Q & A: CBS Film Fillers; A Hard Day’s Night on TV

I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or even decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can. Every now and then I like to pull out a few e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to enjoy. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.

I am searching for two film shorts that aired on CBS September 14 & 15 1967. CBS aired the movie “The Great Escape” over those two nights and at the end of Parts 1 & 2 (Thursday & Friday) they aired two films that I have been looking for for a long time. I was wondering if you could help me track them down or even the names of these films.

I thought for sure this was going to be an impossible question to answer so imagine my surprise when I found an article in The Hartford Courant that included the titles of the two short films in question.

Both parts of The Great Escape were scheduled to air from 9-11PM and to fill the two hours, CBS needed some filler. The first part aired on Thursday, September 14th, 1967 and was followed by a five-minute short film called The Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit. The color short was originally released in 1961 and featured animation by Bob Godfrey. The complete short isn’t available online but here’s an excerpt:

The second half of The Great Escape aired on Friday, September 15th, 1967 and was followed by a 1964 short film called Rainshower. The 15-minute film included absolutely no narration. It was produced by Dimension Films and distributed by Churchill Films. Here’s the full short courtesy of the Internet Archive:

Millions of viewers watched The Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit and Rainshower. The second half of The Great Escape was the highest-rated program for the week of September 11-17th, 1967. The first half ranked second.

I am trying to find out when the Beatles theatrical film A Hard Day’s Night first aired on a U.S. TV network. I believe it may have been NBC in either 1966 or 1967. Do you have an actual air date? Thanks.

A Hard Day’s Night was The Beatles first film. It hit theaters in 1964. NBC aired the film as a special presentation on Tuesday, October 24th, 1967 from 7:30-9:15PM, pre-empting I Dream of Jeannie and The Jerry Lewis Show. Because the film was in black and white, the regular NBC peacock animation could not be used. In its place, a special animated opening with a penguin was substituted:

It was a double feature for NBC that night, with the 1960 Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella airing from 9:15-11PM as an installment of NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies.

“New show get no brass rings.” Broadcasting. 2 Oct. 1967: 60.
“Two-Part Film to Get Support of 2 ‘Shorts’.” Hartford Courant. 10 Sep. 1967: 13G.


  • Patrick Murtha says:

    That “Rainshower” is both quite beautiful and a real outlier for network television to show at any time, let alone during prime time after the conclusion of a popular movie.

  • Mike Smith says:

    Until now, I haven’t seen the “Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit” short since I saw only once in 1972 on PBS, and until now, as I see it, I was thinking of Gene Deitch thinking of making “The Tom & Jerry Cartoon Kit” from seeing that one!!! And, if you haven’t see it, it’s on the DVD of the entire Deitch cartoons.

  • DuMont says:

    Ratings for the broadcast premiere of THE GREAT ESCAPE – PART 1 were 31.1/51%, while THE GREAT ESCAPE – PART 2 went up a smidgen to 31.3/56%.

    Ratings for A HARD DAY’S NIGHT were similarly robust and time period-dominating with a 21.6/35%, while CINDERFELLA garnered a 21.1/37% rating holding most of the Beatles audience up to the local news.

Leave a Comment