TV Guide Ad: Smothers Brothers Show and Slattery’s People

Here’s a CBS TV Guide ad from September 1965 promoting the series premiere of the network’s new sitcom The Smothers Brothers Show and the return of its critically-acclaimed drama Slattery’s People:

Scanned black and white TV Guide ad for The Smothers Brothers Show and Slattery's People
TV Guide Ad for The Smothers Brothers Show and Slattery’s People – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

The Smothers Brothers Show starred Dick and Tom Smothers. Dick played a publishing executive while Tom played his deceased brother who returned to Earth as a new angel tasked with helping people. He wasn’t very good at helping, however, and Dick often had to help. It lasted the entire 1965-1966 season, airing 32 episodes between September 1965 and April 1966.

Slattery’s People returned for its second season in September 1965. Despite praise from TV critics, the series was low-rated throughout its first season and did no better in its second. So CBS dropped it in November 1965, just ten episodes into the 1965-1966 season.

The two shows premiered on Friday, September 17th, 1965.

This particular ad is from the Eastern Illinois Edition of TV Guide. Channel 3 was WCIA-TV in Champaign, IL. The station was in the Central Time Zone. In the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, The Smothers Brothers Show ran from 9:30-10PM on Fridays while Slattery’s People ran from 10-11PM.

Image Credit:
TV Guide, September 11th, 1965 (Vol. 13, No. 37), Eastern Illinois Edition, Page A-67.

WCBW Schedule, Week of December 14th, 1941

Here’s the schedule for WCBW, the CBS station in New York City, for the week starting Sunday, December 14th, 1941, straight from daily television listings printed in The New York Times. As always, the station was off the air on Sunday.

Based solely on these listings, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaring war on Japan did not lead to significant scheduled changes at WCBW. It’s possible that the listings were sent to The New York Times too far in advance to reflect alterations to he schedule. Or, more likely, the station simply added extra daily news reports while trying to keep to its regular schedule.

It’s unknown whether or not Boys in the Back Room aired this week. Listings for Monday, December 15th included the placeholder “To Be Announced” at 2:45PM. Men at Work featured a pianist, a tap dancer, and a dance group. Ski instructor Fritz Loosli was Bob Edge’s guest for his Tuesday sports program.

The topic for Wednesday’s Table Talk with Helen Sioussat was The Pulpit and the War.

Sunday, December 14th, 1941
No Programs Schedule

Monday, December 15th, 1941 [4]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – To Be Announced
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30PM – Variety Show [Men at Work]: Rolly Rolls, Piano; Sonny Austin, Tap Dancer; Song Spinner, Polly Korchien Dance Group

Tuesday, December 16th, 1941 [5]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Dancing Lesson
3:15PM – Children’s Story
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Tamara, Songs
8:30PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art
9-9:30PM – Sports–Bob Edge; Fritz Loosli, Guest

Wednesday, December 17th, 1941 [6]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Table Talk with Helen Sioussat: The Pulpit and the War–Stanley High, Mrs. Sidney Borg, Dr. Alfred McCluny Lee
3:15PM – Children’s Story
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30-9:30PM – Country Dance

Thursday, December 18th, 1941 [7]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art
3:15PM – Children’s Story
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Sports-Bob Edge
8:30-9:30PM – Visual Quiz

Friday, December 19th, 1941 [8]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Film
3:15PM – Children’s Story
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – National Defense Program
9-10PM – Sports–Bob Edge: Badminton

Saturday, December 20th, 1941 [9]
2:30-4:30PM – Films

Note: Television listings published in newspapers were based on information provided by stations and were subject to change at the last minute. They may not be an accurate representation of what actually aired.

Works Cited:

1 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 15 Dec. 1941: 37.
2 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 16 Dec. 1941: 55.
3 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 17 Dec. 1941: 55.
4 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 18 Dec. 1941: 55.
5 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 19 Dec. 1941: 51.
6 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 20 Dec. 1941: C37.

Cozi TV to Air Howdy Doody Marathon on July 4th

Cozi TV announced plans last week for an Independence Day marathon of The Howdy Doody Show. The six-hour marathon will feature nine episodes of the long-running children’s show plus a new “Howdy Doody for President” special. It will be the first time any episodes have been seen on television since 1960. The marathon will air from 9AM to 3PM ET on Monday, July 4th.

The Howdy Doody Show aired on NBC from December 1947 to September 1960 and produced more than 2,000 episodes. Howdy ran for president in 1948 and 1952. The new “Howdy Doody for President” special will include footage culled from his presidential runs plus Howdy’s thoughts on the current political situation. Each episode will also feature a new introduction from Howdy.

