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.
June 26th, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 26, Issue #636
Western New England Edition
On the Cover: Donna McKechnie, Lada Edmound Jr., Barbara Monte (photograph by Douglas Kirkland, Meridian).
This week’s cover article (“‘Hullabaloo’ – It’s Real GONE” by David Newman and Robert Benton”) is underwhelming. There’s a long introductory paragraph about Lada Edmund Jr. dancing and screaming (“I’m sort of known for my screams. I’m supposed to count but I worked it out so I can scream and count at the same time.”) and at several points people involved with the show stress that it is nothing like ABC’s Shindig. For starters, Hullabaloo pays much better, up to $7,500 and on par with what Ed Sullivan or Danny Kaye pay talent to appear on their shows.
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Producer Gary Smith explains that the studio audience is strictly controlled to “keep the screamers out.” During dress rehearsals plenty of teenagers are allowed in but during actual tapings only 25% of the audience are teens. “We estimate our viewing audience is 30 percent kids, 45 percent young adults and 25 percent adults, wives of performers, agents, and managers.” Critics and viewers didn’t initially embrace the show. Critics may still not like it but it has grown in the ratings. And it is attracting top talent. According to Lester Gottlieb, who developed the concept for Hullabaloo, “at the beginning of this show, acts were avoiding us like the plague. Bobby Rydell gave us a plea of illness. Nancy Wilson was afraid it wasn’t good for her image. Then one week we had Sammy Davis as the host. He dug the show, as they say, and he had a new record he wanted to push. Since then we’ve had no trouble getting acts at all.”
“The Sound-and-Fury Boys” about actors Harry Hickox (Sergeant King on No Time for Sergeants) and Frank Sutton (Sergeant Carter on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.) is actually two separate articles, one about each man. They start off almost exactly the same because both Hickox and Sutton were sergeants during World War II, both are from the south, both are color blind, and both started acting in their early teens. Hickox started acting during high school. He married in the late 1930s. After World War II he auditioned for the national tour of The Music Man and played Charlie Cowell for three years. When he auditioned for the role of Sergeant King on No Time for Sergeants, without his toupee, there were those who didn’t think he looked the park. Production supervisor George Burns disagreed. “He’s an actor, and a good actor can look like a sergeant when the time comes.” Hickox got the part.
As for Sutton, he started acting in high school as well and spent a long time getting rid of his Southern accent. After World War II he went to college, got married, and left school for a year to tour with a production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street. He got his start in live TV thanks to producer Fred Coe, who directed Sutton during his first community theater production in high school. Delbert Mann, who acted alongside Sutton in that same play, cast him in a small role in the film Marty, which was his big break. Despite the success of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Sutton refuses to buy a house in Hollywood and lives with his wife and children in an apartment. “I’m very nervous about anchoring anywhere,” he explains. “Actors are like gypsies.”
“Sheldon Hits Some High Notes” is an interesting article about trumpeter and actor Jack Sheldon, co-star of The Cara Williams Show. He doesn’t really consider himself an actor. “I’ve just got those two expressions–straight ahead and straight to the side,” he says. “I just play me.” He once arrived an hour late for a recording session conducted by Henry Mancini. Jack made a joke about being fogged in and cracked everyone up. Said Mancini: “Jack Sheldon, who has more humor in his trumpet than any man I know is one of the few musicians in town worth waiting for. I just hope success doesn’t straighten him out.”
Guitar player and composer Jack Marshall also has good things to say about Jack Sheldon. “Jack lives in a wonderful world of his own. The hip people have loved him for years and now the public is latching on. Jack worked hard to become a good musician. Now he’s got big eyes for acting, and he’s working hard at that–so who knows how big a future he has?” His future won’t involve The Cara Williams Show, however, because it has been cancelled. [Sheldon would later star in the short-lived Run, Buddy, Run on CBS during the 1966-1967 season and was a regular on The Girl with Something Extra on NBC during the 1973-1974 season.]
