It is that time of year again. Time for new shows on your TV. Seeing as this blog is about historical things, I will be reporting about the new shows from 50 years ago. Only one of these shows is still on in syndication while most are just a memory. The links in the titles are to Wikipedia where you can find more information on each show. The broadcast times are all Eastern Time Zone.
ABC had 11 series for fall 1967. Only one of those lasted three year. The highest rated show on ABC for 1967-8 was Bewitched in it’s 4th season which was the 11th most popular show of the season.
- Cowboy In Africa; Monday at 7:30 starred Chuck Connors as a rancher that goes to Africa to run a game reserve. When he arrives a boy adopts Connors’ character as a father. Filmed at the California par Africa U.S.A.
Chuck has a link to Rochester as he played professional Basketball on the old Rochester Royals. His best known TV series was The Rifleman (1958-63) which can still be seen today in Rochester every afternoon on MeTV (channel 10.2). Cowboy in Africa did manage to complete a whole season of 26 episodes. Even that was amazing as it was up against Gunsmoke on CBS and The Monkees on NBC. View the opening credits on YouTube.
- Garrison’s Gorillas; Tuesday at 7:30. This show was about a group of prisoners in the US that were recruited during WWII to battle the Germans. Kind of like the movie The Dirty Dozen except with a group of 5. The show only lasted one season of 26 episodes. Years later it was exported to China where it was a big hit. In fact, all 26 episodes are on YouTube with Chinese titles ( but the original English dialog).
- N.Y.P.D.; Tuesday at 9:30. A half-hour police drama that was filmed on location in NYC. It starred Jack Warden as the head of the police detectives. This series lasted two seasons. Watch the opening credits only if you don’t easily get dizzy.
- Custer; Wednesday at 7:30. This series centered around George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry just after the Civil War. The series was a big failure and only lasted until Dec. 1967. It was replaced by the British series, The Avengers, with the first of the color episodes of that show. You can watch all 17 episodes of Custer on YouTube.
- The Second Hundred Years; Wednesday at 8:30. This was supposedly a comedy series but with a complex back story. In 1900 Luke Carpenter was frozen in ice in Alaska. When he was unthawed in 1967 he had not aged. He moved in with his now older son and his grandson. Monte Markham played both Luke Carpenter and his grandson. Sound funny? It wasn’t! So it only lasted one season. Watch the opening credits on YouTube.
- The Flying Nun; Thursday at 8:00. Sally Field starred as a novice nun who because she was so small could fly with aid of her order’s head wear. Hated by critics because of simple plots; it was popular with the public. The series lasted three seasons and all 82 episodes are still airing somewhere on TV right now. Watch the opening credits on YouTube.
- Good Company; Thursday at 10:00. This was an interview show n which lawyer F. Lee Bailey would interview celebrities in their homes. Bailey would later be known as one of the lawyers defending O. J. Simpson. This series didn’t work out well for Bailey. It disappeared in December.
- Off to See the Wizard; Friday at 7:30. The only thing that this series had to do with the movie The Wizard of Oz is that animated characters from the film introduced live action films for children. Seeing as a lot of the films were almost two hours, they had to be split over two weeks. The series lasted just one season.
- Hondo; Friday at 8:30. Based on the 1953 movie of the same name which starred John Wayne. This series starred lackluster Ralph Taeger but had Noah Berry Jr. as a costar. This series was on a channel that I received a couple of years ago. I could only watch 3 episodes. That was more than enough to know that it was pretty bad. Only 17 episodes were filmed. Watch the opening credits on YouTube.
- The Guns of Will Sonnett; Friday at 9:30. Walter Brennan starred in this half hour western where he and his grandson are searching for Will’s son James who is wanted by the law. They always seem to be just one step behind him. At the end of two seasons they did find James. 50 episodes produced and at least 40 of those episodes are on YouTube.
- Judd, for the Defense; Friday at 10:00. This series starred Carl Betz as a high-powered and high-priced defense lawyer in Houston, Texas. The series last two seasons. Watch the opening credits on YouTube.
Sources used in this series of articles:
- The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs; 1947-1979 (1979) by Vincent Terrace.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time and Network and Cable TV Shows; 1946-Present (1995) by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh