Saturday, September 10, 2016

What was on TV September 10th through 16th, 1966 -- Fall Preview Issue

When I was a kid, Labor Day always signaled the end of Summer, despite the calendar's official date. It also heralded a return to school.  The only compensation for this time of year was of course the new Fall Season of television shows.  So much promise.  Today, we're going to take a look back 50 years ago at 1966.  1966 seems to be such a pivotal year of pop culture in music and television.  It brought us "Revolver", "Pet Sounds", "Sounds of Silence", "Star Trek"," Dark Shadows", "Batman" and "The Monkees".  On the other hand, musically we had Donovan's "Sunshine Superman", "J'Mapelle Barbra" and TV shows "Occasional Wife" and "It's About Time".  1966 was also notable for being the first all-color network prime-time season.

A forebear of the TV Guide grid that would become a staple  in the '80's.

 Whether you got the chick, or was the loser alone at the bar, Miller High-Life is your drink.

 NBC went all out with this color painting of their Fall shows.

It's done fairly well with most celebrities recognizable with the exception of "The Monkees".  Davy Jones looks like Ringo Starr and I guess that's supposed to be Micky Dolenz?

 On the other hand, that's a dead on "Shat".

I wouldn't have thought "everything in color" would have been an issue in 1966 but what do I know.

I guess the artist thought "Get Smart!" was going to be a serious action series?  Although, at second glance, is that a cork popping out of the machine gun Maxwell Smart is waving around?

I'm fairly certain that's a girl in that Chef Boyardee Ravioli ad, but I sported that same hair cut through age 12 courtesy of my dad.

"It's About Time" was another Sherwood Schwartz show in a similar vein to "Gilligan's Island" except in this situation, two astronauts end up stranded back in time living with a cave family.  A late season attempt to revive the series flipped the premise and brought the cave family to the future.  It didn't work and it was cancelled after 26 episodes.  Below are the opening credits.  I don't know. They're just not as catchy as  the"Gilligan's Island" theme.

You'll notice the credits list Imogene Coca's character as "Shag".  After the first episode, it was changed to "Shad".  I'm not sure if someone informed them of the British connotation or what. If you really care to watch, there are some episodes on Youtube.

"Hey Land-Lord" was Garry Marshall's first TV show.  While it only lasted one season, several of the plots were recycled later on "Laverne & Shirley".

Sadly, Ann Sheridan died of cancer during the first season of "Pistols 'n' Petticoats".

 Anyone who's ever seen the movie "Shane" knows he ain't coming back.  Viewers knew it too. It was cancelled by the end of the year, however, star David Carradine would have a hit six years later with "Kung Fu".

You can tell Mike "Wool Hat" Nesmith is the zany one because he's sticking his tongue out.  I love that they felt the need to explain his nickname: "he usually wears one".

 "Hot Springs is Fun".  That's evident from the excitement on this boy's face.

"Boys!  Your spare time can be profitable!"  Sorry, girls.  But maybe you'll end up marrying one of these boys!

 "Television for people who don't watch television".  Be he man or woman, I want to punch that face.

I only know the name Durward Kirby thanks to "Rocky and Bullwinkle's" Kurward Derby.

"Run, Buddy, Run" starred Jack Sheldon, better known for his vocals on the "Schoolhouse Rock" shorts "Conjunction Junction" and "I'm Just a Bill".

"Lee", whose true identity is unknown, was a member of the "Big Eye" movement of the '60's.  I'm not kidding. There were a load of them.  There are websites devoted to them.  I'm not making this up.

 "Batman" was technically a 1965 mid-season replacement.  The first episode was broadcast January 12th, 1966.

"Star Trek" had already premiered the previous week with the episode "Man Trap". This night's episode is the second in the series, "Charlie X".

"Hawk" was another show cancelled by the end of the year.  I wonder whatever happened to that Burt Reynolds chap.

Despite some cool costumes and Bruce Lee kicking butt, "Green Hornet" only lasted one season, failing to capture the same audience numbers as "Batman".

Milton Berle famously signed a 30-year contract with NBC for $200,000 per year to appear exclusively on NBC.  In 1965, he renegotiated the contract to allow him to appear on other networks resulting in this ABC variety show.  It was cancelled after one season.  A highlight of the season was an appearance by Adam West as Batman, Van Williams as The Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato with Berle playing various villains.

 No, hunh unh, Tareyton.  I've tolerated the black eye in the ads.  I will not tolerate a hat with eyes sporting the black eye.  You have gone too far.

"The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." was a spin-off of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (I know, my powers of deduction are unbelievable).  It starred Stephanie Powers, but wasn't as successful as it's parent show and was cancelled after the first season.

