Jim McKay appeared on several shows for ABC, “Sports Spot” (1951), “Make the Connection” (1955), and “The Verdict Is Yours” (1958) before “ABC’s Wide World of Sports”. In 1961, he appeared on “Wide World of Sports” and has never left.
The 1984-85 season of Dallas was a dream. It was revealed to have been a dream of Pam Ewing to explain the reappearance of her husband Bobby (Patrick Duffy), previously killed off.
“The Man Trap,” televised as a “sneak preview” on September 8, 1966, was the first episode of “Star Trek” to be televised. The episode dealt with a creature on planet M-113 who lives on salt sucked from humans.
John McLaughlin’s sign-off line on “The McLaughlin Group” was “Bye-bye.”
The first televised baseball game was a May 1939 game between Columbia and Princeton.
Only fifty kids at a time sat in the Peanut Gallery on “Howdy Doody”.
The characters in the original TV series “Mission: Impossible” (CBS, 1966-73) were: Agent Briggs (Steven Hill), Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain), Barney Collier (Greg Morris), Willie Armitage (Peter Lupus), and Rollin Hand (Martin Landau). James Phelps (Peter Graves) joined the cast in 1968.
“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which ran for fourteen seasons (1952-66) on ABC, was the longest-running sitcom on TV.
The city on the TV series “Hill Street Blues” was never named. Some exteriors in the opening credits were filmed in Chicago.
Yes, Casablanca (1942) was a TV series twice. In the 1955-56 season, “Casablanca” (ABC) was a short-lived thirty-minute series starring Charles McGraw as Rick Jason (changed from Rick Blaine). In 1983-84, ABC attempted another “Casablanca.” Rick Blaine was played by David Soul.
Tracy Keenan Wynn wrote the screenplay, based on Ernest J. Gaines’s novel, and John Korty directed the TV movie “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (CBS, 1974). The film, starring Cicely Tyson as a 110-year-old former slave, won nine Emmys, including Emmys for Tyson, Korty, and Wynn.
Country singers Roy Clark and Buck Owens were the original hosts of “Hee Haw” (CBS, synd., 1969).
Carol Merrill’s daughter Hillary Saffire became the hostess on the new TV game show “Truth or Consequences” (syndicated) in 1987. Merrill herself was the hostess on “Let’s Make a Deal” (NBC, 1963-68; ABC, 1968-76).
The club where Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) played on “I Love Lucy” was in New York, he played at the Tropicana. When the family moved to Connecticut, he started his own club, the Ricky Ricardo Babaloo Club.
“Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour” was on TV for twelve years, from 1948 to 1960 on the DuMont network, ABC, NBC, and CBS. During that time, Pat Boone and Gladys Knight made their national television debuts.
Robinson J. Peepers taught biology on the TV series “Mr. Peepers” (NBC, 1952-55).
Yogi Bear was smarter than the average bear on The Yogi Bear Show (“The Yogi Bear Show”; synd., 1961-63).
Playwright Arthur Miller wrote the teleplay for the CBS TV movie “Playing for Time” (1980). Vanessa Redgrave played Auschwitz prisoner Fania Fenelon.
Alistair Cooke was born in Manchester, England, on November 20, 1908, but has been an American citizen since 1941. Cooke has hosted the PBS TV series “Masterpiece Theatre” since its inception in 1971.
The name of the man who played El Exigente in Savarin Coffee commercials in the 1960s and 1970s was Carlos Montalban, brother of actor Ricardo Montalban. Born in 1904, he died in 1991.
Elvis Presley did not make his TV debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS, 1948-71), but on “The Jackie Gleason Show” (CBS, 1952-55, 1956-57, 1962-70). Elvis first appeared there in January 1956.
Larry Hagman was offered “The Waverly Wonders” (NBC, 1978), a sitcom about a high school basketball coach (starring Joe Namath) the same year he was offered “Dallas” (CBS, 1978-91). Hagman favored this series, which lasted one month; but his wife advised him to take “Dallas.”
According to A. C. Nielsen, an average home in 1953 got 3.8 stations on TV. With the advent of cable, 1983 saw televisions get an average of 10.3 stations. An average home in 1990 received 11.7 stations.
“As the World Turns” (CBS, 1956) was the first soap opera to change its format from fifteen minutes to thirty minutes each weekday.
