A Year in TV Guide: May 1st, 1965

A Year in TV Guide explores the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide magazine. Each week, I’ll examine the issue of TV Guide published exactly 50 years earlier. The intent is not simply to examine what was on television each week but rather what was being written about television.

Week #32
May 1st, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 18, Issue #631
Eastern New England Edition

On the Cover: Connie Stevens (photograph by Gene Trindl).

The Magazine

There are only three articles in this issue which, I believe, makes it the issue with the fewest articles to date. None of them are really all that great. “‘An Apple Blossom with the Wham of a Bulldozer,'” the cover article by Richard Warren Lewis, is about actress Connie Stevens whose new ABC sitcom Wendy and Me will not be returning for the 1965-1966 season.

The article opens with a story about how one day Stevens overslept and was 50 minutes late for a rehearsal. George Burns along with the rest of the cast and crew decided to get revenge by staying silent after she read her first line. Everyone stared at her until her face turned bright red and then they all burst into laughter.

Front Cover
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Stevens apparently doesn’t mind that her series has been cancelled:

A while back a lady told me: ‘You’re so wonderful in that show, you’re gonna be on the air for 15 years.’ My reaction to that was–my eyes widened and I panicked. I just don’t have the emotional capacity to stick with something for that long. I have to be movin’ all the time. I hate to disillusion people and say I love this part and I could do it for the rest of my dying days.

When she was still on Hawaiian Eye she got into a dispute with Warner Brothers, was suspended, and then was charged with breach of contract for performing in a nightclub in Australia. Everything was settled out of court and she was allowed more freedom. Her current contract allows her time off for night club appearances and lets her appear on other network TV shows. Warner Brothers also gave her a very nice dressing room for Wendy and Me. But her dream isn’t to be a TV star — Connie wants to be a big movie star.

Peter Wyden’s lengthy article “Step right up, folks” is adapted, but not excerpted, from his new book The Overweight Society. It examines the television campaign promoting Regimen diet pills that started in 1958. It included live weigh-ins on NBC’s Today (and shows on other networks) by women supposedly losing weight successfully thanks to Regimen Tablets, including Mrs. Dorothy Bryce, who actually went to extreme measures to lose weight fast. By 1959, the network’s concerns about the product and its promoter eventually became too great to be ignored. Regimen Tablets were eventually pulled from the market and there were federal investigations and lawsuits during the early 1960s.

It’s tough to summarize the article, which focuses in part on how NBC advertising standards were stretched to the limit:

NBC, for example, would not permit Mrs. Bryce to assert that she lost her weight “without diet.” She was merely allowed to say that she lost it “without starvation diet.” Since she did eat 800 calories a day and did not, in fact, starve to death, this was a truthful, if well-weaseled, statement.

[Details of the Regimen Tablet scandal can be found in this September 1966 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling.]

The third and final article isn’t actually an article but a transcription of remarks made by Max Shulman, creator of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, at a writing seminar held by the Art Directors Club of New York. He discussed what’s wrong with television, laying the blame on the fact that there are too few good writers and too many TV scripts to be written:

Therefore you’ve got a situation, a business, in which writers who are bad more than half the time, even when they’ve got all the time in the world, and no pressure, are under a gun that simply makes them shake and quiver and tremble all over. That is why television is bad.

[I imagine this would have sounded better delivered as a speech. It reads tongue-in-cheek to a degree but it’s tough to say whether Shulman was being serious or facetious or both.]

The “As We See It” editorial this week addresses the plethora of beauty pageant specials on television. There’s Miss U.S.A. (CBS, July 4th); Miss Universe (CBS, July 24th); The International Beauty Spectacular (NBC, August 13th); Miss America (CBS, September 11th); Miss Teen-Age America (CBS, October 29th); and America’s Junior Miss (NBC, March 1966). TV Guide compares the proliferation of “girl-watching” to the increase in televised football games. It used to be there was only the “Miss America Pageant” special broadcast in September.

Cleveland Amory reviews Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in this issue. Here’s his first paragraph:

We promise you we are going to resist the temptation to say this show is the bottom; because it isn’t. Neither, however, is it, shall we say, high adventure. It’s just middling. Your children will love it and, as often as not, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea‘s suspense will offer you escape. And these days, that’s not too bad, television fare being what it is.

The rest of the review covers the cast and characters and plots of several episodes with relatively little critical commentary from Amory.

News from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:

  • Barbara Eden, star of NBC’s upcoming I Dream of Jeannie, is pregnant and producers are rushing to complete episodes.
  • Ethel Merman makes her dramatic TV debut in an episode of Kraft Suspense Theatre called “‘Twixt Cup and Lip.”
  • Joey Bishop may return next season in a series of variety specials on NBC.
  • Robert Lansing’s 7-year-old son, Robert Lansing, will appear in his final episode of 12 O’clock High.
  • Dennis James has been signed to host a new panel show called Silent Partners. [A pilot was produced but not picked up.]
  • A summer replacement series starring trumpeter Al Hirt will fill in for Jackie Gleason for 13 weeks starting June 19th.
  • Danny Thomas will do five more specials for NBC next season.
  • CBS is receiving more than 50,000 requests a day for test forms for its National Drivers’ Test special to be aired on May 24th. More than 20 million viewers may participate.
  • Ed Sullivan has the Beach Boys, Petula Clark, Margot Fonteyn, and Rudolf Mureyev as guests on May 16th.
  • Jack Benny’s weekly series is going off the air but next season on NBC he’ll do at least two specials.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea will get a flying submarine next season.

Rounding out the national section is a picture feature spotlighting eight dogs trained by Frank Inn, all of whom have a special talent; a recipe for Spanish Paella; and the regular TV crossword puzzle.

There are three news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section this week:

  • Sam Jaffe, who plays Dr. Zorba on ABC’s Ben Casey, is leaving the series. The network is replacing him with Franchot Tone and also adding James McMullen to the cast. Bettye Ackerman will remain with the series.
  • Rawhide will face changes in the new season as well. Eric Fleming, Sheb Wooley, and others will be leaving. Clint Eastwood’s Rowdy Yates will become the new trail boss. A few other new characters will be introduced.
  • CBS held its annual stockholder meeting in New York City last week. Board Chairman William S. Paley was asked a variety of questions, including why was James T. Aubrey, Jr. ousted as CBS-TV president? Paley said only that Aubrey “was discharged for management reasons” while CBS President Frank Stanton stated Aubrey was let go because the company was “dissatisfied” with his administration of CBS. Paley also denied that Aubrey made any illicit deals with producers: “The programming arrangements made by Mr. Aubrey were normal and usual in every respect, and no preferential treatment was accorded any producer.”

The letters page this week includes eight letters, half responding to the April 17th cover article about David McCallum:

All the fuss over David McCallum would be much less astonishing to “show biz” authorities if they would think back a few years to women who walked out of “Gone with the Wind” in love with Leslie Howard. There’s something intriguing about a man with brains, breeding and talent.
Mrs. Leonard Grossman
Silver Spring, Md.

Don’t use the hackneyed designation “sex symbol.” What he has is as old as the hills–plain, old-fashioned, high-powered charm.
Maxine Montgomery Coan
Galesbury, Ill.

After I see the show I can’t tell what the episode was about. I watch it to see Napoleon in action.
Mrs. Carlton W. Chick
Kennebunkport, Maine

Illya may appeal to the coeds, but once you graduate it’s got to be Napoleon.
Anne Woodford
Cumberland, Ky.

There was also a letter praising For the People while lamenting its cancellation; a letter agreeing with Cary Middlecoff’s warnings about golf; a letter saluting the end of The Rogues; and a letter in response to Marian Dern’s comment in her April 10th article that Walter Brennan owns half of Oregon with his 18,000 acres, which is a rather small farm to those in Oregon.

The TV Listings

There was plenty of baseball and other sports during the weekend and a variety of specials throughout the week. Viewers in Eastern New England saw the Pittsburgh Pirates face off against the St. Louis Cardinals at 2PM on ABC on Saturday, May 1st. At 5PM, CBS broadcast the 91st Kentucky Derby live from Churchill Downs with Jack Drees calling the race. Opposite the Kentucky Derby, ABC’s Wide World of Sports covered the third round of the PGA Tournament of Champions (stock car racing was also scheduled, time permitting).

