What America Didn’t Watch – Saturday, November 23rd, 1963

What We Didn’t Watch is a four-part special feature focusing on network prime-time programming pre-empted in November 1963 by coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination, its aftermath and his funeral. The networks aired news coverage and a few specials but no regular programming and no commercials. Most of the scheduled programs were aired at a later date. All times are Eastern.

Part Two: Saturday, November 23rd, 1963

In November 1963, the networks began offering network service at different times on Saturday mornings. CBS signed on at 8AM with Captain Kangaroo, NBC at 9:30PM with The Ruff and Reddy Show and ABC at 10:30AM with The Jetsons. All were pre-empted for continuing coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Other Saturday morning programs pre-empted that day included Beany & Cecil and The magic Land of Allakazam on ABC; Quick Draw McGraw and Rin Tin Tin on CBS; and Dennis the Menace and Exploring on NBC.

American Bandstand wasn’t broadcast that afternoon by ABC. Nor did the network air its scheduled installment of ABC’s Wide World of Sports or a preview of the upcoming 1964 Winter Olympics. College football games were pre-empted on CBS.

Here’s a rundown of the prime time schedules for each network, with rescheduled airdates:

ABC

7:30-8:30PM
Hootenanny
At the U.S. Naval Academy, with the Chad Mitchell Trio, Val Pringle and Judy Henshe
Postponed until February 1st, 1964

8:30-9:30PM
The Lawrence Welk Show
Guests unknown.
Cancelled?

9:30-11PM
The Jerry Lewis Show
With Chubby Checker, Patrice Munsel and others.
Cancelled

CBS

7:30-8:30PM
The American Scene Magazine
With Frank Fontaine and Barbara Heller
Postponed until November 30th, 1963

8:30-9:30PM
The Defenders – “Clair Cheval Died in Boston”
Postponed until January 4th, 1964

9:30-10PM
The Phil Silvers Show – “Stop the Factory, I Want to Get Off”
Postponed until January 4th, 1964

10-11PM
Gunsmoke – “Owney Tupper Had a Daughter”
Postponed until April 4th, 1964

NBC

7:30-8:30PM
The Lieutenant – “Tour of Duty”
Postponed until March 7th, 1964

8:30-9PM
The Joey Bishop Show – “Joey Gets Brainwashed”
Postponed until January 18th, 1964

9-11PM
Saturday Night At the Movies – “Imitation General”
Postponed until January 11th, 1964


4 Comments

  • Troy Lee Turner says:

    Among the college football games that afternoon on CBS was to be Harvard-Yale, broadcast by Lindsey Nelson and Terry Brennan. Overlying reason for the postponement/cancellation: JFK was a Harvard man

  • Steve Z. says:

    The Lawrence Welk Show was probably cancelled that day since in 1963 the show was done live. I believe it would have been their Thanksgiving show.

    • Joseph says:

      And wasn’t Jerry :Lewis’s variety show also done live?

    • Joseph says:

      I seem to recall that Lawrence Welk very seldom had guests on his show, but was mostly his large cast of regulars who filled-up the hour.

      Welk’s show was intended as a 13-week Summer replacement in 1955; by the time the show finally ended, it had been on the air for 27 years.

      Despite his music being criticized for being “squarer than square”, a lot of someones must have liked his show for it to run for more than a quarter-century.

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