Television Programs I’m Looking For


Although I try to write about all aspects of obscure television, there are a few areas that I’m particularly interested in. For example, I’ve been researching Mary Kay and Johnny off and on for years. I’m also very interested in Kyle McDonnell’s television work in the late 1940s, the various programs hosted by Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg, and Audrey Hepburn’s television appearances in the 1950s.

I’ve put together the following list of television programs, specials and specific episodes that I would personally like to see or just know more about. With the exception of Mary Kay and Johnny, which has one extant episode, to the best of my knowledge none of these programs are known to exist. That doesn’t necessarily mean copies don’t exist and I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong. In some cases, I’ve indicated whether audio recordings, photographs and scripts for the programs have survived. Note that all episode counts are taken from television listings in The New York Times.

If you have any information about any of these programs, please contact me.

Thrills and Chills Everywhere (NBC/DuMont, 1941-1946?)
Doug Allen hosted this half-hour program, also known as Thrills and Chills, that presented “adventure” films from around the world and the explorers who made them. It aired on WNBT in New York City from 1941 to 1942 before moving to the experimental DuMont station in that city, W2XWV, where it may have remained until 1946. Read more about the program here and here.

Hour Glass (NBC, 1946-1947)
Television’s first regularly scheduled variety show, sponsored by Standard Brands. It ran for 44 episodes between May of 1946 and February of 1947. The Library of Congress has audio from a number of episodes, including the premiere, but no video is known to exist.

Mary Kay and Johnny (Dumont/NBC/CBS, 1947-1950)
Television’s first sitcom. Each episode ran for 15 minutes. Approximately 150 episodes were broadcast between November of 1947 and March of 1950 (from mid-June to early August of 1949 it aired daily on NBC). The Paley Center for Media has one episode from June of 1949. Photographs and scripts exist.

Girl About Town (NBC, 1948-1949)
Kyle McDonnell hosted this live musical/variety series, which was broadcast from September of 1948 to June of 1949. Each of the 43 episodes ran 20 minutes. Some or all may have featured filmed segments of McDonnell at New York City nightclubs. It may also have been called The Kyle McDonnell Show or About the Town. Other regulars included Earl Wrightson and the Norman Paris Trio.

Preview (CBS, 1949)
Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg hosted this half-hour program in which they were the “editors” of a “living magazine,” reporting the news, presenting musical acts and interviewing guests like Kirk Douglas, John Huston, Jackie Gleason and Harold Lloyd. A total of 31 episodes were produced.

Stars Over Hollywood – “Grady Everett for the People” (NBC, September 13th, 1950)
This was the first television script Rod Serling ever sold. UCLA’s Film & Television Archive has two other episodes of Stars Over Hollywood. No copy of the script is known to exist.

The Margaret Arlen Program – Monday, December 4th, 1951 Broadcast (WCBS-TV, New York City)
This morning talk show ran on WCBW-TV from November of 1950 to April of 1956. According to The New York Times, Audrey Hepburn — who was starring in Gigi at the Fulton Theatre on Broadway at the time — was Margaret Arlen’s guest on Monday, December 4th, 1951. It was likely her first television appearance.

Stage 7 – “The Secret Weapon of 117” (Syndicated, March 1956)
Also known as “The Secret Defense of 117” and “The Defense of 117,” this was Gene Roddenberry’s first attempt at science-fiction on television. Stage 7 was a syndicated anthology series that was repackaged as Chevron Theater on the West Coast and Don Ameche Presents the Drewry’s Play of the Week in the Midwest (read more here). Copies of the script may exist.

Esther Williams’ Aqua Spectacle (NBC, September 29th, 1956)
Broadcast as an installment of NBC’s irregularly scheduled Saturday Color Carnival. Also known as “The Esther Williams Aqua Spectacle of 1957.” Sponsored by Oldsmobile. In addition to Esther Williams, this ninety-minute color special featured Peter Lawford, Arnold Stang, Fran Allison and Don Adams. Both UCLA’s Film & Television Archive and The Paley Center for Media have copies of a second NBC color special, “Esther Williams at Cypress Gardens,” which was aired in 1960.

