Television in the 1960s
Television in the 60s was unique
compared to what it is today. We only had 3 channels ABC, CBS, and NBC.
We received our TV reception either through a pair of rabbit ears antenna located
on top of the TV or an aerial antenna attached to our homes or on the roof.
We had no idea what cable TV was or what its impact would be later.
Television of yester year was
entertainment for the whole family. A typical Friday night may consist of
watching our favorite show on the sofa with a large bowl of popcorn with our
favorite beverage. Our popcorn was cooked on the stove in a large kettle,
shaken as it popped or later we had Jiffy Pop® Popcorn. If you
wanted pizza, you had to go pick it up because back then, there was no such
thing as pizza delivery. I remember when I couldn't wait to watch Disney on
Sunday night with episodes of "Swamp Fox," "Zorro" or even watch repeats of
"Davy Crockett" starring Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen. Each week at
the beginning of Disney they played the song "When You Wish Upon a Star."
My family never owned a color
TV and I never could afford one till after I got married so black and white TV was
the entertainment not only for us but for many in my hometown. The cost of
purchasing a color television was out of reach for may families.
Families all over have a Mixbook collection of old photo books with old black and white
TVs sitting in the background. Some have even kept them around, mostly stored in
basements. At times though, the old black and white TVs can still be found in
the sitting room of grandparents and great grandparents here or there. They
happen to be the same TVs seen in their old photos and photo books from when
they were new.
Thinking back to those days I
recall a number of television shows that I enjoyed and have fond memories of and I
have included them here. The 60s era was when westerns were king and
comedies were clean fun. Also we had are share of variety shows which TV
does not have today. I hope I have included some of your favorites as we
take the trip back to 60s television. Turn your speakers on because the theme songs
of many these memories are playing as the page opens. Enjoy the trip
back to 50s & 60s TV.
77 Sunset Strip premiered on ABC October 10, 1958 and ended its run
February 26, 1964 with 206 episodes being produced. The investigators
of Stuart Bailey, p[layed by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Jeff Spencer
played by Roger Smith, operated out of very elaborate offices at 77
Sunset Strip, Hollywood California. Stuart Bailey was a very cultered
OSS officer who was an expert in foreign languages. Jeff Spencer was a
former government uncover agent with a degree in law. Bailey and
Spencer were both Judo experts. Their cases took them to glamourous
places all ove the world. At Dino's, a posh restaurant, worked a
parking attendant named Kookie,played by Edd Byrnes, who was a private
detective wannabe. In the cast also was Suzanne, the French switchboard
A great show for the kids on 60s television was the Alvin Show
featuring Alvin and the Chipmunk. One of the great 60s cartoon shows.
American Bandstand began as a local program on WFIL-TV (now WPVI),
Channel 6 in Philadelphia on October 7, 1952. Then it was hosted by Bob
Horn and was called Bob Horn's Bandstand.On July 9 of 1956 the show got
a new host, a clean-cut 26 year old named Dick Clark. When ABC picked
the show up, it was renamed American Bandstand, airing it's first
national show on August 5, 1957. The show was moved to Los Angeles in
1964. From 1963 to 1987 Bandstand was on only once a week, on Saturday
Andy's Gang was a children's television program that ran on NBC from
August 20, 1955, to December 31, 1960. It was hosted by actor Andy
Devine and was the successor to the radio and television programs
Smilin' Ed McConnell and his Buster Brown Gang, later shortened to
Smilin' Ed McConnell and his Gang.
Batman is a 1960s American television series, based on the DC comic
book character of the same name, which stars Adam West and Burt Ward as
Batman and Robin, two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It
aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network for two and a
half seasons from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968.
The series stars Vince Edwards as medical doctor Ben Casey, a young,
intense but idealistic surgeon at County General Hospital. His mentor
was Doctor David Zorba, played by Sam Jaffe.
Bewitched revolves around Darrin Stevens, first played by Dick York and
later by Dick Sargent, an advertising executive and his beautiful wife,
Samantha, played by beautiful Elizabeth Montgomery, who happens to be a
witch. They live at 1164 Morning Glory Circle in Westport Connecticut.
