Bookshelf: TV Guide, March 27th, 1965 Edition

TV Guide, Volume 13, Number 13 (Issue #626)
Published March 27th, 1965
Published by Triangle Publications, Inc.
122 Pages

Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore of The Dick Van Dyke Show were on the cover of this issue of TV Guide. As the scan of the front cover shows my copy is pretty beat up. But all the pages are intact. The bulk of the issue is made up of television listings around which are wrapped two color article sections running 36 pages. There are actually only 35 pages of articles; a crossword puzzle takes up the 36th page. Every edition of TV Guide contained the same article sections; only the listings section was changed. This particular issue is from the Western New England Edition.

TV Guide Cover, March 27th, 1965 Edition
TV Guide Cover, March 27th, 1965 Edition – Triangle Publications, Inc.

The issue opens with brief reviews of Flipper and The American Sportsman by Cleveland Amory. He calls Flipper “probably the best new children’s show on the air, and one which is curiously engrossing, week after week, for adults.” As for The American Sportsman — a four episode documentary series — Amory laments that “the fishing is boring, the bird shooting pathetic, and the ‘he-man’ exchanges embarrassing.” On the next page, above the copyright notice and table of contents, is Neil Hickey’s “TV Teletype” from New York, with brief notes about the television industry. For example, Hickey reports that Shari Lewis will appear in two episodes of The Dean Martin Show in the fall while Robert Culp and Bill Cosby will be spending three weeks in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao and Japan shooting “background film” for their new show I Spy.

TV Guide TV Teletype, March 27th, 1965 Edition
TV Guide TV Teletype, March 27th, 1965 Edition – Triangle Publications, Inc.

“TV Teletype” is continued on the inner back cover, this time for Hollywood, in which Walt Anderson reports that Pernell Roberts will not be written out of Bonanza due to the “remote possibility that he will agree to come back.” Upcoming scripts, according to producer David Dortort, will refer to his character (Adam Cartwright) attending a European university.

Anderson also reports that Celeste Holm has been signed to star in an MGM pilot called Meet Me in St. Louis while Dennis Weaver will appear in Dr. Kildare. There is also a brief “Ten Years Ago This Week” section that recounts NBC’s dedication of its Burbank studios, Groucho Marks at the front of the ratings pack accord to ARB and Marlon Brando on Person to Person.

Te fourth page of the issue contains an editorial section titled “As We See It,” in which TV Guide notes that color programming, no matter what it is, will do better than popular black-and-white programming (i.e. The Bell Telephone Hour will outrate The Fugitive in color homes). Eventually, however, there will be so many color sets and so much programming in color that ratings will not be affected all that much and there will be no advantage to being in color.

The first big article, entitled “A Visit to a Videloand Disaster Area,” has Neil Hickey reporting on The Entertainers, a CBS program starring Carol Burnett, Imogene Coca, Gwen Verdon and Bob Newhart, among others. The show premiered to weak ratings and poor reviews and then Burnett was sidelined with a neck injury, rock and roll acts antagonized Newhart (who soon quit the show) and the show’s choreographer, Ernie Flatt, quit to work with Mitzi Gaynor.

Burnett’s return was threatened by legal wrangling relating to Fade Out–Fade In, a stage musical she was to appear in. The dispute was settled with Burnett returning to the musical, meaning she would have little time to devote to The Entertainers. In the words of Hickey, her “value to the show was diluted even further by this added drain on her professional, physical and emotional resources.” The last episode aired on March 27th, 1964.

TV Guide Page 11, March 27th, 1965 Edition
TV Guide Page 11, March 27th, 1965 Edition – Triangle Publications, Inc.

The second article, “This Actor Is No Oriental Uncle Tom,” is about Jack Soo, and opens with Hal Kanter, creator of ABC’s Valentine’s Day, recounting how he flew to Las Vegas to sign Soo. When told what the series would entail, Soo stated he would not play an Oriental Uncle Tom. Kanter insisted Soo read the pilot script and once he did, he decided to take the job. Soo’s character would be an equal player. The rest of the article offers a brief biography of Soo.

Next up is an article by Edith Efron about Lawrence E. Spivak titled “Stalking the Hunter,” about the Meet the Press moderator’s questioning style and politics. This is followed by the 86 page interior section. It opens with brief news bites, specials of note, sports, letters and a movie guide. Then the listings begin in earnest.

