Daktari Episode Preview

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Daktari premiered on CBS in January of 1966 as a mid-season replacement for Rawhide. Based on the 1965 film Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, the hour-long drama starred Marshall Thompson as Dr. Marsh Tracy, a veterinarian working in Africa. Cheryl Miller played his daughter Paula. The series was created by Ivan Tors. It would run for 89 episodes, the last of which would air in December 1968.

Here’s a 60-second preview for the 16th episode (“Wall of Flames, Part 1”), aired on May 3rd, 1966. Although the series was aired in color this preview is from a black-and-white print.


  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Ah, the good old days, when you could see a full minute’s preview of “next week’s episode”, just before the closing credits [and in all probability, a final commercial break]. Today, those kind of previews often take the place of full credits on most network shows [with the production credits often at the bottom of the screen], and often last about 30 seconds…

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Art Gilmore, incidentally, is the announcer for this preview.

  • pBOB says:

    How much commerical time have the network dramas and comedies gained over the years since they started shrinking the previews and theme songs?

    I tried watching Bewitched on TV LAND the other day and there was nothing but one commerical after another and they don’t play the closing themes any more either.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    About 16 or 17 minutes of commercials, promos- and a “station break”- currently “eat up” an hour-long network drama series these days, ‘pBOB’, so that the actual content usually lastes about 42 to 44 minutes. In “DAKTARI”‘s time, there were usually six minutes of commercials, a “station break”, and some opening/closing “sponsor I.D.”‘s during each episode. Grand total of actual program content: 52 minutes.

    Disgusting, isn’t it?

  • DuMont says:

    When my local station telecast the digitally-restored ‘Star Trek’ original series a few years ago, they ran two episodes over a two-and-a-half hour timeslot to incorporate the contemporary amount of commercials without cutting the 53 minute episode run-times.

    Wishful thinking, perhaps, but this elongated skedding would be a good protocol for broadcast stations and cable networks to follow when they show programs from earlier decades instead of running the “syndicated” versions which often abbreviate the program by clipping out the pre-opening credit sequences as well as the final post-commercial scene and end credits.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Oh, yes- in the case of a typical half-hour situation comedy [or drama] in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, there were THREE minutes of ad time {usually with an opening/closing sponsor I.D.}, leaving 26 minutes worth of program content (followed by a station break before the next show on the schedule).

  • RGJ says:

    There are some hour-long shows these days that actually dip under the 40-minute mark, clocking in at 39 minutes and some seconds. And that’s without traditional opening credits.

    DuMont, when Syfy Channel shows marathons of The Twilight Zone, unedited episodes are often shown later at night, with run times that will often go 6 or 7 minutes over the hour (i.e. the first unedited episode will run from 9PM to 9:36PM). I believe Hallmark Channel used to do this with M*A*S*H on occasion as well.

  • jim says:

    While we’re on the subject,a full season used to be 39 episodes,with 13 weeks off in the summer.Today some shows are 20 episodes or less.I miss the 60’s.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Some series continued to film 39 episodes every season into the early ’60s, ‘jim’. Then, the “order” began to be whittled down {variously} to 38, 37, 36, 35…and so on, depending on the series. “BEWITCHED”, for example, managed to present 36 episodes each during its first two seasons (1964-’66)- although two of them in the second season were “re-edited” versions of first season episodes, with new openings and closings- before they started “cutting back”. Today, the average order (for a successful series) is 22 episodes…

  • DuMont says:

    Back in the 1950s, the hey-day of the 39-episode seasons with 13 weeks of encores broadcast during the summer season (the only hiatus for the exhausted actors, the networks used to make their “upfront” decisions as early as February/March for the following fall because of the lead times required to get ahead with engaging writers and directors to fill a 39-episode order.

    Oddly, as the “regular” season stretched from its earliest days of 26-weeks where the extra 13 weeks of episodes were played off til the end of the spring season in early June, to todays 36 week regular season, where the networks now stretch out a 22-episode order over 36 weeks with repeats and hiatuses.

    That being said, one can only admire the daytime serials, which still crank out 52-weeks of fresh episodes a year, no islands of hiatus or sanctuarial encores in their grueling schedules.

  • pBOB says:

    DuMont I don’t know if you notice that the daytime serials spend a week repeating the same lines in different sitations until the following when the storyline finally continues. That’s why if you miss watching a daytime soap for anywhere from 6 months to a year you can easily catch up.

  • pBOB says:

    Barry – was the reason Liz’s name removed from the start of the Bewitched intro theme to shorten it for syndication?

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    By the start of the sixth season in 1969, ‘pBOB”, Liz earned the right to have her name above the title {“Elizabeth Montgomery In…”}, instead of following it. In the network daytime and syndicated versions of the series, there were two variations of the opening title from season one through five: black & white (first two) and color, with different copyrights {“MCMLXIV”/”MCMLXVI”}, slightly different animation, and the same first season title music. Original network titles had the sponsor’s name before the start [“CHEVROLET presents…”/”THE QUAKER OATS COMPANY presents…”], and a sponsor I.D. at the end, with different orchestrations of the theme during the first three seasons, with the “season three” variation used through season five; these were not used in daytime/syndicated rebroadcasts.

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