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"Petticoat Junction" originally aired for seven seasons on CBS-TV from
September 24,1963 until the final episode on April 4,1970. Created by
Paul Henning,who also served as executive producer of the series,this
series produced 222 episodes during the course of it's network run. Out
of the 222 episodes,only 57 of those episodes during the first two
seasons of "Petticoat Junction" were in classic black-and-white that
aired from September 24,1963 until June 15,1965. Out of the entire 222
episodes of this series only 165 of those episodes were in color for
Seasons 3 thru 7 that aired from September 21,1965 until April 4,1970.
Out of the cast members that were on this series,only actors Edgar
Buchanan and Linda Henning were the only cast members that stayed on
throughout its entire seven-year run. The show's sponsor for the series
entire seven-year tenure was the Proctor & Gamble company (the makers
of Tide Detergent, Duncan Hines cake mixes, Joy dish detergent and JIF
"Petticoat Junction" was one of the great,heart-felt show that was part of CBS' rural line-up of comedies that were right alongside "The Beverly Hillbillies","Green Acres",and "The Andy Griffith Show". Set in the town of Hooterville,this series featured the great Bea Benaderet(who was a regular from "The George Burns/Gracie Allen Show",and not to mention was the voice of Betty Rubble in the animated cartoon "The Flintstones")as Kate Bradley,the widow and the manager of the Shady Rest Hotel,which is located just on the outskirts of the little village of Hooterville. Kate Bradley runs the hotel while taking care of her three lovely daughters,Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo...all without much assistance from Uncle Joe(Edgar Buchanan)who in just about every episode was looking for quick rich schemes,while lazing himself away on the hotel's front porch. The show enjoy great success within the Nielsen ratings until the 1968-1969 season when actress Bea Benaderet passed away from lung cancer at the start of the 1968-1969 season,and that was when the show was declining in the ratings. In an effort to save the show,actress June Lockhart was brought in as Benaderet's replacement as Dr. Janet Craig,a physician at the nearby hospital who took over the responsibilities of the Shady Rest Hotel(June Lockhart was no stranger in the land of television shows. She was the mom on "Lassie" from 1957-1964 and was Dr. Maureen Robinson on the science fiction/adventure series "Lost In Space" from 1965-1968. June Lockhart came on board "Petticoat Junction" after her series "Lost In Space" ended production in 1968). By the show's final season which was the 1969-1970 one,the ratings were at the bottom of the Nielsens. In order to save the show,the producers did however do crossover episodes which consisted of characters from both "Petticoat Junction",and "Green Acres",not to mention bringing on the characters from "The Beverly Hillbillies". The episode titled "A Christmas in Hooterville" was that crossover episode that aired in December 12, 1969. Because of low ratings,CBS canceled this series on April 4,1970 after 222 episodes. The precursor of what was to come came within a year after "Petticoat Junction" was canceled with CBS' infamous purge of 1971. The show that replaced "Petticoat Junction" after seven season came on September 19,1970 with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show".
The shows that were the victim of CBS' infamous purge that came in 1971. Gone were "Lassie"(17 Seasons), "The Ed Sullivan Show"(23 Seasons), "The Beverly Hillbillies"(9 Seasons), "Hogan's Heroes"(6 Seasons), "Green Acres" (6 seasons), "Family Affair"(5 Seasons),not to mention the town of Mayberry,North Carolina....eight seasons as part of "The Andy Griffith Show",and three seasons as part of "Mayberry R.F.D."(11 Seasons),"The Jim Nabors Variety Hour"(2 Seasons), "Hee Haw"(ran for two seasons on CBS,then in 1971 went into national syndication for the next 20 years),and "The Glen Campbell Show"(2 Seasons).
"Petticoat Junction" was a great family heart-felt series that would have stood alongside "The Beverly Hillbillies",and "The Andy Griffith Show" in all-time popularity,if only someone at the powers that be over at Viacom(the distributor of the re-run package of sitcoms),had not done the unthinkable in the early-1970's,decided to exclude the first two seasons from their syndication package which aired from 1963 to 1965. Only the 165 color episodes were re-run in for national syndication that aired from 1965 to 1970. The first two seasons were some of the funniest and most innovative episodes of the series. The show is rarely seen in television these days,but its worth taking a look.
Even though it lasted three seasons,a lot of classic Hollywood greats
and some new and established actors from the past and present came
together for this anthology which was television's last attempt to
revive great drama stories. And this is what The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
did for an astounding 93 episodes,all in classic black and white.