From a press release announcing the marathon:

In 2014, COZI TV originally licensed The New Howdy Doody Show, a syndicated series from the 1970s. However, that wasn’t enough for devotees of the original show, who pitched the network seeking a return of the original series. One keeper of the Howdy Doody flame is Burt Dubrow, Executive Producer of the Dr. Drew Show for HLN, and former producer of Sally Jessy Raphael and Jerry Springer. Dubrow was also the road manager during college tour appearances in the 1970s for “Buffalo” Bob Smith, the human star of Howdy Doody who created the character and provided Howdy’s voice.

“I am friendly with COZI TV’s consulting creative director, Alan Goodman,” said Dubrow. “I called him up and gave him a piece of my mind.”

Goodman subsequently led a two-year effort to return the original show to America’s airwaves. Fortunately, Dubrow had a personal collection. Combined with the archives of fellow collectors, COZI TV was able to successfully compile enough material for the July 4 marathon.

“In many ways, we can be grateful tracking this all down took the time it took, because the process has landed us right in the middle of one of the most bizarre presidential campaigns in history,” said McGinn. “We’ll leave it up to every voter to decide whether Howdy Doody is the most unlikely candidate for the job.”

I’d love to know more about the “two-year effort to return the original show to America’s airwaves.” According to an Associated Press article, Dubrow and Goodman first had to determine who owns the rights to The Howdy Doody Show. NBC–or some arm of NBCUniversal–does. Cozi TV is also part of NBCUniversal. The two then had to track down prints of episodes.

The press release suggests the episodes were sourced from private collectors rather than NBC. Back in 2008, Mill Creek Entertainment released a DVD collection of 40 episodes originally broadcast between 1949 to 1954. Those episodes were supposedly drawn “from the NBC Universal vaults” so NBC must have some episodes of The Howdy Doody Show preserved somewhere.

The Associated Press also reports that should the marathon be successful, Cozi TV has additional episodes ready to air. I’m not personally interested in watching The Howdy Doody Show. However, I am all for Cozi TV expanding its classic TV offerings. Much of its programming consists of popular, long-running shows. Many are from the 1970s or 1980s.

While The Howdy Doody Show certainly has name recognition, it hasn’t been endlessly syndicated for decades. If the marathon draws enough viewers, perhaps it will get Cozi TV to consider adding other shows that aren’t necessarily well-known or haven’t been seen in 50 years. Or this may wind up being a one-off experiment.

Nielsen Bottom 10, December 7th-13th, 1987

Week 12 of the 1987-1988 season started on Monday, December 7th, 1987 and ended on Sunday, December 13th, 1987. The highest-rated program was The Cosby Show on NBC with a 30.0/47 Nielsen rating/share and 43.4 million viewers according to AGB Television Research.

Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs on TV during Week 12 of the 1987-1988 season:

## Program Network Rating Viewers
63 Hotel ABC 8.8/16 10,800,000
64 Buck James ABC 8.6/14 14,600,000
65 The Pursuit of Happiness ABC 8.5/15 13,900,000
66 Houston Knights CBS 8.3/13 10,200,000
67 Sable ABC 8.2/14 11,400,000
68 Rags to Riches NBC 7.8/14 15,300,000
69 Best Defense (movie]) ABC 7.1/12 9,300,000
70 Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (movie) (repeat) CBS 6.9/12 10,300,000
71 West 57th CBS 6.8/13 10,600,000
72 Sledge Hammer! ABC 6.3/10 8,800,000

Copyright A.C. Nielsen Co. and AGB Television Research

Note: USA Today did not begin including FOX programming in its weekly rating charts until December 1988.

The networks saw their schedules impacted again this week by the Washington Summit between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union (held December 8th-10th). Six different programs were aired without sponsors during the week and therefore Nielsen did not rank them. For the Bottom 10, however, it was business as usual.

NBC landed a show in the Bottom 10 for the first time in several weeks thanks to the return of Rags to Riches after being pre-empted for two weeks straight. CBS had three shows in the Bottom 10 while ABC saw six of its shows among the lowest-rated for the week.

CBS continued to have serious trouble with its Saturday lineup. The CBS Saturday Night Movie on Saturday, December 12th was a repeat of Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry, which ranked 70th for the week. West 57th followed at 10PM and ranked 71st for the week.

Over at ABC, its Saturday lineup fared little better. Ohara just barely missed the Bottom 10, ranking 62nd for the week. Both Sable and Hotel were in the Bottom 10, however.

President Reagan addressed the nation at 9PM on Thursday, December 10th. ABC pre-empted The Charmings at 8:30PM for a special about the Washington Summit leading into the address. ABC and CBS returned to their regular programming at 8:20PM while NBC aired analysis of the address until 8:30PM. The ABC Thursday Night Movie that night was Best Defense, which ranked 69th for the week.

