March 9, 2016

What's on TV? Saturday, March 9, 1957

Have you heard the one about the man who never missed a day of work until one day when he fell into a routine? I'm here all week, folks!

Seriously, I am a creature of habit. Even when it comes to watching classic television; we never binge-watch, but stick to one episode a week, if possible on the night of the week when the program generally aired. This might explain why this week's TV listing is running on Wednesday, rather than Monday, for if you looked in at the start of the week (and if you didn't, why not?), you know that was the day of my entry in the TV Sidekick Blogathon. Now, I could have simply posted this later in the day, or on Tuesday, but holding to that Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule is important. It's a routine I've become comfortable with over the years, and I try to keep to it whenever possible. This week it was possible, and so you're getting Monday's edition today. Think of it as a special Wednesday version.



KRLD, Channel 4 (Dallas) (CBS)

Morning


08:00a
Johnny Jupiter

08:30a
Captain Kangaroo

09:30a
SMU College of the Air

10:30a
Texas Rangers

11:00a
Mighty Mouse

11:30a
Buffalo Bill, Jr.

Afternoon


12:00p
The Lone Ranger

12:30p
Sky King

01:00p
NHL Hockey – Detroit Red Wings vs. Boston Bruins (last show of the series)

03:15p
Open Door

03:30p
Jill Corey

03:45p
TV Bible School

04:00p
Cartoons

04:15p
Questions That Count

04:30p
Boston Blackie

05:00p
Famous Playhouse

05:30p
Big “D” Jamboree

Evening


06:00p
Death Valley Days

06:30p
The Buccaneers

07:00p
Jackie Gleason

08:00p
Oh! Susanna

08:30p
Hey, Jeannie!

09:00p
Gunsmoke

09:30p
You’re On Your Own

10:00p
The Brothers

10:30p
The Gourmet

11:00p
Wrestling

Johnny Jupiter is a kids' program I hadn't heard of before, which was as good a reason as any for me to look at this late-'50s Saturday lineup. It has a checkered history, running first on DuMont and then ABC before going off the air in 1954. The always-reliable Wikipedia mentions that the ABC episodes survived, and so I suspect they may have gone into syndication, explaining why it's showing up here. Either that, or KRLD was just picking up the transmissions as they were ricocheting off of the planet Jupiter. What you see here is apparently from DuMont.




WBAP, Channel 5 (Fort Worth) (NBC)

Morning


08:30a
Let’s Teach

09:00a
Howdy Doody

09:30a
Captain Midnight

10:00a
Fury

10:30a
Bobby Peters

11:00a
Six Gun Theater – “Colorado Serenade”

Afternoon


12:00p
Farm News

12:30p
Florian Zabach

01:00p
This is the Answer

01:30p
NBA Basketball ­– Fort Wayne Pistons vs. St. Louis Hawks

03:30p
Saturday Matinee – “Kit Carson”

05:30p
Frankie Laine

05:55p
Weather (Gene Reynolds)

Evening


06:00p
Kit Carson

06:30p
All Star Theater

07:00p
Perry Como (guests Ethel Merman, the Mills Brothers) (color)

08:00p
Caesar's Hour

09:00p
George Gobel (guests Jack Carson, Erin O’Brien)

09:30p
Your Hit Parade

10:00p
Texas News

10:15p
Weather

10:25p
News (Jack Nunnery)

10:30p
Movietime U.S.A. – “The Saint in Palm Springs”

The prime time lineup would have been considered a strong one. We have Perry Como, with one of the rare color broadcasts of the time (on NBC, of course), followed by Caesar's Hour, Sid Caesar's follow-up to the hit Your Show of Shows. Caesar's Hour never achieved quite the heights of  the earlier show, though. Then there's George Gobel's variety show, which at one time was one of the top-rated programs on television, and ran from 1954 to 1960.