The gold hoop earring is in Mr. Clean’s left earlobe. Mr. Clean made his first TV appearance in 1958. The Mr. Clean jingle was sung by Don Cherry and Betty Bryan.
As the announcer never failed to remind us, the TV show, “The F.B.I.”, was a “Quinn Martin Production.”
A happy child first reported, “Look, Ma, no cavities!” because of Crest Toothpaste in a 1958 commercial.
Harry Dickens (John Astin) and Arch Fenster (Marty Ingels) were carpenters and handymen. They starred in “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” (ABC, 1962-63).
A TV network president accept an Emmy and said, “This is the best show I ever canceled” for “He and She,” which ran in 1967-68 on CBS and starred Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss. The network president was Mike Dann, of CBS.
Dick York leave the TV series “Bewitched” (ABC, 1964-72) primarily for health reasons. As a result of a back injury during the filming of They Came to Cordura (1959), he developed a degenerative spine condition. He has also said that he wanted to spend more time with his children and that “the atmosphere on the … Read more
“Gunsmoke” (CBS, 1955-75) was the top-rated TV show in 1960.
The “Gilligan’s Island” (CBS, 1964-67) cast and characters were .. . Gilligan—Gilligan (Bob Denver) The Skipper—Jonas Grumbly (Alan Hale, Jr.) The Millionaire—Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus) His Wife—Mrs. Lovey Howell III (Natalie Schaefer) The Movie Star—Ginger Grant (Tina Louise) The Professor—Roy Hinkley (Russell Johnson) Mary Ann—Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells)
Mary Stuart as Joanne Barron and Larry Haines as Stu Bergman, both on “Search for Tomorrow” (CBS, 1951-82; NBC, 1982-1987), is the longest-running performance in daytime TV drama history.
Sprinters Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos, winners of medals in the 200-meter event, raised their fists in a “black power” salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The 1968 Olympics from Mexico City were televised in the United States on ABC.
Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) rode in a Pontiac Trans-Am named KITT (voice by William Daniels) on the TV series “Knight Rider” (NBC, 1982-86).
Clint Eastwood’s character in “Rawhide” was Rowdy Yates on the CBS Western that ran from 1959 to 1966.
Almost 100 million, nearly half the population of the United States, watched the concluding episode of the TV mini-series “Roots” (ABC, 1977). The miniseries was broadcast on eight consecutive nights beginning January 23, 1977. It became the most-watched dramatic show in TV history.
The word “video” comes from the Latin word for “I see.”
Quinton, as in “Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale” (Ernest Borgnine), was McHale’s first name on “McHale’s Navy” (ABC, 1962-66). What was Captain Binghamton’s first name? Wallace (Joe Flynn). What was Ensign Parker’s first name? Charles (Tim Conway).
George Jessel was “The Toastmaster General of the U.S.”. His TV show, “The George Jessel Show,” ran during the 1953-54 season on ABC.
The first TV series to star a black woman was “Beulah” (ABC, 1950-53), starring successively Ethel Waters, Hattie McDaniel, and Louise Beavers as Beulah, a black maid. “Julia” (NBC, 1968-71), starring Diahann Carroll as nurse Julia Baker, was the second.
Mrs. McGillicuddy, Lucy Ricardo’s (Lucille Ball’s) mother, was played by Kathryn Card on “I Love Lucy” (CBS, 1951-57). Charles Winninger played Fred Mertz’s (William Frawley’s) father in 1954.
On “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (CBS, 1961-66), the alien that Rob (Dick Van Dyke) feared looked like Danny Thomas. The aliens had eyes in the backs of their heads.
John Daly hosted it the first year; Parks took over until 1980. Several hosts followed, including Ron Ely and Gary Collins. It is now co-hosted by Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford.
NBC began regular television transmission to the American public in 1939.
The first watch tested for durability on television was not a Timex. In 1955, a Bulova “Clipper” watch attached to a weighted ball survived the “Niagara Falls Test.”
The PBS science TV series “Nova” has been on the air since 1974.
Laura Palmer’s father, Leland Palmer (Roy Wise) killed her, while possessed by an evil spirit named Bob. Laura Palmer was played by Sheryl Lee.