Darrin works for the Manhattan firm of McMann and Tate. Most Bewitched
episodes deals with him hiding the fact his wife is a witch and of
course her powers she possesses.
Bonanza was the first color western and one of the longest running TV
shows. It first aired in 1959 on NBC and there were 430 sixty minute
episodes produced. The series followed the adventures of the Cartwright
clan who owned a 1000 square mile timber range known as The Ponderosa
just outside Virginia City. Head of the Cartwright family was Ben
Cartwright played by Lorne Greene, who was a widower. Michael Landon
played the youngest son Little Joe with Dan Blocker the middle son Eric
"Hoss" Cartwright and Pernell Roberts as the oldest son Adam
Cartwright. All three sons had different mothers and all being
The Bronco series aired from September 23, 1958 until August 20, 1962.
Burke's Law is a detective series that ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965 and
was revived on CBS in the 1990s. The show starred Gene Barry as Amos
Burke, millionaire captain of Los Angeles police homicide division, who
was chauffeured around to solve crimes in his Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Candid Camera was a hidden camera television series created and
produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as Candid
Microphone June 28, 1947. After a series of theatrical film shorts,
also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on
August 10, 1948.
54 Where Are You
Car 54, Where Are You? is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from
September 17, 1961 to September 8,1963, airing 60 episodes. Most of its
filming was on location in the The Bronx and at Biograph Studios.
Cheyenne Bodie played by Clint walker was a large man, 6'6" tall) a
former army scout, who wandered the west and tried to avoid trouble at
all cost but with little success. In the first season he had a sidekick
named Smitty played by L.Q. Jones but was dropped in the second season.
Combat! is an American television program that aired on ABC from 1962
until 1967. Combat! presented an unvarnished view of men in armed
conflict. This was not a series that glorified war, but a tribute to
the civilian soldier, the average G.I. who fought (and died) on the
front lines of Europe.
This show was American action-adventure television series starring Fess
Parker as Daniel Boone that aired from September 24, 1964 to September
10, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes
Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series
featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death
Valley area. The 558 television episodes were introduced by a host. The
longest-running was "The Old Ranger" from 1952 to 1965, played by
Stanley Andrews .
Deputy Dawg was a below average lawman but his misadventures made him a
classic on 1960s television and one of the best 1960s cartoons.
Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural
drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a
feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism,
of real-life police work. Dragnet earned praise for improving the
public opinion of police officers.
Dr. Kildare is an NBC medical drama television series which ran from
September 27, 1961 until April 5, 1966 encompassing a total of 190
episodes. The show, which premiered at the same time as an ABC medical
drama, Ben Casey, quickly achieved success and helped spark a number of
new shows dealing with the medical field.
F Troop is a satirical American television sitcom that originally aired
for two seasons on ABC-TV. It debuted in the United States on September
14, 1965 and concluded its run on April 6, 1967 with a total of 65
episodes. The first season of 34 episodes was filmed in
black-and-white, but the show switched to color for its second season.
The television show Flipper is an adaptation of the 1963 film Flipper
starring Chuck Connors and Luke Halpin as Porter and Sandy Ricks, and
its 1964 sequel, Flipper's New Adventure, where Brian Kelly took over
the role of Porter. In adapting the films to a television series, the
producers made Porter a single parent and gave him a second son named
Bud, played by Tommy Norden.
Get Smart! is an American television comedy series that satirizes the
secret agent genre. Created by Mel Brooks with Buck Henry, the show
starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, Barbara Feldon as Agent
99, and Edward Platt as the Chief of CONTROL, a secret American
government counter-espionage agency.
Gilligan's Island is an American television situation comedy created
and produced by Sherwood Schwartz and originally produced by United
Artists Television. The series featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim
Backus, and Tina Louise, and aired for three seasons on the CBS
network, from September 26, 1964, to September 4, 1967.