All three networks broadcast the live hour-long “This Is Early Bird” inauguration special at 1PM on Sunday, May 2nd. Featured were segments covering medicine, sports, crime prevention, music, and men at work. Pool producers for the special were Av Westin of CBS and Derek Burell-Davis of the BBC. CBS aired a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers at 2:30PM. ABC carried the final round of the PGA Tournament of Champions at 4PM that afternoon. [Locally, WNAC-TV (Channel 7) and WNHC-TV (Channel 8) joined the two-hour telecast in progress at 5PM.] At 5PM, NBC aired “LBJ Report No. 4″ studying the Johnson Administration.

On Monday, May 3rd NBC’s Today was carried live from Europe from 7-9AM thanks to the Early Bird satellite. At 1PM, CBS pre-empted As the World Turns to carry “Town Meeting of the World” live from Europe also via Early Bird. The hour-long special featured a discussion of the situation in Vietnam by statesmen of the Atlantic Alliance. NBC pre-empted a repeat of Karen at 7:30PM for a special live telecast of the BBC’s Panorama documentary series co-hosted by Chet Huntley in London and the BBC’s Richard Dimbleby in New York City, made possible once again by Early Bird. At 9PM, Lorne Greene hosted “American West” on NBC, a special telling the story of the country’s beautiful land west of the Mississippi. Competing on ABC was “Melina Mercouri’s Greece,” an hour-long special in which the actress toured her native country. At 10PM, CBS repeated “Town Meeting of the World” for prime time viewers to enjoy, pre-empting CBS Reports.

NBC’s That Was the Week That Was aired its final episode on Tuesday, May 4th at 9:30PM. On Wednesday, May 5th at 9:30PM CBS premiered a new twice-weekly series called Our Private World, a spin-off of its daytime soap opera As the World Turns. Eileen Fulton starred as Lisa Hughes, who left her small town to work at Chicago’s University Hospital. The second weekly episode debuted on Friday, May 7th at 9PM.

Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:

  • Special: Kentucky Derby (CBS, Saturday at 5:00PM)
  • Special: Early Bird Inaugural (ABC/CBS/NBC, Sunday at 1:00PM)
  • Special: Tournament of Champions Golf Final (ABC, Sunday at 4:00PM & 5:00PM)
  • Special: Melina Mercouri’s Greece (ABC, Monday at 9:00PM)

Locally, baseball fans had even more opportunities to enjoy America’s Pastime. WNHC-TV (Channel 8) carried a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees at 1:55PM on Saturday, May 1st. WHDH-TV (Channel 5) aired a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers at 2:15PM that same day. At 8PM, WGBH-TV (Channel 2) aired “Toward a New Era,” a live 10th anniversary special that included the formal dedication of its new Western Avenue studios.

On Sunday, May 2nd at 10:30AM, WNAC-TV (Channel 7) aired highlights of the 37th anniversary dinner of the National Conference of Christians and Jews held on April 27th. It featured prominent Greater Boston residents receiving citations for outstanding contributions in the field of human relations. At 11:30AM, WTIC-TV (Channel 3) aired Comments and People, with members of The Amity Players presenting musical selections from Pajama Game. WNHC-TV carried another baseball game (Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees) at 12:55PM, meaning it didn’t air the Early Bird inaugural telecast from 1-2PM. At 4PM, WNAC-TV pre-empted the first hour of the PGA Tournament of Champions on ABC to air another installment of Esso Repertory Theatre featuring Luigi Pirandello’s Chee-Chee and The Man with the Flower in His Mouth.

WPRO-TV (Channel 12) pre-empted Petticoat Junction on Tuesday, May 4th at 9:30PM for “Lung Cancer–Beating ‘the Big C’,” an installment of its local documentary series March of Medicine. Mort Blender took viewers into the operating room to report on the fight against killer cancer. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for Lung Cancer: Beating the Big C on WPRO-TV (Channel 12)
Advertisement for Lung Cancer: ‘Beating the Big C’ (Channel 12) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Also, WGBH-TV carried another college lacrosse game on Thursday, May 6th at 7:30PM, this one between Tufts and Holy Cross.

Here’s an advertisement for Romper Room on WHDH-TV with Miss Jean:

Advertisement for Romper Room on WHDH-TV (Channel 5)
Advertisement for Romper Room on WHDH-TV (Channel 5) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

And here’s an unusual advertisement for upcoming The Merv Griffin Show on WBZ-TV:

Advertisement for The Merv Griffin Show on WBZ-TV (Channel 4)
Advertisement for The Merv Griffin Show on WBZ-TV (Channel 4) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Here are the episode descriptions for Dateline Boston, a local series broadcast live and in color Monday through Friday from 6-6:25PM on WHDH-TV (Channel 5):

Monday, May 3rd, 1965
Capt. Bob draws with crayons today.

Tuesday, May 4th, 1965
Seasonal opportunities for out-of-doors enjoyment is presented by Jack Woolner.

Wednesday, May 5th, 1965
Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” is interpreted.

Thursday, May 6th, 1965
“National Music Week” with a spring quartet from the Boston Youth Symphony.

Friday, Mayth, 1965
Dr. Edwin P. Booth concludes his final chapter on the Civil War.

That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Network Programs in December 1946

The early history of network television is murky, dating back to January 1940 when W2XBS (NBC’s experimental station in New York City) was linked to W2XB (General Electric’s experimental station in Schenectady, NY) via a relay station. Experiments in relaying television transmissions between the two stations began in 1939. In October 1945, a third station was added to the nascent NBC network when Philco’s commercial station WPTZ in Philaelphia, PA was linked to commercial stations WNBT (formerly W2XBS) and WRGB (formerly W2XB).

Tests of a primitive DuMont network linking the company’s flagship New York City commercial station, WABD, with experimental station W3XWT (which became WTTG when it went commercial) in Washington, DC may have started as early as August 1945. It was officially unveiled in April 1946.

Television magazine began publishing an overview of all current television advertisers in its January 1947 issue. Listed were details for 33 advertisers sponsoring programs on nine stations. By the December 1947 issue, the list included more than 150 advertisers on 19 stations. Of particular interest to me is the information about which programs were relayed from their originating station to one or more other stations.

It wasn’t specified in the January 1947 issue, but later issues of Television noted that the lists of advertisers were for the previous month, meaning the January 1947 issue included information on advertisers from December 1946.

Network Stations in December 1946

DuMont Stations
WABD (New York City)
WTTG (Washington, D.C.)

NBC Stations
WNBT (New York City)
WRGB (Schenectady, NY)
WPTZ (Philadelphia, PA)

Although DuMont and NBC were the only networks in operation at the time, ABC produced several programs using DuMont’s facilities. ABC and CBS began network operations of their own in 1948.

Here’s a look at those early network programs, ordered by advertiser:

Let’s Play the Game
Tuesdays on WABD; relayed to WTTG.
Half-hour charade program.
Sponsored by Alexander Stores
*Through ABC

Video Reports to America
WABD; relayed to WTTG
Special documentary films shot by ABC.
Sponsored by Automobile Manufacturers Association
*Through ABC

I Love to Eat
Fridays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
Fifteen minute cooking program.
Sponsored by Borden Co.

Let’s Celebrate (one shot special)
Sunday on WNBT; related to WRGB and WPTZ
Experimental audience participation format.
Sponsored by Borden Co.

Tele-Varieties
Twenty minute variety show plugging Minit-Rub and Trushay alternate weeks.
Sundays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
Sponsored by Bristol-Myers

Chevrolet Program
Sundays WABD; relayed to WTTG
Hour show, film and live.
Sponsored by Chevrolet
*Also scheduled for WWDT (Detroit, MI) when it opens.

Voice of Firestone
Monday on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
10-minute film format.
Sponsored by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.

Cavalcade of Sports
Mondays and Fridays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
Boxing bouts.
Sponsored by Gillette Safety Razor Co.

You Are an Artist
Thursdays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB
Fifteen minute art lesson format.
Sponsored by Gulf Refining Company

Detect and Collect
Thursdays on WABD; relayed to WTTG
Half hour audience participation show.
Sponsored by Hirshon-Garfield Agency
*Through ABC

World in Your Home
Fridays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB
Fifteen minute film program.
Sponsored by RCA Victor

Hour Glass
Thursdays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
Hour variety show.
Sponsored by Standard Brands, Inc.

Face to Face
Sundays on WNBT; relayed to WRGB and WPTZ
Quarter hour cartoon show.
Sponsored by Standard Brands, Inc.

(Esso) Television Newsreel
Mondays WNBT; relayed to WPTZ
Ten minutes of late news films.
Sponsored by Standard Oil of New Jersey

Serving Through Science
Tuesdays on WABD; relayed to WTTG
Half hour film program.
Sponsored by U.S. Rubber Co.

The American Home
WNBT; relayed to WRGB
Sports forecast.
Sponsored by U.S. Rubber Co.

