New TV Shows of Fall 1964 – ABC

ABC-color-logoIn the fall of 1964 ABC added 15 new shows. Like every new TV season some failed and some ended up running for a few years Most of the Monday night shows were new to the ABC schedule. This was also the first season that ABC broadcast some of their shows in color.
See how many of these shows from the fall 1964 schedule that you remember from that time 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.

  • Broadside; Sunday at 8:30. This was a comedy from the producer of McHale’s Navy that was a success the year before. In this series, a group of WAVES during WWII are led by Lt j.g. Anne Morgan that is transferred to an island in the South Pacific to run the motor pool to replace sailors for combat duty. Their male Commander felt that having women was disruptive He tried everything he could to get the WAVES sent to the US. There were just 32 episodes made of this series that last for one year. The title of the series wouldn’t be appropriate today. View opening credits on YouTube.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; Monday at 7:30. A sci-fi series set in the nuclear submarine “Seaview” that had a large glass front. This series and the 1961 movie of the same name were produced by Irwin Allen. Some, but not all, episodes involved monstrous creatures of the sea. This first season was in B&W. In the second season they added a mini flying sub called the “flying fish.” The series last 4 seasons. View a season one promo on YouTube.
  • No Time for Sergeants; Monday at 8:30.  Originally a novel that was turned into a play (1955) and a movie (1958) that starred Andy Griffin. This series starred Sammy Jackson in role of the bumpkin that joins the Air Force and causes trouble  for everyone, especially his Sergeant. That this series was on opposite The Andy Griffith Show didn’t help. It only aired one season (34 episodes). View opening credits on YouTube.
  • Wendy and Me; Monday at 9:00. In this comedy, Wendy (Connie Stevens) was a scatterbrain but very loveable. She and her husband live in an apartment building owned by George Burns. George would watch what Wendy was doing on the TV in his apartment and comment on what was going to happen. This series is very similar to The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show in which Mr. Burns starred with his wife. I really liked this show but it only lasted this one season (34 episodes). View opening credits on YouTube.
  • The Bing Crosby Show; Monday at 9:30. A comedy in which Bing as a former singer/musician turns to a career as an electrical engineer. Meanwhile his wife is trying to break into show business. They also had two teenage daughters. Bing was the producer of the show so he managed to find a way for a song in each of the 28 episodes. Another show that was only on one season. View first 10 minutes of an episode on YouTube.
  • The Tycoon; Tuesday at 9:00. A comedy about Walter Andrews (Walter Brennan) an eccentric millionaire that was chairman of the board of Thunder Corp. Walter wants to do things his way and the younger executives struggle to operate the company, Another series that lasted just the one season (32 episodes). View promo on YouTube.
  • Peyton Place; aired on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30. A prime time soap opera based on former novels and films. This was a hit for ABC but no without controversy. Some groups criticized the series for the sexual themes. A couple of the break-out stars were Mia Farrow and Ryan O’Neal. In June 1965 the series was expanded to 3 half-hours per week. The series ended in June 1969 with 514 episodes having been produced. View the first few minutes of an episode on YouTube.
  • Shindig!; Wednesday at 8:30. A music song with DJ host Jimmy O’Neill. It featured all the popular acts of the time including some of the groups of the British invasion. (See The Beatles on Shindig!, below) The series lasted until January 1966. View opening medley from a show on YouTube.
  • Mickey; Wednesday at 9:00. A comedy starring Mickey Rooney as a retired businessman, inherits a luxury hotel in Newport Beach, California, and decides to run it. He finds that the hotel was deeply in debt. The series only aired until January 1965 with only 17 episodes. That makes it the biggest flop for ABC of fall 1964.
  • ABC Scope; Wednesday at 10:30. A current affairs and documentary series. Lasted until March 1968.
  • Bewitched; Thursday at 9:00. The comedy series about a witch that marries a human was in B&W for its first season. Just the same it became the second most popular series of the 1964-65 season. The series was able to last 8 seasons in spite of having two men playing Darrin Stevens and two women as Gladys Kravitz.
  • Jonny Quest; Friday at 7:30. An animated adventure series about a boy with his scientist father, a  bodyguard an Indian friend a Jonny’s dog, Bandit. It only had 26 episodes which ran in prime time for a year. After that the series ran on Saturday morning for many years. View opening credits on YouTube.
  • The Addams Family; Friday at 8:30. This ghoulish comedy was based on the comics characters created by Charles Addams. Everyone in this family was strange and had a hard time dealing with the outside world. This series only lasted two years but it spawned a couple of animated series, 3 feature films and another series in 1998 called The New Addams Family. View the opening credits on YouTube and sing along.
  • Valentine’s Day; Friday at 9:00. A comedy starring Tony Franciosa about a playboy that is an editor in a publishing firm. It only managed to last one season (34 episodes).
  • Twelve O’clock High; Friday at 9:30. After Combat had been a hit for ABC the two previous seasons, they decided to try another war series. This time with a crew of bombers in England during WWII. Watch the entire first episode on YouTube.