New TV Shows of Fall 1963 – CBS

CBS had the biggest ratings for the previous season and thus only had the least number of new shows for the fall 1963 season. The links in the titles are to Wikipedia to where you can find more information on each show. These were the new shows that aired (All times Eastern Time Zone):

  • My Favorite Martian; Sunday at 7:30. Tim O’Hara (Bill Bixby) discovers a crashed spacecraft and the occupant from Mars (Ray Walston). Tim takes the martian in and introduces him as his Uncle Martin. It was the 10th most popular show of the season. It lasted 3 season. It also spawned a movie in 1999. Viewed the title sequence on YouTube.
  • The Judy Garland Show; Sunday at 9:00. Judy had a few specials that were very successful so ABC gave her a weekly variety show. Judy was great at singing but the talk segments were slow and forced. Besides the series was up against Bonanza which was one of the most popular series of the year. The show last for 26 episodes but was not repeated. Below is Judy and her daughter Liza Minnelli as a guest at age 17.
  • East Side / West Side; Monday at 10:00. This drama series starred George C. Scott as a social worker in the NY slums. It last a single season.
  • Petticoat Junction; Tuesday at 9:00. A country comedy about Kate (Bea Benaderet), her 3 daughters and Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan). The show was set in the fictional Shady Rest Hotel in Hooterville. This became the highest rated new show of the season coming in at number 4 according to the Nielsen ratings. The series lasted 7 seasons until CBS cancelled all the country shows on their network. Bea Benaderet would die during series and for a while they used as stand-in filmed from the back and recorded dialog from Bea from earlier shows. They would replace Bea with June Lockhart as Dr. Janet Craig. That was not the only cast change through the years. There were 3 girls as Billie Jo (Jeannine Riley, Gunilla Hutton & Meredith MacRae) and 2 as Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodell & Lori Saunders). View the first season title sequence on YouTube.
  • Great Adventure; Friday at 7:30. An anthology series of American History. Episodes included stories on Wild bill Hickok, Sam Houston and Nathan Hale. Also stories about Wounded Knee, the first US submarine sunk in the Civil War and the discovery of the smallpox vaccine. Only 26 episodes aired.
  • The New Phil Silvers Show; Saturday at 8:30. This is NOT the series that was also known as Sgt. Bilko. In this series Phil played Harry Grafton, a factory foreman who is a con-artist and manipulates people for his own benefit. This show was on for just one season.