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.
We’ve come to the end of A Year in TV Guide. Check back tomorrow for my final thoughts and a look back.
September 11th, 1965
Vol. 13, No. 37, Issue #650
Eastern Illinois Edition
On the Cover: The New Fall Season (design by William Woods).
As was the case with the 1964 Fall Preview issue, there are no true articles in this issue, just previews of specials, new TV shows, and daytime programming for the new season. The bulk of the issue consists of previews of the 34 new shows premiering on the networks. The section on specials runs three pages while daytime programming receives just a paragraph on the last page. There’s a one-page color-coded “shows at a glance” grid as well. The national section also includes a special 8-page paid advertisement for NBC and its new and returning programs.
Front Cover – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Network specials this season will include big stars (Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly, Harry Belafonte, Charlie Brown, Carol Channing, Sean Connery, Andy Griffith, Bob Hope, Peter Ustinov), music (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Bell Telephone Hour, Young People’s Concerts with Leonard Bernstein), parades (Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day), awards shows (Emmys, Oscars, Miss America, Miss Teen-age America), spectacles (Ringling Bros. Circus), drama (Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC Children’s Theatre, two more United Nations specials), the world (CBS Reports, “The Making of the President: 1964,” NBC White Paper, Project 20, “This Proud Land”), and sports (NFL, AFL, NCAA, golf, horse racing, World Series).
For those of you who may not have the Fall 1965 schedule memorized, here’s a look at the new shows:
Get Smart! (NBC, September 18th, Color)
I Dream of Jeannie (NBC, September 18th)
The Loner (CBS, September 18th)
Trials of O’Brien (CBS, September 18th)
The FBI (ABC, September 19th, Color)
The Wackiest Ship in the Army (NBC, September 19th, Color)
A Man Called Shenandoah (ABC, September 13th)
The John Forsythe Show (NBC, September 13th, Color)
The Legend of Jesse James (ABC, September 13th)
Run for Your Life (NBC, September 13th, Color)
The Steve Lawrence Show (CBS, September 13th)
F Troop (ABC, September 14th)
My Mother, The Car (NBC, September 14th, Color)
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (NBC, September 14th, Color)
The Big Valley (ABC, September 15th, Color)
Gidget (ABC, September 15th, Color)
Green Acres (CBS, September 15th, Color)
I Spy (NBC, September 15th, Color)
Lost in Space (CBS, September 15th)
The CBS Thursday Night Movies (CBS, September 16th, Mostly Color)
The Dean Martin Show (NBC, September 16th, Color)
Laredo (NBC, September 16th, Color)
The Long, Hot Summer (ABC, September 16th)
Mona McCluskey (NBC, September 16th, Color)
O.K. Crackerby! (ABC, September 16th, Color)
Camp Runamuck (NBC, September 17th, Color)
Convoy (NBC, September 17th)
Hank (NBC, September 17th, Color)
Hogan’s Heroes (CBS, September 17th, Color)
Honey West (ABC, September 17th)
Mr. Roberts (NBC, September 17th, Color)
The Smothers Brothers Show (CBS, September 17th)
Tammy (ABC, September 17th, Color)
The Wild, Wild West (CBS, September 17th)
The summaries published in this issue are previews, not reviews. They include brief plot outlines and a list of cast members. Many of them also feature snippets of dialogue to give viewers a feel for the series. Here are a few examples:
I Dream of Jeannie starts when an astronaut (Larry Hagman) uncorks a bottle, and out pops a dish. The dish (Barbara Eden) announces that she is a genie and, true to her calling, tells her new “master” that his wish is her command. This poor sap, however, says he never touches stuff that comes in bottles. He’s already engaged–to the daughter (Karen Sharpe) of his commanding officer (Philip Ober), and, besides, “I could get drummed out of the space program.” Any trick any member of TV’s exploding population of witches, warlocks, Martians and angels can do, Jeannie can match. And, since she wears the latest in harem fashions, she’s bound to enchant at least part of the audience.
The John Forsythe Show is Bachelor Father multiplied by 120. Forsythe’s a bachelor again–Air Force Maj. John Foster–but this time he has a whole schoolful of teen-age girls under his care. When the girls first see their dreamy new headmaster, they decide that he’s “the greatest thing since the invention of the hot fudge sundae.” Their enthusiasm is not reciprocated. To Major Foster, controlling the student body is “like wrestling an octopus in a phone booth.” He has lots of help, though, from Ann B. Davis (Bob Cummings’ former “Schultzy”), as a teacher; Elsa Lancaster, as Miss Culver, the principal; and Guy Marks, as Foster’s assistant. In one episode Miss Culver is smitten with an office-supply salesman, which leads to this exchange among three students: “Golly, I’ve never seen Miss Culver with a man before!” … “Nobody has. It’s a mackerel.” … “Pamela, that’s miracle–and you’re right.” The John Forsythe Show isn’t calculated to achieve any mackerels–just a solid perch in the ratings.