The Gomer Pyle series was a spinoff from The Andy Griffith Show. Gomer
Pyle, U.S.M.C., premiered on CBS on September 25, 1964 and exited
September 19, 1969 after completing 150 episodes. Gomer Pyle started on
The Andy Griffith Show during the third season as the dimwitted
mechanic. His ignorance but honesty really was annoyance to Andy and
Deputy Barney Fife. After the first season, Jim Nabors (Gomer) was
offered a series of his own. The spinoff began as an episode on The
Andy Griffith Show where Gomer enlists into the Marines. Private Pyle
is stationed at Camp Henderson, California assigned to tough as nails
Sergeant Carter's platoon. Sergeant Carter played by Frank Sutton can
handle anything except Private Pyle's back woods naivete and slow
learning ability. This combination made this show hit.
CBS produced 170 episodes of Green Acres and it appeared on television
from September 1965 till September 1971. Green acres was a spinoff of
Petticoat Junction. Attorney Oliver Wendall played by Eddie Albert, an
attorney, wanting to be a farmer all his life buys The Haney 160 acre
farm sight unseen near Hooterville. His wife Lisa, starrin Eva Gabor,
objects leaving New York's luxury to live in the country. She
eventually gives in and moves to the broken down shack which is
unfurnished and missing the luxuries they are so accustomed. The show
is built around them adjusting not only to the new style of living but
to the towns people with their backwards living.
Gunsmoke, the televsion western series, originally started on radio in
1952 with William Conrad the voice of Matt Dillon. When it was decided
to move to television John Wayne was asked to be Marshall Matt Dillon
but he turned it down because he didn't want the rigors of doing a
weekly television show. John Wayne recommended James Arness, a
relatively new actor. John Wayne introduced the first episode when it
aired on CBS in 1955. There was a total of 233 thirty minute episodes
and 402 sixty minute episodes produced. It is still the longest running
western ever produced.
Gun Will Travel
Richard Boone stars as the black clad good guy Paladin, a modern day
detective working in the old west. In this 60s television western he
lived in San Francisco and his services did not come cheap. His
standard fee was $1000. He was a West Point graduate and could recite
Shakespeare as well as use his colt single action revolver. If you
remember he had a calling card he handed out during each episode.
Hawaiian Eye is an American television series that ran from October
1959 to September 1963 on the ABC television network
Highway Patrol is a syndicated action crime drama series that aired
from 1955-1959. The series was syndicated by Ziv TV. It starred
Broderick Crawford as Dan Mathews, the gruff and dedicated head of a
police force in a large, unidentified Western state.
Hogan's Heroes was an American classic TV show that produced 168
episodes and aired on CBS from September 17, 1965 to March 28, 1971.
The show was set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during the
Second World War. Bob Crane had the starring role as Colonel Robert E.
Honey West is an American crime drama television series that aired on
ABC during the 1965-1966 television season. The series stars Anne
Francis as female private detective Honey West.
Hootenanny was a musical variety television show broadcast in the
United States on ABC from April 1963 to September 1964. Although both
popular and influential, the program is primarily remembered today for
the controversy created when the producers blacklisted certain folk
music acts, which then led to a boycott by others.
'Hullabaloo' was a lot like 'Shindig', and lasted only a year and a
half as well, debuting in January of 1965, and continuing until the
Fall of 1966. First broadcast as a half hour series, then as an hour
show in the spring, then switching back again to a half hour in the
fall of 1965, 'Hullabaloo' featured the Hullabaloo Dancers, The Peter
Matz Orchestra ('The Carol Burnett Show' band), and (on the first few
hour shows) Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, introducing new
British acts in black and white segments (the rest of the show was in
color). Instead of just one host, different guest-hosts were recruited
each week for this NBC show.
Dream of Jeannie
Dream of Jeannie appeared on NBC for five years beginning September
1965 and ending after 139 episodes on September 1, 1970. The beautiful
Jeannie played by Barbara Eden, was born in Bagdad 64 BC. When she
reached the age of marriage her hand was sought by the most powerful
and feared genie of all time, the Blue Djin. When she denied him her
hand, he turned her into a genie and placed her in a bottle and
sentenced her to a deserted island to be all alone for the rest of her
life. Centuries pass and she is not affected by time. In 1965 astronaut
Captain Tony Nelson played by Larry Hagman, crash lands on the deserted
island and while looking for something to send a SOS signal he finds
the bottle. When he opens it pink smoke appears and a beautiful harem
Got A Secret
I've Got a Secret is a weekly panel game show produced by Mark Goodson
and Bill Todman for CBS television. Created by comedy writers Allan
Sherman and Howard Merrill, it was a derivative of Goodson-Todman's own
panel show What's My Line?.