Hitchcock actually expanded his half-hour format into a hour long
segment with gave it more time for character and story development as
well as unexpected twists and surprises within the story lines. "The
Alfred Hitchcock Hour" originally ran for three seasons on two major
television networks. First it aired on CBS-TV for 48 episodes that ran
from September 20,1962 until July 3,1964. CBS canceled the series after
two seasons,and from there NBC-TV picked up the series for its final
season and the remaining 45 episodes that aired from October 5,1964
until May 10,1965. "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" still had the brief
introduction from Hitchcock about tonight's story along with the
sadistic wit and humor that you came to expect not to mention our
narrator telling us the ending-which was wrap up by Hitchcock himself.
The thing about this show is that it expanded its format to a full hour in which the storyline,situations and unexpected plots and twists progress right along,but in the end it was great entertainment. Some of the finest directors were on board for this series for some of its finest episodes ranging from Alf Kjellin, to Joesph H. Newman, Bernard Girard, John Brahm, Joesph Pevney, Jack Smight, Leo Penn, David Friedkin, Leonard Horn, William Witney, Phillip Leacock, to Laslo Benedek, and Jerry Hopper to future Oscar winning directors ranging from Richard Donner, William Friedkin, and Sydney Pollack. Even Alfred Hitchcock directed one episode from this anthology series.
Some of the finest writers team up for astounding episodes ranging from future Oscar winning producer James Bridges to Richard Levinson, William D. Gordon, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Henry Slesar, David Friedkin, Morton S. Fine, Lukas Heller, to Stanley Kallis, Mann Rubin, Alvin Sargent, William Bast and H.G. Wells.
The actors ranged from newcomers like Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, to Bradford Dillman, Richard Dawson, Claude Akins, Sally Kellerman, William Shatner, Angie Dickinson, Robert Culp, Richard Basehart to Alejandro Rey, Tony Randall, Robert Duvall, James MacArthur to Barbara Eden, Roddy McDowell, Dick York, Fess Parker, Gena Rowlands, Leif Erickson, Jeremy Slate, Elizabeth Montgomery, Hari Rhodes, George C. Scott, Steve McQueen, Cliff Robertson and Ed Nelson to old-timers like Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, John Forsythe and Peter Lorre just to name a few that appear in various episodes.
One episode in particular was in Season 1 of the series that featured Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield in which Tony Randall delivers a perfect performance as the frustrated ad executive who drinks too much and loses everything he has including his wife in "Hangover"(Season 1:Episode 12 that aired on December 6,1962)which dealt with the subject of alcoholism.
Others favorites episodes were Peter Fonda in "The Return of Verge Likens"(Season 3:Episode 1 that aired October 5,1964),and John Forsythe in "I Saw The Whole Thing"(Season 1:Episode 4-aired October 11,1962),to June Lockhart as a vengeful wife in "The Second Wife"(Season 3:Episode 27-aired April 26,1965). Other favorites included Christopher Lee in "The Sign of Satan"(Season 2:Episode 27-aired May 8,1964),Lillian Gish in "The Body In The Barn"(Season 2:Episode 32-aired July 3,1964),to the hilarious Bob Newhart in "How To Get Rid Of Your Wife"(Season 2:Episode 11-aired December 20,1963);Roddy McDowell and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in "See The Monkey Dance"(Season 3:Episode 5-aired November 9,1964);to Frank Gorshin and Martin Landau in "The Second Verdict"(Season 2:Episode 30-aired May 29,1964),and Arthur Kennedy in "Change of Address"(Season 3:Episode 21-aired October 12,1964).
Two unknown actors Bruce Dern and Robert Redford appear in various episodes of the series and both of these actors would go on to bigger and better things in their careers. One of them would go on to becoming a big time Oscar-winning Hollywood producer and director(namely Robert Redford). Robert Redford appeared in two episodes "A Piece of the Action"(Season 1:Episode 1-aired September 20,1962),and "A Tangled Web" (Season 2:Episode 18-aired January 25,1963). Bruce Dern also appeared in two episodes of the series "A Lonely Place"(Season 3:Episode 6-aired November 16,1964),and "The Night Caller"(Season 2:Episode 15-aired January 31,1964).