My Mother, the Car is about Dave Crabtree (Jerry Van Dyke), whose late mother returns to him in the form of an automobile–a rococo 1928 touring sedan. Scout’s honor! The car, probably as a result of watching Mister Ed, speaks only to its (her?) son. “For the sake of your marriage, David,” advises Mother, “lie, just lie.” The car’s voice belongs to Ann Sothern. Avery Schreiber makes an outrageously villainous villain, and Maggie Pierce a winsome wife who’d like a new car.
The Big Valley has–well, let’s take inventory: a strong-willed matriach (Barbara Stanwyck), her cool-headed son (Richard Long), hot-headed son (Peter Breck), sensitive son (Charles Briles), and ravishing, impulsive daughter (Linda Evans), and their illegitimate half-brother (Lee Majors). With Pernell Roberts on the lam, that puts this show three up on Bonanza before the first shot is fired. One early episode contains, among other incidents, a race between a horse and a train, a showdown on a bridge, a boy-girl wrestling match, a fist fight in a stable, an attempted rape, a case of arson, a shoot-out between railroad goons and settlers, and more corpses per square yard than can be found in any Vincent Price movie. There seems to be everything in The Big Valley but a jolly green giant.
Friday’s New Shows – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Camp Runamuck is for those who like their comedy low and outside–it’s slapstick all the way, set in a boys’ summer camp. Runamuck is headed by a man who hates children (Arch Johnson), run by a nincompoop (Dave Ketchum), staffed by assorted nuts and dolts (chiefly Dave Madden and Leonard Stone) and occupied by an army of short-pantsed campers who evidently have been trained by the Viet Cong. Most of one episode is spent running through the woods under a bathtub–with time out for a few bops on the casaba and flops into the lake. Fortunately for male adults whose children may insist on watching this flapdoodle, there is a girls’ camp across the lake, one of whose counselors is Caprice Yeudleman (Nina Wayne). Caprice may not know how to put up a pup tent, but she can do wonders for a middy blouse.
The “As We See It” editorial this week suggests the new season “won’t be packed with entertainment innovations or impressive drama or cultural uplift, but by and large it should be amusing.” That’s because 97 out of 100 nighttime network programs are “escapist” leaving just three informational. For that reason, “whatever excitement the season holds will be found in the great number of special programs that frequently will pre-empt the regular network schedules.” These documentaries, plays, and variety shows will add some quality to and help balance out the season. “This season, as always,” says TV Guide, “television will be most satisfying to those who use the on-off know most discreetly.”
There is no review from Cleveland Amory this week nor are the regular Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns included. There are also no picture or special features. Not even the regular crossword puzzle makes it in.
There are four news reports in the “For the Record” column in the listings section:
- NET has more than 75 specials and a number of new weekly series to offer this season. There will be a new series about “the history of the Negro,” another about arts in the nation, and a third focusing on the country’s cultural and social heritage. Specials will include “The Old Glory,” an award-winning off-Broadway play by Robert Lowell; “The Play of Daniel” performed by the New York Pro Musica,” and “Cinderella” performed by Dame Margot Fonteyn and the Royal Ballet.
- CBS may be planning to introduce a second movie night this winter. Unconfirmed reports state the network has spent $8 million to purchase 20 movies from Columbia Pictures. Some of the titles may include Dr. Strangelove, Bye Bye Birdie, and Under the Yum Yum Tree.
- A BBC survey of 2353 households revealed that viewers 15-to-24 watch less TV than other age groups and that male viewership reaches a peak on Saturdays after 11PM. Why? Perhaps because pubs close at 11PM in many areas.
- Death Valley Days may need to replace host Ronald Reagan if he decides to run for governor of California. It might be up to the FCC to rule whether doing so would open up stations to equal time requests from Reagan’s opponents. In any event, producers of the anthology are working on a plan for substitute hosts, even if they are only needed for the four stations in California that air Death Valley Days.
The letters page this week features seven letters on just three topics. There are three responses to the August 28th overview of Peyton Place:
Thanks. This series has reached the point where you can’t tell the players without scorecard.