Laramie is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from
1959 to 1963. Laramie was a Revue Studios production which originally
starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy
Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert Crawford, Jr. as Andy Sherman.
Lassie TV show was a baby boomer classic that started
from a popular movie of the 1940s. The show is still shown in
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In is an American sketch
comedy television program which ran for 140 episodes from January 22,
1968, to May 14, 1973. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick
Martin and was broadcast over NBC.
Leave it to Beaver aired on CBS and ABC for 234
episodes from October 1957 to September 1963. The family of the
Cleavers lived in Mayfield at 211 Pine Street. Ward, Hugh Beaumont, the
father was an accountant and his wife June Cleaver starring Barbara
Billingsley was the typical housewife during that period. The shows
follows the story of the two sons Beaver starring Jerry Mathers and
Tony Dow as Wally. The Cleavers was the typical middle class family
found always in these type of programs. Together with the growing up
and the problems they presented during the episodes with their friends
included brought delightment and a moral to the story.
Lost in Space was a science fiction televsion series
produced by Irwin Allen for broadcast on CBS. The show ran for three
seasons, with 83 episodes airing between September 15, 1965, and March
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television
series that was broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January
15, 1968. It follows the exploits of two secret agents, played by
Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who work for a fictitious secret
international espionage and law-enforcement agency called U.N.C.L.E.,
whose letters stand for the United Network Command for Law and
Mannix began its appearance on televison September 7,
1967 and remained at CBS until August 24, 1975 with 154 episodes being
filmed. During the first season Joe Mannix played by Mike Connors,
worked as a detective for Intertect, a computerized private detective
agency. Stories follow the format of Mannix being a loner who
constantly goes against the rules and regulations of the detective
Maverick was the story of Brett Maverick (James
Garner) a card shark during the old west. The series started out as a
straight forward story teller and then comedy was added later.
McHale's Navy is an American television sitcom series
which ran for 138 half-hour episodes from October 11, 1962 to August
31, 1966 on the ABC network. The series was filmed in black and white
and originated in a one-hour drama called Seven Against the Sea,
broadcast on April 3, 1962.
Mission Impossible invaded CBS on September 17, 1966
and ended its run in September 1973 after 171 episodes. The cases of
Impossible Mission Force, which was a top secret government
organization that was trained to handle dangerous and highly sensitive
international assignments, was depicted week after week on these 60
minute episode. Peter Graves, Greg Morris,
The Mod Squad is an American crime drama series that
ran on ABC from September 24, 1968 to August 23, 1973. It starred
Michael Cole as Peter "Pete" Cochran, Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes,
Clarence Williams III as Lincoln "Linc" Hayes, and Tige Andrews as
Captain Adam Greer. The executive producers of the series were Aaron
Spelling and Danny Thomas.
My Favorite Martian is an American television sitcom
that aired on CBS from September 29, 1963 to May 1, 1966 for 107
episodes (75 in black and white 1963–1965, 32 color 1965–1966). The
show starred Ray Walston as Uncle Martin (the Martian) and Bill Bixby
as Tim O'Hara.
Settling into their first home, newlyweds Wilbur
Post, an architect, and his wife Carol, discover a horse in the barn.
Meeting Roger Addison, a neighbor, they discover that the horse is
theirs, left to them by the previous owner. Unable to part with the
animal, Wilber persuades Carol to let him keep it. Shortly after, while
brushing the horse (named Mr. Ed), Wilbur discovers that he possesses
the ability to talk, and because Wilbur is the only person he likes
well enough to talk to, he will speak only to him. Stories depict the
misadventures that befall Wilbur as he struggles to conceal the fact
that he owns a talking horse.
