We're about two weeks into the new season, and the pages of TV Guide are filled with ads for new network lineups. NBC is particularly aggressive about this; they have ads for each night of the week, and they're making a big deal out of how many of their shows are in color. (As always, you can click on any of these images to enlarge, although I can't be held responsible for how large the images might appear.)
NBC's Sunday night lineup has some clear hits; Friday night - not so much. But hey - they're in color!*
*Except for Convoy, a World War II drama that was forced to take the B&W route since it was heavily dependence on old war footage. Because of that, many NBC affiliates refused to clear the show, and it was gone before the end of the year. Not that the rest of them (excluding U.N.C.L.E. did much better.)
This ABC ad from Sunday night is interesting; unlike the NBC ad above, this one doesn't mention the local affiliates. Maybe it's because ABC was also investing heavily in color broadcasts - but, as we learn from the individual program listings, Channel 6 in Austin does not yet colorcast. Perhaps that's why ABC was perennially in third place back then - people didn't know where to find the stations. (That's a joke.)
Oh wait, here's one that includes the channel numbers. But this from the sponsor, not ABC. And Channel 6 still doesn't colorcast.*
*They would eventually go to color in 1967.
CBS alone foregoes advertising the entire night's programming. I'm not sure why; perhaps I missed it from a previous issue, or maybe I'll run across it next week. I've seen them in the past, though. As a matter of fact, they have precious little advertising of any kind in this issue, but they do manage to sneak in a sole ad for the Thursday Night Movie. And it includes channel identification! (By the way, the movie's in black and white.)
And we wouldn't want to forget him, would we?
A couple of stray observations: this week's cover story is a fairly snarky piece by Thomas B. Morgan as he accompanies Jackie Gleason and his TV family (and a couple dozen reporters) on their raucous train journey from New York to Miami Beach, where he taped his weekly variety show, to kick off the new season. I'm not a big fan of this type of journalism, which was seen frequently in TV Guide (as well as other magazines) in this era. There's a condensation to Morgan's tone, a sense that he's taking overheard conversations and trying to put them in the worst light, ridiculing them without the tone or style of, say, P.J. O'Rourke.
Johnny Carson's celebrating his third anniversary as host of the Tonight show; could anyone have imagined there were, what, 27 more of these to go? It's not a clipfest as we would become accustomed to in years to come, just a regular show with Jerry Lewis and George Burns as guests.
And finally, the jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi is the subject of the NET documentary Anatomy of a Hit, profiling the recording sessions for his new album, Black Orpheus, including the Grammy-winning hit "Cast Your Fate to the Wind."
Guaraldi was a wonderfully talented musician - if the name doesn't sound familiar, perhaps this, his biggest hit, does. You might have heard it a time or two.