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1967 TV Shows / 1960’s TV Shows

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by TV

Billy Ingram

Americans

were luxuriating in a prime time world of fantasy in 1967, no doubt reflecting

the underlying optimism of an expanding economy.

Domesticated

witches, incompetent females, airborn clergy, humanized animals, colorful

crusaders and wandering loners were just some of the way-out concepts

found on television during this era.

‘Batman’

was TV’s hottest commodity in January, 1967, but shows with a sci-fi or

fantasy bent were falling by the wayside by 1968.

Because of

the many action-adventure shoot-em-ups on the schedule, critics and concerned

parent groups were asking aloud – is television programing responsible

for our increasingly violent society? Playwrite Arthur Miller publically

decried TV fare, “… whose brutality is photographed in sufficiently

monstrous detail.”

That argument

grew louder after the 1967-68 season closed with live, three network coverage

of the 1968 Democratic Convention in

Chicago where rioting hippies took center stage.

Use

this for video clips:

BATMAN on DVD!

1967-68

Top Twenty

1.

Andy Griffith Show

2. The Lucy Show

tiga. Gomer Pyle, USMC

4. (tie) Gunsmoke

Family Affair

Bonanza

7. Red Skelton Show

8. Dean Martin Show

9. Jackie Gleason Show

10. NBC Saturday Night at the Movies

11. Bewitched

12. Beverly Hillbillies

13. Ed Sullivan

14. The Virginian

15. (Tie) Friday Night Movies

Green Acres

17. Lawrence Welk Show

18. Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

19. Gentle Ben

20. Tuesday Night Movies

::VIDEO::

FALL PREVIEW SHORTS:

NBC

Monday Night Line-up

NBC

Thursday Night Line-up

NBC

Entire Fall, 1967 Line-up

ABC

produced this pop-art, psychedelic spot

introducing their 1967-68 season.

SUNDAY

NIGHTS

ON

CBS:

CBS

has enjoyed a ratings lock on Sunday nights for a long, long time – a

tradition stemming from their powerhouse 1967-68 lineup.

7:00 –

Lassie

(1954-1971)

This was Lassie’s final year teamed with forest ranger Corey Stewart.

Now more of a wanderer, the Collie takes up with two younger rangers (Scott

and Bob) in 1968.

7:30

– Gentle Ben

(1967-1969)

Dennis Weaver and Clint Howard starred with a friendly black Bear named

Ben. Ivan Tors (‘Flipper’) produced this series in the everglades of Florida.

A top twenty show in 1967, ratings dropped drastically in 1968.

8:00 –

Ed Sullivan Show

(1948-1971)

9:00

– Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

(1967-1969)

These funny guys began a three season run in January, 1967.

A long parade of great TV shows belly-flopped going head to head with

the Cartright family on NBC. But the Smothers Brothers finally made a

dent – for the first time in three years, ‘Bonanza’ wasn’t the number-one

rated show. The first season of the Smothers show was standard variety

show fare with an interesting mix of unusual guest stars. In the fall

of 1967, controversy began with CBS censoring an appearance of blackballed

folk singer Pete Seeger.

10:00

– Mission Impossible

(1966-1973)

Peter Graves joined the team in 1967 as Jim Phelps, head of the IMF (Impossible

Mission Force). Also featuring Marin Landau, Peter Lupus and Barbara Bain

(who won the Emmy for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series three years in

a row – 1967, ’68 and ’69).

‘Mission Impossible’ was revived on TV in 1988 – again, with Peter Graves

starring.

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STILL

FIGHTING

THE WAR:

ABC

/ MONDAY 8:30

Rat Patrol

(1966-1968)

In 1966, key scenes for this series were shot in Spain for added realism

– plus there was leftover wreckage from old WWII movies laying around

in the desert anyway. It was too expensive to continue filming overseas

for season two and the audience noticed the difference – ratings were

way down in 1967.

ABC /

TUESDAY 7:30

Garrison’s Gorillas

Television

shows were so popular there were comic book versions of the top programs,

including 1967 titles like: Bewitched, Hogan’s Heroes, Flying Nun,

Star Trek, Daktari, The Invaders, Lost in Space, Man from UNCLE, Rat Patrol,

Garrison’s Gorillas, Beverly Hillbillies, The Lucy Show,Gomer Pyle, Gunsmoke,

Lassie, Cowboy in Africa, Andy Griffith, Bonanza, Iron Horse, Maya, The

Monkees, Batman, Tarzan and many others.

CBS /

SATURDAY 9:00

Hogan’s Heroes

It’s

cliche in terbaru times to wonder what CBS might have been thinking when

they broadcast a sitcom about the hilarious adventures American POWs had

in a German Concentration Camp. But then, all good sitcoms require a hefty

suspension of disbelief and Nazis always make a great comic foil. Pitching

this to a network today would get you tossed off the lot!

FANTASY

AND SCI-FI:

NBC

/ MONDAY 8:00

Man From U.N.C.L.E.

(1964-1968)

Last season for Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. U.N.C.L.E. was an enormously

popular series for the first two years but as the scripts got sillier,

ratings sank lower.

In an attempt to save the franchise, a new producer and music composer

were brought in, new opening titles were shot and the storylines took

a more serious turn. They succeeded in improving the quality of the series,

but the formula was played out – and a move to Monday nights didn’t help.

U.N.C.L.E. was cancelled midseason;

Robert Vaughn stated that he got word of the show’s cancellation just

one day before filming was halted.

A couple

of two-part episodes were shot this season and released as theatrical

features in Europe. Artwork for the Lunch Box (seen above)

was by Jack Davis.

ABC

/ TUESDAY8:30

The Invaders

(1967 – 1969)

Thrilling sci-fi series about a single witness to an impending alien

invasion of Earth. A Quinn Martin production, ‘The Invaders’ was closer

in tone to ‘The F.B.I.’ (which QM also produced) than ‘Star Trek.’

NBC

/ TUESDAY 7:30

I Dream of Jeannie

Astronaut

finds a bottle on the beach.

CBS /

WEDNESDAY 7:30

Lost In Space

(1965

– 1968)

ABC

/ THURSDAY 7:30

Batman

(1966

– 1968)

In

a casting choice that caused shockwaves in Hollywood, Eartha Kitt took

over the role of Batman’s love interest, Catwoman and Yvonne Craig

joined the cast as Batgirl for the third and last season.

Bat-ratings

were way down in the fall of 1967 but still respectable. NBC wanted to

pick up the show for a fourth season but backed out because of the expense

of rebuilding the Batcave set – which was destroyed days after ABC cancelled

the series.

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