I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can. Every now and then I like to dig through my inbox and pull out a few choice e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.
I have been wondering was the 60’s sitcom F Troop supposed to have a third season?
Was there going to be a season 3 of F Troop?
As I often do before attempting to answer questions about a specific television program, I refreshed my memory by reading its Wikipedia entry. As a general rule I’m not a fan of Wikipedia but I’ve found that for television programs it is usually a pretty good resource. I was surprised to find the following paragraph included in the article for F Troop:
The show’s ratings were still healthy after the second year, but according to Tucker, Warner Bros.’ new owners, Seven Arts, discontinued production because they thought it was wasteful for so much of the Warner Ranch being taken up by a single half-hour TV show. Producer William Orr says the studio was unhappy with the added costs of producing the show in color during its second season.
Unfortunately, there were no sources listed for these statements. That doesn’t mean they aren’t true. I find it hard to believe that someone would decide to mess with fans of F Troop by editing the show’s Wikipedia entry and adding false statements about its non-existent third season. Still, not knowing when/where these statements were made is frustrating. Was it a print interview? TV Guide, perhaps, or a newspaper? A television interview?
I don’t have actual Nielsen ratings for the 1966-1967 season but from the information I do have available it appears that F Troop was performing solidly in its 8-8:30PM time slot on Thursdays, easily beating CBS (which initially programmed Jericho from 7:30-8:30PM and later a variety hour called Coliseum) and not doing all that worse than Daniel Boone on NBC. So in terms of ratings it was probably strong enough to return for a third season.
In Tom Lisanti’s Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties, Melody Patterson recounts that F Troop was canceled after Jack Warner had a stroke:
“The studio was really his alone to control and he hadn’t diversified at that time,” reveals Melody. “When he got sick and then died, everyone got the pink slip–from his son-in-law, who was the head of the television department, to the lowliest grip. The studio basically shut down for awhile.” 
Although Jack Warner may have had a stroke in 1967 he didn’t die until 1978, so Patterson, who played Wrangler Jane, was mistaken. According to Lisanti, Forrest Tucker had tried to find a new home for F Troop in first-run syndication, traveling to Spain to look for suitable (and cheap) studio locations, only to return to New York and discover that repeats of show had already sold into syndication .
Jack Warner had agreed to sell his Warner Brothers stock to Seven Arts in November 1966 and resigned as head of the new Warner Bros.-Seven Arts studio in July 1967. Forrest Tucker, in an August 10th, 1967 Milwaukee Journal article, insisted that F Troop — according to him the highest-rated show to be canceled at the end of the 1966-1967 season — would still be on the air if not for “the sudden sale of Warner Brothers” .
While Melody Patterson may have been mistaken in her recollection of F Troop‘s cancellation, it seems clear that the takeover of Warner Brothers by Seven Arts was the primary reason the show did not return for a third season. It had done well enough in the ratings during the 1966-1967 season for ABC to renew it but instead Warner Bros.-Seven Arts ceased production. Still, the statements found in the Wikipedia entry for F Troop — that it took up too much of the Warner Ranch and was too expensive to produce in color — have yet to be confirmed.