How many of these programs do you recognize? Learn more about the beginnings of TV networks in my article Early Networks and the East-Midwest Connection (which, like so many other articles, needs to be revised and expanded).

Source:
“Current Advertisers.” Television. Jan. 1947: 26.

A Year in TV Guide: April 24th, 1965

A Year in TV Guide explores the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide magazine. Each week, I’ll examine the issue of TV Guide published exactly 50 years earlier. The intent is not simply to examine what was on television each week but rather what was being written about television.

Week #31
April 24th, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 17, Issue #630
Eastern New England Edition

On the Cover: Andy Griffith (photograph by Del Hayden).

The Magazine

Marian Dern’s cover story this week is titled “A Southern Sheriff Faces Some Problems” and is thankfully not just a profile of The Andy Griffith Show star Andy Griffith. It covers the departure of Jim Nabors for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and the decision by co-star Don Knotts to leave as well at the end of the 1964-1965 season when his five-year contract was up. Griffith also considered leaving after the 1964-1965 season only to change his mind and agree to continue the series. Dern attempted twice to find out why. Her initial conversation with Griffith did not go well. He was abrupt and ill-tempered.

Front Cover
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

When Dern met up with Griffith again, however, he was all smiles and filled with Mayberry charm. Dern wrote out his folksy speech (“Sorry about the other time. Had a turrible bad cold that day”) just as Leslie Raddatz had in the November 21st, 1964 issue in an article about Jim Nabors. Griffith explained that Knotts will not be replaced next season (Don Rickles and Bernard Fox were among those considered) and will hopefully return “a time or two” if he is free.

As for why he stuck with the series, it was because he was waiting for a substantial film role to come along. Dern summed up the situation:

The picture seemed to be this: Andy wanted to get out of TV, all right, but he wanted out on his own terms. As long as he was lord of The Andy Grifith Show, high in the ratings, he would still be in a position to dictate those terms, if and when that hard -to-come-by “good” movie offer presented itself. Meanwhile, the loot was highly soothing. And it kept a man busy.

“The Networks Ponder Where to Draw the Line” is a disappointing to conclusion to the three-part exploration of adult films on television by Leslie Raddatz. In the first installment he talked to the movie people while in the second he checked in on the government. In this third and final piece he went to the networks. ABC refused to talk to him. CBS vice president for program practices Joseph H. Ream insisted that the network will review movie “on the basis of standards set by the program practices department” just like all other programming.

NBC vice president Robert D. Kasmire revealed that only three films have been rejected since 1961: The Fly, No Way Out, and Lydia Bailey. Viewer standards have changed since then. For example, Ten North Frederick received complaint letters from viewers several years earlier but if aired today probably would not get any. Still, he insisted that NBC was not relaxing its standards. The National Legion of Decency agrees that there has been a “greater maturation and greater sophistication of audiences” over the years and it has altered its ratings for films shown in theaters. Television is another matter. “I think television has a greater responsibility than the motion picture industry,” explained Monsignor Thomas Little, “and advertisers have a great responsibility to the buying public.

Raddatz spoke with a psychologist and a psychiatrist who agreed that violence in the media has an adverse affect on young viewers who may be more aggressive. An anthropologist, however, argued that television may be an important factor in society (and juvenile delinquency) but it is not the “unique cause.” Raddatz considers whether the same holds true for depictions of “casual adulteries and miscellaneous pre- and post-martial sex” that may soon be seen on television. He again notes that some foreign films with adult themes have been shown on television but they are both tasteful works and were tastefully presented.

He concluded the article and his three-part series with the following question:

Whether we are now living, as some would have it, in decadent age, or experiencing, as others believe, a sexual revolution long overdue–whether it takes (heaven forbid) an Act of Congress, or action by the television broadcasters or reaction by the viewing public–does the toilet really belong in the living room?”

David Lachenbruch’s lengthy article about community antenna television (CATV), “He Plants His Antennas In Every Corner of the Nation,” hits many of the same notes the “As We See It” editorial in the November 28th, 1964 issue. CATV started as a way to bring television to viewers who couldn’t receive over-the-air broadcasts but now threatens both local and network broadcasting by bringing local stations from cities across the country into other cities across the country. More worrying, despite denials from the CATV industry, is the specter of pay TV and original programming for CATV systems.

The FCC doesn’t have authority over CATV but it may get it. There are also lawsuits making their way through the courts charging CATV systems with copyright infringement for retransmitting local or network programs without permission. [Today the networks received huge retransmission fees from cable companies.] Some of the networks have decided to play both sides, opposing CATV in public and in court while at the same investing in CATV systems. Nevertheless, CATV continues to grow. One estimate suggests 85% of TV households in the country may one day be wired. A study by the FCC, on the other hand, capped CATV penetration at perhaps 10% of households.

The fourth and final article in this issue is a profile of Don Ameche titled “He Has Moved Out of the Center Ring” by Robert Higgins, which traces Ameche’s career from his first films in the mid-1930s to his attempts to transition to television in the 1950s and finally his most recent gig as host of NBC’s cancelled International Showtime. Although he says he is happy with International Showtime, others aren’t so sure. An anonymous friend said “I can’t watch Don on that show. The smiles and gingersnap he puts into it all is sad. Somewhere, there’s a part of Don that’s died a little.”

Whatever the case, Ameche seems content: “As you grow older, you realize how important it is to do things well. I may never do anything significant, but I’m awe-struck by those who have. I still have energy and an active mind. Now that I’ve discovered what’s important to me, I intend to find out all that I can.”

The “As We See It” editorial this week laments the growth of “teen-age wriggle ‘n’ writhe” shows, seven of which can be seen by viewers in Los Angeles each week: The Lloyd Thaxton Show, Shebang, 9th Street West, Hullabaloo, Hollywood a Go Go, Shiveree, and Shindig. Most of them “offer long-haired boys and sloppily groomed girls making enthusiastic but inept efforts to perform the scores of variations that have been concocted from Chubby Check’s basic Twist.” TV Guide concedes that there may not be anything wrong with wriggle ‘n’ writhe but nevertheless disapproves of how such shows are “turning dancing, which used to be graceful and romantic and fun, into a very questionable spectator sport.”

Cleveland Amory’s review of Gilligan’s Island is relatively positive, which may have surprised many readers of TV Guide. It may be slapstick but there are bright spots, too:

All in all, if you don’t expect too much you can have a good time with this show–although it helps to watch it all in the spirit of a recent plot in which, as we recall, the skipper received a blow on the head which caused him to lose his mind. You had to be pretty alert to notice the difference.

News from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:

  • CBS plans to air all three parts of the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby on May 1st, the Preakness on May 15th, and the Belmont Stakes on June 5th. Jack Drees will announce all three races.
  • ABC’s Discovery will originate from a different world capital each week during the 1965-1966 season.
  • Rex Harrison and wife Rachel Roberts will tour Paris for ABC next season, similar to Sophia Loren’s tour of Rome or Inger Stevens and her tour of Sweden.
  • Peyton Place now has 21 regulars. John Newland has been signed as the third director for the show now that it is adding a third weekly episode.
  • Alan Young may star in a series called Mr. Phipps Goes West about a Boston teacher if Mister Ed is not renewed for the 1965-1966 season. [It was.]
  • Gary Conway will not return to Amos Burke, Secret Agent (formerly Burke’s Law) next season.
  • The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet has been renewed for a 14th season.
  • The Addams Family co-stars Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy will hit the country fair circuit this summer.
  • Frank Sintra will guest star on the premiere episode of NBC’s The Dean Martin Show in September.

Rounding out the national section is a two-page picture feature highlighting the fire engine owned by June Lockhart and her husband, a three-page special feature highlighting some of the outfits worn by Barbra Streisand in her April 28th CBS special, and the regular TV crossword puzzle.

There were three news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section this week:

  • Four-year-old Victoria Meyerink of The Danny Kaye Show was replaced by another four-year-old, Sofia Mary Gruskin, after she suddenly clammed up and stopped responding to Kaye. Unfortunately, after just three appearances, Gruskin also stopped being as talkative as she once was.
  • NBC is planning an examination of Congressional efficiency that may lead to a documentary to air in November. Efficiency firm Arthur D. Little, Inc. of Cambridge, MA will carry out the study, to be called “Study of Congress.” [The resulting documentary was called “Congress Needs Help” and aired on Wednesday, November 24th. David Brinkley narrated.]
  • The Early Bird satellite is not quite ready for commercial use. All programs transmitted to date were “freebies,” part of trial period. The FCC and Comsat, the corporation behind Early Bird, work on rates. Also, European nations are more interested in telephone and telegraph transmission than television. A tentative agreement will allow TV to use the satellite after 2PM ET when peak transatlantic telephone hours in Europe have ended.