KCEN, Channel 6 (Temple) (NBC)

Morning


08:55a
Program Previews

09:00a
Howdy Doody

09:30a
I Married Joan

10:00a
Fury

10:30a
Cowboy Theater

11:30a
Watch Mr. Wizard

Afternoon


12:00p
Fun and Non-Such

12:30p
Herald of Truth

01:00p
Navy Diary

01:30p
NBA Basketball ­– Fort Wayne Pistons vs. St. Louis Hawks

03:30p
Family Theater

04:00p
Workshop for Living

04:20p
Movie – “Rogue of the Plains”

05:20p
News, Weather, Sports (local)

05:35p
Senator Jarrad Secrest

05:45p
Safety Film

Evening


06:00p
Bluebonnet Barn Dance

06:30p
People Are Funny

07:00p
Perry Como (guests Ethel Merman, the Mills Brothers) (color)

08:00p
Sid Caesar

09:00p
George Gobel (guests Jack Carson, Erin O’Brien)

09:30p
Your Hit Parade

10:00p
News (Ted Lumpkin)

10:10p
Weather (Jim Pridgeon)

10:15p
Sports (Ted Lumpkin)

10:20p
Late Date Theater – “Woman in His Life”

You're not seeing things on that NBA Game of the Week. The Detroit Pistons did at one point, in fact, call Fort Wayne, Indiana home. In fact, up until 1948, they were called the Zollner Pistons after their owner, Fred Zollner. This is their last season in Fort Wayne though; next year they move to Detroit, which they've called home ever since.  Their opponents are the St. Louis Hawks, who started out representing the Tri-Cities of Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, before moving to Milwaukee, and then St. Louis, where they'll win the NBA championship next season. In 1968 they'll move once again, this time to Atlanta.


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

Morning


08:00a
Agriculture on Parade

08:15a
Cowboy Classics – “Courageous Avenger”

09:15a
Off to Adventure (color)

09:30a
I Married Joan

10:00a
His Honor Homer Bell

10:30a
Cowboy Theater

11:30a
Tales of the Frontier

Afternoon


12:00p
Quiz ‘em on TV

01:00p
Foreign Legionnaires

01:30p
NBA Basketball ­– Fort Wayne Pistons vs. St. Louis Hawks

03:30p
Bowling Time

04:30p
Jungle Jim

05:00p
Odd Man Out

05:30p
My Little Margie

Evening


06:00p
Stars of Grand Ole Opry

06:30p
People Are Funny

07:00p
The Star and the Story

07:30p
Uncommon Valor

08:00p
Lawrence Welk

09:00p
Ozark Jubilee (guests Brenda Lee, Jim Edward and Maxine and Bonnie Brown, Speedy Haworth and Slim Wilson)

09:30p
Science Fiction Theater

10:00p
Frontier

10:30p
News (Joe Templeton)

10:45p
Sports (Jerry Haynes)

11:00p
Channel 8 Theater – “Sabre Jet”

You might have noticed the 9:30am listing, I Married Joan. I wonder about that; even in the 1950s, where there are more live-action Saturday morning shows than later on, that seems like a very adult program. Not in terms of its themes or its seriousness; it's a sitcom starring Joan Davis and Jim Backus. No, I just mean that it was in prime time for three seasons, and it doesn't involve stories about children, like Fury or National Velvet or Sky King. It would be like putting Dick Van Dyke on Saturday mornings. There was a fair share of slapstick to it though; maybe kids liked that the way they do the Three Stooges. 


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

Morning


08:30a
Captain Kangaroo

09:30a
Mighty Mouse

10:00a
Winky Dink and You

10:30a
Let’s Explore

11:00a
News (local)

11:30a
Let’s Teach

Afternoon


12:00p
Plan for the Future

12:15p
Camp Fire Circle

12:30p
Wild Bill Hickok

01:00p
NHL Hockey – Detroit vs. Boston (last show of the series)

03:15p
Report to the People

03:30p
The Big Picture (Army)

04:00p
Superman

04:30p
Eddy Arnold

05:00p
This is the Life

05:30p
Home Folks Frolic

Evening


06:00p
Wire Service

07:00p
Jackie Gleason

08:00p
Lawrence Welk

09:00p
Gunsmoke

09:30p
Hey, Jeannie!

