February 29, 2016

What's on TV? Sunday, March 4, 1956

We've returned to North Texas for this week's listings. In this current run of mid-'50s Dallas TV Guides, I don't think we've taken a look at Sundays, or if we have it's been quite a while. As might be expected for the time, Sunday mornings are heavy on religious broadcasting, and programming also starts much later in the morning than it does during the week.

One of our observant readers pointed out recently that back in the day, television signals between Dallas and Fort Worth weren't always reliable, which is why you'll occasionally see the same program on two different stations in what is ostensibly the same market. It's why both WBAP in Fort Worth and WFAA in Dallas have joint NBC/ABC affiliation, although WFAA has always been primarily with ABC, and WBAP with NBC. It also reminds us that 40 miles was a much longer distance back then than it is today.



KRLD, Channel 4 (Dallas) (CBS)

Morning


08:30a
The Christophers

09:00a
Lamp Unto My Feet

09:30a
Loop Up and Live

10:00a
Faith for Today

10:30a
Camera Three

11:00a
Church Service

Afternoon


12:00p
News (local)

12:15p
Western Frolics

01:00p
Wild Bill Hickok

01:30p
Gene Autry

02:00p
Face the Nation (guest Sen. William Knowland)

02:30p
Magic in Fashions

02:45p
Songs of Inspiration

03:00p
Front Row Center

04:00p
Omnibus

05:30p
You Are There

Evening


06:00p
Lassie

06:30p
Private Secretary

07:00p
Ed Sullivan (guests James Cagney, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Burt Lancaster, Kim Novak, Fredric March, Walt Disney)

08:00p
G.E. Theater

08:30p
Alfred Hitchcock Presents

09:00p
Appointment With Adventure

09:30p
What’s My Line?

10:00p
CBS Sunday News (Walter Cronkite)

10:15p
Weather (local)

10:25p
Movietime – “Ghost Story”

11:45p
Search for Beauty

This is the first of three separate broadcasts of The Christophers in this issue. The Christophers, under founder Fr. James Keller, were known for a strong media presence, and their program is still produced today, although I'm not aware of any particular place where it's still shown. (Of course, I haven't paid much attention to local television lately, either.) If it airs in your area, let me know.


WBAP, Channel 5 (Fort Worth) (NBC, ABC)

Morning


09:45a
Christian Science Program

10:00a
The Christophers

10:30a
Air Force Digest

10:45a
Man to Man

11:00a
Movie – To Be Announced

Afternoon


12:00p
Industry on Parade

12:15p
Cartoon Capers

12:30p
Movie Marquee – “Father Takes the Air”

01:30p
Christian Questions

02:00p
Movie – “Mystery Man”

03:00p
Wide Wide World

04:30p
Captain Gallant

05:00p
Meet the Press

05:30p
Roy Rogers

Evening


06:00p
You Asked For It

06:30p
Famous Film Festival – “Caesar and Cleopatra” part 1

08:00p
Original Amateur Hour

09:00p
Loretta Young

09:30p
Justice

10:00p
News, Weather (local)

10:30p
Les Paul-Mary Ford

10:35p
Movie Marquee – “History is Made at Night”

I find it interesting that Famous Film Festival is showing the movie version of Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra," considering Producers' Showcase is airing a new version of it the following night. However, whereas that version stars Claire Bloom and Sir Cedric Hardwicke, the movie version we're seeing here, from 1945, has Vivien Leigh and Claude Rains. I'm shocked, shocked to find these two versions running on consecutive days.


KCEN, Channel 6 (Temple) (NBC)

Morning


11:55a
Program Previews

Afternoon


12:00p
American Forum

12:30p
Frontiers of Faith

01:00p
What’s New in Homes

01:30p
Video Workshop

02:30p
Zoo Parade

03:00p
Wide Wide World

04:30p
This Is the Life

05:00p
Meet the Press

05:30p
Spotlight on Texas

05:45p
Two on the Aisle

Evening


06:00p
It’s a Great Life

06:30p
News, Weather (local)

06:45p
News Review

07:00p
Colgate Comedy Hour (hostess Gail Storm, guests Jonathan Winters, Pat Sheehan, Stan Freberg, Bert Lahr)

08:00p
Star Playhouse

08:30p
The Great Gildersleeve

09:00p
Loretta Young

09:30p
Justice

10:00p
News, Weather (local)

10:15p
Late Date Theater – “Dressed to Kill”

At 2:30pm it's Zoo Parade, which was Marlin Perkins' forerunner to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, which he starred in with Jim Fowler. At this point it's been on the air for six years, airing from the famed Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Marlin's colleague for this program is Jim Hurlbut, which tells me you apparently have to be named Jim to get an on-air job with Marlin.


WFAA, Channel 8 (Dallas) (NBC, ABC)

Morning


09:15a
This is America

09:30a
This Is the Life

10:00a
Kaleidoscope

10:15a
Man to Man

10:30a
Frontiers of Faith

11:00a
Church Service

Afternoon


12:00p
American Forum

12:30p
Week’s Business Review 

12:45p
News

01:00p
Million Dollar Movie – “The Miracle of the Bells”

02:15p
Spotlight on Texas

02:30p
Zoo Parade

03:00p
Dr. Hudson’s Secret Journal

03:30p
Hans Christian Andersen

04:00p
Super Circus

05:00p
Judge Roy Bean

05:30p
Soldiers of Fortune

Evening


06:00p
It’s a Great Life

06:30p
Frontier

07:00p
Colgate Comedy Hour (hostess Gail Storm, guests Jonathan Winters, Pat Sheehan, Stan Freberg, Bert Lahr)

08:00p
The Alcoa Hour

09:00p
Science Fiction Theater

09:30p
Headline

10:00p
The Great Gildersleeve

10:30p
Patti Page

10:45p
Channel 8 Theater – “Three Faces West”

The "Million Dollar Movie" is a popular item in these parts; three different local channels have one. (Not including "Million Dollar Theater," which airs during the week on KWTX.) The usual modus operandi for the Million Dollar Movie, which began on WOR in New York in 1955, was to run the same movie in the same timeslot for an entire week. I see that this varies from station to station; KFJZ (which I've just learned to call WTVT), for example, airs one movie from Monday through Wednesday, and then introduces another one on Thursday and Friday. This kind of repeat programming predates HBO by, what, twenty years or so? 