The other classic episode of the series featured two well-established actors who were but known for their "rural" comedies.....Pat Buttram,who was a known for starring in Westerns in the 1930's and 1940's as later on as the oily salesman/con artist Mr. Haney on the television series "Green Acres",and George Lindsey,who was known as "Goober" from "The Andy Griffith Show" television series appeared together in a episode title "The Jar"(Season 2:Episode 17-aired February 14,1964). Veteran Hollywood legend Gloria Swanson appeared as a old woman in a haunted house title "Behind The Locked Door"(Season 2:Episode 22-aired March 27,1964),that also starred James MacArthur.
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" was next to the last of the great anthology series of the 1960's and it was the last attempt to established this in the age of television. When it was canceled by NBC on May 10,1965 the magic that was this was gone,and in its place came the onslaught of police dramas and espionage shows.
American International Pictures,the studio founded in the mid-1950's by
Samuel Z. Arkoff and his business partner James H. Nicholson were known
for there style of "B" movie pictures,mostly the occasional genre of
films that they released which were "teenage juvenile","horror and
monster flicks",and the "beach movies",not to mention the movies that
featured the works of Edgar Allan Poe that were produced by Roger
Corman(the studio that launched the careers of unknowns Jack Nicholson
and Bruce Dern not to mention reinvented Annette Funicello's career
after her stint with Disney,and made Vincent Price its top box office
star,and also launched the careers of Pam Grier and Fred Williamson
By 1966,American International Pictures took on a new venture..this time around the first-ever "Tarzan" motion picture that was filmed on location and brought with it a new style of high adventure and excitement. That picture was titled "Tarzan And The Valley of Gold",the 34th entry into the "Tarzan" franchise,and the first to star former NFL-great Mike Henry(who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Rams)in his theatrical debut as the "Lord Of The Jungle". Mike Henry replaces Jock Mahoney in the series. Mike Henry gets to do more things as Tarzan in "The Valley of Gold" than any other Tarzan that came before or after him. Not to mention this version is the more exciting of the series,and not since Johnny Weissmuller or Gordon Scott you have never seen "Tarzan" like this before,and more,all at a running time of 92 minutes tops. The movie begins with Tarzan(Mike Henry)arriving in Mexico wearing a custom-made suit and tie and carrying a briefcase as he is ambush in a stadium by assassins out to kill him in the style of the "James Bond" films. Second in the most exciting and incredible scenes in the film Mike Henry's character hurls a gigantic Coca-Cola bottle onto a sniper that is trying to kill him. Later on after he disses the suit and tie for loincloth accompanied by a chimp and a his pet lion,our hero goes into the hostile jungle where he slings a rope with two hand grenades attached to that land onto the rotor blades of a helicopter(in one of the most astounding action scenes ever filmed),and later on Tarzan gets behind the wheel of a tank and blasts away the villains.
Tarzan must also rescue a little boy named Ramel(Manuel Padilla, Jr.,who would also appear as Jai in the "Tarzan" television series starring Ron Ely during the mid-1960's and was a versatile child actor throughout) from a thoroughly evil but sadistic wealthy international criminal,Augustus Vinero(David Opatoshu),who likes to surprise his adversaries by installing small explosive charges into wristwatches,rings,and necklaces to blow up people. Not to mention has to rescue that damsel in distress(Nancy Kovack) from the evil villain and not to mention Tarzan has a dual to the death with a fight against the villain's hencemen,an Odd-Job type character. The death scene of the hencemen and the villain is fitting,but Mike Henry makes a great Tarzan character in a franchise that desperately needed to shot in the arm after the last Tarzan venture came out some three years before with Jock Mahoney in the title role.
"Tarzan And The Valley of Gold" was action-packed with non stop excitement and high adventure,and director Robert Day along with producer Sy Weintraub kept the action sequences at a good pace. The locations where the movie was filmed included were not far from scenic Acapulco,at Plaza de Toros in Mexico City,and at the Chapultepec Castle,and the Teotihuacan ruins,and the in the caves at Guerro. The screenplay by Clair Huffaker was an above-average and a change of pace for the franchise not to mention the film was given the full widescreen "Panavision" treatment. Despite mixed reviews when this movie came out on July 8,1966, "Tarzan And The Valley of Gold" did tremendous business at the box office,becoming American International's first and only attempt at a "Tarzan" movie and their highest grossing picture in the history of the studio. Robert Day would direct the next two to the last "Tarzan" films in the franchise both starring Mike Henry. Those would include "Tarzan And The Great River"(1967),and the last "Tarzan" theatrical feature "Tarzan And The Jungle Boy" (1968),both would be released by Paramount Pictures.