TV Guide Page A-73, March 27th, 1965 Edition
TV Guide Page A-73, March 27th, 1965 Edition – Triangle Publications, Inc.

Following the listings is the cover story about The Dick Van Dyke Show, which includes brief interviews with Dick Van Dyke himself, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam. Dick Van Dyke explains that the show will be ending following the 1965-1966 season because “there are just so many ideas, and we’ve used most of them.” Then there is a short article about baseball in Houston, another short article about former sports stars turned television stars (Chuck Connors, Dennis Weaver, Jack Ging and John Beradino).

The magazine then publishes reactions to a January 30th article written by Newton N. Minow and Lawrence Laurent about “the failure of present legislation governing political broadcasts and advocated new laws and liberal use of common sense.” Among those responding to the article are Frank Stanton, CBS President, Robert W. Sarnoff, NBC Chairman of the Board, Sen. John O. Pastore (D, R.I.), Mike Shaprio, General Manager of WFAA in Dallas, and Nathan Karp, National Campaign Manager for the Socialist Labor Party.

TV Guide Page 35, March 27th, 1965 Edition
TV Guide Page 35, March 27th, 1965 Edition – Triangle Publications, Inc.

Finally, there is a one-page article on Pat Priest (a.k.a. Marilyn Munster on The Munsters). Then the crossword puzzle, the aforementioned “TV Teletype” section and the back cover advertisement for Winston cigarettes. For the record, both article sections contain at least one advertisement for cigarettes (I only saw one in each section but I admit I could have missed others).

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9 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    “MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS”, which was also a short-lived 1950-’51 late Sunday evening RADIO show on NBC, was not bought by ABC for the fall of ’65 [the network MGM pitched the series to] because, according to Lee Goldberg, an executive declared he was never going to schedule any TV series on HIS network with “an ice wagon ratting down the street”.

    “THE ENTERTAINERS”, produced in New York by Bob Banner and Carol Burnett’s husband, Joe Hamilton, had a rocky history, indeed. After Bob Newhart left the series at the end of 1964, Carol and Caterina Valente became co-hosts as the series shifted from Fridays to Saturday nights (directly opposite ABC’s “THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW” and “THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE”, AND “NBC SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES”). On March 27, 1965, the show aired for the last time…and Carol has NEVER discussed her participation in the series ever since, since she obviously never considered it “her show”. There is a kinescope film copy of one show, from January 13, 1965, featuring Boris Karloff and Chita Rivera as guest stars, that’s been circulating among video collectors for years. And it’s a good show…

  • ejp says:

    It’s interesting how in those days, the listings were able to give us episode title details even when they were shows that did not as a general rule give us the episode title.

  • pBOB says:

    I sadly miss the classic TV Guide. I was so upset after the many changes over the years it was enlarged into that dull “People” magazine type of format. I’m glad I’ve kept most of my old Fall preview issues.

    Did Pat Priest walk away or just replaced after one season of the Musters and was Jack Soo on Barney Miller?

  • RGJ says:

    Jack Soo was indeed on Barney Miller. He played Detective Nick Yemana.

    Pat Priest replaced Beverley Owen after the first thirteen episodes of the first season of The Munsters, first appearing in a December 1964 episode, and stayed with the show until it ended in May of 1966. She was then replaced herself by Debbie Watson for the 1966 feature film Munster, Go Home!

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Carl Reiner always said he intended “THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW” to last exactly five seasons, and no more. Dick himself seemed to confirm that in his article.

    It certainly outlasted James Aubrey’s tenure as CBS’ president (which ended a few weeks before this issue hit the stands); he privately LOATHED the series, for various reasons: among them, he didn’t like network talent, like Danny Thomas [one of the production partners behind the show], and sponsors like Procter & Gamble “twisting his arm” into scheduling a TV show, preferring to bypass talent, sponsors AND agents, and make his own programming decisions without any “outside” help…especially if HE got something out of it- as in his deals with Filmways to schedule “MISTER ED”, “THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES” and “PETTICOAT JUNCTION”, and his somewhat shady arrangement with old buddy Keefe Brasselle’s “Richelieu Productions”, in the fall of 1964, to put three of his shows on the network’s schedule without a formal pilot episode [“THE CARA WILLIAMS SHOW”, “THE BAILEYS OF BALBOA” and “THE REPORTER”], only to watch them falter in the ratings, and be “cancelled” along with them. No, Aubrey just didn’t like the idea of a sitcom about a New York TV comedy writer- “too inside”, he said, asking Carl Reiner and Sheldon Leonard before the show went into production, “Couldn’t you make Van Dyke a Midwestern insurance salesman, like Robert Young {on ‘FATHER KNOWS BEST’}?”. Fortunately, Carl and Sheldon refused, and Aubrey tried to sabotage the show by deliberately scheduling it in lousy time periods the first season, then officially cancelling it…then, after Procter & Gamble threatened to pull all of their advertising [and daytime soaps] off CBS if Aubrey went through with his plan to replace Van Dyke on Wednesday nights in the fall of ’62 with a revised version of a 1957 Desilu unsold pilot, “ADVENTURES OF A MODEL”, Aubrey “caved in”, and left the show right where it was…right after “THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES”, where it became a legitimate hit.