KWTX, Channel 10 (Waco) (CBS, ABC)

Morning


10:30a
Tips on Ten

10:35a
The Pastor

10:50a
Church Service

11:30a
Film Featurette

Afternoon


12:00p
The Christophers

12:30p
Oral Roberts

01:00p
Chaplain of the Air

01:15p
Living

01:45p
Matinee 10 Theater – Bachelor’s Daughters”

03:15p
Industry on Parade

03:30p
Herring’s Hideaway

04:00p
Omnibus

05:30p
You Are There

Evening


06:00p
Amos ‘n’ Andy

06:30p
Private Secretary

07:00p
Ed Sullivan (guests James Cagney, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Burt Lancaster, Kim Novak, Fredric March, Walt Disney)

08:00p
G.E. Theater

08:30p
Patty Page

08:45p
Statesmen Quartet

09:00p
Science Fiction Theater

09:30p
What’s My Line?

10:00p
News, Weather, Sports (local)

10:25p
Sports

10:30p
Million Dollar Movie – “The Mask of Diijon”

It's too bad we aren't doing "Sullivan vs. The Palace" in the '50s; Ed's lineup tonight would have blown The Hollywood Palace away. Or if it didn't, I'd like to see what Palace had to offer. 


KFJZ, Channel 11 (Fort Worth) (Ind.)

Morning


11:00a
Church Service

Afternoon


12:00p
This Is Your Music

12:30p
Curtain Call

01:00p
TCU Telerama

01:30p
Sunday Matinee – “Spring in Park Lane”

03:15p
Sports (local)

03:30p
News Review, Weather (local)

04:00p
Roy Rogers Theater – “Garden City Kid”

05:00p
Range Rider

05:30p
Ramar of the Jungle

Evening


06:00p
My Hero

06:30p
Million Dollar Movie – “Don’t Trust Your Husband”

08:00p
Mayor of the Town

08:30p
Amos ‘n’ Andy

09:00p
Confidential File

09:30p
The Falcon

10:00p
News, Weather (local)

10:20p
Hollywood

10:35p
Starlight Theater – “Captain Sirocco”

Then as now, Channel 11 is the independent channel in DFW. I suspect that before too many years are up, we won't be seeing Amos 'n' Andy in prime time anymore; when it aired in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the early '60s, it was almost always on late night. Just another example of how television's mores have changed over the years.

6 comments:

  1. A few comments:

    (1) Since 1995, KTVT has been the CBS affiliate for Dallas/orrt Worth (and more recently, a CBS O&O).

    (2) I suspect that today, all the Dallas/Fort Worth TV station transmitters are halfway between the two cities.

    (3) I could have seen WBAP-TV and WFAA-TV sharing NBC and ABC as making sense if they shared two different channels (i.e. WBAP broadcasting on Channel 5 and WFAA broadcasting on Channel 8 part of the day; then WBAP would broadcast on Channel 8 and WFAA on Channel 5 for the rest of the day).

    But then again, WBAP and WFAA shared two radio frequencies until the early 1970's. But then again, NBC was always on 820 and ABC (later ABC's American Entertainment Radio Network) was always on 570, regardless of who was broadcasting on which frequency.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (1) I was going to make the same point about KTVT's current CBS affiliation (for the last 20+ years), but you beat me to it. On the same day that KTVT switched from indie to CBS, KDFW-TV went from CBS to Fox, KDAF switched from Fox to WB (now CW), and KXTX (which is now affiliated with Telemundo) went from WB (only for 5 months) to indie.
      (2) I think that most of the transmitters share a peak in SW Dallas Co. near Cedar Hill, so they are between Dallas & Ft. Worth, if a bit south of both.

      Delete
  2. Jon H :

    You didn't include the year of the affiliate pinball in Dallas-Fort Worth ...

    Was this the year that FOX outbid CBS for the National Football Conference games?

    Many CBS stations, including the entire Storer chain in the Midwest (Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee among others), jumped to FOX within hours of that announcement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Storer's TV station assets had been sold to New World Communications by the time Fox got the NFL. Additionally, one New World station (WSBK Boston) didn't switch to Fox since Fox then had an O&O in the Hub (WFXT). WSBK was sold shortly afterwards.

      Fox eventually bought most of the New World stations it had affiliated with.

      I don't recall hearing or reading about any TV stations jumping to Fox "within hours" of Fox announcing it had acquired the NFC portion of the NFL's Sunday-afternoon TV package. But within a few weeks (or months) after Fox acquired football, there were several stations switching, which caused a tsunami of TV affiliation swaps, even in cities (like Philadelphia and Boston) where the Fox affiliation didn't move.

      Delete
  3. Imagine: no sports on Sunday afternoon, on any channel. There were no major pro teams in Texas at this time, and colleges wouldn't have played games on the Sabbath. Maybe there would have been minor-league baseball or something come later in the spring, but nothing on a Sunday in March. Imagine that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There may have been Saturday-afternoon NBA basketball games (instead of Sunday afternoon games) in the 1955-56 season.

      The National Hockey League (then all of six teams!) wouldn't make it's network debut until the 1956-57 season.

      Delete

Thanks for writing! Drive safely!