My Three Sons storylines centred on the family's
adventures in suburbia, and was perhaps the hybrid of what was to
become the era of the Dom-Com (Domestic Sitcom). Steve Douglas also
spent a good deal of time fending off attractive women who wanted to
marry him and take over that loveable ready made family.
Naked City is a police drama series which aired from
1958 to 1963 on the ABC television network. It was inspired by the 1948
motion picture of the same name, and mimics its dramatic
One Step Beyond is an American television series
created by Merwin Gerard. The original series ran for three seasons on
ABC from 1959 to 1961.
One of the best sci-fi shows on 60s TV was the
original "Outer Limits."
Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr as Perry Mason,
produced over 271 episodes for CBS. It started its run September 21,
1957 and ended September 4, 1966. For nine seasons the famous defense
attorney solved murder cases in the courtroom. Assisting him in solving
those complexed puzzles was his personal investigator, Paul Drake and
his secretary Della Street. Perry seemed to put together the facts at
the very last minute to solve those puzzling cases. His adversary was
District Attorney Hamilton Burger, whom he would outshine each and
every week. The outcome each episode was certainly predictable but
nonetheless entertaining. Mason never lost a case which made DA Burger
that more determined to beat Perry one time .
Petticoat Junction was a spinoff from The Beverly
Hillbillies. The story takes place in a small town of Hooterville. Kate
Bradley was the widowed owner of the only bed and breakfast type of
establishment in the entire town. She had three beautiful daughters,
Billy Jo, Betty Jo, Bobby Jo, who helped her run the rural Shady Rest
Although Popeye was first created in the 1930s, his popularity
reached its peak in the 1960s. This 1930s cartoon character was a
hit on 1960s television.
Rawhide was the continuing story of a group of Texas headed
by trail boss, Gil Favor, (Eric Fleming) moving a herd of
3000 cattle to market up north. Also starring was Clint
Eastwood as Rowdy Yates. The show first aired on January 9,
1959 and its last episode was January 4, 1966.
Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
Rocky and Bullwinkle was a classic of 1960s television.
This 1960s cartoon show was well written like a script for
radio but with pictures.
Route 66 is an American TV series in which two young men
traveled across America. The show ran weekly on CBS from
1960 to 1964. It starred Martin Milner as Tod Stiles and,
for two and a half seasons, George Maharis as Buz Murdock.
Maharis was ill for much of the third season, during which
time Tod was shown traveling on his own. Tod met Lincoln
Case, played by Glenn Corbett, late in the third season,
and traveled with him until the end of the fourth and final
A lovable chicken at heart dog in Scooby Doo. A real
classic cartoon show of 1960s television.
Shindig, hosted by LA disc jockey Jimmy O'Neill, was
broadcast live on ABC September 16, 1964, with house band
the Shin-diggers (later the Shindogs) and the Shindigger
dancers (the reason anyone over twenty-five might be
watching the show). Most of the 'Shindig' shows were
broadcast in glorious black and white. 'Shindig' started
out life as a half-hour variety show, but by January of
1965 it was expanded to a full hour. If you were watching
back then you would have seen Darlene Love, Jean King and
The Blossoms, Bobby Sherman, Fats Domino, (even Orson
Welles), The Righteous Brothers and others performing while
the Shindigger dancers did their groovy thing. In the Fall
of 1965, the show was split into two half-hour shows,
broadcasting on Thursday and Saturday nights. On the Fall
1965 premiere show, broadcast from London (this would
continue periodically), guests included The Kinks, The
Rolling Stones, The Byrds and The Everly Brothers. The Who
and every other British invasion band played on 'Shindig',
and the show spawned a plethora of imitators, including a
hoarde of local music shows
Star Trek started its journey on television with NBC on
September 8, 1966 and completed its final journey on April
4, 1969 after 78 episodes. The series Star Trek was set in
the 23rd Century on Starship Enterprise commanded by
Captain James Kirk played by William Shatner. Its mission
was to explore unknown and new planets and to deliver
supplies from Earth to other colonies in space. Continuing
conflicts with Klingons and Romulans provided recurring
conflicts as well as other discovered life fo
The Sugarfoot, Tom Brewster grew up in the East and came
west studying law by correspondence course hoping to become
a lawyer. He being naive and being a sarsparilla drinker
caused him to get into many predicaments. Will Hutchins was
casted as Tom "Sugarfoot" Brewster and Jack Elam was
"Toothy" Thompson in this classic yet short lived 60s
Surfside 6 is an ABC television series (1960–1962) about a
Miami Beach detective agency set on a houseboat, featuring
Troy Donahue as Sandy Winfield, II, Van Williams as Kenny
Madison (a character recycled from Bourbon Street Beat, a
similar series that had appeared in the same time slot the
season before), and Lee Patterson as Dave Thorne.