“This Is Janine Gray” is a one-page profile of British actress Janine Gray, who at one point drove a cab in London to pay the bills. She “projects a ladylike sex appeal” and has drawn praise for some of her guest roles. According to scriptwriter David Friedkin, who penned an episode The Alfred Hitchcock Hour that Gray guested on, she “fulfills the words. She departs from the page with a distinctive quality, a fresh approach. She has this offbeat attack that sticks with you.” Quinn Martin also had good things to say about her: “She has an interesting talent to go with those lovely looks. We gave her a difficult part and she did it to a ‘T’.” [Gray’s career didn’t last that long. Internet Movie Database profile lists 24 credits between 1960s and 1969.]
The fifth and final article is called “Drag Educational TV Out of Its Ivory Tower!” and features excerpts from a talk given by Stan Freberg to affiliates of National Educational Television that led to him being appointed consultant to the NET president. At three pages, it’s a lengthy discourse on why educational TV (ETV) is failing. Freberg argues there are four parts to the problem:
- ETV is fighting “a national apathy” that keeps people “from going out of their way to find out what educational television means.”
- Overall, ETV stations in most cities are not doing a great job combating this apathy by explaining what they are and what they do.
- Many viewers can’t tune in ETV stations because they do not have UHF converters and don’t want to spend $50 to buy one. It helps that all new sets come with UHF converters but that might not be enough.
- Can ETV “come out of its academic ivory tower long enough to examine whether or not it is educating by doing the most interesting, spellbinding, fascinating and–that terrible word–‘entertaining’ programming possible?”
Freberg states that while some ETV programming is “among the finest television being done” there are also many programs that are too special-interest and attract too few viewers. ETV is “so worried about your special-interest audiences–and so concerned lest you stoop down to the mass, and so ‘Educational’ with a capital E, that you’re getting hung up on your own image. You have a challenge her such as education has never known.” He worries that while ETV in big cities like Boston and San Francisco is successful, there are millions of people who don’t know about ETV and will likely give up on television entirely before ETV can reach them. “Do not expect that these people will seek you out. You must try to communicate with them, to let them know what television can truly be, if they will but tune you in.”
The “As We See It” editorial this week is all about numbers. ABC, CBS, and NBC earned a record $1,145,889,700 during the 1964-1965 season and that figure will likely be surpassed during the upcoming season. The networks are paying $100,000,000 for rights to football. Proctor & Gamble spent $148,783,200 on television in 1964 alone ($70,439,700 on local spots and $78,343,500 on network spots). The second largest advertiser was General Foods which spent $70,874,800 in 1964. Overall, 24 national advertisers spent more than $20,000,000 last year, 14 that spent more than $30,000,000 and seven that spent more than $40,000,000. Finally, television advertising of all types is expected to earn $2,250,000,000 during the 1965-1966 season. That’s why there is so much imitation in television and so little gambling.
Cleveland Amory’s review of Our Private World is not kind. He notes that the twice-weekly prime time CBS serial has even less depth than
Altogether it is the first show we’ve seen in a long time where literally nothing is good–the idea, the producing, the writing or the directing. As for the acting, it has to be seen to be believed–and, believe us, it shouldn’t be. The girls are bad and the boys are worse. One thing this show dose, though. It makes Peyton Place look great. In fact, the only thing we cannot fault is the title, Our Private World. The mistake was in making it public.
News from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:
- John Wayne will appear in an episode of Dean Martin’s NBC show in September.
- Debbie Watson, formerly of NBC’s Karen, will star in ABC’s Tammy next season.
- Lynn Loring will play Efrem Zimbalist’s daughter on The FBI. Lee Meriwether will also have a regular role.
- Fred MacMurray will romance a welfare worker played by Vera Miles over the course of three episodes of My Three Sons next season.
- Fred Astaire will host four episodes of The Hollywood Palace.
- Don Knotts and Jim Nabors will reunite with Andy Griffith for a CBS variety special during the 1965-1966 season. [“The Andy Griffith-Don Knotts-Jim Nabors Show” aired on October 7th, 1965.]
- June Blair is returning to The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet after a year’s absence.
