Bus Stop Promotional Spot

Here’s a promotional spot for ABC’s Bus Stop, based on the 1956 film of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe. It aired on Sundays from 9-10PM during the 1961-1962 season.

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12 Replies to “Bus Stop Promotional Spot”

  1. It aired on SUNDAY nights from 9-10pm(et), right after “LAWMAN” [“SURFSIDE 6” aired on Mondays at 9 that season]. One “controversial” episode, “A Lion Walks Among Us” {December 3, 1961}, featuring Fabian as a cunning psychotic circus killer who beats the rap on a murder charge by blackmailing the DA’s wife, only to have her kill him at the very end, was cited by a congressional investitgating committee as among the worst examples of “sex and violence on TV” in the spring of 1962. Because of the bad publicity surrounding that episode- and the fact the series barely made a dent in turning viewers away from NBC’s “BONANZA” (#1 in its time period) and CBS’ “GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATER” and “THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM”, ABC cancelled the series after 26 episodes at the end of March 1962 [no repeats].

  2. Most of the “preview footage” in this promo is from the December 17th episode “…And the Pursuit Of Evil”, with guest stars James McArthur and Keenan Wynn…and apparently from “A Lion Walks Among Us” (the confrontation scene between Dianne Foster and Richard Anderson at :41). Hank Simms is the promo’s announcer.

  3. The controversial “Bus Stop” episode had ramifications far beyond simple cancellation. According to Harry Castleman and Walter Podrazik’s book “Watching Television,” about 25 ABC affiliates refused to air “A Lion Walks Among Us” for its “glorified violence and perversion.” It also caught the attention of a Rhode Island senator named John Pastore, who was at the time holding hearings on television violence. He cited the “Bus Stop” episode as one of the worst examples: “I looked at it, and I haven’t felt clean since. I still have the stench in my nose”.
    As “The New York Times” noted in his 1998 obituary, ABC Network president Ollie Treyz was the “fall guy” for the “Bus Stop” controversy:
    “Protest over the episode led to Federal hearings about violence on television. Before a Senate subcommittee in January 1962, Mr. Treyz defended the broadcast in the name of artistic freedom. But the following month he told the Federal Communications Commission that broadcasting the show had been a mistake.”
    Coupled with ABC’s decline in the ratings following the collapse of the action-adventure drama format the network once prided itself on, and a tendency to alienate key advertisers by shifting shows and spots around the schedule, Chairman Leonard Goldenson fired Treyz in 1962.
    By the way, I love your website.

  4. Oliver Treyz was a major supporter of “action-adventure” series… AND Westerns, and bought as many of both genres as he could for ABC’s prime-time schedules from 1958 through 1961, to the exclusion of almost everything else {primarily supplied by Warner Bros. Television- they wound up producing about 40% of ABC’s prime-time lineup by 1960}. Treyz even managed to alienate Walt Disney when he insisted on virtually nothing but Westerns and “early American adventures” for “WALT DISNEY PRESENTS” {“The Swamp Fox”, “The Nine Lives Of Elfego Baca”, the “ZORRO” series and “special” hour-long segments in 1960-’61, “Daniel Boone” in the ’60-’61 season, and so on}…and moving his anthology to Sundays at 6:30pm(et) in the fall of 1960 was the “last straw”- Walt just packed up his show and moved to NBC in the fall of 1961 [after finally buying out ABC’s interest in Disneyland]. The last programming trend Ollie tried to jump start was the “prime-time cartoon show” in 1960…beginning with “THE FLINTSTONES”, which was successful enough to begat “TOP CAT” and “CALVIN & THE COLONEL” {animated version of ‘Andy & The Kingfish’}, along with “THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW” (new segments intermixed with post-1949 “classic Looney Tunes”) and a prime-time edition of “MATTY’S FUNDAY FUNNIES” {which soon became “MATTY’S FUNNIES WITH BEANY & CECIL” in 1962}. But that couldn’t deflect his sagging schedule of Westerns and detective shows…no matter how good Robert Altman was at directing “BUS STOP”, that series was Treyz’s doom.

    Thanks, Michael!

  5. This is one of those shows I’m bound to find in a discount DVD for a buck a head—-provided someone gets the rights to release it on DVD, that is. Too bad it lasted the one season and no further, but it’s symptomatic of the one fatal flaw the networks always have—finding the right spot on the schedule for a quality show that deserves quality attention. Too many shows have died quick deaths because misguided programmers put it up against a “hot” show, hoping to siphon off some of the audience. Not. Gonna. Happen. In this lifetime.

  6. 20th Century-Fox still owns and controls the rights to the series- even though it hasn’t been distributed or shown in a LONG time- so don’t expect to see it on a “public domain” DVD, Jacob; they’re careful about the copyrights they renew on their “inventory”.

  7. I remember my older brother having a fascination with watching the shows that were on against the hit shows at times. Though he lost the fight between “The Flintstones” and “Route 66” often (our version of “Friday Night Fights”). As a result I often ran into shows like “Follow The Sun” and “Bus Stop”. The only thing I remember about the “Lion” episode of “Bus Stop” is that it didn’t come on. There had been some hype beforehand about Fabian being on the show, and as God is my witness, I thought he was going to sing on it. So did my brother apparently, who thought “Bus Stop” might be a comedy/variety show because of the movie and play. Our Columbus, Ohio station (WTVN-TV Channel 6 at that time) got cold feet and decided not to air it. I recall being told that out-of-town family members saw the show and the episode aired without commercials. Could that be true? I think I remember hearing there were only commercials about other ABC-TV shows during the breaks. Any chance of it being released on DVD? Are there at least some clips of the episode available? Hard to believe something that ran against those monster hits could have stirred such trouble. You’d think no one would have seen it. Well, we didn’t, but would have had our ABC not chickened out at the last minute. Looking the names involved with the show there’s a lot of correlation with my all-time favorite show “The Fugitive”.

  8. Bus Stop was apparently a terrific show. It is a shame that the network first decided to put it in a suicidal time slot. However, what really killed it was the ‘Lion Walks Among US ” controversy. The irony is that, compared to contemporary shows, Bus Stop was tame.

  9. The BUS STOP series, like the CinemaScope Picture, is the sole property of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, the registered proprietor of the trademark CinemaScope.

  10. Any chance that the promo for the controversial episode “A L:ion Walks Among Us” can surface and be put up on TV Obscurities?

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