New TV Shows of Fall 1968 – NBC

NBC will end up having the highest rated show of the 1968-69 season with Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. They would only introduce 7 new series; one of which was a big flop and one which end up in the top 10 series of the year.

As before, the links in the titles are to Wikipedia where you can find more information on each show.

These were the new shows that aired on NBC starting in fall 1968 (All times Eastern Time Zone):

  • The New Adventures of Huck Finn; Sunday at 7:00. This was from Hanna-Barbera and featured three live action children (Huck, Becky & Tom) with animated characters and backgrounds. Expensive and time-consuming to produce. It only lasted one season with 20 episodes being produced. This clip from one episode will give you a feel for the series. Episodes were later run on Saturday mornings as part of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.
  • The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show; Sunday at 10:00. This was a variety and comedy show. Phyliss had as regulars Norm Crosby and Rip Taylor. This was a big flop and was only on for 13 episodes. No clips online at all and that is probably a good thing as Phyliss could do better than this show.
  • Diahann Carroll in “Julia”

  • Julia; Tuesday at 8:30. Remembered as being the first TV series for having an African-American woman in the starring role not as a maid or housekeeper. It was also a big hit and ended up being the 7th most popular series of the year. It centered a widow (Diahann Carroll) being a nurse and also having a young son to care for at the same time. It ran for 3 seasons (86 episodes) and was cancelled mostly because Ms. Carroll didn’t want to continue. Watch the opening credits on YouTube.
  • The Outsider; Wednesday at 10:00. Darren McGavin stars as a down on his luck private eye who lives in a rundown apartment and leads an unglamorous life. Failed to be a hit and was cancelled after just one season.
  • Name of the Game; Friday at 8:30. This 90 minute series had three rotating stars in Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack. It revolved around a magazine and the stories they are writing. Ended up running for 3 seasons with 76 episodes being produced. Watch the open and closing credit on YouTube.
  • Adam-12; Saturday at 7:30. This was a realistic police drama which followed two officers of the A Police Department. Co-created by Jack Webb, who also created Dragnet. This may have not been the most popular new series of the year by NBC but ended up running the longest for a total of 7 season (176 episodes). Watch the opening credits for the first season on YouTube. Also if you have Hulu, there are many episodes that you can watch on that website.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; Saturday at 8:30. This series was  based on a movie by the same name from 1947. It is about a widow with two kids that moves into a haunted seaside cottage. It ran just one season on NBC but was then picked up by ABC for another season. It didn’t do any better in the ratings so ABC cancelled it. You can watch the opening credits on YouTube and you can also watch all 50 episodes on YouTube.

Sources used in this series of articles:

  1. The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs; 1947-1979 (1979) by Vincent Terrace.
  2. The Complete Directory to Prime Time and Network and Cable TV Shows; 1946-Present (1995) by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
  3. Wikipedia