The Sixth Sense Promotional Spot

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Here’s a promotional spot for ABC’s The Sixth Sense, a dramatic series that ran for 25 episodes over the course of two short seasons. It starred Gary Collins and Catherine Ferrar and premiered as a mid-season replacement in January 1972, returned in September and aired its final episode in December 1972.

Later, for some strange reason, episodes of the series were cut down to thirty minutes and added to the syndication package for Night Gallery with new introductions from Rod Serling. It has never been released commercially but episodes were shown on cable channel Chiller a few years ago.

If you’re interested in learning more about why The Sixth Sense was added to the Night Gallery syndication package, read Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson.

9 Replies to “The Sixth Sense Promotional Spot”

  1. I can tell you why edited versions of “THE SIXTH SENSE” were added to the “NIGHT GALLERY” syndicated package: MCA/Universal decided there weren’t enough episodes in Rod’s series to make it “profitable” enough to sell locally [and they had to PAD several of those individual segments from the original hour-long edition of the show to make them “fit” a half-hour format; for example, footage from “Fahrenheit 451” (1966) was used to extend “The Different Ones”].

    Now, MCA was famous in the industry for never letting ANY of their short-lived TV series “go to waste”- they were either edited into overseas theatrical “movies” {which often ended up in syndication on local stations} or simply added to other “packages”. They discovered the number of “SIXTH SENSE” episodes (24) were enough to be re-edited into half-hour form and added to ‘”NIGHT GALLERY”. But they needed Rod Serling to appear in new introductions to make them “compatible” with his episodes. Rod was able to turn this into his advantage, financially: after they screwed him over the direction and production of his series {“They’re trying to turn it into ‘MANNIX’ in a graveyard”, he complained}, he drove a hard bargain- for filming 24 new introductions, he received $100,000 dollars.

  2. ‘The Sixth Sense’ was a mid-season replacement for ‘The Persuaders’ at 10-11 pm Saturdays on ABC in the 1971-72 season (‘The Persuaders’ got shuffled to Wednesdays at 9:30 pm). ‘The Sixth Sense’ boosted the timeslot up by about 40% to a 14.8HH average in its first midseason run, just behind ‘NBC Saturday Night at the Movies’ with a 16.4HH average and competitive with ‘Mission: Impossible’ at a 19.3HH average.

    However, ‘The Sixth Sense’ fell off considerably to 11.8HH in the fall of the 1972-73 season and was replaced by ABC’s umbrella series ‘The Men’, which contained rotating episodes of ‘Assignment: Vienna’, ‘Jigsaw’ and ‘The Delphi Bureau’ (run in clusters of two-to-three episodes). ‘The Men’ did no better with a 10.4HH and was cancelled by the time upfronts rolled around.

    I only saw a handful of the ABC broadcasts of ‘The Sixth Sense’, and never saw the re-cut episodes of ‘The Sixth Sense’ which were rolled into the ‘Night Gallery’ syndie run, but it might be an idea for Universal to extend the successful ‘Night Gallery’ DVD package by including those episodes as a “fourth” season (even though ‘The Sixth Sense’ ran in parallel to the second and third seasons of ‘Night Gallery’). ‘The Sixth Sense’ was an intelligent series; otherwise, I’m sure Mr. Serling would have never lent his presence to it.

  3. Thank you for the article about “The Sixth Sense.” I was 12 when the series aired & never missed an episode but have never before found anyone who remembers it.

  4. I remember “The Sixth Sense.” I watched a few episodes of it. I remember it being on Saturday nights at 10:00. It had an interesting premise but it was really a pretty crappy show, weighed down by Gary Collins’ wooden acting. “Night Gallery” was much better, at least for the first couple of years. It originally ran as part of an NBC anthology series called “Four in One,” which was aired in an unusual fashion– instead of alternating the four shows it featured, it played each show in turn for six straight weeks. “McCloud” was the first entry and, of course, went on to a long and successful run on the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. “Night Gallery” was the only other entry to become a series. The other entries were “S.F. International” which I think may have starred Lloyd Bridges, and “The Psychiatrist” with Roy Thinnes. I remember watching the first episode of “S.F. International.” It featured David Hartman as an airline pilot who was being blackmailed by terrorists, who had kidnapped his wife, into delaying the takeoff of a flight. It was pretty good but I don’t remember anything else about the series. I never watched “The Psychiatrist.” Seems to me like the episodes in this series were 90 minutes long. When “Night Gallery” premiered on its own it was an hour long, I think. The first season of the stand-alone series was pretty good but it started going steeply downhill after that. I have read that Rod Serling’s role on the series was reduced after the first season, and that eventually he was doing little more than hosting it. NBC finally cut it to 30 minutes and put it on Sunday nights at 10, just before the local-access half-hour that had just been created. Obviously they were trying to kill it off, and they did… I think it was cancelled at mid-season.

  5. .. ironically at this late a date; METV network just accidently-on=purpose premiered it.s version of NIGHT GALLERY—behold several outtakes that were re=edited in for the very first time./////obviously the DVD is UNIVERSAL TVs sole rights for syndication…. ***: the knockout was seeing the cutting room floors.:leftovers for ::: THE DOLL””–8 minutes of Queen Victoriana—–vs, INDIA scenes that NEVER WERE SHOWN IN 1971—-of course i remember back in 1975—when at college in the midwest,there was indeed a regional packaged version that had similar surprises—-a propitous time awaits next week***—UNIVERSAL STUDIOS knows it now has a goldmine of leftovers and outtakes—whos running the show???? pk

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