Last Updated November 6th, 2010



46 Comments

  • Robert Shagawat says:

    The Tex and Jinx daytime live telecast from WNBT called Swift Home Service Club (one of the first daytime series and one of the first sponsored network programs, as shown in at least 2 – 3 NBC stations) is captured on kinescope for 3 minute segment in the Library of Congress’s Chain Collection, with this clip kinescoped off screen from the live show dating from October 31, 1947. The show had debuted in May 1947. It is certainly one of the earliest extant kinescopes, as kinescope recording was not made commercially available until September 1947. It is cited in my article on this Web Site, as published in earlier version on here.

  • Robert Shagawat says:

    “Hour Glass” debut broadcast of May 9 1946 is featured in extended article on the show in May 27 1946 Life Magazine (available online under Google Books search) including numerous photo shots taken directly from TV screen. As you cited, this inaugural broadcast (along with other Hour Glass episodes) survive on audio at the Library of Congress SONIC archives.

  • sonja hartley says:

    1986 or 87 masterpiece theatre production of a Thomas Hardy short story called “On the western circuit” production name “Day after the Fair” stars sammi Davis and Hannah Gordon

  • Ted Moehring says:

    I have a 16mm print of “Grady Everett For the People”. I also have another episode of Stars Over Hollywood called “Dream Without a Face”. Both are quite good. Grady Everett has a typical Serling twist at the end.

    Do you have any more info about the show? I know one episode was rerun on One Step Beyond, but other then that I cant find out much more.

    • James Beer says:

      Did both those “Stars Over Hollywood” episodes have the Revue Productions endcard? It would be the TV camera that rotated from the front to the left side to show A REVUE PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTED BY MCA-TV LTD. Exclusive Representatives.

  • carl warren says:

    There is a 19 minute fragment of Kyle McDonnel’s show “Hold That Camera” that aired on Dumont on December 1, 1950, on the Archives.org site.

  • rodney audin says:

    I have been trying to find a recording (video) of the 1979 CBS production of “You Can’t Take It With You” starring Blythe Danner and Henry Morgan. I found the reference on Wikipedia searching for Blythe Danner. I would also like to locate on DVD preferably a copy of “Who Am I This Time” with Christopher Walken.
    Since you are called “Television Obscurities” I thought you would be the best place to post a comment.

    • Interesting…Henry Morgan starring in a production of the show and Harry Morgan starring in the short lived 80s sitcom version based on it.

      • Mike Doran says:

        To anyone who finds this:
        The 1979 TV version of You Can’t Take It With You is available as an MOD-DVD from Warner Archives.
        … and it’s Harry Morgan who’s in it, not Henry.
        … and yes, Harry Morgan also did the short-lived syndie sitcom a few years afterward.
        Coincidence?
        You be the judge.

    • Zhanara Scherer says:

      Who Am I this Time with Blythe Danner was also with Rober DeNiro – not Christopher Walken…. that was the one with Susan Sarandon. I’m looking for the one with Blythe Danner and RD. Can’t imagine how to find it!! I only saw it once – so many years ago – but it struck me!

      • Jim Powers says:

        Looking for DAN RAVEN…all episodes but specifically the Bobby Darin one…..I have a poor image copy.

  • Mike Garner says:

    Are there any remaining videotape episodes of the ABC short lived serial THE BEST OF EVERYTHING? If so, I would like to see one.

    • Kevin Segura says:

      There may not be any tapes, but a kinescope of the show’s final episode still exists, though it’s not been digitized, to my knowledge.

      • charles perry says:

        You Tube has the last episode of “A World Apart”, the show which ran right after TBOE. This show featured a very young Susan Sarandon..

  • Lee Hubbard says:

    To my fellow Mississippians. I am looking for Project Survival. It was produced by Mississippi ETV in early 1972. It ran on there until 1984. If anyone has those shows, contact me:)

  • Joseph Duffy says:

    Shortly after the warriors movie came out,a TV show was filmed with detectives questioning swan about the rogues.he would not talk until ajax was released. Can anyone shed any light on this to what the name is

  • James says:

    If you find the Esther Williams show, I’d love to see it too. I loved her, and she sent me an autograph months before her passing.