- ABC will broadcast an unsold pilot called “Hercules” on September 13th. [The hour-long pilot actually aired on Sunday, September 13th.]
- NBC’s Project 20 is working on a special called “End of the Trail” about the Plains Indians during the 1800s. [It aired on March 16th, 1967.]
- Elizabeth Montgomery will voice a character on a “bewitching” episode of The Flintstones next season. [Both Montgomery and Dick York voiced their Bewitched characters in “Samantha,” which aired on October 22nd, 1965.]
Rounding out the national section is a two-page picture feature spotlighting 26 dogs “acting” in dog food commercials, all trained by Frank Inn. There is also the regular TV crossword puzzle which once again is filled out.
There are three news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section this week:
- Comsat will start charging hourly fees of over $11,000 for use of its Early Bird satellite. Broadcasters in the United States have cut back on using Early Bird due to the high costs and they are petitioning the FCC to freeze the fees and hold hearings to establish more reasonable charges.
- A 1,700-foot transmitter under construction in Moscow will be the tallest reinforced-concrete structure in the world when it is complete. Work was halted for a while due to concerns about the foundation but the transmitter is now 230 feet tall and once complete will triple the range of the six channels it will transmit. [The Ostankino Tower was completed in 1967 and was the tallest free-standing structure in the world for nine years before being surpassed in 1976 by Toronto’s CN Tower.]
- California’s attorney general plans to appeal a Superior Court decision that opened the door for pay-TV in the state. The decision ruled a ballot initiative banning pay-TV was unconstitutional. It could be years before the fate of pay-TV in California is decided if the case makes it to the United States Supreme Court. [The Supreme Court refused to review the ruling in October 1966, making pay-TV legal in the Sunshine State.]
The letters page includes just three letters this week, all lengthy and all from people connected to the television industry. The first is from the former producer of The Doctors and the Nurses, responding to Art Buchwald’s June 5th article about The Fugitive:
Truth is stranger than fiction and Art Buchwald has pinched the nerve of truth. When, as producer of The Doctors and the Nurses, I first learned that we would be opposite The Fugitive, two things happened: (a) I panicked. (b) I conceived of the idea that Buchwald mentions, namely that a one-armed man comes into the hospital, confesses to Zina that he killed David Janssen’s wife, and dies. The police broadcast the news, but Janssen suspects a trap and doesn’t believe it. Thereafter, Zina sets out in search of David, but at every town she gets off the back of the bus just as David gets on the front. The only trouble with this story is that I couldn’t sell it to the writers. Thus The Fugitive continues his adventures into oblivion, while we fade into it.
Arthur Joel Katz, Ex-producer
The Doctors and the Nurses
New York, N.Y.
An editorial note explains that The Doctors and The Nurses will be moving to daytime next season. The second letter is from the editor of Australia’s TV Week who is following up on a March 6th article:
It seems that The Beverly Hillbillies is popular everywhere. I have just read the Malcolm Muggeridge piece, “Why Those Hillbillies Are Rampant in Britain,” in which he relates that the series is popular in England. The Hillbillies are just as popular in Africa. I have just returned to Australia after a vacation in Kenya and Tanzania. Television, on a small scale, beams out of Nairobi. A few miles along the road thousands of the Kikuyu tribe–many of whom were former Mau Mau terrorists–crowd into huts once a week to clap and cheer The Hillbillies through their antics. The next-highest-rated program with the tribe is The Three Stooges.
Tom Ramsey, National Editor
The third and final letter is in response to a June 12th article. It is from the sports director at WFAA-TV who claims the “isolated camera” was introduced nationally during an ABC football game:
I enjoyed your article “Heaven Help the Men in Blue.” However, I would like to disagree with your statement that “…practical application generally goes to … Tony Verna, a sports director for CBS, who first experimented with it at the Army-Navy game of 1963.” On Nov. 17, 1963 (some 13 days prior to the Army-Navy game of that year) during the ABC telecast of the American Football League Kansas City-Boston game, the isolated camera was used “live” for what is believed to be the first time. We isolated the split end and flanker of Kansas City, “live,” with excellent results. Video-tape was added later, but I believe this to be the first national use of what might be termed an isolated camera.
