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.
Bob

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.
Mike

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.

References:
“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.

3 Replies to “Q & A: CBS Film Fillers; A Hard Day’s Night on TV”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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