  • Jim Smallwood says:

    Would anyone here have any information about the rare TV Western series
    Hotel De Paree (AKA Sundance), which starred Earl Holliman in the role of
    Sundance and aired for one season on CBS (1959-1960)? The show was
    before my time (I was not born until the early 60’s myself) but I have become
    reacquainted with it in the past few decades. A total of 33 episodes were
    filmed by CBS-TV, but so far I have only managed to locate approximately
    12 of them (VHS to DVD recordings) that have circulated in various
    individuals’ private video collections over the years. Most come with the
    original CBS opening credits (with the sponsor) and original commercials
    from Kellogg’s cereal and L & M Cigarettes. The quality of these recordings
    are not great but they are watchable and better than nothing.

    I would consider Hotel De Paree either in the “lost” or “unavailable” category
    of TV programs. The fact that I have found recordings of 12 from the 33
    episodes is pretty close to a miracle by itself. Not too many people remember
    it today unfortunately. I read online somewhere that the rights to the show
    are owned by Sony Pictures (how they got them is anyone’s guess considering that CBS-TV was the original owner at the time of filming
    and broadcast), and also someone contacted Sony to inquire if they
    might release it on DVD (hopefully complete series, Timeless Media Group
    has released a lot of obscure rare TV Western series from other studios) eventually. Their immediate response was that they have no intention of
    releasing either Hotel De Paree or any of their other TV Western series (anything filmed by Columbia Pictures would qualify; the only Westerns I
    can think of from TV of theirs are Dale Robertson’s Iron Horse from the
    mid-60’s not on DVD yet, Here Come The Brides released by Sony and
    Shout Factory depending on the season a few years back, and The
    Quest from 1976) on DVD.

    At any rate, so much for the explanation. My question is, do the remaining
    20 episodes of Hotel De Paree still exist either on film or home-recorded
    by fans or collectors of the series? I am looking for those particularly
    the pilot episode, Sundance Comes Home (AKA The Return Of Sundance)
    preferably on DVD. So far, no luck at all. What I do have was from VHS, in
    private individuals’ collections (those date back at least to the 80’s).
    Any feedback would be appreciated. I seriously doubt they are anywhere
    to be located, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask those who have more
    knowledge about the subject than I do. Thanks for listening anyway.

    • Kevin Kuharic says:

      Please let me know if you are able to locate or share this television series, which was based on the Hotel de Paris in Georgetown, Colorado and its proprietor Louis Dupuy. Thank you. Kevin Kuharic, Executive Director, Hotel de Paris Museum

  • Matt Rose says:

    I would like to see any of the very early (1947) TV footage that is in the Library of Congresses Chain Collection, especially President Truman’s first televised address from the White House and the brief excerpt from the June 25, 1947 Kraft Television Theater episode “I Like It Here.” In addition, I would also like to see any early color TV shows from the mid-late 1950s.

    • charles perry says:

      You Tube has the lost color episode of “Burns & Allen” as well as the opening and closing credits of “Norby” with David Wayne. Shout Factory has the only color footage of Ernie Kovacs. Sadly, most of the other stuff is either lost or only exists in black & white.

  • DK says:

    Steve Allen Show, 1962?-196? Filmed at the Steve Allen Theater at Hollywood & La Mirada, IIRC, near the Hollywood Ranch Market. (Or was it La Mirada & Vine> The mind is the first to go.)
    Looking a show from Oct. or Nov. 1963 that featured a young Cassius Clay before his first(?) bout with Sonny Liston

  • jd king says:

    I looking for help, locating a tv show of the 1980 season “one in a million” starred Shirley Hemphill & Richard Paul..
    thank you for the help…

  • Browser says:

    I have clips of Coffee Tea or me 1973 (Karen Valentine) but not the whole thing.
    Does anyone have a copy?

  • Browser says:

    Does anyone have of the Don Knotts show 9/15/70?

  • ryan says:

    episodes of tv show ” one happy family ” on nbc jan- june 1961

  • James Knuttel says:

    I am looking for a complete run (two years) of a 1972-74 ABC sitcom called TEMPERATURES RISING.

    • charles perry says:

      I loved that show, even though my sister preferred “Maude”. It did run on USA in the “80’s and still exists in the Sony catalog. I suggest you contact their digital channel Antenna TV and see what they could do.