Also of note: a Barbara Walters special (ABC, Tuesday, December 8th) tied for 6th for the week; the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards (CBS, Wednesday, December 9th), and Full House (ABC, Friday, December 11th), and “‘Tis the Season to Be Smurfy” (NBC, Sunday, December 13th) tied for 58th; and I Married Dora (ABC, Friday, December 11th) ranked 61st.

Source:
“Using this chart.” USA Today. 16 Dec. 1987: 03.d

TV Guide Ad: The Quest (1976)

Here’s an NBC TV Guide ad from September 1976 promoting the series premiere of the network’s new drama The Quest:

Scanned black and white TV Guide ad for The Quest
TV Guide Ad for The Quest – Copyright 1976 Triangle Publications, Inc.

The Quest starred Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson as two brothers searching for their missing sister, who was being held captive by the Cheyenne. A pilot telefilm aired in May 1976. The weekly series debuted on Wednesday, September 22nd with a special a special 90-minute episode. The following week it moved to its regular Wednesday 10-11PM time slot.

NBC aired 13 episodes of The Quest before yanking it off the air due to low ratings. Four completed episodes were left unaired.

This particular ad is from the Western New England Edition of TV Guide. Channel 22 was WWLP in Springfield, MA and Channel 30 was WHNB-TV in Hartford, CT.

Image Credit:
TV Guide, September 18th, 1976 (Vol. 24, No. 38), Western New England Edition, Page A-90.

Rod Serling’s The Loner Now Available on DVD

Shout Factory! has released Rod Serling’s short-lived western series The Loner on DVD. As is the case with My Friend Flicka and Custer, this is a Walmart exclusive at the moment. It’s currently selling for $17.52 at Walmart’s website, reduced from a suggested retail price of $24.97. You may find it even cheaper in Walmart stores.

For those not familiar with The Loner, it ran for 26 episodes on CBS during the 1965-1966 season. It was one of the last network prime time shows to air in black and white. Serling created the series and served as supervising script consultant. According to his Internet Movie Database profile he also wrote 15 episodes. William Dozier was executive producer.

DVD cover for The Loner: The Complete Series

The Loner: The Complete Series (Courtesy of Shout! Factory/Walmart)

The half-hour series starred Lloyd Bridges as a former Union officer wandering the West shortly after the end of the Civil War–referred to in the opening credits as a “ruthless, restless, searching men”–hoping to find a place for himself in the world while helping to explore and tame the West.

I don’t believe The Loner was ever syndicated but some episodes were shown on TV Land in the late 1990s. Personally, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the series, never a full episode, but it sounds a lot like the Union version of The Rebel, which ran on ABC from 1959 to 1961.

Guest stars included Zalman King, Anne Baxter, Burgess Meredith, Dan Duryea, Whit Bissell, Leslie Nielsen, Brock Peters, James Whitmore, and Deanna Lund, among others. Beau, Jeff, and Cindy Bridges also made appearances alongside their father.

(via Home Theater Forum)

WCBW Schedule, Week of December 7th, 1941

Here’s the schedule for WCBW, the CBS station in New York City, for the week starting Sunday, December 7th, 1941, straight from daily television listings printed in The New York Times.

Although no programs were scheduled to air on Sunday, December 7th, WCBW went on the air for the first time ever on a Sunday to cover the attacks on Pearl Harbor. It’s unclear how long the station remained on the air. According to one report, it broadcast coverage of the attack from 8:45PM to after 10PM. Other reports suggest it was on the air for nine to ten hours.

Coverage of the attacks continued throughout the week, with multiple daily reports from Gilbert Seldes, who was in charge of the CBS television program department [1]. On Monday, December 8th at 12:30PM EST, President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and delivered his famous “Infamy Speech.” WCBW carried the speech live. Audio, no doubt from a radio broadcast, was played while a flag waved in the background [2].

That afternoon, WCBW cancelled both Boys in the Back Room and the afternoon Children’s Story program to air additional coverage. Interestingly, listings in The New York Times didn’t include Boys in the Back Room; instead there was a placeholder “To Be Announced” at 2:45PM. Also, the station remained on the air an extra hour and 15 minutes on Monday [3].

The daily Children’s Story this week was an adaptation of Arabian Nights.

Men at Work aired as scheduled on Monday night, with a comedienne, a singer, and two pairs of dancers. Tamara sang on Tuesday once again. The topic for Wednesday’s Table Talk with Helen Sioussat was not included in the listings.