As tradition among the television networks,Thanksgiving themed
television specials,shows,movies and made-for-television movies are
presented. One of them dealt with the first Thanksgiving set in
Cro-Magnon Man times,not to mention this was based on the "B.C." comic
strip. If you're not familiar with the comic strip that appears in
syndicated newspapers across the country..it goes like this....The
"B.C." Comic Strip is based on a group of cavemen who get into in a
series of prehistoric shenanigans. The main character was B.C. himself
who is a naive but humble slob who gets himself into all sorts of
misadventures. It wasn't until the comic strip's creator Johnny Hart
brought B.C. and his cave pals out of the comic strip pages of the
newspaper to having their first of two animated specials specifically
design for television.
The first B.C. animated special premiered as a special presentation for NBC-TV on November 19,1973 titled "B.C.-The First Thanksgiving" that was produced and directed by long-time Chuck Jones animator Abe Levitow and featured three of the best voice-over cartoon actors of their day. You have the great Daws Butler as B.C. along with veteran voice-over actors Bob Holt(as Wiley/Grog),and the great Don Messick(as Peter/Thor/ and Turkey)not to mention Joanie Sommers(as The Fat Broad/Cutie Chick).
In this first animated feature the group of cavemen have to catch a turkey that will go on the rock soup that's being made. So,the chase is on! In perspective,the B.C. world didn't go any further except with two animated features:One depicting the first Thanksgiving and the other dealing with Christmas. It was never depicted as an animated series and always stayed as a comic strip until it's creator Johnny Hart passed away in 2007 on his drawing board. It's still running today as a weekly comic strip thanks to Johnny's grandson.
Premiering on September 20,1962 the short-lived series "The Wide
Country" was in fact NBC's answer to "Stoney Burke"(which was on a
rival network) that lasted one season and produced 28 episodes,all in
classic black-and-white. At the time "The Wide Country" aired,almost
half of the programming that dominated prime-time were television
westerns with "Gunsmoke", "Wagon Train",and "Bonanza' being the top
three programs that dominated the Nielsens. "The Wide Country" was
similar to "Stoney Burke" that featured modern day rodeo competitors
who perform for top prizes. Also to point out that when this series
premiered for the 1962-1963 season,almost half of the programming at
NBC was in color with "Bonanza","The Joey Bishop Show", "The Wonderful
World of Disney",and "The Virginian" just to name a few.
Produced by Revue Studios(the same company that also produced "Wagon Train" and "The Virginian")the series starred Earl Holliman and Andrew Prine as brothers Mitch and Andy Guthrie who are traveling rodeo competitors. Older brother Mitch is a champion bronco rider in the rodeo who tries to keep his younger brother Andy from getting into something while having various kinds of adventures along the way due to the life of a rodeo cowboy was like since they basically work the circuit of big shows,many of which were large urban centers. The aspect of this made for some great human interest stories in which the somehow over protected brother who convincingly keeps his kid brother out of trouble as well as keeping from doing something or teaching him the value of being a rodeo cowboy as well as teaching his kid brother the meaning of responsibility. Out of the 28 episodes that this series produced,it managed to bring on some very interesting guest stars ranging from Patty Duke, Roberta Shore, Slim Pickens, Jay Novello, to Barbara Parkins, Edgar Buchanan, Alan Hale,Jr., Anne Helm, Adam West, to Roger Mobley, Barbara Stuart to Yvonne Craig and I. Stanford Jolley.
The series aired on Thursday nights where it faced tough competition from "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "The Donna Reed Show", and the children's series "Mister Ed",and the second half of "Perry Mason" which clobbered it in the ratings. "The Wide Country" ended with the final episode of the series on April 25,1963. On September 19,1963 the show that replaced "The Wide Country" was another short-lived modern day "western" titled "Temple Houston" starring Jeffrey Hunter that was also produced under Revue Studios.
Six years before the role of Steve McGarrett made him a household name
on "Hawaii Five-O",actor Jack Lord starred in this critically acclaimed
short-lived series about the life of a modern day rodeo rider who
competes for the Golden Buckle,the award given to the world champion
saddle bronc rider titled "Stoney Burke" that was produced by the
multi-talented writer,producer,director Leslie Stevens under his
production company Daystar Productions(United Artists Television)that
produced an astounding 32 episodes(all in classic black and white) that
was on ABC-TV from October 1,1962 until the final episode on May
20,1963. The series aired on the network's Monday night schedule where
it ran opposite "The Lucy Show",and "Saints and Sinners" which by the
way didn't improve things in the Nielsens,but "Stoney Burke" was the
show that replaced "Surfside Six" after more than 2 seasons. This
series was especially good but with Leslie Stevens at the helm this was
technically about as good as television got in the early-1960's. The
quality of this series lies in it's production values,thanks to
producer-writer-director Leslie Stevens who made this one of the more
intelligent "modern" westerns ever committed to television. This series
launched the careers of Warren Oates(Ves Painter),and Bruce Dern(E.J.
