ABC / 1961-1962
long drama starring B movie sex symbol Marilyn Maxwell and Richard
on the play by William Inge (who served as a consultant for the
production) Bus Stop allowed for different guest stars
each week to roll into town and provide the drama. The series
was noted for it's violent and steamy depiction of small town
life, leading to a Congressional hearing where the president of
ABC was raked over the coals for corrupting the youth of America.
message that rang loud and clear - there was no place for adult
drama on television.
Monday nights at 8:00 CBS / 1960-1962
Morgan (M*A*S*H*) and Cara Williams starred in TV's
very first spin-off - the couple was previously seen as the
neighbors on 'December Bride' (well, he was seen, she was merely
was last of two seasons; this program returned in morning reruns
weekdays on CBS from 1962-64.
Operas were the hottest TV genre in 1961.
number one show in the nation,
Wagon Train, lost itsstar when Ward Bond died in
1961. His costar, Robert Horton, left after this season.
was the year Gunsmoke went from a half-hour weekly to an
hour format for the next fourteen (!) years. In addition to the
new hour on Saturday nights, CBS aired reruns of the half-hour
series under the title 'Marshall Dillon' on Tuesday nights in
1961; that lasted for four years.
The Rebel starred Nick Adams
as Johhny Yuma, a former confederate soldier wandering the West
finding mostly troublesome disputes that could only be setted
by gunfire. This show ran only one year (1960-61) but returned
in reruns for the summer of 1962. This western appealed to teen
viewers with frequent 'relevant' themes.
Circus brought western film character actor Chill Wills
to TV as the leader of an old west show touring the Southwest
- 'Wagon Train' with clowns. Lasted only this one year; other
one season western wonders - The New Breed, The Outlaws
and Wells Fargo.
was in year seven of eight. Bonanza, in year
three, stayed at or near the top of the Nielsens for the next
was considered by many to be the most violent show on TV. 'The
Rifleman' was the story of loner Lucas McCain (former Brooklyn
Dodger Chuck Connors) and his son Mark (Johnny Crawford) who live
on the outskirts of North Fork, New Mexico. Lucas invented a new
rapid firing rifle, giving him the advantage of having a firearm
that had the effect of a semiautomatic weapon.
Last year for Lawman
(1958-1962), a western series reminiscent of 'The Rifleman' -
leading actor John Russell even resembled Chuck Connors. This
series followed the adventures of Marshall Dan Troop, defender
of law and order in the wild western town of Laramie. Peter Brown
co-starred as his young Deputy Johnny McKay.
Gun, Will Travel (1957-63) starred Richard Boone as Paladin,
a gun for hire based out of San Francisco.
year of five for Maverick; this season suffered without
James Garner who walked out on the series. Robert Colbert joined
the cast as brother Brent Maverick to take up some of the slack.
Byington joined the cast of Laramie as the housekeeper
Daisy and an orphan kid moved into the home.
TO SEA: Sea
of the most popular shows in 1960's syndication (episodes were
filmed from 1957-1961), Sea Hunt had a haunting, ominous
theme music that reflected perfectly
the murky despair of the show itself.
show was produced by Ivan Tors ('Daktari'); the underwater footage
was shot in various warm water places around the world, from California
to Australia, from the Caribbean to the Florida Keys.
in Paradise Sunday
nights at 10:00 CBS / 1959-1962
McKay starred in this much-loved story of a schooner captain in
the South Pacific. Created by James A. Michener.
'The Big Surf' episode (1960) was the first TV show to feature
surfers prominently in the storyline.