“Family Ties” (NBC, 1982-89) star Michael J. Fox played a werewolf in the movie Teen Wolf (1985). Jason Bateman, star of “Valerie/The Hogan Family” (NBC, 1986-90; CBS, 1990-91) played the werewolf in the sequel, Teen Wolf Too (1987).
Chet Huntley and David Brinkley first teamed up for the 1956 presidential conventions. Their patter led to places as anchormen of the NBC nightly news that fall. Their show was called “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” ( 1956-71).
The TV series had four spinoffs: “Maude” (CBS, 1972-78); “The Jeffersons” (CBS, 1975-85); “Archie Bunker’s Place” (CBS, 1979-83); and “Gloria” (CBS, 1982-83).
Chuckles the Clown’s sign-off line on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS, 1970-77) was “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” The words were remembered by those mourning Chuckles’s death after he was killed by a rogue elephant. Chuckles was dressed as Peter Peanut at the time.
The last episode of “The Waltons” (CBS, 1972-81) was set on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The series began with a pilot film, “The Homecoming” (CBS, 1971), set during Christmas, 1933.
Stalag 13. The PT boat number on “McHale’s Navy” (ABC 1962-66) was PT 73.
Natalie Wood had a walk-on part in the 1979 pilot of husband Robert Wagner’s TV mystery “Hart to Hart” (ABC, 1979-84). She was billed in the closing credits as Natasha Gurdin, her real name.
Rhoda Morgenstern from the TV series Rhoda got married on October 28, 1974. Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) married Joe Gerard (David Groh). They separated early in the 1976-77 season, and eventually divorced. “Rhoda” ran from 1974 to 1978 on CBS.
The forty-five episodes of the TV series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” originally ran on BBC television in Great Britain from 1969 to 1974. Terry Gilliam did the animation on “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, the only American in the troupe. Gilliam has gone on to direct movies like Brazil (1985) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen … Read more
“The Andy Griffith Show” (CBS, 1960-68) was a spinoff of “The Danny Thomas Show” (ABC, CBS, 1953-64).
John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin) of “Cheers” (NBC, 1982) was a staff person at NASA Mission Control in Houston in Superman II (1980).
William F. Buckley’s syndicated talk show “Firing Line” has been on the air since April 1966.
The infamous TV quiz show scandals were from 1958 to 1959.
Television’s first teen star was Don Hastings, the teenager who played the Video Ranger, sidekick of “Captain Video” (DuMont, 1949-55).
Rob and Laura Petrie of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” had a house in New Rochelle, New York.
Leonard Nimoy appeared in the science-fiction TV series Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) before “Star Trek” (NBC, 1966-69). Nimoy played Narab, a Martian.
Archie and Edith Bunker of “All in the Family” (CBS, 1971-79) lived at 704 Houser Street in Queens, New York.
Just before reporter Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) crashed a motorcycle, he saw the words, “Max Headroom, 2.3 m.” on the TV series “Max Headroom” (ABC, 1987). His memory impulses create a new character, Max Headroom.
It is not “Till Death Do Us Part,” but “Till Death Us Do Part” (BBC, 1966-68, 1972-74), was British series which was the basis for “All in the Family” (CBS, 1971-79), starring Warren Mitchell as bigot Alf Garnett.
Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe, Cheryl Ladd as Kris Munroe, Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett, Shelley Hack as Tiffany Welles, and Tanya Roberts as Julie Rogers were the names of “Charlie’s Angels” on the TV series (ABC, 1976-81).
Ryan O’Neal was Rodney Harrington; Mia Farrow was Allison Mackenzie on “Peyton Place” (ABC, 1964-69).
On the TV series “Murder She Wrote” (CBS, 1984), Jessica Fletcher’s (Angela Lansbury’s) middle name was Beatrice.
Yvonne Craig played Batgirl on the TV series “Batman” (ABC, 1966-68). She appeared only in the second and final season. Batgirl’s real identity was Barbara Gordon, Police Commissioner Gordon’s daughter.
Much of the credit for the visual style of the TV series “Miami Vice”goes to art director Jeffrey Howard, who won an Emmy for his efforts in 1985.
The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) trade convention, held in January, is where you go to sell a TV show for syndication. There producers and distributors sell game shows, reruns, etc., to station managers and program directors.