Stocker)who would go on to bigger and better things in their careers
because of this series. Out of the 32 episodes that this series
produced,"Stoney Burke" brought along interesting guest directors(like
Tom Gries and Gerard Oswald)made contributions to some of the episodes
along with superb writing that was essential to the stories presented
along with the best acting cast ever assembled. But what made this show
stand out was it's beautiful stunning black and white photography
coming from up and coming photography directors who would go on to
become big time Hollywood heavyweights...from Conrad Hall to Ted
McCord,Joesph MacDonald,and Haskell Wexler. Jack Lord gives a stunning
performance as the title character,but Warren Oates steals the show as
his shifty but resourceful best friend Ves Painter. While Lord and
Oates make a great team,Bruce Dern also gives a memorable performance
as Stoney's trusty sidekick E.J. Stocker....all given by three superb
actors in the roles of their careers.
What also made this show stand out were some of the guest stars that made the show a noir classic...top notch actors ranging from Ina Balin to Robert Duvall, James Coburn, Scott Marlowe, Sally Kellerman, to Charles Bronson, Burgress Meredith, James Mason, Jack Elam, Dub Taylor, Michael Pollard, Diane Baker, to Dyan Cannon just to name a few. After 32 episodes the show was canceled due to low ratings with the final episode of the series that aired on May 20,1963. After the success of "Stoney Burke",Leslie Stevens created the following year an anthology science fiction series that would become one of ABC's biggest hits of the early-1960's "The Outer Limits"...the phenomenal success of that series lasted two seasons before it was gone by mid-1965. After the success of "The Outer Limits",Stevens tried his hand an another TV-series and it wasn't as successful and by 1966 Daystar Productions went out of business. From then on,Stevens was a hired gun at Universal where he produced and directed several shows,among them was "The Name Of The Game"
If ABC had given "Stoney Burke" a chance it would have been around much longer which would have blossomed into a full run series....imagine if "Stoney Burke" stayed around to make the transition to color during it's second season which never happened.....Imagine if ABC have given Leslie Stevens the chance to produce "The Fugitive" rather than independent producer Quinn Martin or better yet imagine if Leslie Stevens was given the chance to helm "Star trek" at NBC instead of Gene Roddenberry...but that never happened. During the early-1960's Stevens did two of television's greatest most original noirs...the modern day western "Stoney Burke",and the science fiction anthology "The Outer Limits"...who knows what the outcome would have been since Stevens put a touch that could have been even better,much less given it a longer stay.
Premiering on October 1,1962 the situation comedy series "The Lucy
Show" aired on CBS. It was Lucille Ball's followed up to "I Love
Lucy",and here first prime-time series without Desi Arnaz. The show
began with Lucille Ball as Lucy Carmichael,a widow with two
children,Chris(Candy Moore),and Jerry(Jimmy Garrett),living in suburban
Danfield while sharing her home with divorced friend Vivian
Bagley(Vivian Vance),and her son Sherman(Ralph Hart). The series was
based on Irene Kampen's "Life Without George" which centered on a
divorcée with children. In the show's original format,Lucy has been
left with substantial trust fund by her late husband,which was managed
during the first season by local banker Mr. Barnsdahl(Charles
Lane).Dick Martin was cast in ten episodes as Lucy's next door
neighbor,Harry Connors,during the show's first season. Character actor
Don Briggs was also featured in six episodes as Viv's beau Eddie
Collins. The first season of "The Lucy Show" fully utilized the talents
of Bob Carroll,Jr.,Madelyn Davis,Bob Schiller,and Bob Weiskopf(the
original writers of "I Love Lucy")in creating the show's first classic
30 episodes,all in black-and-white that aired between October 1,1962
through April 29,1963. It also featured Desi Arnaz as executive
producer for fifteen of the first season's thirty shows along with
producer Elliott Lewis. At the start of the show's second season,Desi
Arnaz resigned as head of Desilu and as executive producer of "The Lucy
Show". Lucille Ball took over the operations of Desilu and became the
first woman to run a major Hollywood studio while Elliott Lewis
replaced Desi Arnaz as executive producer of the series. Gone from
second one were Dick Martin,Don Briggs,and Charles Lane. The Barnsdahl
character was replaced by a more tyrannical boss,Theodore J.
