May 2, 2016

What's on TV: Monday, May 6, 1957

One of the most enjoyable things about looking through old periodicals, whether it's TV Guide or some other publication, is finding names that had little significance at the time, but acquired an increased amount of fame in the years to come. Many of you may have seen the "Faces in the Crowd" feature in Sports Illustrated, for example, with some blurb about Tiger Woods before he was 10, or something similar, and there are a few names in the listings this week, as well as some others to whom a little bit of attention should be called.  This week's shows are from Boston, with Portland, Providence and Manchester thrown in for good measure.




WGBH, Channel 2 (Educ.)

Afternoon


05:15p
Magic Doorways

05:30p
Playhouse

Evening


06:00p
Latin Americas

06:30p
News (Louis Lyons)

06:45p
Background

07:00p
Bulletin Board

07:30p
French Course

08:00p
Boston University Arts Conference

09:00p
America Looks Abroad

09:30p
Images

10:00p
Piano Recital

10:15p
News (local)

Louis Lyons, who anchored the 6:30 evening news and the following show, Background (and probably the 10:15 news as well, although it wasn't listed in the TV Guide) was a legend in the Boston area, beginning as a columnist for the Boston Globe in the '20s. There's an award named after him, the Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism, from Harvard, and that name alone tells us a lot about the man. At this link you can see Lyons interviewing Edward R. Murrow for WGBH.


WBZ, Channel 4 (NBC)

Morning


06:30a
Horizons

06:45a
Daily Almanac

06:55a
Weather (Don Kent)

07:00a
Today

08:55a
The Morning Movie – “Gambling Lady”

10:00a
Home

11:00a
The Price is Right

11:30a
Truth or Consequences

Afternoon


12:00p
News, Weather (local) 

12:15p
Big Brother

01:00p
Movie – “Life Begins”

02:30p
Tennessee Ernie Ford

03:00p
Matinee Theater – “Show of Strength” (color)

04:00p
Queen for a Day

04:45p
Movie – “Brother Rat”

Evening


06:45p
News (Arch Macdonald)

07:00p
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

07:30p
Nat “King” Cole

07:45p
The Huntley-Brinkley Report

08:00p
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (color)

08:30p
Tales of Wells Fargo

09:00p
Twenty-One

09:30p
Robert Montgomery Presents (color)

10:30p
The Man Called X

11:00p
News (local)

11:15p
Ford Theatre

11:45p
Tonight! America After Dark

I often wondered about the program Ford Theatre. The anthology series started out on radio before moving to television. It's named after its sponsor, of course, the Ford Motor Company, but all the same it's kind of like a show named "Texas School Book Depository Theatre," don't you think?


WCSH, Channel 6 (Portland) (NBC)

Morning


06:55a
Farm Market News

07:00a
Today

09:00a
Kaleidoscope

09:30a
Romper Room

10:00a
Home

11:00a
The Price is Right

11:30a
Truth or Consequences

Afternoon


12:00p
Tic Tac Dough

12:30p
It Could Be You

01:00p
Downeast Datelines

01:30p
Trouble with Father

02:00p
Homemaking

02:30p
Tennessee Ernie Ford

03:00p
Matinee Theater – “Show of Strength” (color)

04:00p
Queen for a Day

04:45p
Modern Romances

05:00p
Topper

05:30p
Fun House

Evening


06:00p
Superman

06:30p
News, Sports, Weather (local)

07:00p
Youth Cavalcade

07:30p
Nat “King” Cole

07:45p
The Huntley-Brinkley Report

08:00p
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (color)

08:30p
Tales of Wells Fargo

09:00p
Twenty-One

09:30p
Robert Montgomery Presents (color)

10:30p
Ozzie and Harriet

11:00p
News (local)

11:15p
Tonight! America After Dark

The star of The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (playing, not surprisingly, Sir Lancelot) was Willliam Russell, perhaps better known to TV fans as Ian Chesterton, part of the original TARDIS crew in Doctor Who.