With reference to your outstanding and out-of-breath resume of Peyton Place, we ask that you continue to print a brief outline of P.P. At least every three months so that we won’t have to waste three good evenings a week, when one is really more than sufficient.
Mrs. Tom Irwin
Your Peyton Place story is wrong. In the first paragraph, it was Betty Anderson who had the affair (not Julie Anderson) and lost her baby in an accident.
An editorial note insisted that “we had the right girl wronged.”
There was also a letter from a viewer disgusted by a routine on Al Hirt’s Fanfare:
Steve Rossi’s swinging and Marty Allen’s twisting to the immortal strains of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on the Al Hirt Show of Aug. 28 was incredibly bad taste. I must protest the defiling of music that is considered a religious work by many people. What can we expect next? A swinging, twisting version of “Ave Maria”?
Mary R. Oliver
Another reader wrote in with details about a watch owned by Mel Blanc, discussed in an August 21st picture feature:
In “Lots of Time on His Hands” you say a Patek Philippe watch is French-made. The name is a combination of the last names of a Pole, Patek, and that of a Frenchman, Philippe. They founded Patek Philippe, which is located in Geneva, Switzerland. How do I know? I worked there from 1946 to 1950 as a salesman and guide to foreign visitors.
El Monte, Cal.
Finally, there were two letters about Gemini V coverage:
Why would not a five-minute program break at hourly intervals have been more than sufficient to relay fully the pertinent events of the Gemini V flight? Those viewing TV on Saturday, Aug. 28 were subjected to interminable repetitions of one or two points of interest, interluded with hours of vague and monotonous conjecture.
Harlan D. Evans
I want to express my thanks for such thorough coverage, especially on the part of NBC.
The TV Listings
[This was the ninth and final issue I had to purchase to fill a hole in my collection. It is the Eastern Illinois Edition with listings for eight stations in five markets. As is always the case with issues I’ve had to buy, I’ve done my best to highlight some of the local programming but please note that I’m not very familiar with these stations. All of the stations were in the Central Time Zone, so prime time in 1965 started at 6:30PM rather than 7:30PM.]
The weekend was filled with sports and specials. At 12:45PM on Saturday, September 11th college football returned to NBC with a game between the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and the Houston Cougars. At 1PM, ABC aired its regular Saturday afternoon baseball game but the teams weren’t listed. At 2:30PM, CBS aired a pre-season pro football game pitting the New York Giants against the Minnesota Vikings. At 4PM, NBC aired coverage of the 4th annual World Series of Golf, which featured Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Dave Marr, and Peter Thomson.
CBS aired the last episode of Al Hirt’s Fanfare from 6:30-7:30PM with guests Allan Sherman, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Clark, the Jimmy Smith Trio, and Karen Morrow. Next week Jackie Gleason and His American Scene Magazine will return in this time slot. At 7:30PM, Gilligan’s Island aired its last Saturday episode; the sitcom moves to Thursdays beginning September 16th and will be replaced by The Trials of O’Brien next week.
Secret Agent aired its final episode of the summer at 8PM on CBS. [It would return in December.] From 9-11PM, CBS aired the 45th annual Miss America Pageant live from Atlantis City, NJ. Bert Parks and former Miss America Bess Myerson served as hosts with judges Joan Crawford, John Canaday, Alexander Cohen, John Brownlee, Onna White, and J. Albert Trescony.
On Sunday, September 12th at 12:45PM, CBS aired another pro football game, this one the 3rd annual Hall of Fame exhibition game featuring the Washington Redskins and the Detroit Lions. At 1PM, ABC aired the National Tennis Championships live from Forest Hills, NY. Also at 1PM, NBC aired the AFL season opener pitting the New York Jets against the Houston Jets. This was followed at 4PM by the final round of the World Series of Golf. The Original Amateur Hour returned to CBS at 4:30PM.
The 1965-1966 season got underway Sunday night. At 5:30PM, NBC aired a special hour-long preview of its new Saturday morning cartoons Secret Squirrel and Adam Ant. A repeat of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color followed at 6:30PM. Branded returned at 7:30PM and Bonanza at 8PM. At 9PM, the network broadcast the 17th Annual Emmy Awards with hosts Danny Thomas and Sammy Davis.
Advertisement for NBC’s Sunday Schedule – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
On CBS, Lassie opened its new season at 6PM, followed by the returns of My Favorite Martian at 6:30PM, The Ed Sullivan Show at 7PM, Perry Mason at 8PM (in its new time slot), Candid Camera at 9PM, and What’s My Line? at 9:30PM.