Mooney,played by Gale Gordon who would not become Lucy's perfect
foil,but would remain with the series throughout the duration of it's
run,surviving the format change. Under Ball's supervision,beginning
with the 1963-1964 season,the episodes were filmed in color,although
they would continue to be broadcast in black-and-white until September
13,1965. The final black-and-white telecast of "The Lucy Show"(which
was filmed in color)aired on April 12,1965. Not to mention toward the
end of Season 2,a disagreement erupted during production between Ball
and head writers Bob Carroll,Jr., and Madelyn Davis regarding a script
that Ball found inferior. As a result,Carroll and Davis left the series
along with Weiskopf and Schiller right behind them.
At the start of the 1964-1965 season,the original staff changed. Elliott Lewis left the series as executive producer and was replaced by Jack Donohue,who also served as executive producer of the series as well as directing several episodes. With the absence of Carroll,Davis,Weiskopf and Schiller,Ball hired veteran comedy writer Milt Josefberg,who wrote for "The Jack Benny Show",and "The Joey Bishop Show".Under Josefberg supervision there were no permanent writers and different writers were employed each week(among them Garry Marshall). There were further changes to the series as Vivian Vance reduced the number of episodes she appeared in. Also added to the cast in Season 3 was veteran actress Ann Sothern. As the result,Season 4 saw the format of "The Lucy Show" changed dramatically.
In the first color telecast that aired on September 13,1965 of the 1965-1966 season saw Lucy and Jerry moving from Danfield to California where Lucy began working for Mr. Mooney at the bank,first part-time,and then full-time. Lucy's daughter Chris left for college as actors Candy Moore and Ralph Hart were dropped from the cast. Jimmy Garrett would make only two appearances that year to help with the transition,before he was also phased out of the series. Also added to the cast were Mary Jane Croft. Overall,the fourth season of "The Lucy Show" was regarded as the weakest with the quality of the scripts that were out week to week. Nevertheless,the show continued to received excellent ratings for Seasons 4 thru 6.
For the next two seasons,the show greatly improved due to the many famous stars that made guest appearances usually playing themselves in various story lines involving their encounter with Lucy and Mr. Mooney conducting bank business. From the 1965-1966 season onward with the change in format a number of famous celebrities made guest appearances ranging from a Who's who of Hollywood heavyweights.
The show's sixth and final season of the 1967-1968 saw Ball's second husband Gary Morton becoming executive producer of the series when Lucille Ball sold Desilu Productions(which owned and produced "The Lucy Show")to Gulf + Western Industries(Paramount Television)which meant she was no longer under ownership of the series. During the course of the series Lucille Ball was nominated three times for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and finally in 1966 she won the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Also during this time Gale Gordon was also nominated an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series while Lucille Ball won her second Emmy during the series' run in it's final season. The final season of "The Lucy Show" posted it's highest Nielsen rating..becoming the Number 2 show on television. The final episode of "The Lucy Show" aired on March 11,1968 after 156 episodes. On September 16,1968 Lucille Ball made her final appearance on television which would be the last situation comedy series she would produced for CBS titled "Here's Lucy" which brought back her co-star Gale Gordon and her own two children Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. that would last another six seasons ending in 1974.