The Addams Family series was the story of an eccentric
family that lived on North Cemetery Ridge. The series aired
on ABC as a 30 minute comedy from September 1964 to
September 1966. In all there were 64 episodes produced.
Morticia was the beautiful wife of the house. Her husband
Gomez had very strange looking eyes and was a destructive
person in nature as was Uncle Fester. Lurch was a 7 foot
human looking monster who really only said two words "You
rang?" or just mumbled. The children consisted of Pugsley
and his sister Wednesday who both at ghoulish attributes as
well. Grandma was a witch. They lived in an old castle
looking house filled with odd objects including a
dismembered hand named "Thing" which kept popping out of a
The Adventures of Jim Bowie
In September of 1956 a TV series named "The Adventures of
Jim Bowie" was aired on ABC. The show was only on the air
for two years from 1956 to 1958 and produced 76 episodes.
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet show appeared on ABC
for 15 years beginning October 1952 and ending September
1966. There were 435 episodes produced that followed the
Nelsons day to day adventures as an average middle-class
family. We all watched as their two young sons David Nelson
and Ricky Nelson grew up before our eyes including getting
married and their real life wives appearing on the show. .
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin is an American children's
television program which originally aired in 166 episodes
on ABC from October 1954 until August 1959.
The Andy Griffith Show
The Andy Griffith Show was one of the top rated shows of
all times. It appeared on CBS from October 1960 to
September 1968 for a total of 249 episodes. Andy Taylor was
the sheriff in the small town of Mayberry where he raised
his small son Opie played by Ronnie Howard with the help of
his Aunt Bea. Most of his time was spent raising his son
Opie and with his deputy Barney Fife played by Don Knotts
keeping the peace in an uneventful and crime free town. The
town had its share of characters like Floyd the Barber who
was taken in by the world around him and Gomer Pyle, the
gas station attendant, at Wally's Service Station.
The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams premiered on NBC in 1962 and exited July
17, 1971. The velvet voice of Andy Williams one of the most
popular singers during the 60s, appeared in many variety
shows on television. He first did special variety shows for
ABC and CBS in 1958 and 1959 and got his own show in 1962.
Always big-name stars appeared on his show as well as the
regular cast. The Osmond brothers were discovered by Andy
Williams and first appeared on his show December 20, 1962.
Due to the popularity of the Beatles, The Beatles Cartoon
Show aired on 60s television. It is remembered as one of
the best due to the actual soundtrack music of the Beatles
used in the series.
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Beverly Hillbillies was an instant success. It was the
number one show for the 1962 and 1963 season. It was shown
on CBS from September 1962 till September 1971. The
situation comedy produced 274 thirty minute episodes.
The Big Valley is an American television Western which ran
on ABC from September 15, 1965, to May 19, 1969, which
starred Barbara Stanwyck, as a California widowed mother.
The TV series was based loosely on the Hill Ranch located
at the western edge of Calaveras County, not far from
Bugs Bunny Show
One of the most memorable cartoons of the 1960s era was
Bugs Bunny. The Bugs Bunny Show was watched on 1960s TV
more than any other cartoon show.