Advertisement for ABC’s Shining New Season – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
ABC, which took out a full-page ad declaring that its new season starts tomorrow, aired “Hercules,” a color spectacle starring Gordon Scott from 6-7PM, followed by a repeat of The Birdman of Alcatraz on The ABC Sunday Night Movie from 7-10PM. [“Hercules” was the pilot for a proposed TV series that never materialized.]
The new season continued on Monday, September 13th. At 6:30PM, Hullabaloo started its new season on NBC, followed by the series premiere of The John Forsythe Show at 7PM, the first half-hour Dr. Kildare at 7:30PM, the return of The Andy Williams Show at 8PM, and the series premiere of Run for Your Life at 9PM.
Over on CBS, To Tell the Truth started its ninth season at 6:30PM, I’ve Got a Secret its 14th season at 7PM, The Lucy Show returned at 7:30PM, The Andy Griffith Show moved to its new time slot at 8PM, Hazel made its CBS premiere at 8:30PM, and new variety hour The Steve Lawrence debuted at 9PM.
Advertisement for The Lucy Show and The Andy Griffith Show On CBS – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
ABC’s fall season began in earnest at 6:30PM with the season premiere of 12 O’Clock High, followed by the series premiere of The Legend of Jesse James at 7:30PM, the series premiere of A Man Called Shenandoah at 8PM, the season premiere of The Farmer’s Daughter at 8:30PM, and the fifth season premiere of Ben Casey at 9PM.
Infamous My Mother The Car bowed on NBC at 6:30PM on Tuesday, September 14th. This was followed by the series premiere of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies at 7PM, the second weekly installment of Dr. Kildare at 7:30PM, and the premiere of Tuesday Night at the Movies at 8PM, which kicked off with The Bridges at Toko-Ri.
CBS started its night with Rawhide at 6:30PM, then the return of The Red Skelton Hour at 7:30PM, the third season premiere of Petticoat Junction at 8:30PM, and finally “Bulldozed America” on CBS Reports at 9PM.
On ABC, Combat! began its fourth season at 6:30PM, followed by the fourth season of McHale’s Navy at 7:30PM, then the series premiere of F Troop at 8PM, the first of three weekly Peyton Place episodes at 8:30PM, and then The Fugitive kicked off its third season at 9PM.
On Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30PM, the fourth season of The Virginian debuted on NBC, followed by the season premiere of Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre at 8PM, and the series premiere of I Spy at 9PM.
Lost in Space made its debut at 6:30PM on CBS, followed by the fourth season premiere of The Beverly Hillbillies at 7:30PM, the series premiere of Green Acres at 8PM, the fifth season premiere of The Dick Van Dyke Show at 8:30PM, and the return of The Danny Kaye Show at 9PM.
Over on ABC, the night kicked off with 14th season of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet at 6:30PM, the season premiere of The Patty Duke Show at 7PM, the series premiere of Gidget at 7:30PM, the series premiere of The Big Valley at 8PM, and the premiere of the revamped Amos Burke, Secret Agent at 9PM.
Daniel Boone started its second season at 6:30PM on Thursday, September 16th on NBC, followed by three series premieres: Laredo at 7:30PM, Mona McCluskey at 8:30PM, and The Dean Martin Show at 9PM.
On CBS, The Munsters opened its second season at 6:30PM, followed by the second season premiere of Gilligan’s Island at 7PM (in color), the CBS premiere of My Three Sons at 7:30PM, and the series premiere of CBS Thursday Night Movies at 8PM, which started with The Manchurian Candidate.The first weekly installment of Shindig premiered at 6:30PM on ABC, then The Donna Reed Show kicked off its new season at 7PM, followed by the series premiere of O.K. Crackerby! at 7:30PM, the season premiere of Bewitched at 8PM, Peyton Place at 8:30PM, and the series premiere of The Long Hot Summer at 8PM.
The week came to a close on Friday, September 17th. On NBC, that meant four series premieres: Camp Runamuck at 6:30PM, Hank at 7PM, Convoy at 7:30PM, and Mr. Roberts at 8PM. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opened its second season at 9PM.
Advertisement for Hank on NBC – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
On CBS, the series premiere of The Wild, Wild West kicked off the night at 6:30PM, followed by the series premiere of Hogan’s Heroes at 7:30PM, the second season premiere of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. at 8PM, the series premiere of The Smothers Brothers Show at 8:30PM, and the second season premiere of Slattery’s People at 9PM.