The letters page this week included four letters responding to the first part of Leslie Raddatz’s investigation of adult movies on television, published in the April 10th issue:

In regard to “Smut in the Living Room?” by Leslie Raddatz, I’m not saying the present-day films should be censored–simply abolished! (With the exception of Disney’s decent, wonderful films.)
Mrs. Thomas A. Kepner
New Castle, Ind.

Soon parents of teen-agers will not only have to worry about whether their children can legally be admitted to see movies which they consider obscene. They will have to stay home every day and evening to make sure the children don’t admit the movies into their homes.
P. Saiken
New York, N.Y.

It distresses me that there are still so many Freudian cases who can’t view sex without thinking smut. I suggest they exercise their own freedom of choice by changing the channel and stop trying to dictate the entertainment of America’s healthy segment.
Elizabeth Bennett
Lewistown, Pa.

I’d like to ask you if “Smut in the Living Room?” is an official view of TV GUIDE or merely an article designed to promote “discussion and thought” among your readers? If TV GUIDE takes the stand with the article, then it is really unfortunate that all objectivity has been tossed to the winds where your journalism is concerned.
Lee Smith
Phoenix

An editorial note explained that TV Guide only takes an editorial stand in its editorials.

There was also a letter praising Julie Harris (“She is an actress with a beautiful soul which shows in her performances.”) as well as two letters responding to ABC’s documentary “The General” (Sunday, April 4th) about Douglas MacArthur. One was positive (“David Wolper’s superb presentation of General MacArthur’s life had unparalleled beauty and grandeur.”) and the other negative (“…the biography of General MacArthur was a disgrace to the memory of a great American.”).

The TV Listings

Sports and specials filled the week, although there weren’t all that many of either. ABC aired Major League Baseball at 2PM on Saturday, April 24th; viewers watching in Eastern New England watched the St. Louis Cardinals face the Cincinnati Reds. Merle Harmon and Jackie Robinson called the game with Howard Cosell conducting interviews. [The game didn’t air on WNHC-TV (Channel 8) in Connecticut; the station aired a different game between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees.] At 5PM, ABC’s Wide World of Sports included a basketball game between a team from the Soviet Union and the U.S. All-Star squad.

On Sunday, April 25th, CBS pre-empted Lamp unto My Feet and Look Up and Live from 10-11AM to air a documentary called “The Church of the Seven Councils” about the Eastern Orthodox Church. That afternoon at 1PM, the network aired a Stanley Cup Play-off game followed by a baseball game (Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles) at 2PM. At 5PM, ABC aired the final half-hour episode of Science All-Stars featuring highlights from earlier episodes. CBS Reports was pre-empted from 10-11PM on Monday, April 26th for “1945,” a CBS News special exploring the impact of events leading up to the end of World War II on the world, with an emphasis on East-West relations. Perry Wolff write and produced the documentary. Eric Sevareid narrated.

NBC celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Bell Telephone Hour on Tuesday, April 27th at 10PM with a special episode featuring five “great moments” from earlier episodes. Featured were Harry Belafonte, Maurice Chevalier, Robert Preston, Maria Tallchief and Rudolf Nureyev, and Joan Sutherland. CBS aired “My Name Is Barbra,” Barbara Streisand’s first television special, from 9-10PM on Wednesday, April 28th. The one-woman show was split into three segments and would go on to win several Emmy Awards.

Gordon and Sheila MacRae hosted ABC’s “The World’s Fair Entertainment Spectacular” on Thursday, April 29th at 10PM. The special featured a tour of the New York World’s Fair with guests Al Hirt and the New Christy Minstrels. Gil Cates produced and directed.

Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:

  • Saturday Night at the Movies – Annie Get Your Gun (NBC, Saturday at 9:00PM)
  • CBS News Special – “1945” (CBS, Monday at 10:00PM)
  • The Bell Telephone Hour (NBC, Tuesday at 10:00PM)
  • Special: My Name Is Barbra (CBS, Wednesday at 9:00PM)
  • Special: World’s Fair Entertainment Spectacular (ABC, Thursday at 10:00PM)
  • Rawhide – “The Calf Women” (CBS, Friday at 7:30PM)
  • Bob Hope/Chrysler Theatre – “A Time for Killing” (NBC, Friday at 8:30PM)
  • FDR – “The Dark Days” (ABC, Friday at 9:30PM)

Locally, there was a lot of baseball this week. There was the WNHC-TV Los Angeles Angels-New York Yankees game on Saturday, April 24th at 1:55PM as well as a Boston Red Sox-Baltimore Orioles game on WHDH-TV (Channel 5) at 2:15PM that same day. WNHC-TV aired another game between the Angels and the Yankees on Sunday, April 25th at 12:55PM. On Tuesday, April 27th at 9PM WHDH-TV aired a game between the Red Sox and the White Sox. And on Friday, April 29th WNHC-TV aired a game between the New York Mets and the Cincinnati Reds at 9PM.

At 8:30PM on Saturday, April 24th educational station WGBH-TV (Channel 2) aired a lengthy World Forum titled “The Free Society and its Posture in World Affairs, 1965″ moderated by Walter Cronkite. The two-and-a-half hour broadcast was the keynote of the dedication of the Prudential Center in Boston. Trinity College in Hartford, CT was featured on WNHC-TV’s Morning Seminar on Sunday, April 25th from 11-11:30AM. WTEV (Channel 6) broadcast the fifth and final game of the 1965 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers at 2PM. TV Guide published a notice explaining that the game would only be telecast if it was needed. In light of this uncertainty, the listing for WTEV at 2PM was “To Be Announced.”

WPRO-TV (Channel 12) aired “Salk vs. Polio: Victor Over Disease” at 6:30PM on Sunday, an installment of David L. Wolper’s syndicated documentary series Men in Crisis. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for Men in Crisis: Salk vs. Polio on WPRO-TV (Channel 12)
Advertisement for Men in Crisis: Salk vs. Polio on WPRO-TV (Channel 12) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

On Monday, April 26th at 9PM, WNAC-TV (Channel 7) pre-empted ABC’s Wendy and Me and The Bing Crosby Show to air a documentary called “My Two Childhoods” comparing the childhoods of Hubert H. Humphrey and author James Baldwin. WGBH-TV aired another college lacrosse match between Worcester Polytechnic Institute and MIT on Thursday, April 29th at 7:30PM. And on Friday, April 30th at 8:30PM, WGBH-TV aired a 75-minute United Nations Day concert taped on October 24th, 1964.

Here’s an advertisement for WHDH-TV’s weekday New England Farm and Food Program, hosted by Joe Kelly:

Advertisement for WHDH-TV's New England Farm and Food Program
Advertisement for WHDH-TV’s New England Farm and Food Program – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

And here’s an advertisement ABC’s Nightlife on WTEV (Channel 6) with an outdated ABC eagle logo:

Advertisement for ABC's Nightlife on WTEV (Channel 6)
Advertisement for ABC’s Nightlife on WTEV (Channel 6) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Here are the episode descriptions for Dateline Boston, a local series broadcast live and in color Monday through Friday from 6-6:25PM on WHDH-TV (Channel 5):

Monday, April 26th, 1965
Capt. Bob illustrates line and perspective.

Tuesday, April 27th, 1965
The resources and enjoyment of a public library are shown.

Wednesday, April 28th, 1965
The “Frontiers of Space” are explored.

Thursday, April 29th, 1965
[No description.]

Friday, April 30th, 1965
This special program marks the second observance of Law Day around the world.

That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Retro TV Adding New Shows

Retro TV (formerly RTN and RTV) was one of the first digital specialty networks when it launched in July 2005. Over the past decade, however, it has been overshadowed in many ways by Me-TV, Antenna TV, and Cozi TV. As of June 2014, Retro TV was available in just 54% of households compared to 91% for Me-TV, 70% for Antenna TV, and 59% for Cozi TV. An affiliate agreement with Mako Communications that went into affect in December 2014 brought Retro TV’s coverage to 68% of households (which is on par with Cozi TV’s current 70% coverage).

Nevertheless, Retro TV has been adding new shows over the past few months. It debuted soap opera The Doctors (NBC, 1963-1982) in September 2014 and premiered Police Surgeon late last month. (The half-hour syndicated medical series was originally called Dr. Simon Locke and starred Sam Groom. I wrote about the series back in 2010.)