The Carol Burnett Show
Carol Burnett and her TV warriors entertained us with song,
dance and comedy for over ten years. The Carol Burnett Show
was one of television's most successful variety shows of
all time. Jim Nabors was considered her good luck charm as
he appeared on the first show. The show raked in the Emmy
Awards. The CBS variety show began on September 11, 1967
and ended its successful run on March 29, 1978. Among Carol
Burnett's comic characterizations were Mr. Tudball and Mrs.
Wiggins with Tim Conway, Eunice and Ed with Harvey Korman,
Eunice and Ed were always at odds with Eunice's mother
played by Vicki Lawrence. "As The Stomach Turns" was a
continuing soap-opera saga.
The Defenders is an American courtroom drama series that
ran on CBS from 1961–1965. It starred E. G. Marshall and
Robert Reed as father-and-son defense attorneys who
specialized in legally complex cases, with defendants such
as neo-Nazis, conscientious objectors, civil rights
demonstrators, a schoolteacher fired for being an atheist,
an author accused of pornography, and a physician charged
in a mercy killing.
Donna Reed Show
The Donna Reed Show was an American sitcom starring Donna
Reed as the upper middle class housewife Donna Stone. Carl
Betz appears as her pediatrician husband Alex, and Shelley
Fabares and Paul Petersen as their teenage children Mary
and Jeff. The show originally aired on ABC at 10 pm from
September 24, 1958 to March 19, 1966.
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show is an American television sitcom
which initially aired on CBS from October 3, 1961 until
June 1, 1966. There were 158 episodes plus one reunion
telecast. The show was created by Carl Reiner and starred
Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.
Ed Sullivan Show
Ed Sullivan started in 1948 and left the air in 1971. Our
family would sit down to watch the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS
every Sunday night. He was a newspaper columnist who's
peculiar diction and weird gesture were made fun of by all
even comedians that appeared on his show. There were all
kind of acts world wide from opera to rock singers to the
unusual. Even circus acts found their way on the Sullivan
Show. Because of the variety of acts, The Ed Sullivan Show
was the longest running variety show in TV history, surely
never to be surpassed. He offered top acts such as Elvis
Presley, The Animals, and The Beatles. The show was
originally titled "The Toast of the Town" but in the
beginning of the 1955 season the name
The Everglades is an American crime-adventure television
series that aired in first-run syndication for one season
from 1961–62 and in reruns. Ron Hayes starred as Constable
Lincoln Vail, a law enforcement officer of the fictional
Everglades County Patrol who traveled the Florida
Everglades in an airboat, which was often the star of the
The Flintstones were the first prime time television
cartoon show of the 1960s television era.
The Flying Nun is an American sitcom produced by Screen
Gems for ABC based on the book The Fifteenth Pelican, by
Tere Rios, which starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrille.
The Fugitive as a very successful series that aired on ABC
from September 1963 to August 1967 with 120 episodes being
produced. Dr. Richard Kimble played by David Janssen is
accused, tried, and convicted of the murder of his wife,
which he did not commit. While being transported by Lt.
Phillip Gerard, played by Barry Morse,by train to be
executed for the crime, the train derails and Kimble
excapes. During the four years the series aired Kimble
searched the entire country looking for the one-armed man
he saw kill his wife. Kimble assumed different identies and
worked odd jobs and was nearly caught numerous times as he
continued his relentless search for the killer.
The Huckleberry Hound Show
Remember the Huckleberry Hound Show on 1960s television?
Definitely a classic of 1960s cartoon shows although it
began its debut in the late 1950s.
One of my favorite science fiction TV shows of the 60s was
"The Invaders," starring Roy Thinnes.
Another great cartoon show emerges with the Jetsons.
Following the lead of the Flinstones from the past to
zooming to the future. The Jetsons is a classic 1960s
The Lawman, Marshall Dan Troop (John Russell) of Laramie
protected the town from the bad guys.
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a western television
series loosely based on the adventures of frontier marshal
Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black and white series ran on
ABC-TV from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt
The Monkees , an American situation comedy that aired on
NBC from September 1966 to March 1968 follows the
adventures of four young men (The Monkees) trying to make a
name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers.