WNAC, Channel 7 (ABC, CBS)

Morning


07:00a
Jimmy Dean

07:45a
Film Short

08:00a
Captain Kangaroo

08:45a
Morning Star Time

10:00a
Garry Moore

10:30a
Arthur Godfrey

11:30a
Strike it Rich

Afternoon


12:00p
Valiant Lady

12:15p
Love of Life

12:30p
Search For Tomorrow

12:45p
The Guiding Light

01:00p
Louise Morgan

01:30p
As the World Turns

02:00p
Mr. and Mrs. North

02:30p
House Party

03:00p
The Big Payoff

03:30p
Bob Crosby

04:00p
The Brighter Day

04:15p
The Secret Storm

04:30p
My Little Margie

05:00p
Mickey Mouse Club

Evening


06:00p
Steve Donovan

06:30p
Rosemary Clooney

07:00p
News, Weather

07:15p
Patti Page

07:30p
Robin Hood

08:00p
Burns and Allen

08:30p
Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts

09:00p
I Love Lucy

09:30p
December Bride

10:00p
Studio One

11:00p
News (local)

11:05p
Dangerous Assignment

11:35p
Movie – “Hangmen Also Die”

Tonight's episode of Studio One (or Studio One in Hollywood, to be precise) is "The Out-of-Towners," a romantic comedy by Tad Mosel (not to be confused with the play of the same name by Neil Simon). Mosel was one of the greats of early television, although his name doesn't always get the same publicity as Serling, Rose, Siliphant and others. (I neglected to mention him myself in my essay on live television last week). He's probably best-known for his play All the Way Home, which won the Pulitzer in 1961, and was based on James Agee's novel A Death in the Family, which won the Pulitzer in 1958. Is that the only time an original work and it's adaptation have both won Pulitzers in different categories?


WMTW, Channel 8 (Portland) (ABC, CBS)

Afternoon


12:00p
News (local)

01:00p
CBS News (Walter Cronkite)

01:10p
Stand Up and Be Counted

01:30p
Rhythm Ranch

02:00p
Our Miss Brooks

02:30p
Cooking Can Be Fun

03:00p
Afternoon Film Festival – “Hamlet” (part 1)

05:00p
Mickey Mouse Club

Evening


06:00p
News (Charles Tarkinson)

06:15p
Movie – “Music for Madame” (part 1)

07:00p
National News

07:30p
Wire Service

08:30p
Voice of Firestone (guest Eugene Conley)

09:00p
All Star Theater

09:30p
Lawrence Welk’s Top Tunes

10:30p
Boxing – Hart vs. Wilson

11:15p
News, Sports, Weather (local)

Charles Tarkinson anchored the first newscast on WMTW when it went on the air in 1954. He stayed with the station until 1962, when he moved over to WGAN, the CBS affiliate in Portland, doing the news until 1970. After that, he went into the insurance business - can you imagine today's news anchors, with their six-figure salaries, making that kind of transition?


WMUR, Channel 9 (Manchester) (ABC, CBS)

Afternoon


02:45p
What’s Your Trouble?

03:00p
Afternoon Film Festival – “Hamlet” (part 1)

04:30p
Cartoons

05:30p
Guest House

Evening


06:00p
News, Sports, Weather

06:15p
Joe Palooka Story

06:45p
Frankie Laine

07:15p
John Daly and the News

07:30p
Wire Service

08:30p
Voice of Firestone (guest Eugene Conley)

09:00p
Press Conference

09:30p
Lawrence Welk’s Top Tunes

10:30p
Boxing – Hart vs. Wilson

11:15p
News, Sports, Weather (local)

11:30p
Movie – “The Trail Beyond”

Press Conference was a lot like Meet the Press, and for good reason - its moderator was Martha Roundtree, who with Lawrence Spivak created Press in 1947. It originally went on the air in a suicide timeslot, going up against Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan. Let's see - variety shows or politics. Which one of these?