Friday’s National Defense program was likely watched by more viewers than previous installments.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941
No Programs Scheduled [Coverage of the attack on Pearl Harbor]

Monday, December 8th, 1941 [4]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – To Be Announced [Boys in the Back Room cancelled for news reports]
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights [Cancelled for news reports]
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30PM – Variety Show [Men at Work]: Sheila Barrett, Comedienne; Carmen De La Vega, Songs; Cappella and Patrciia, Dancers; Wesley Adams and Lisa, Dancers

Tuesday, December 9th, 1941 [5]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Dancing Lesson
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Tamara, Songs
8:30PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art
9-9:30PM – Sports–Bob Edge; Joel Barber, Guest

Wednesday, December 10th, 1941 [6]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Table Talk with Helen Sioussat
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30-9:30PM – Country Dance

Thursday, December 11th, 1941 [7]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – Sports-Bob Edge
8:30-9:30PM – Visual Quiz

Friday, December 12th, 1941 [8]
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Film
3:15PM – Children’s Story: Arabian Nights
8:00PM – News Reports
8:15PM – National Defense Program
9-10PM – Sports–Bob Edge: Badminton

Saturday, December 13th, 1941 [9]
2:30-4:30PM – Films

Note: Television listings published in newspapers were based on information provided by stations and were subject to change at the last minute. They may not be an accurate representation of what actually aired.

Works Cited:

1 “Television Develops New Presentation Of War News as Events Occur Swiftly.” Broadcasting. 15 Dec. 1941: 16.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 8 Dec. 1941: C42.
5 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 9 Dec. 1941: 63.
6 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 10 Dec. 1941: 51.
7 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 11 Dec. 1941: 55.
8 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 12 Dec. 1941: 51.
9 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 13 Dec. 1941: 37.

Nielsen Bottom 10, November 30th-December 6th, 1987

Week 11 of the 1987-1988 season started on Monday, November 30th, 1987 and ended on Sunday, December 6th, 1987. The highest-rated programs were A Different World and The Cosby Show on NBC, which each drew a 24.9/38 Nielsen rating/share. 33.5 million viewers watched A Different World, according to AGB Television Research, while 32.4 watched The Cosby Show.

Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs on TV during Week 10 of the 1987-1988 season:

## Program Network Rating Viewers
60 Ohara ABC 8.0/14 12,400,000
61 Plaza Suite (movie) ABC 7.9/13 11,000,000
62 Sledge Hammer! ABC 7.4/11 10,700,000
63 The Oldest Rookie CBS 7.1/12 11,600,000
64 Sable ABC 7.0/12 10,700,000
65 West 57th CBS 6.9/13 10,300,000
66 Jennings-Koppel Report (special) ABC 6.4/10 7,700,000
67 Houston Knights CBS 5.8/9 9,300,000
68 CBS Reports: Children of Apartheid (special) CBS 5.2/9 9,700,000
69 Twilight Zone (special) (repeat) CBS 4.3/7 8,200,000

Copyright A.C. Nielsen Co. and AGB Television Research

Note: USA Today did not begin including FOX programming in its weekly rating charts until December 1988.

It was a somewhat atypical week for the networks due to the upcoming Washington Summit between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union (held December 8th-10th). That impacted the Bottom 10 to some degree. It was an even split between ABC and CBS with each placing five shows in the Bottom 10. Most were regular bottom dwellers like Ohara, The Oldest Rookie, and Houston Knights.

On Monday, November 30th from 8-9PM, NBC broadcast “A Conversation with Mikhail S. Gorbachev,” taped the previous Sunday in Russia. Tom Brokaw conducted the interview. It was the first time a journalist from the United States had a one-on-one interview with Gorbachev. Because the hour-long special wasn’t sponsored, it wasn’t ranked by Nielsen. It was rated, however, and its 9.9 rating would have tied it for 54th for the week.

Also not sponsored was a half-hour taped interview of President Reagan by anchors from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN. Both ABC and NBC aired it from 8-8:30PM on Thursday, December 3rd while CBS aired it at 11:30PM. CNN aired it at 8:30PM.

Two specials that were sponsored landed in the Bottom 10 this week. CBS aired an installment of The Jennings-Koppel Report covering the Washington Summit from 10-11PM on Sunday, December 6th and ranked 66th for the week. “CBS Reports: The Children of Apartheid” aired from 8-9PM on Saturday, December 5th and ranked 68th for the week. CBS decided to air a repeat of The Twilight Zone from 9-10PM on Saturday. It ranked last for the week.

Also of note: “A Tribute to Dar Robinson” (ABC, Monday, Noember 30th) ranked 37th for the week; a two-hour Presidential Debate (BC, Tuesday, December 1st) ranked 57th; “All Star Party for Joan Collins” (CBS, Wednesday, December 2nd) tied for 51st; and the season premiere of Simon & Simon (CBS, Thursday, December 3rd) ranked 47th.

Sources:
Carmody, John. “The TV Column.” Washington Post. 4 Dec. 1987: d10.
“Using this chart.” USA Today. 9 Dec. 1987: 03.d