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

10:30p
You’re On Your Own

11:00p
Million Dollar Theater – “Down Missouri Way”

I've talked about the lack of local programming today, although the morning and afternoon "news" shows seem to fill part of that gap. But local variety shows, such as Home Folks Frolic, don't seem to be as common. That's how Lawrence Welk started out, you know, as a local show host. I remember the polka show on KCMT, Channel 7, called Chmielewski Funtime. I hope, for their sake, Home Folks Frolic was better.


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

Afternoon


12:00p
Channel 11 Extra

12:30p
Telerama

01:00p
Million Dollar Matinee – “Lady, Let’s Dance”

02:30p
New Horizons

03:15p
Dude Ranchers

03:30p
Hollywood Off-Beat

04:00p
Movie – Western

05:00p
Teen Club

Evening


06:00p
Championship Bowling

07:00p
San Francisco Beat

07:30p
Charles Boyer Theater

08:00p
Million Dollar Movie – “Penitentiary”

09:30p
News, Weather (local)

09:45p
Boxing – Turner vs. Gwin (taped March 4)

10:30p
Command Performance – “Appointment in Berlin”

You remember Channel 5's 10:30pm movie, "The Saint in Paul Springs"? It stars George Sanders, who played Simon Templar, aka The Saint, in five movies, this being the last. At the very same time, George Sanders stars in "Appointment in Berlin" here on Channel 11. And it's not even his birthday! I always enjoyed his performances, which were invariably dry, especially in his comedies, such as "A Shot in the Dark." He suffered from poor health in his later years and committed suicide in 1972, saying he was bored with life. I hope, for his sake, he was not in his right mind when he did it.

3 comments:

  1. Two sports notes:

    (1) The NHL game on CBS, although the "last game of the series", was not a game of the Stanley Cup Finals, but the end of the regular-season. CBS didn't carry playoff games during the four years (1956/57 through 1959/60) they carried the NHL in the late 1950's.

    It wasn't until 1966 (when NBC carried a few Sunday-afternoon playoff games, including a couple of games of the Finals) that the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs appeared on U.S. network television.

    (2) While a few local TV stations may have had videotape gear as early as March of 1957, I doubt KFJZ did, and thus, I suspect that Channel 11's boxing match was either film or a kinescope recording....unless the TV Guide listing specifically indicated "tape".

    ReplyDelete
  2. In order, more or less:

    - The Johnny Jupiter episode is from the ABC run.
    That's Wright King in the lead role with his huge shock of dark hair;
    ultimately, it became a huge shock of white hair, as Wright King continued his acting career into his 80s.
    The DuMont version was live, and starred the much older Vaughn Taylor; none of those shows survive.

    - The "Saint" movie is part of the Movietime USA package, which consisted of the entire feature output of RKO Radio Pictures from the '30s to the early '50s.
    I believe I mentioned in an earlier comment that the ABC owned stations, including ch7 here in Chicago, bought this film package back in '56, retaining broadcast rights in perpetuity; I'd guess that Ft. Worth's ch 5 got the same deal.

    - One of the reasons I never became an NBA follower:
    During this time frame, Chicago didn't have an NBA franchise.
    We finally got one, circa 1960: the Chicago Packers.
    - who became the Chicago Zephyrs.
    - who became the Baltimore Bullets.
    - who became the Washington Bullets.
    - who became the Capitol Bullets.
    - who became the Washington Wizards.

    The Bulls? They didn't even come into being until the late '60s, when the NBA became expansion-crazy.

    - I Married Joan was NBC's network offering on Saturday mornings.
    But local stations were running old prime-time shows on weekend mornings for years by this time.
    Shows produced for younger audiences often began their runs in early prime time, before relocating to weekend mornings. The cartoon takeover didn't happen until the early '60s.

    - George Sanders was the subject of a biography published a few years after his death.
    Actor Brian Aherne, one of Sanders's closest friends, wrote the book, which he titled A Dreadful Man. This title came from another close friend, but it seemed to sum up a consensual opinion about George Sanders that even people who liked him had.
    Not to play amateur diagnostician here, but much of what Aherne wrote in his book seems to describe bipolar disorder, about which far less was known in Sanders's lifetime than today.

    -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About the Bulls...in case you're wondering, the current NBA Chicago franchise actually started in 1966. HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY, BULLS!

      Delete

And now for something completely different.