Charlie Jones, Sports Director
[Perhaps someone with more technical knowledge of television production and/or televised sports can clarify whether “isolated camera” and “instant replay” are the same thing. My brief search suggests the terms are often used interchangeably but may in fact be separate techniques, i.e. the isolated camera is used to record on videotape action that is later shown via instant replay.]
The TV Listings
It was a relatively quiet week overall with the weekend a little busy for the networks. At 9:45AM on Saturday, June 26th ABC aired live coverage (via Early Bird) of the Irish Sweeps Derby from the Curragh race course in Ireland. The network’s Jim McKay and Irish sportscaster Michael O’Hehir covered the race. At 2PM, ABC’s Saturday baseball game saw the Baltimore Orioles face the Chicago White Sox. NBC debuted a new series called Sportsman’s Holiday at 5:45PM. The 15-minute color series was hosted by Curt Gowdy and featured fishing and hunting. And at 9:30PM, ABC aired the fifth annual All American Football Coaches Association all-star game, live from Buffalo.
On Sunday, June 27th ABC aired the last new installment of its half-hour Directions ’65 for the season from 1-1:30PM. It was about contemporary art.
ABC added two new half-hour shows to its weekday schedule on Monday, June 28th. At 2PM, Where the Action Is made its debut. The pop music variety series went on location to tape performances. Regulars included Linda Scott, Steve Alaimo, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Action dancers. Guests for the premiere episode included Jan and Dean and Dee Dee Sharp. At 2:30PM, a new soap opera called A Time for Us premiered. It was a replacement and follow-up to Flame on the Wind and featured the same cast.
At 9:30PM on Monday, CBS pre-empted The Danny Thomas Show and CBS Reports for a 90-minute documentary special called called “It’s What’s Happening, Baby!” Hosted by New York City disc jockey Murray the K, the “musical extravaganza” was an attempt to introduce teenagers to the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunities. Appearing on the program (all without pay) were Bill Cosby, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, The Dave Clark Five, The Supremes, Herman’s Hermits, Tom Jones, and others. It was produced and directed by Barry Shear.
CBS brought back repeats of The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour at 10PM starting Wednesday, June 30th at 10PM. A total of 11 episodes, originally broadcast between 1957 and 1960, were repeated as a summer replacement for The Danny Kaye Show.
NBC aired the last new installment of Kraft Suspense Theatre for the season from 10-11PM on Thursday, July 1st. Gary Lockwood and Francine Pyne starred. It was directed by William Wood. The episode also served as the final episode of the series, which did not return for the 1965-1966 season.
On Friday, July 2nd from 9:30-10PM, Vacation Playhouse on CBS presented “The Dean Jones Show,” an unsold pilot in which Jones played a scientist who tries to curtail his playboy ways to make a good impression on his visiting teenage sister.
Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:
- Special: Irish Sweeps Derby (ABC, Saturday at 9:45AM)
- Special: All-America Game (ABC, Saturday at 9:30PM)
- The Twentieth Century – “The Songs of Harold Arlen” (CBS, Sunday at 6:00PM, Repeat)
- Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color – “The Tenderfoot” (NBC, Sunday at 7:30PM, Repeat)
- Teen-Age Special – It’s What’s Happening, Baby! (CBS, Monday at 9:30PM)
- Kraft Suspense Theatre – “Connery’s Hands” (NBC, Thursday at 10:00PM)
- FDR – “Brothers in Arms” (ABC, Friday at 8:00PM)
- 12 O’clock High – “The Clash” (ABC, Friday at 10:00PM, Repeat)
Here are some of the programs available for purchase by subscribers to Zenith Radio Company’s Phonevision pay television experiment on Connecticut’s WHCT-TV (Channel 18):
- Movie: Battle of the Villa Fiorita (Saturday at 7:30PM, $1.25)
- Movie: Masquerade (Sunday at 7:30PM, $1.25)
- Movie Double Feature: Dr. No and From Russia with Love (Monday at 7:00PM, $1.50)
- Special: Carol Channing in Show Girl (Tuesday at 9:00PM, $1.50)
- Cartoon: Aladdin’s Lamp (Thursday at 7:30PM, $1.00)
Locally, there were a lot of baseball games and specials this week. On Saturday at 10:15AM, WNAC-TV (Channel 7) debuted a new kid’s show called Jamboree with host Jack Richards and a five-piece musical group called The Galaxies. The premiere episode ran for 45 minutes while later episodes were an hour long and aired from 10-11AM. [I’m not sure if this was a local show or a syndicated variety series but I believe it was local.] At 12PM, WNHB-TV (Channels 20 and 79) aired a half-hour special hosted by Tex Pavel showcasing winners of the second annual Lake Compounce hootenanny. [Lake Compounce is an amusement park in Connecticut.] At 1PM, WNHC-TV (Channel 8) aired a 25-minute review of the Connecticut government and a preview of the upcoming Constitutional Convention opening July 1st. Donald Nelson narrated. This was followed at 1:25PM by 30 minutes of color highlights of the U.S. National Parachuting Championships.
WBZ-TV premiered Contact! at 4PM on Saturday, a 45-minute local interview series hosted by Bob Kennedy in which viewers could ask questions live via telephone. At 1:55PM, WNHC-TV aired a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees. At 2:15PM, WHDH-TV (Channel 5), WWLP (Channel 22), WRLP (Channel 32), and WNHB-TV aired a baseball game between the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox.
On Sunday at 12:55PM, WNHC-TV aired another Angels-Yankees baseball game while WHDH-TV, WWLP, WRLP, and WHNB-TV aired another Senators-Red Sox game at 1:30PM. And at 3:25PM, WHCT (Channel 18) aired a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. WBZ-TV aired another live talent audition from 4:30-5PM. Participants came from all over Massachusetts: North Quincy, Quincy, South Weymouth, Worcester, and West Roxbury. There was also a dance duo from Norwich, CT. Also at 4:30PM, WHNC-TV aired a half-hour color special highlighting the 1964 NFL Championship, narrated by Chris Schenkel.
There were two more baseball games on Monday. WHDH-TV, WWLP, WRLP, and WHNB-TV aired a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox at 7:30PM while WHNC-TV aired a game between the Milwaukee Graves and the New York Mets at 8:30PM. WHNC-TV aired yet another baseball game aired on Wednesday at 7:5PM, this one between the Cincinnati Reds and the Mets.
On Thursday at 10AM, WTIC-TV (Channel 3) aired two hours of live coverage of the opening of the Connecticut Constitutional Convention from the House Chamber of the Old State House in Hartford. Secretary of State Ella Grasso presided over the convention. The same station aired a half-hour “Living History” special from 9-9:30PM that featured highlights of the opening.
On Friday, WHDH-TV pre-empted the entire CBS prime time schedule. It aired Vacation Playhouse at 7:30PM (rather than during its regular 9:30-10PM time slot) followed by a Yankees-Mets baseball game at 8PM.
Here’s an advertisement for WHYN-TV’s award winning news team:
Advertisement for WHYN-TV’s Award Winning News Team – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Here’s an advertisement for The Desert Rats, WTIC-TV’s after dinner movie on Tuesday, June 29th:
Advertisement for The Desert Rats on WTIC-TV – 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, June 28th, 1965
Capt. Bob draws from outline form to finished sketch.
Tuesday, June 29th, 1965
Western music is featured and discussed by Roland Nadeau.
Wednesday, June 30th, 1965
Members of Boston’s Arts and Crafts Society illustrate examples of techniques applied to pottery, weaving and woodwork.
Thursday, July 1st, 1965
The first of a three-part program concerned with learning to swim presented by the Red Cross at a local pool.
Friday, July 2nd, 1965
Jack Woolner selects a place of interest to visit this weekend.
That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.