    And as we all know, Pernell Roberts NEVER returned to “BONANZA”; despite a handsome salary and a Chevy for his own personal use (courtesy of the sponsor), he wanted out after six seasons. As far as anyone knows, Adam Cartwright is STILL attending that “European university”.

    The editor of TV GUIDE was absolutely correct in predicting that color programs DID generate more ratings than black and white shows- but “THE BELL TELEPHONE HOUR”, for all its contribution to culture, NEVER got bigger ratings than “THE FUGITIVE”, even after the latter “converted” to color in its final season, in the fall of 1966. At the time this was published, NBC was virtually the ONLY network that was “pushing” color telecasts, with about half of its prime-time schedule in color; ABC had only TWO series in color, “THE FLINTSTONES” and “JONNY QUEST”; while CBS had none at all [due to “Mr. CBS”, William S. Paley, refusing to schedule any color programs because of his rivalry with “Mr. NBC”, ‘General’ David Sarnoff, who controlled RCA, NBC’s parent company; Paley did not want RCA to capitalize on their sales of color TV sets through ANY color shows CBS might be telecasting]. By the fall of 1965, things changed: CBS executives finally convinced Bill Paley to set aside his differences with General Sarnoff, and schedule at least part of the network’s line-up in color, which he agreed- about half of their prime-time schedule was seen in color. ABC finally had more capital- and technical abilities- to carry about 40% of their nightly schedule in color, while NBC telecast almost 100% color programming in prime-time (except for “I DREAM OF JEANNIE” and “CONVOY”). By the fall of ’66, all three networks were offering “full color” prime-time schedules, at the time color TV sets were starting to appear in more homes than ever…

    • David says:

      This is an excellent and insightful commentary. Thank you, Barry. However, about the replacement for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” I had read that the Paul Lynde pilot titled “Howie” was going to be on the CBS fall schedule in 1962 in the time slot vacated by “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” but that once it was decided to bring back that show, “Howie” was done for. Maybe both “Howie” and “Adventures of a Model” were in the running for that time slot.

      The “Howie” pilot is available for viewing on YouTube. It is practically the same script as the pilot for “The Paul Lynde Show” 10 years later. It is fascinating to see basically the same show, with the same leading man, a decade apart. The fashions and decor and even the production style changed so drastically over those 10 years.

      It is so interesting how James Aubrey hated “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” It still holds up, and is one of the most sophisticated, funny, and witty sitcoms of all time. You would think that, personal and business feelings aside, he would have recognized that.

  • W.B. says:

    Until 1967-68, the typesetting in the “TV Teletypes” in TV Guide was a font called ‘Pica 10′. Afterwards, they switched to another IBM Selectric typeface called Prestige. This coincided with a series of changes to the design of the headings for Hollywood and New York.

    And I think Bill Paley’s agreeing to “go color” in 1965 may’ve had as much to do with the introduction of Norelco’s PC-60 three-tube Plumbicon studio camera as the proverbial “competitive reasons.” As of January 1966, CBS had 12 PC-60’s in their studios (divvied up between 6 in New York and 6 in Hollywood) – and 6 RCA TK-41’s (don’t know if those were left over from the ’50’s, or if they’d [begrudgingly] gotten some later-model TK-41C’s in the interim). It was later that year that the network bought the first production model PC-70’s which had the same “round applied handles” as the PC-60, unlike later production models which changed to “square molded handles.”

  • Patzi Gil says:

    I was wondering if you could send me a copy of the listings for April 4.
    I am working on a documentary about F-105 pilots and one of the programs will be centered on April 4, 1965. I would like to know what people were watching then.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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