Recently, Retro TV announced it will be adding The Barbara Stanwyck Show (NBC, 1960-1961), Mister Peepers (NBC, 1952-1955) and The Jerry Lewis Show (NBC, 1967-1969) later this year as well as documentary series Crusade in Europe (ABC, 1949) and Crusade in the Pacific (syndicated, 1951). Check out the Retro TV news page for details.

None of these are big name shows but neither are any of them true obscurities. I would say they’re all relatively forgotten to various degrees. Of the group, Mister Peepers is arguably the most well known. Reportedly, not all the episodes of the series have survived. S’More Entertainment released two DVD sets in 2005 and 2006. The Barbara Stanwyck Show was released on DVD in two volumes by E1 Entertainment and The Archive of American Television/The Television Academy Foundation in 2009 and 2010. Both Crusade in Europe and Crusade in the Pacific are also available on DVD.

The Jerry Lewis Show has never been made available intact; there are two DVD sets with edited episodes. It remains to be seen whether Retro TV will air the full hour-long versions or the same chopped up half-hours that are available on DVD.

In the past I’ve wondered whether audiences can support so many classic TV diginets (Decades will be joining the fray when it fully launches on May 25th). If competition for programming means shows like these are making it to the air, and potentially other lesser known shows, that can only be a good thing.

2015 Early Television Convention to Feature TV Footage from 1947/1948

The 2015 Early Television Convention will include a presentation by James Cozart highlighting kinescope recordings of live local and network television from 1947 and 1948. The footage will be drawn primarily from the Hubert Chain Collection held by the Library of Congress, which features excerpts of a variety of New York City programs dating back to June 1947.

The Chain Collection contains some of the earliest surviving television footage. I’ve always wanted to see it and I wish I could be at this presentation. I’m thrilled that it is being screened publicly even if I can’t be there. More details will hopefully be posted to the Early Television Museum’s website at a later date.

The convention will be held May 1-3 in Hilliard, Ohio. Other presentations will cover television in the 1920s and the history of the video disc and RCA’s CED system. There will also be a swap meet, a restoration workshop, both a silent and live auction, and more.

A Year in TV Guide: April 17th, 1965

A Year in TV Guide explores the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide magazine. Each week, I’ll examine the issue of TV Guide published exactly 50 years earlier. The intent is not simply to examine what was on television each week but rather what was being written about television.

Week #31
April 17th, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 16, Issue #629
Philadelphia Edition

On the Cover: Robert Vaughn and David McCallum (photograph by Gene Trindl).

The Magazine

This feels like a very light issue because it contains only two real articles, the cover article about actor David McCallum and the second installment of Leslie Raddatz’s examination of “adult” films on TV. A third article consists entirely of excerpts from a new book collecting letters written by the late Fred Allen. There is also a one-page profile of actress Sally Kellerman which isn’t much of an article.

It’s a little odd that the cover features both McCallum and Robert Vaughn from NBC’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when the article is only about McCallum. I can’t believe there weren’t any promotional photographs available of just McCallum. Somebody must have made the decision to include both on the cover. According to the article, the two aren’t best buddies but respect one another and Vaughn doesn’t have a problem with McCallum being so popular.

Front Cover
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

The article gives a few examples of what poor McCallum has to put up with now that he’s a sex symbol: being met by 50 girls in Dallas, one of whom kisses him after asking if his wife (Jill Ireland) minds; having to be rescued from a crowd of 2,000 coeds by police at Louisiana State University; and being mobbed by 500 teenagers at an airport in Illinois. The fact that he’s married and has three children doesn’t seem to bother any of his fans. He considers being called a sex symbol disquieting.

[No disrespect to McCallum but I just can’t see him as a sex symbol. Then again, I was never a teenage girl so what do I know.]

In last week’s issue, Leslie Raddatz worried about movies like Kiss Me, Stupid, The Carpetbaggers, and Walk on the Wild Side airing on television. In this second of three installments, he explores how the government might intervene to protect the public. Connecticut Senator Thomas J. Dodd, head of the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquiency, has this to say:

When I was a kid, there were hootchy-kootchy dancers at the carnivals that came to town, but the whole town didn’t turn out to see them. Now if the trash of the film industry gets on television, it will add a new complexity to an already complex situation. It will require a whole new look at the television industry by Congress and the FCC.

He admits it would be “a very sticky area” due to the First Amendment. Other politicians have similar feelings, with some hoping the FCC will take charge while others point out that the FCC has no authority to do so. It would be best if the television industry would self-regulate. Senator Dodd feels it is unlikely the industry will do so. If it does, it will be through the Code Authority of the National Association of Broadcasters, led by Howard H. Bell. The problem of sex and sensationalism is not lost on him:

We don’t want to take a holier-than-thou attitude. We don’t want to be a super-censor and stifle the creative artist. But in our own area we must take action. If the sex pictures did go on, the public outcry would be tremendous–the hue and cry would be head all the way from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.

Unfortunately, the NAB Code Authority can’t do much other than revoke the Code Seal from any stations that ignore its rulings (only 70% of the country’s TV stations are subscribers). To date, this hasn’t happened due to the content of programs. A previous director of the NAB Code Authority, Robert D. Swezey, argued upon resigning that maintaining industry standards is impossible because of “the poor programming and shoddy practices of a large element of the industry which has no interest in standards and no compulsion to observe them.” Next week, Raddatz will reveal what the networks have to say.

The four pages of excerpts from Fred Allen’s Letters are a little hard to read. Not because they’re the letters of a dead man but because Allen didn’t capitalize anything and enjoyed run-on sentences. The excerpted letters are to Groucho Marx, Alton Cook, and Hal Kanter and range in date from March 1949 to three days before Allen died in March 1956. The March 1949 letter to Groucho Marx is interesting. Allen first insists that Marx is not to blame for killing vaudeville, movies, and radio. He then suggests that if Marx wants to “give television the buss of rigor mortis” he should hurry because “after the last coupe of berle [sic] shows, guys in this section have been dragging television sets out into the yards and burying them.”

Finally, there is a brief one-page profile of actress Sally Kellerman, opposite a full-page color photograph. I’ve only seen a few things she’s been in but still can’t believe I didn’t recognize her. The profile was written in such a way that her identity literally wasn’t revealed until the last line. I actually skipped ahead when it wasn’t explained right away who was being profiled.

The “As We See It” editorial this week discusses a comment made by Hugh Downs of NBC’s Today about the television industry setting up a plan to prevent programs of “deep interest and genuine educational value” from being scheduled opposite one another. TV Guide suggests an alternative:

It is competition, competition to present a well-balanced schedule as well as to attract the highest ratings, competition to offer viewers programs that will exercise their minds as well as their eyes, competition to fulfill the potentialities of television that we glimpse only from time to time.

Unfortunately, competition is a dream, so TV Guide reluctantly supports the Downs plan. “Let’s not waste what few extraordinarily good programs are broadcast by permitting them to be scheduled at the same time.”

Cleveland Amory’s review of ABC’s documentary series FDR is very positive. He praises the “masterful blending job of interviews, stills and films” by the producers (Robert Graff and Bob Feiner, Jr.) as well as Charlton Heston’s reading of FDR’s words. He especially likes how the series shares FDR’s humor with viewers. He is worried, however:

Based, of course, largely on news footage, it illustrates both the wonders and dangers of film. For though film brings history wondrously alive, it also illustrates the narrowness of television’s, and the newsreel’s, conception of “news.” If we aren’t careful, future generations, seeing history this way, will think of it as nothing more than a handful of prancing personalities.

[I wonder what Amory would have thought of the PBS/Ken Burns documentary series The Roosevelts, originally aired last September. More prancing personalities?]

News from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:

  • A slew of familiar faces will be starring in new TV shows in the fall: Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Roger Moore (77 Sunset Strip) on The FBI Story [later renamed The FBI] and Mr. Roberts, respectively; Robert Horton (Wagon Train) on A Man Called Shenandoah; Lloyd Bridges (Sea Hunt) on The Loner; John Forsythe (Bachelor Father) and Ann B. Davis (The Bob Cummings Show) on The Mr. and the Misses [later renamed The John Forsythe Show].
  • Peyton Place‘s Ryan O’Neal has withdrawn from a recording contract because he doesn’t want to do rock ‘n’ roll.
  • NBC will pre-empt its entire 7:30-11PM schedule on Tuesday, September 7th to present an examination of American foreign policy.
  • Dean Martin has signed Milton Berle, Pat Boone, Ginger Rogers, Laurence Harvey, Johnny Mathis, Carol Lawrence, and Tommy Sands to guest star on his NBC variety show.
  • The Emmy Awards will air on NBC on September 12th from 10-11:30PM.
  • ABC’s Discovery ’65 and Saga of Western Man won Thomas Alva Edison awards.
  • CBS will premiere its own private golf tournament featuring the likes of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, and Ken Rosewell on May 8th with the finals airing July 24th.
  • World War I will begin repeats on Sunday, April 25th in its regular 6:30-7PM time slot rather than being replaced by Zoorama, which instead will be seen from 5-5:30PM starting April 18th.

