New TV Shows of Fall 1963 – ABC

In the fall of 1963 ABC added 11 new shows. Like every new TV season some failed and some ended up running for a few years See how many of these shows from the fall 1963 schedule that you remember or have seen in syndication. (All times Eastern Time Zone) The links in the titles are to Wikipedia to where can find more information on each show.

  • The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters; Sunday at 7:30. This was a western based on a Pulitzer prize winning novel of the same name. It was about twelve year old Jaimie traveling west with his father on a wagon train. Jaimie was played by Kurt Russell. The series was also notable for having Charles Bronson as a wagon master. This series only lasted until March 1964. View opening credits on YouTube.
  • Arrest and Trial; Sunday at 8:30. A 90 minute drama that showed police investigating and arresting a criminal. Then it became a court drama showing the criminal’s trial. Starred Ben Gazzara as a Police Detective and Chuck Connors a a defense attorney. Lasted a full season.
  • 100 Grand; Sunday at 10:00. A game show where the contestant would try to answer questions from authorities in a category that the contestant had picked. This show only lasted 3 weeks.
  • The Outer Limits; Monday at 7:30. The Twilight Zone had been a hit for several years on CBS. This sci-fi series was very similar but managed to become beloved by sci-fi fans. Some well known stars made guest appearances. The first episode featured Cliff Robertson who contacts a alien using 3-D TV and by a mistake the alien ends up coming to earth. A revival of the show aired on Showtime from 1995 to 2002. Well remembered is the original opening title sequence where the narrator says that “There is nothing wrong with your television set.”
  • Breaking Point; Monday at 10:00. A medical drama about 2 psychiatrists. It last just one season.
  • The Greatest Show on Earth; Tuesday at 9:00. A drama set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It starred Jack Palance as the circus manager, who became involved with the lives of the circus performers. This series lasted just one season.
  • The Fugitive; Tuesday at 10:00. David Janssen starred as Dr. Richard Kimble who was falsely sentenced to die for the murder of his wife. He escapes and becomes a fugitive from justice that was pursued by a police Lieutenant. Dr. Kimble is in search of the one armed man that he saw running from the scene of his wife’s murder. After 4 successful seasons this became one of the first TV series to have a concluding episode. View the original opening on YouTube.
  • The Patty Duke Show; Wednesday at 8:00. Patty Duke portrayed both the American Patty and her cousin Cathy who supposedly came from Scotland. Being exact look alikes caused many problems for both the family and the community. This became the highest rated new series for ABC with it being the 18th most watched show for the season according to the Nielsen ratings. The show lasted 3 seasons. The original series opening is below. In spite of the opening showing both of the cousins together, most of the time that would use a stand-in that would be photographed from the back in scenes where Cathy and Patty talked.
  • The Jimmy Dean Show; Thursday at 9:00. Country musician, Jimmy Dean had done a few TV series before this but usually during the daytime. This was his first prime time series. A variety show but featuring a lot of music. It was also known for featuring Rowlf the Dog. Rowlf was a Muppet by Jim Henson. Rowlf and Jimmy would talk and end with a song. This show was on for 3 seasons.
  • Burke’s Law; Friday at 8:30. A police drama were Gene Barry starring as Amos Burke was a police captain that also was a millionaire. He would be chauffeured around to crimes in a Rolls Royce. After 2 seasons Amos Burke became a secret agent and the title was changed to Amos Burke, Secret Agent.  View the opening theme on YouTube.
  • The Farmer’s Daughter; Friday at 9:30. A comedy in which a Minnesota girl, Katy, came to Washington to get help from her Congressman but ended up working for him as a governess. In the third season of the series Katy and the Congressman married but that didn’t help the declining rating. Starred Inger Stevens and William Windom. View the opening for the first episode on YouTube.
  • The Jerry Lewis Show; Saturday at 9:00. A 2 hour talk and variety show hosted and starring Jerry Lewis. The show had big named guests and a big budget but low ratings. It only aired for 13 weeks before being cancelled.