The Munsters aired on CBS from September 1964 to September
1966 with 70 episodes being produced. The creepy family
lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane where the house was infested
with spider webs. Herman looked like the Frankenstein
monster and worked at a funeral parlor. Others in the
family included Lily Munster who was a female vampire,
their son, Edward Wolfgang Munster, a werewolf, Lily's
father Grandpa, Count Dracula, a 378 year old mad
scientist, who's inventions keep backfiring and causing
mayhem. The black sheep of the family is niece Marilyn, who
is not only normal but beautiful and is a college student.
Occasionally the family pet Spot makes an appearance. He is
nothing more than a "fire breathing dinosaur.
Patty Duke Show
The Patty Duke Show is an American sitcom which ran on ABC
from September 18, 1963, until May 4, 1966, with reruns
airing through August 31, 1966. The show was created as a
vehicle for rising star Patty Duke, who had recently won an
Academy Award for The Miracle Worker (1962). A total of 104
episodes were produced, most written by Sidney Sheldon.
The Rat Patrol is an American television program that aired
on ABC during the 1966–1968 seasons. The show follows the
exploits of four (three American and one British) Allied
soldiers who are part of a long-range desert patrol group
in the North African campaign during World War II. Their
mission: "to attack, harass and wreak havoc on Field
Marshal Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps".
The Real McCoys starring Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna
was a happy care free West Virginia Mountain family that
pulls up its roots and moves to California. It first aired
on ABC October 23, 1957 and later moved to CBS. A total of
224 episodes were made of this 30 minute situation comedy.
Red Skelton Show
Red Skelton started in radio during the 40s and was one of
the brightest new stars to come along. Red was a visual
comedian, so unlike many of his counterparts, he made an
easy transition to TV. He arrived on TV in 1951 and
remained at the top for 20 years. The Red Skelton Show was
a classic TV event. Most of his characters were developed
on radio and worked so well and he continued to develop
them on television. Some of his well known characters were;
The Mean Widdle Kid, Clem Kadiddlehopper, Sheriff Deadeye,
Cauliflower McPugg, San Fernando Red, the con man; the
henpecked husband George Appleby,Willie Lump-Lump, the
drunk, Ludwick von Humperdoo, the scientist and Bolivar
Shagnasty. Freddie the Freeloader was a hobo that did not
speak and was added for television. His character was
pantomined and Red Skelton was the best artist of pantomine
that TV has ever known.
The 60s televsion western, The Rifleman aired 169 thirty
minute episodes on ABC from 1958 to 1963. The story evolved
around a rancher Lucas McCain (Chuck Conners) and son Mark
(Johnny Crawford) who he raised alone on his ranch near
North Folk, New Mexico. McCain's Winchester rifle was
modified where he could fire a round in 3/10 of a second.
His skill with his rifle helped the sheriff maintain law
and order in the town.
Twilight Zone was one of the most popular sci-fi shows on
TV. It appeared on CBS from October 1959 to June 1964. So
many well-known actors appeared on Twilight Zone, too
numerous to mention. The stories not the acting is what
made it a hit. The opening dialogue by Rod Serling set the
stage for that evening's show.
The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from
1959 to 1963 on ABC. Based on the memoir of the same name
by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized the
experiences of Eliot Ness, a real-life Prohibition agent,
as he fought crime in Chicago during the 1930s with the
help of a special team of agents handpicked for their
courage and incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables.
The Virginian, also known as The Men From Shiloh, is an
American Western-themed television series starring James
Drury and Doug McClure which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971
for a total of 249 episodes.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1960s American science
fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the
Each week Wagon Train starring Ward Bond first as the
Wagonmaster and later, John McIntire ,told the stories of
pioneering familes moving west from the east to start a new
life soon after the Civil War. Some of these stories had
heart warming and happy endings while some did not. This
approach made this weekly western series a hit. Due to the
popularity of the show and a new storyline each week it was
not too difficult for the scriptwriters to have larger than
average talent appear on the show. The budget was larger
than the normal one hour show that was being produced for
TV. Its popularity continued even though there were several
Yogi Bear was one of the most popular cartoon shows of the
1060s television era. This 1960s cartoon character was and
still is Hanna Berbera's most popular character.