Rounding out the national section is a two-page picture feature depicting Broadside star Kathy Nolan tickling McHale’s Navy co-star Joe Flynn in the Universal Studios commissary, related to the January 9th article about Nolan and the February 20th letter from the cast of McHale’s Navy responding to her comments. There is also a TV Jibe comic strip and the regular TV crossword puzzle.

There were three news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section this week, although one was more opinion than news:

  • There were a lot of terrific specials on the air during the first full week of April, including a documentary about General MacArthur on ABC; the Academy Awards, also on ABC, which drew 75% of the viewing audience; a CBS Reports special scheduled opposite the Academy Awards; an NBC White Paper; President Johnson’s speech about Vietnam; Hallmark Hall of Fame‘s “The Holy Terror” with Julie Harris; a Perry Como special; and ABC’s Saga of a Western Man about Custer’s Last Stand.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that TV advertisers cannot use “unauthentic demonstrations” to prove claims about products, even if the claim is true. The commercial in question claimed that Rapid Shave could shave sandpaper but plexiglass covered in sand was used in the commercial. The Court upheld a 1963 FTC ruling. According to the 7-2 decision, it didn’t matter if Rapid Shave could actually shave sandpaper, it was unethical to use “undisclosed props” in the demonstration. [Details on the case of FTC v. Colgate-Palmolive Co. can be found here.]
  • The Early Bird satellite was tested on April 7th and was able to receive, amplify, and transmit a TV picture. It still needs to be adjusted for precise synchronization before regular TV and telephone use can begin.

The letters page this week included three responses to Leo Rosten’s “If I Had a Network” essay from the April 3rd issue, two of which were from employees of TV stations:

Leo Rosten probably didn’t realize it but his point No. 6 of “If I Had a Network” … concerning a local letters to the Manager” program [is] almost verbatim the manner in which we have conducted our local efforts weekly for nearly four years. His suggested format was a carbon copy of [General Manager] Mike Shapiro’s … program.
Casey Cohlmia
Promotion Manager, WFAA-TV
Dallas

As a viewer I would be glad to invest my all toward buying Leo Rosten a network. Any other subscribers?
Mary Harris
Fulton, Mo.

Leo Rosten’s suggestions for upgrading TV programming are praiseworthy, but some are far from unique. The operation of a night court or the harbor police are hardly “unexploited reservoirs.” Both have been made into TV series–and a telephone exchange has been the setting of at least one TV drama that I can remember. The plays of Galsworthy, Pinero and Wilde have not been unknown on television. … And they do have festivals where the year’s best TV commercials are judged–both here and in Europe.
Chris Steinbrunner
WOR-TV
New York, N.Y.

Other letters discussed Vince Edwards, Cleveland Amory’s review of The King Family, and That Was the Week That Was.

The TV Listings

ABC’s coverage of Major League Baseball kicked off on Saturday, April 17th at 2PM. The games were regional; viewers in the Philadelphia area watched a game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets. Chris Schenkel and Leo Durocher (former Dodger coach) were commentators for the game. Easter was on Sunday, April 18th and both CBS and NBC aired special religious programming to mark the occasion. CBS pre-empted Lamp Unto My Feet at 10AM to air a half-hour special called “It’s a Mighty World,” featuring singer Odetta, then pre-empted Look Up and Live and Camera Three for a live 90-minute Easter service from New York City’s St. Mark’s Church. NBC aired an hour-long live Easter service from Cincinnati’s Westwood Methodist Church at 11AM.

Also on Sunday, ABC repeated the “I, Leonardo DaVinci” episode of Saga of a Western Man at 4PM due to requests from viewers who missed it when it originally aired (because it was scheduled opposite “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” on NBC). Zoorama premiered on CBS at 5PM. At 7PM, CBS aired its latest hour-long Marineland Carnival special, this one featuring the cast of The Munsters and the New Christy Minstrels. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for the Marineland Carnival on CBS
Advertisement for the Marineland Carnival on CBS – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

[Reportedly, no copies of this special are known to exist.]

On Monday, April 19th at 9:30PM repeats of The Danny Thomas Show replaced Many Happy Returns on CBS. At 10PM, CBS Reports examined the United Nations and its future, with Richard C. Hottelet interviewing U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson. NBC aired an hour-long color special called “Our Man in Washington” from 10-11PM on Tuesday, April 20th. David Brinkley took viewers on a tour of the Capital and examined its history.

CBS broadcast the opening of the second year of the New York World’s Fair on Wednesday, April 21st from 7:30-8:30PM. The hour-long special was part live, part taped and featured hosts Durward Kirby, Jack Linkletter, Marilyn Van Durbur and Miss Teen-age America Carolyn Mignini. Closing out the show was the opening night fireworks display. And on Friday, NBC pre-empted The Bob Hope Show for a Danny Thomas special with Andy Griffith, Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks, plus a slew of cameo guest stars including Dick Van Dyke, Walter Brennan, George Burns, Bob Hope, and Bill Dana.

Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:

  • Baseball – Giants vs. Mets (ABC, Saturday at 2:00PM)
  • Special: Our Man in Washington (NBC, Tuesday at 10:00PM)
  • Special: World’s Fair Opening (CBS, Wednesday at 7:30PM)
  • Special: Danny Thomas (NBC, Friday at 8:30PM)

This is the second issue I had to purchase because for whatever reason it wasn’t kept by the relative who collected TV Guide from 1964-1965. The first was the October 24th, 1964 issue. I was able to acquire both that issue and this one from the same source, so both are the Philadelphia Edition. The listings include four CBS affiliates, two NBC affiliates, and ABC affiliate, and an educational station.

There is a ton of local programming included in the listings and there’s no way I can cover it all. But I’ll try to hit the highlights. On Saturday, April 17th Philadelphia station WRCV-TV (Channel 3) pre-empted NBC’s Mr. Magoo at 8:30PM for a half-hour special called “My Father, The Governor” in which seven of the ten children of New Jersey governor Richard J. Hughes opened up about their life as part of New Jersey’s First Family. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for My Father, The Governor on WRCV-TV (Channel 3)
Advertisement for “My Father, The Governor” on WRCV-TV (Channel 3) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

On Sunday, April 18th WRCV-TV aired a half-hour special at 10:30AM called “Joy Forever” featuring Easter hymns sung by the Lansdowne Baptist Church Choir. At 12PM, the same station aired “Glory of God,” a half-hour of the Gloucester Catholic High School Glee Club out of New Jersey performing. WFIL-TV (Channel 6) out of Philadelphia and WGAL-TV (Channel 8) out of Lancaster broadcast a baseball game at 1:30PM between the Los Angles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies. At 4:30PM, WCAU-TV (Channel 10) aired a half-hour Easter special called “Pixanne’s Easter Surprise” in which Pixanne and Windy the Witch narrated the story of Snow White. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for Pixanne's Easter Surprise on WCAU-TV (Channel 10)
Advertisement for “Pixanne’s Easter Surprise” on WCAU-TV (Channel 10) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Pixanne also aired weekdays from 9-9:30AM on WCAU-TV. At 1PM on weekdays WCAU-TV aired TV 10 Around the Town. The Monday, April 19th installment featured boxer Joey Giordello. WHYY-TV (Channel 12), the educational station, aired a weeknight news show from 7:30-8PM.

On Tuesday, April 20th at 1PM, WRCV-TV aired Television Kitchen, sponsored by the Philadelphia Electric Company. The live program saw Florence P. Hanford preparing glazed meat loaf, savory macaroni, buttered asparagus en papillote, fruit celery salad, and fresh coconut cake with white coconut icing. At 7:30PM, WCAU-TV aired a repeat episode of TV 10 Reports called “Roseto: a Fat and Happy Town” in which Bill Hart traveled to the Philadelphia town of Roseto to discover why heart disease is unknown despite a diet high in cholesterol.

Finally, on Thursday, April 22nd WFIL-TV (Channel 6) pre-empted ABC’s The Jimmy Dean Show for an hour-long syndicated Sammy Davis, Jr. special with guests Peter Lawford, Billy Daniels, and Lola Falana.

That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.

