New Spotlight: The Second Hundred Years

This month’s Spotlight shines on The Second Hundred Years, an ABC sitcom that ran for 26 episodes during the 1967-1968 season. Monte Markham played two roles in the series: prospector Luke Carpenter, frozen in a glacier in 1900 and later thawed out in 1967, as well as Luke’s grandson Ken. The two looked identical but acted nothing alike. Arthur O’Connell co-starred as Luke’s son and Ken’s father. Each week, the three found themselves caught up in some wacky adventure.

Still from the opening credits to The Second Hundred Years

Still from the opening credits to The Second Hundred Years.

From the reviews I’ve found, most critics weren’t fond of the series. A few were, like George Gent of The New York Times. Initial ratings were relatively high but soon sank as viewers apparently tired of the gimmick. Many episodes involved Luke either being mistaken for or purposefully impersonating Ken.

Screen Gems produced the series for ABC. Harry Ackerman served as executive producer. Repeats aired on USA Network from 1986 to 1988. The series was also part of a Screen Gems syndicated package called “The Magic Show” during the 1980s.


Did you watch The Second Hundred Years when it originally aired in the 1960s? Did you see it on USA Network in the 1980s? Hit the comments with your thoughts.


6 Comments

  • paul kollmar says:

    the reason why this Harry Ackerman production didn’t meet the standards of a great concept/ was its music & style== George Duning was a maestro**( Picnic**) and so many other delicately planned details… and without any subtle transition into it-/ it was rushed to completion* –Even Eleanor Donohue((Mrs Harry Ackermann)–and Ackermann himself declared years later during the decline of the medium/ he wouldn’t stand for or accept it.. ..^.TOPPER was in 1956===then came the Smothers Brothers and tv watching attitudes forever changed.. From, the very first note of BEWITCHED, the music–set the s p e l l ^^not here, I’m afraid===ps;; go back to Albertson and BUS STOP and listen to the trailer for it [email protected] THAT THEME WAS PICKED UP FOR ROCKY AND BULLWINCKLE == MARILYN HAD SET HER own SPELL— and years later John Schlesinger got his idea for MIDNITE COWBOY with jon voight as Don Murray’s character/ it happened like chance but on a bus this rider took 1 month after the film’s completion in july 1969——

  • normadesmond says:

    you pried open a memory i would’ve thought forever lost. i kind of remember this show! i recall secretly swooning over monte. this show aired at 8:30 EST and my parents probably demanded my 13 year old ass be getting ready for bed….and, the beverly hillbillies ran against it. i might have liked that more.

  • Patrick Murtha says:

    I was nine year old when this premiered, and watched it religiously. I quite liked the dual Monte Markham performance. I followed his career after that and always enjoyed his work.

  • Steven Thompson says:

    Monte Markham appeared as a guest on STU’S SHOW in early November, 2016, and spoke a lot about the series. I was happy to hear that he and Arthur O’Connell became fast friends and stayed close for the remainder of O’Connell’s life. The two even reunited in one episode of Markham’s NEW PERRY MASON series.

  • James Shell says:

    I remember it… the first episode was good, but it went steadily downhill after that. I quit watching after four or five episodes.

  • Stickmaker says:

    I saw it. Like some of the other commenters, I think it started well but quickly entered a rut. Most of what I recall about the show is from the pilot.

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