WJAR, Channel 10 (Providence) (ABC, NBC)

Morning


06:45a
N.E. Farm Report

06:50a
Industry on Parade

06:55a
News, Weather (local)

07:00a
Today

08:55a
The Morning Movie – “Bullet Scars”

10:00a
Home

11:00a
Operation Schoolhouse

11:30a
Truth or Consequences

Afternoon


12:00p
My Little Margie

12:30p
It Could Be You

01:00p
Movie – “Eight O’Clock Walk”

02:15p
Catholic Chapel

02:30p
Tennessee Ernie Ford

03:00p
Matinee Theater – “Show of Strength” (color)

04:00p
Queen for a Day

04:45p
Modern Romances

05:00p
Cartoons

Evening


06:00p
Superman

06:30p
Looney Tunes

06:45p
News, Sports, Weather (local)

07:00p
Broken Arrow

07:30p
Nat “King” Cole

07:45p
The Huntley-Brinkley Report

08:00p
The Adventures Sir Lancelot (color)

08:30p
Tales of Wells Fargo

09:00p
Twenty-One

09:30p
Robert Montgomery Presents (color)

10:30p
State Trooper

11:00p
News (local)

11:15p
Movie – “Gentleman’s Agreement”

I don't want to make too much of this except there isn't much else to note here, but it's slightly ironic: we all know about the troubles that Nat King Cole had getting sponsors for his show, and clearance from stations in the South, because of his race. Thankfully, such was not the case in New England. As if to reinforce this, the late movie on Channel 10 is Gentleman's Agreement, which has to do with anti-Semitism. A coincidence, I know, but still.


WPRO, Channel 12 (Providence) (CBS)

Morning


07:00a
Jimmy Dean

07:45a
CBS Morning News (Richard C. Hottelet)

08:00a
Captain Kangaroo

08:45a
Romper Room

09:45a
News (Virginia Stuart)

10:00a
Garry Moore

10:30a
Arthur Godfrey

11:30a
Strike it Rich

Afternoon


12:00p
Valiant Lady

12:15p
Love of Life

12:30p
Search For Tomorrow

12:45p
The Guiding Light

01:00p
Amos ‘n’ Andy

01:30p
As the World Turns

02:00p
Trouble with Father

02:30p
House Party

03:00p
The Big Payoff

03:30p
Bob Crosby

04:00p
The Brighter Day

04:15p
The Secret Storm

04:30p
The Edge of Night

05:00p
Mickey Mouse Club

Evening


06:00p
Salty Brine’s Shack

06:30p
News, Sports, Weather

07:00p
Stage 7

07:30p
Robin Hood

08:00p
Burns and Allen

08:30p
Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts

09:00p
I Love Lucy

09:30p
December Bride

10:00p
Studio One

11:00p
News (local)

11:15p
Hollywood Movie Cavalcade – “Polo Joe”

In case you were wondering, according to the always-reliable Wikipedia: "Polo Joe is a 1936 American comedy film directed by William C. McGann and starring Joe E. Brown, Carol Hughes and Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher. Despite a fear of horses, a man takes up polo to impress a woman." If this had been made for TV in 1957, I might be more inclined to agree with Patton Oswalt.


WGAN, Channel 13 (Portland) (CBS)

Morning


07:00a
Jimmy Dean

07:45a
CBS Morning News (Richard C. Hottelet)

08:00a
Captain Kangaroo

08:45a
CBS Morning News (Richard C. Hottelet)

09:00a
Along Maine Street

09:30a
Star Performance

10:00a
Garry Moore

10:30a
Arthur Godfrey

11:30a
Strike it Rich

Afternoon


12:00p
Valiant Lady

12:15p
Love of Life

12:30p
Search For Tomorrow

12:45p
The Guiding Light

01:00p
CBS News (Walter Cronkite)