CBS to Air Colorized I Love Lucy Superstar Special

CBS announced today that it plans to air an hour-long “I Love Lucy Superstar Special” on Sunday, May 17th from 8-9PM featuring two newly colorized episodes. The episodes in question are “L.A. at Last!” (originally broadcast February 7th, 1955) with William Holden and “Lucy and Superman” (originally broadcast January 14th, 1957) with George Reeves. A preview clip can be found here.

As was the case with the network’s 2013 Christmas special, this new special will include just one set of opening and closing credits.

The CBS press release includes the following note:

Included in the special is material from “L.A. at Last!” that has not been broadcast since the episode first aired on CBS 60 years ago.

Any ideas what this unseen material could be? A sponsor spot, perhaps, or a bumper featuring Lucy and Superman? Maybe a special promotional spot for Adventures of Superman?

A Year in TV Guide: April 10th, 1965

A Year in TV Guide explores the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide magazine. Each week, I’ll examine the issue of TV Guide published exactly 50 years earlier. The intent is not simply to examine what was on television each week but rather what was being written about television.

Week #30
April 10th, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 15, Issue #628
Eastern New England Edition

On the Cover: Janet Lake and Walter Brennan from The Tycoon (photograph by Richard R. Hewett).

The Magazine

This week’s cover article about actor Walter Brennan — “Foxy Grampa in a Business Suit” by Marian Dern — is relatively tame, with a brief biography and some insight into his finances. The most interesting revelations aren’t about The Tycoon, Brennan’s recently cancelled ABC series, but his previous CBS sitcom The Real McCoys. There apparently was significant friction between Brennan and his costar Kathy Nolan, who left the series after five seasons. She insists that while she may have learned a lot from working with Brennan, he also learned something from working with her (and Richard Crenna). Brennan and others in the cast were reportedly upset when she left, feeling she was disloyal. Brennan also liked to share his thoughts on politics even if nobody wanted to listen.

Front Cover
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

There’s another article about an actor in a freshly cancelled series in this issue. “He Can’t Resist the Open Road” is a profile of The Rogues co-star Robert Coote. He signed a four-year contract for the series not thinking it would last that long and was right. He is described as a loner but also as a consummate professional. “We never know where Bob has his lunch,” explained co-creator Ivan Goff. “He doesn’t join us. All we know is that he cares greatly about his work. He never shows up without having given considerable thought to the scenes he is doing that day.” For his part, Coote explained that it was the hectic television schedule that led to his “monastic existence” and that in London he is busy with friends day and night.

“Smut in the Living Room?” is a four-page article by Leslie Raddatz examining films with adult themes making their way to television. It’s a long article with little to say and yet it is only the first of three parts. At the very least, it is more proof that the television landscape — and society overall — was very different in the 1960s and it is likely readers in 1965 had very different reactions than someone in 2015. Many may have agreed with Raddatz when he worried that films like Kiss Me, Stupid, The Carpetbaggers, A House Is Not a Home, or Walk on the Wild Side might one day wind up on the small screen.

Raddatz notes that recently Hollywood was worried about censorship due to violence and yet many violent films have been broadcast on television. Naturally, the next logical step would be for Hollywood’s current sexually explicit films to come to television next. He interviewed Geoffrey Shurlock, who administrates the MPAA Production Code. Shurlock suggested television was more than capable of policing itself but felt the public should ultimately decide what it watches, and shrugged off the MPAA approving Kiss Me, Stupid despite many violations of the MPAA Code (“We’re entitled to one mistake”).

Much of the rest of the article explores director Billy Wilder and producer Joseph E. Levine, both of whom are pushing boundaries with their films. Some of Levine’s films, like Two Women, are already being shown on TV. KHJ-TV in Los Angeles runs a movie series called Cinema IX on Fridays and Saturdays that features foreign films “presented in dignified trimmings.” Reaction has been about 80% positive. Is this the future for worthwhile adult films on TV, Raddatz wonders? Or will some sort of censorship be called for if smutty films like Kiss Me, Stupid do eventually make their way to TV? Next week’s installment promises to provide some answers from the FCC and the National Association of Broadcasters.

“Catching up with ‘the one-armed man'” is a short, two-page article about Bill Raisch, the one-armed man (his right arm was amputated after being severely burned during World War II) who plays the one-armed man on The Fugitive. The most interesting part of the article is the revelation that Raisch has spent just four days working on the show since it went on the air. According to executive producer Quinn Martin, “we believe that if we keep him evanescent, it’s much more interesting–until the last show, maybe five years from now, when Kimble finally catches him.”

Finally, Melvin Durslag’s “Why golf may find itself deep in the rough” isn’t really about golf on television but about former pro golfer turned TV commentator Cary Middlecoff, who believes there are too many golf tournaments on television. Another problem is that all of the tournaments feature the same players so there isn’t much variety for fans. He feels there shouldn’t be more than 15 national “exposures” a year. Whether that means tournaments or individual broadcasts isn’t clear.

The “As We See It” editorial this week is about beer commercials. There are five things you cannot do if you are cast in a beer commercial on TV: 1) don’t drink the beer; 2) don’t tip the glass as if you were drinking the beer; 3) don’t wiggle your Adam’s apple as if you were swallowing the beer; 4) don’t smack your lips as if you were enjoying drinking the beer; and 5) don’t wipe your lips as if you had just had a beer. The Television Authority Code released a bulletin recently explaining that violation of any of these rules will result in the commercial being banned. According to the editorial, the rules were a result of the huge number of beer commercials during the early days of TV. There have not been many since 1956.

Cleveland Amory reviews For the People this week and is generally positive, suggesting that with The Defenders getting a little stale, it is a good thing its producers came up with “something which is equally exciting and, because of really fine casting throughout, even more penetrating and engrossing.” The realism is sometimes too much but compared to the “seemingly endless seaminess” seen in The Doctors and the Nurses, the series features episodes “which may discourage you but which don’t so overwhelm you with despair that you give up.” Amory praises a long list of guest stars as well as lead William Shatner, who “is right up there in the big leagues with David Janssen, Robert Lansing, Vic Morrow, and Richard Crenna.”

News from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:

  • NBC will initially replace Profiles in Courage with an installment of Children’s Theatre called “Kristie,” after which the 6:30-7:30PM time slot will be filled by NBC Sports in Action.
  • Burke’s Law is being renamed Amos Burke–Secret Agent and will feature star Gene Barry as a James Bond-type spy.
  • An episodes of ABC’s Discovery ’65 will examine whether famous cowpokes were actually heroes.
  • NBC News will debut the first half-hour Saturday news program next season, hosted by Ray Scherer and Robert MacNeil and airing from 6:30-7PM or 7-7:30PM depending on the city.
  • Ben Casey has added James McMullan as a new regular. Also, the show’s semiserialized format introduced during the current season with a five-episode arc featuring Stella Stevens, will continue next season.
  • ABC has surprisingly decided not to renew No Time for Sergeants, which seemed like a sure thing.
  • CBS has renewed Slattery’s People despite its low ratings.
  • Katy and Glen will get engaged during the May 7th episode of The Farmer’s Daughter. The wedding will be next season.
  • Backdoor pilots for two new NBC series will air this month: Run for Your Life as an episode of Kraft Suspense Theatre called “Rapture at Two-Forty” and The Streets of Laredo as an episode of The Virginian called “We’ve Lost a Train.”
  • Quinn Martin is casting his new series The FBI Story, which was sold without a pilot. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. has been signed as the lead.
  • NBC’s new Camp Runamuck features episode outlandish episode titles. An example:”General Directive No. 14: All Personnel Will Turn Out at 8.A. Tomorrow Morning to Scale Mount Everest. Bring Your Hammers, Saws and Plenty of Nails and Let’s Make This One the Biggest One Yet, Fellas! (Signed) Conrad Hilton.”

Rounding out the national section is a two-page picture feature about “The Hairhunters” salon in Hollywood catering to aspiring actresses and models, a four-page spread showcasing actress Barbara Barrie in a variety of leather outfits, and the regular TV crossword puzzle.

There were three news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section this week:

  • CBS stockholder A. Edward Morrison has filed a lawsuit against former CBS-TV president James T. Aubrey, Jr., Richelieu Productions, Inc., and CBS-TV, charging that Aubrey had a financial interest in Richelieu, that the company profited more from CBS than other production companies, and that CBS knew and did nothing. Why was this such a big deal? Because Richelieu is headed by Keefe Brassselle, a good friend of Aubrey. CBS has denied it knew about any wrongdoing while Aubrey and Brasselle have not made any statements.
  • The final piece of the 1965-1966 puzzle has fallen into place with the release of the CBS schedule for the new season. There may be some changes but new shows will likely include O’Brien [later retitled The Trials of O’Brien], The Loner, The Steve Lawrence Show, Lost in Space, Country Cousins [later retitled Green Acres], The Wild West [later retitled The Wild Wild West], Hogan’s Heroes, and The Smothers Brothers.
  • CBS has cancelled For the People because it was unable to compete with NBC’s Bonanza. Repeats of The Twilight Zone will fill in until September when Perry Mason will switch from Thursdays to Sundays. The report notes that the series receives a positive review from Cleveland Amory in this issue of TV Guide.