"Occasional Wife" was about a bachelor who hires a hat check girl to pose as his wife in order to gain advancement at work (his boss won't promote an unmarried man).  Of course, zaniness ensued every time the boss visited him (I know my boss visits me at home *all* the time) requiring his pretend wife to climb a fire escape to enter and exit his apartment.  And of course, there's the requisite nosy neighbor who observes all the shenanigans from a distance. Unfortunately, the premise wasn't zany enough.  In 1966, your wife had to be a witch or genie to warrant viewership.  The show lasted one season.

 "Star Trek"?  Pfffff.  It'll never last.

 Despite only surviving 7 months on the air, "Time Tunnel" has managed to garner a cult following.

I saw Ron Ely's "Tarzan" in syndication when I was a kid.  I was used to the Johnny Weissmuller movies, so this modern, fluent-speaking Tarzan minus Jane plus Jai made no sense in my mind.

"A special mood-brightening medication that CHASES BLUES" Apparently, anyone taking Midol was hopped up on goofballs.

At some point you just know the guy put the pen in his mouth and tried to take notes with the cigarette. 

Stay tuned.  September is Fall Preview month.  I'll be posting as many as I can scan.


  1. Wow - I loved those Monkees - especially that first album.

    1. The Monkees were a little bit (literally a year) before my time, but I have an appreciation for them myself.

  2. The Monkees' images in that NBC promotional painting were taken from the "Here Come the Monkees" pilot that was filmed the previous year. Mickey sported a bizarre, combed-back hairstyle in that effort, so that is indeed an accurate likeness.

    Gotta love that Letters column with the missive from the housewife who believed Roger Ramjet was good enough to be aired on network prime time, even recommending it as competition for Get Smart ! She's a keeper!

    1. >Mickey sported a bizarre, combed-back hairstyle
      Thanks for the info, top_cat_james. But that doesn't explain Ringo Davy!
      >She's a keeper!
      Wow, you're right! I missed that. If it weren't for being well written, I would have guessed it was a kid trying to pass it off as his mom's letter to give it some "authority".

  3. maybe it's just me and my designer sensibilities, but this issue more than previous ones really seems to have gone gonzo with the typography. so many groovy 60s fonts on display in this issue for the headers and whatnot. fun stuff!

    i don't think i ever saw an episode of "it's about time", but i instantly knew the show from the title because the theme song is one of those that's been stuck in my head for decades:

    so nice to see some big-eyed things getting some love. i would argue that big-eyed things never went away, as evidenced by pokemon, my little pony, and anime in general. but that website you linked loses a TON of cred by not having a listing for the most famous big-eyed artist of them all, Keane. tim burton just did a movie about them a couple years ago, called "big eyes."

    1. >but this issue more than previous ones really seems to have gone gonzo
      >with the typography
      You're right, it is fontastic.
      >i instantly knew the show from the title because the theme song is
      >one of those that's been stuck in my head for decades
      Really? How did it get stuck there in the first place? I've never seen an episode. And thanks for the link, I added it above.
      >Keane. tim burton just did a movie about them a couple years ago,
      >called "big eyes."
      That's the artist I was looking for as well. I never saw the movie, but I recall it.

    2. i have no idea how that song got into my head in the first place, but it's firmly lodged there -- but i have the lyrics a bit wrong. i thought it was "it's about time / it's about space / about strange people in a very strange place," but it doesn't go like that. hooray, memory!

      i have the book about the Keanes and their drama, if you're ever inclined to read about it. crazy stuff.

  4. When I was a kid, Labor Day weekend meant the Jerry Lewis telethon.

    1. (Big Smile on face) Yeah me too. In fact thats why my handle on everything is MDA 4life

    2. We went out of town on vacation every Labor Day weekend when I was a kid, so I was never around for TV that weekend. I went straight from vacation to school the next day. It was quite a letdown.

  5. This is a very cool issue! But I have to admit the first thing I did was google Dupo, Il I had no clue. I assumed it was down by you but never heard of it.

  6. Holy Cow! You have a piece of history there. Man, some of those shows bring back memories. . It's about Time, Run for your life, The Monkeys, Man from UNCLE, Lost in Space (Who didn't hate Will Robinson. . After all it should have been you, right?) The Rat Patrol. .

    Great era in Television, when you actually got a few minutes of the show before the occasional commercial. (Other way around today!)

    Oh the memories. . You have some great content here!

    1. Thanks, Lou, glad you enjoyed! It was a pretty amazing television season.

  7. Nice! You got the fall 1967-68 issue? I'm looking for a color scan of this 1967-8 NBC "Monday Night's The Night!" ad to add to The Monkees Film & TV Vault .

    1. I do. Now's a good time for me to start scanning that one with Fall coming up. Send me your email and I'll send you a scan of that page.

    2. Thanks in advance!!


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