  • Ira Goldwasser M.D. says:

    I performed an Afro-Cuban dance solo backed by the all boy Enrico Stuart
    Ensemble on The Startime Kids on a Saturday morning NBC-TV broadcast
    in November of 1951(age 12) emanating from a studio in the Rainbow Room of the Rockefeller Center. George Scheck and Mickey Freeman were the co-producers. Connie Francis was one of the ‘regulars’ (a.o. Lenny Dale, Barry Gordon, Sharon Ann Porter). Stage name was Jac E. Sawyer(!). Library of Congress, Paley and UCLA’s Center Archives do not have that particular kinescoped broadcast. “SOLID” info would be greatly appreciated. (Connie Francis collector?)

  • Ira Goldwasser M.D. says:

    I performed an Afro-Cuban dance solo backed by the all boy Enrico Stuart
    Ensemble on The Startime Kids on a Saturday morning NBC-TV broadcast
    in November of 1951(age 12) emanating from a studio in the Rainbow Room of the Rockefeller Center. George Scheck and Mickey Freeman were the co-producers. Connie Francis was one of the ‘regulars’ (a.o. Lenny Dale, Barry Gordon, Sharon Ann Porter). Library of Congress, Paley and UCLA’s Center Archives do not have that particular kinescoped broadcast. “SOLID” info would be greatly appreciated. (Connie Francis collector?)

  • Don says:

    Off topic: Does anyone have info on the TV pilot for “The Last Detail” , circa 1975-76? I recall it being aired at 10:30pm after ABC aired the movie. I remember it was awful, but I can’t find out anything about it anywhere.

    • Ira Goldwasser M.D. says:

      P.S. Ira Goldwasser’s email is:[email protected]

  • Michael Grefe says:

    I was curious where I can get a copy of the NBC 1964 movie “See How They Run”. Either DVD or VHS. I remember it as one of my favorite movies as a kid.

  • james says:

    I am looking for evidence of an early 1970’s tv game show in which contestants walked or landed on rectangular shaped floor spaces that lit up and made sounds. It was an entertaining game show. I can’t find any source on-line. I am looking for photos of the show or the name of the show.

    Thanks much

  • Paul G says:

    I may have films of the Cypress Gardens Esther Williams special. I am looking through over 2,000 film reels from the Cypress Gardens archive. I will post if it is found! I do have many photos of her from the same archive along with all the original negatives.

  • Frank Gannucci says:

    I am looking for episodes of the Jackie Gleason Show that feature the short Color Honeymooners sketches. I already have all of the 42 hour long Color Honeymooners episodes that we’re apart of the Jackie Gleason Show ithat were shown in syndication and released onto DVD. I know for a fact that these 15 minute sketches are UNRELEASED.. I am hoping that there is some collector that has them. If anyone has any information, I can be reached at [email protected].

  • Bob says:

    I’m seeking these sitcoms for my collection – HIS HONOR HOMER BELL, SALLY, DICK AND THE DUCHESS, THE BROTHERS, HONESTLY CELESTE (allegedly 1 kinescope exists), TWO GIRLS NAMED SMITH (1 kinescope exists), TOO YOUNG TO GO STEADY, DOC CORKLE, MY SON JEEP, THAT’S MY BOY, HARRIS AGAINST THE WORLD, TOM DICK AND MARY, THE TYCOON, THE QUEEN AND I, HARRY’S GIRLS (with original opening credits). Got any of these?

  • Alan Keeling (TV Historian) says:

    I am hoping that the 1954 crime series, “Stryker of Scotland Yard” will soon be released on DVD, this series appears to be very rare, indeed.

  • Rich says:

    I am looking for Bowling for dollars aired in cleveland on 11-14-1978 with dick goddard as the host, would also like to find the contestants names from that show. any help would be appreciated.

  • Bill Sudbrink says:

    I’m trying to remember an old PBS show featuring antiques appraisal. It was _BEFORE_ Antiques Roadshow. There was a single appraiser. An older guy who looked a little like santa claus. He had a younger woman assistant. It was shot in hotel lobbies or a similar sort of thing. There was a small seated audience, each member of which had something to be appraised. Thanks.

  • joshua says:

    episodes of tv show ” wayout ” on youtube

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