The letters page this week features just five relatively lengthy letters covering four topics. One reader wrote in confused about Cleveland Amory’s March 20th article discussing the Monte Carlo Television Festival. The letter was written by Saul Turteltaub who, with co-writer Lan O’Kun, won an award at the 1962 Monte Carlo Festival for an episode of The Shari Lewis Show. An editorial note explained that Amory “did not mean to reflect on winners of prizes in the Monaco competition, he merely deplored the casual attitude many American producers have toward the TV festival.”

This was not the only letter critical of Amory. Another complained that Amory had promised to answer three questions in his reviews: “What is this guy trying to do?”, “Does he do it?”, and “Was it worth doing?” And yet his March 27th review of The American Sportsman only answered the third and final question. “If the price of prejudice is two-thirds of his critical standards, it is far too great a price to pay.”

There were also two letters responding to articles by Edith Efron:

As a television and screen writer (Today, Biography, Hollywood and the Stars, “World Without Sun,” etc.), I would like to say that your Edith Efron is the most incisive and exciting television journalist in the country. In her article on Lawrence Spivak she demonstrates once again a sharp point of view and the courage to express it. Generally, one reads magazine articles if the subject is important or provocative. I read Miss Efron because she is.
Al Ramrus
Hollywood

Grow up, Edith Efron. Soap operas are a diversion for us housewives, not a pattern for our lives. We can still tell the good guys from the bad guys without a program.
Mrs. Joseph C. Donati
Santa Barbara, Cal.

The fifth letter suggests that Mitch Miller sank his own show by trying to turn into into a copy of every other variety show on television. “One trouble with television is that every show has to be ‘improved’ so it will be like every other show,” the anonymous writer argued.

The TV Listings

Between sporting events, religious programs, and several specials it was a very full week for the networks. The last installment of ABC’s Pro Bowlers Tour aired from 3:30-5PM on Saturday, April 10th. That same day CBS broadcast live coverage of the third round of the Masters Golf Tournament starting at 5PM. ABC pre-empted Hollywood Palace at 9:30PM for an installment of its Daring American documentary special called “Mission to Malaya,” about 22-year old Peace Corps volunteer Rita Franzone.

At 10AM on Sunday, April 11th CBS pre-empted Lamp Unto My Feet and Look Up and Live to repeat “Terezin Requiem,” an hour-long documentary about the 1944 performance of Verdi’s Requiem performed at Czechoslovakia’s Terezin concentration camp during World War II. NBC aired a special live Palm Sunday Mass from 11AM-12PM featuring The Reverend Karl J. Alter, Archbishop of Cincinnati, with Monsignor Earl Whalen providing commentary.

At 1PM CBS aired highlights of the fifth game of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinals. ABC’s Directions ’65 expanding to an hour at 1PM to present “The Final Ingredient,” an opera by David Amram and Arnold Weinstein commemorating Passover. [Locally, only WTEV (Channel 6) and WNHC-TV (Channel 8) aired Directions ’65 at 1PM. WNAC-TV (Channel 7) delayed it until 3PM while WMUR-TV (Channel 9) showed it at 4PM.] CBS broadcast coverage of the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament beginning at 4PM. Jack Whitaker, Jack Drees, John Derr, Cary Middlecoff, and Byron Nelson provided commentary.

On Monday, April 12th the final episode of Many Happy Returns aired on CBS from 9:30-10PM. CBS Reports was pre-empted at 10PM for an hour-long CBS News special called “FDR Remembered,” produced by Richard F. Siemanowski. CBS News correspondent Charles Kuralt served as host for the special commemorating the 20th anniversary of FDR’s death. [WHDH-TV pre-empted the special locally, airing it instead on Tuesday, April 13th at 7:30PM.]

Finally, NBC aired another installment of The Bell Telephone Hour from 10-11PM on Tuesday, April 13th with Olivia de Havilland as hostess.

Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:

  • Daring American – “Mission to Malaya” (ABC, Saturday at 9:30PM)
  • Directions ’65 – “The Final Ingredient” (ABC, Sunday at Various Times)
  • Masters Golf Tournament (CBS, Sunday at 4PM)
  • Profiles in Courage (NBC, Sunday at 6:30PM)
  • CBS News Special – “FDR Remembered” (CBS, Monday at 10PM)
  • Bell Telephone Hour – “Festival of Spring” (NBC, Tuesday at 10PM)
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre – “Rapture at 240″ (NBC, Thursday at 10PM)

With baseball season just around the corner, TV Guide published a two-age “1965 TV Baseball Guide” in this issue, customized for the Eastern New England Region. It included listings for Boston Red Sox games on WHDH-TV (Channel 5) and WPRO-TV (Channel 12); New York Yankees games on WNHC-TV (Channel 8); and New York Mets games also on WNHC-TV. Similar guides were no doubt published in other regional editions of TV Guide that covered areas with baseball teams.

Locally, it was a busy week. On Saturday, April 10th WHDH-TV aired a color special called “Bozo at the Fair” from 2-2:30PM, featuring a tour of the World’s Fair. WNHC-TV aired an NBA play-off game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics starting at 2PM on Sunday, April 11th. At 5PM WGBH-TV (Channel 2) premiered a half-hour series called Dollar Diplomacy about foreign-aid policy. WNAC-TV (Channel 7) aired an hour-long special titled “The Old Ball Game” about the history of baseball, narrated by Branch Rickey.

At 9PM on Monday, April 12th WJAR-TV (Channel 10) pre-empted NBC’s The Andy Williams Show to air a David L. Wolper documentary called “Prelude to War,” about Britain’s policy of appeasement prior to World War II. Richard Basehart narrated. That same night WHDH-TV pre-empted the CBS News Special “FDR Remembered” at 10PM to air another Wolper documentary, this one called “Japan: A New Dawn Over Asia,” also narrated by Richard Basehart.

TV Guide published a notice in the Tuesday, April 13th listings explaining that several stations would pre-empt network programming if a sixth game of the NBA Eastern Division play-off between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers was required. It was, so WHDH-TV, WTEV (Channel 6), WJZB (Channel 14), and WIHS-TV (Channel 38) carried the game.

WPRO-TV (Channel 12) in Rhode Island pre-empted a rerun of My Living Doll from 8-8:30PM on Wednesday, April 14th to air Let’s Go to the Races, said to be “TV’s Thrilling-est New Sports Show” and featuring five thoroughbred races. WNAC-TV pre-empted ABC’s Burke’s Law to bring “The Best of the Bolshoi Ballet” to Boston audiences. Here’s an advertisement:

Advertisement for WNAC-TV's Bolshoi Ballet Special
Advertisement for WNAC-TV’s Bolshoi Ballet Special – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

On Thursday, April 15th at 7:30PM WGBH-TV aired a college lacrosse game between Harvard and MIT. And at 10PM, WNHC-TV pre-empted The Jimmy Dean Show for “The Wonderful World of Sammy Davis,” an hour-long variety special featuring Davis and guests Peter Lawford, Billy Daniels, Lola Falana, and Mike Silva.

Here are some other neat local advertisements from this issue:

Advertisement for WMUR-TV's Daily Popeye Theatre
Advertisement for WMUR-TV’s Daily Popeye Theatre – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Advertisement for WTEV's Sunday Worship Programming
Advertisement for WTEV’s Sunday Worship Programming – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.

Here are the episode descriptions for Dateline Boston, a local series broadcast live and in color Monday through Friday from 6-6:25PM on WHDH-TV (Channel 5):

Monday, April 12th, 1965
“Twenty-Four Beacon Street.” Part I, with a look at the Massachusetts Senate in session.

Tuesday, April 13th, 1965
“Twenty-Four Beacon Street.” Part 2, takes a look at the Massachusetts Senate in session.

Wednesday, April 14th, 1965
“Come and Meet the Arts” with guest Sonya Hamlin, school and community lecturer on the arts.

Thursday, April 15th, 1965
[No description provided.]

Friday, April 16th, 1965
Dr. Edwin P. Boothe continues his chronology of the Civil War with particularly comments on the events which influenced the final outcome of the war.

That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.