Despite mixed reviews,"The Mothers-In-Law" was executive producer Desi
Arnaz' last stand at producing another half-hour situation comedy that
lasted two seasons. Not only that it had astounding talent,it had two
of the greatest comedy television writers ever,the spectacular team of
Bob Carroll,Jr. and Madelyn Davis(who were the creators as well as
having full production control during the show's entire run),the same
team who wrote many of the hilarious scripts for "I Love Lucy","The
Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour","The Lucy Show",and "The Ann Sothern Show". For
the 56 color episodes that it produced,"The Mothers In-Law" was placed
on NBC's Sunday Night Schedule sandwiched in the 8:30PM/EST time slot
between "The Wonderful World of Disney","Bonanza",and "The High
Chapparal". When it premiered on September 10,1967,the show was placed
opposite the long-running "The Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS,and the crime
drama series "The FBI" that was produced by Quinn Martin over at ABC
which didn't help it in the ratings. Maybe if the powers that be over
at NBC,put "The Mothers-In-Law" at another time slot it would be
progressed into some more,but it didn't. This was a series that have
some great comedy chemistry between it's two stars....one was Eve
Arden,and the other was Kaye Ballard. Along with Roger C.Carmel and
Herbert Rudley and you had to major hit. However the chemistry between
Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard was much as the same as Lucille Ball and
Vivian Vance did for "I Love Lucy". The magic between these two
actresses was phenomenal. Even some of the physical predicaments or the
comical situations these two ended up in were priceless in the age of
situation comedy shows of the mid-1960's. Another great piece of
casting were the newlyweds(Jerry Fogel and Deborah Walley)and from
there you have a television classic that was funny then as it was when
audiences saw it back in 1967. However,during the first season,actor
Roger C. Carmel(Roger Buell)appeared in only 30 episodes airing
September 10,1967 until April 28,1968. Carmel's final appearance on the
series was in "How Not To Manage A Rock Group"(aired April 28,1968 with
musical guests "The Seeds"). His replacement for the show's second
season? He was replaced in Season 2 by Richard Deacon who was a fine
veteran of many classic television shows. Deacon was Fred Rutherford on
"Leave It To Beaver",and he was also Mel Cooley from "The Dick Van Dyke
Show". Deacon appeared in 26 episodes of the series running from
September 15,1968 until the show's final episode on April 13,1969.
Though the show never fails to provide laughs,there are some that really stand out that were the best of the series....
"A Night To Forget"(Season 1,Episode 4:airing October 1,1967)-where Eve and Kaye get locked in a department store. They try to call their husbands for help but get a wrong number in Barcelona,Spain!
"Through the Lurking Glass"(Season 1,Episode 12:airing November 26,1967) -Roger is writing for a TV show about the Masked Martian. So,he dresses up in the costume and jumps out at people in the park in order to gauge their reactions for his script. Naturally,he gets arrested and has trouble trying to explain since he is dressed up as a martian. So,he calls for help only to get Eve and Kaye coming in dressed by grasshoppers followed by Herb in an "Arabian Nights" type costume,then Jerry and Suzy dressed as a kangaroo and a rabbit.
"You Challenge Me To What?"(Season 1,Episode 12:airing December 17,1967)
"The Hombre Who Came To Dinner"(Season 1:airing January 14,22,1968)-a two part episode that had special guest star Desi Arnaz.
"Didn't You Used To Be Ozzie Snick"(Season 2,Episode 13:airing December 22,1968)-with special guest star Ozzie Nelson.
When "The Mothers-In-Law" was canceled by NBC on April 13,1969 after 56 episodes,the executives didn't take long to find a replacement when "The Bill Cosby Show" took over the time slot that was once "The Mothers-In-Law"...that show lasted two seasons as well.
On October 2,1962,one of the most realistic,exciting,and one of the
most realistic dramas in television history premiered on the ABC
Network. "Combat!" was that show and under it's creator and producer
Robert Pirosh under executive producer Selig J. Seligman under his
production company,Selmar Productions produced a show about the grim
lives of a squad of American soldiers fighting the Germans in France
during World War II. The squad lead by Platoon leader Second Lieutenant
Gil Hanley(Rick Jason),and Sergeant Richard "Chip" Saunders(Vic
Morrow). "Combat!" was more that just a combination of drama,it was a
show loaded with action. Each week,these soldiers and their Platoon
Leaders take on the Germans with lots and lots of spectacular action
sequences and astounding firefights and sometimes daring rescue
missions where not only the squad fights to stay alive against
impossible odds,but the replacements that were assigned to the squad
always ended up being captured by the enemy or killed. The squad in
some cases find themselves in a tough situation only to find a way to
get out of the predicament they're in and destroy the enemy against the
perils they faced,only to come out of them victorious. But instead
"Combat!" focused on the individual soldier and how he dealt with the
war on a personal level not to mention the mental and physical fatigue
these men faced each week. There was a brotherhood of sorts between the
characters whether the situation they were in.One had the others back
in case of trouble and to help each other out whenever the squad was in
a tight situation. This was a show that had some of the best
writing,spectacular direction,believable characters and some of the
best hardcore action sequences ever produced for television were the
hallmarks of this television classic which today had the same impact as
when television audiences first saw this show and eventually blew them
away back in 1962. "Combat!" became the longest-running World War II
drama in the history of television that became a staple on ABC's
schedule,lasting five seasons. Out of the 152 episodes that were
produced,the first four seasons of the show(which were in classic
black-and-white)spanning 126 episodes aired from October 2,1962 until
April 12,1966. It's final season(the color episodes)produced 26
episodes that aired from September 13,1966 until the show's final
episode on March 14,1967. The repeats from Season Five aired from March
21,1967 until August 29,1967.