The sixth season of The Flintstones opened the night for ABC at 6:30PM. The series premiere of Tammy followed at 7PM, then the second season premiere of The Addams Family at 7:30PM, the series premiere of Honey West at 8PM, the third and final weekly installment of Peyton Place at 8:30PM, and finally the season premiere of The Jimmy Dean Show at 9PM.
Advertisement for Tammy and The Addams Family on ABC – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:
- Special: Miss American Pageant (CBS, Saturday at 9:00PM)
- Special: National Tennis Championships (ABC, Sunday at 1:00PM)
- Special: The 17th Emmy Awards (NBC, Sunday at 9:00PM)
The listings section includes listings for the following stations:
WCIA-TV (Channel 3) – CBS
WCHU-TV (Channel 33) – NBC
WTVP-TV (Channel 17) – ABC [and W-70-AF]
WIRL-TV (Channel 19) – ABC
WEEK-TV (Channel 25) – NBC [and WEEQ-TV]
WMBD-TV (Channel 31) – CBS [and W-71-AE]
WICS-TV (Channel 20) – NBC [and W-75-AD]
WICD-TV (Channel 24) – NBC
Locally, there was quite a bit going on this week. At 12:30PM on Saturday, WIRL-TV (Channel 19) aired a half-hour farm report with Dick Herm. At 1:30PM, WMBD-TV (Channel 31) aired thirty minutes of championship bowling. Barn Dance with Orion Samuelson returned to WMBD-TV at 5PM and WCIA-TV (Channel 3) at 5:30PM. [Presumably, the same half-hour of country and western music aired on both stations, just not at the same time.]
At 6:30PM, WTVP-TV (Channel 17), WICS-TV (Channel 20), WICD-TV (Channel 24), and WCHU-TV (Channel 33) all aired an hour of coverage of the closing rally of Billy Graham’s three-day Denver Crusade, pre-empting various network programs. WIRL-TV aired the same coverage at 7:30PM. None of the NBC stations in the area carried NBC’s Saturday programming. WEEK-TV (Channel 25) aired a 15-minute film short from 6:30-6:45PM followed by a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies at 6:45PM. WICS-TV, WICD-TV, and WCHU-TV started off the night with Billy Graham coverage and then joined the baseball game in progress. At 9:30PM, after the baseball game, WEEK-TV was scheduled to air a 30-minute film feature while WICS-TV, WICD-TV, and WCHU-TV planned to air a repeat of The Jack Benny Program.
On Sunday, WMBD-TV premiered Bible Telecourse at 8AM. The syndicated religious program was hosted by Dr. Edward W. Bauman. At 9:55AM, WICS-TV aired 5-minutes of talk with Representative Paul Findley. At 5:30PM, a syndicated half-hour variety show called Dick Sinclair’s Hollywood Polka Parade made its debut locally on WCIA-TV and WMBD-TV.
Advertisement for Polka Parade on WCIA-TV (Channel 3) and WMBD-TV (Channel 31) – Copyright 1965 Triangle Publications, Inc.
Weekday shows that were either local or regional include Marian Ingersoll on WICD-TV and WCHU-TV from 9-10AM; Street Scene with Tom Larson on WMBD-TV from 12-12:10PM; Conversations with Kim Wilson on WICS-TV from 12:05-12:10PM; Funny Manns on WEEK-TV from 12:45-12:55PM; and Captain Jinks on WEEK-TV from 3:30-4PM.
On Monday at 5PM, syndicated The Soupy Sales Show debuted on WTVP-TV. The half-hour kids show aired Monday through Friday.
At 9:30PM on Tuesday, WCIA-TV’s local documentary series CIA Reports moved to a new time and presented “Illinois Football ’65,” a half-hour look at the upcoming Illini football season. Tom Schoendienst interviewed coach Pete Elliot. Also at 9:30PM on WMBD-TV was File 31, another local documentary series that also moved to a new time, and also aired “Illinois Football ’65.”
On Thursday, WTVP-TV pre-empted ABC’s Shindig to debut repeats of Zorro with Guy Williams.
WMBD-TV pre-empted The Smothers Brothers Show and Slattery’s People on CBS on Friday from 8:30-10PM in favor of a local movie.
That’s it for this week and for A Year in TV Guide. Hit the comments with your thoughts and remember to check back tomorrow for a look back at A Year in TV Guide.