"Combat!" was one of ABC's most successful show and went on to develop a huge following of loyal fans which remains to this day. The series regulars were superb and believable especially with the main characters of Vic Morrow,Rick Jason,along with Jack Hogan(Kirby),Conlan Carter(Doc),Dick Peabody(Littlejohn),Pierre Jalbert(Caje)were in some aspects lifelong brothers in the fight,depending on each other each week to get through some of the tightest situations even when they were assigned to dangerous missions. Not to mention a line-up of guest stars that came on board each week ranging from additional squad members or playing evil Nazi villains. The guest stars ranged from Frank Gorshin,to Lee Marvin,Charles Bronson,Sal Mineo,Roddy McDowell,Terry Carter,Frankie Avalon,Dennis Weaver,to Claude Akins,James Whitmore to Robert Duvall and Richard Basehart among others. Even after 50 years,this was the show that had non stop action and incredible drama,and it shows in the number of Emmy nominations and wins this show received. Don't miss the best episodes of "Combat!" from the premiere episode "A Day In June" to "The Long Walk Home"(Season 2), "The Hostages"(Season 2),"The Hard Way Back"(Season 3), "Hills Are For Heroes"(Season 4),to "Ollie Joe"(Season 5),and the final episode of the series "The Partisian"(Season 5).
Happy Anniversary....for now "Checkmate King Two To White Rook:Out"
For the record,actor Henry Fonda starred in two landmark television
shows that were in fact a decade apart.
First of all,audiences got to see him as U.S. Marshal Simon Frye on the landmark western series THE DEPUTY(Top Gun Productions/Revue Studios-MCA/for NBC-TV that ran from September 12,1959 until July 1,1961)that was produced and created by Roland Kibbee and Norman Lear(future creator and producer of "All In The Family" fame)that ran for two seasons and produced 76 episodes that were in classic black and white.
The second series he did was when he portrayed Detective Sgt. Chad Smith on another short-lived series THE SMITH FAMILY(Don Fedderson Productions/The ABC Television Network that ran from January 20,1971 until June 7,1972)that was produced and created by Edmund Hartmann under executive producer Don Fedderson that was in color and produced 39 episodes. The series ran 30 minutes(which included commercials).
Produced by the same company by brought you "My Three Sons",and "Family Affair","The Smith Family" was a far departure from Don Fedderson's previous sitcoms. But this one had a premise. Picture if you will "Dragnet's" Joe Friday or "The Untouchables'" Elliott Ness as a family man,happily married and determined to keep his job and his homelife separate There you have the challenges faced by Henry Fonda's Detective Sgt. Chad Smith,and focal point around which each episode revolved. It was your average sugarcoated typical family sitcom,but with a kick that includes a lot of police action and tight situations in just about every episode that was above your average half-hour family situation comedy-drama. His determination to safeguard his family's normality is illustrated by their picket-fence enclosed house on Primrose Lane. The series did have some solid moments to it,including the episode in which a mild-mannered man inveighies his way into the Smith household as "an old friend of Chet's" titled "Ex-Con"(Airdate: January 27,1971).
There were some other episodes that were outstanding thanks to actor Ron Howard's brilliant performance as the oldest son Bob. In the episode titled "Where There's Smoke"(Airdate: February 3,1972),Bob is sitting at a teacher's desk when he sees a group of boys pouring gasoline on the floor of the next classroom to torch the school. Bob picks up the phone to call the police when the boys take Bob by force and badly beat him to a pulp. It's up to Bob to call his dad and save the school from being destroyed. Other episodes were great too. From the first episode "Cindy"(the pilot episode airdate:January 20,1971),to "The Peer Group" that guest starred Butch Patrick and Stefan Arngrim(airdate: April 14,1971),to the two part episode titled "Strangers",guest starring Betty Lynn,aka Thelma Lou from "The Andy Griffith Show"(airdates: February 24,1971 and March 3,1971),and including one episode where the teenage daughter is harassed at school by a group of bad girls(one of them is Kathy Garver,aka Cissy Davis of Family Affair is a role that was a far departure from her good girl status). Other guest stars including Stanley Livingston,Jerry Mathers and even Jay North in recurring roles and in one episode William Windom. The final episode of "The Smith Family" was "Father In Law"(airdate: June 7,1972). Repeats of this series ran on ABC from June 14,1972 until August 23,1972.
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