01:10p
Stand Up and Be Counted

01:30p
As the World Turns

02:00p
Our Miss Brooks

02:30p
House Party

03:00p
The Big Payoff

03:30p
Bob Crosby

04:00p
The Brighter Day

04:15p
The Secret Storm

04:30p
The Edge of Night

05:00p
Adventureland

Evening


06:30p
News, Sports, Weather

07:00p
Dr. Christian

07:30p
Robin Hood

08:00p
Burns and Allen

08:30p
Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts

09:00p
I Love Lucy

09:30p
December Bride

10:00p
Studio One

11:00p
News (local)

11:20p
Movie – “The Astonished Heart”

I'm as much of a Jimmy Dean fan as the next person - even though I've never much cared for C&W, I always enjoyed his personality, his humor, and Rowlf. (Plus, he was not bad in Diamonds Are Forever.) But at 7:00 in the morning? His show was also known as The Morning Show, and I"m not sure I would have been up for it that early, but on the other hand, maybe it would have gotten me going more effectively than what I listen to nowadays.

4 comments:

  1. I'll make the wild guess that your Boston edition didn't have a detailed listing for Twenty-One.
    My Chicago edition does.
    Here it is, verbatim (italics mine):

    Hank Bloomgarden of New York City. winner of $52,500 so far, meets his challenger, James Snodgrass of New York City, after tying him twice before. Tonight they play for $1500 a point.

    Those names familiar?
    Snodgrass was the guy who almost blew Twenty-One's cover way early, by correctly answering a question he was supposed to miss (I'm guessing that this would have been last week's show).
    The movie Quiz Show, mentioned here in the past, depicted this incident as being seen by Dick Goodwin on an old kinescope, while Charles Van Doren was still appearing on Twenty-One; it didn't happen until Van Doren had long since left for full-time employment on the Today show.
    (And of course, Goodwin's investigation didn't happen until 1959, after Twenty-One had left the air - but that's another story ...)

    - The Studio One play by Tad Mosel had a later life of its own.
    In 1963, Mosel turned it into a screenplay, under the new title Dear Heart, which starred Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page. It got good reviews, did respectable box office, and the title song by Henry Mancini and Livingston & Evans was Oscar-nominated (you may have heard it a time or two).

    - Oh, by the way, officially it was Westinghouse Studio One.
    Sponsor identification was commonplace in those days:
    Philco Playhouse
    Goodyear Theatre
    Schlitz Playhouse of Stars
    Kaiser Hour
    DuPont Theatre
    Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theatre
    The Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports
    The Voice Of Firestone
    The United States Steel Hour

    ... and a whole bunch of others.
    Where you got that Texas School Book Depository business ...

    Funny thing:
    A few years later, the Ford Motor Co. had the notion of sponsoring Tennessee Ernie Ford's new variety show.
    They called it The Ford Show (cute, huh?).
    Some people didn't get it, though ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember seeing Snodgrass on PBS on the "Quiz Show Scandals" episode of THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and he read part of the registered letter that he'd written to himself on Saturday May 11, 1957 in preparation for that next week's show on May 13, so he not only survived the show this week but went on at least another week. I just looked at my copy of TV Guide for the following week, also the New England Edition, and there were no details for that week either. The movie QUIZ SHOW, in compressing the timeframe of all these events, put Snodgrass' appearance in 1958 instead of 1957, and also made him look like a sort of Bohemian beatnik artist. You can read about his testimony before Congress, as well as the testimony of two other contestants on other game shows, here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6555/

      Delete
    2. For Snodgrass's 21 appearance to have preceded Van Doren's (as QUIZ SHOW depicts), the 'compression' would have pushed it back to 1956.

      While I'm here, I'd like to cite my personal favorite historical "fudge" from QUIZ SHOW:

      It comes in two parts.

      Part I:
      That lawn party at the Van Doren estate, celebrating Mark Van Doren's birthday.
      This was supposed to be during Charlie's TWENTY-ONE run, which would put it at the turn of '56-'57.
      The attendees include such literati as Edmund Wilson and Thomas Merton - and investigator Dick Goodwin, who didn't even meet Charlie until after he'd been defeated on '21'.
      This fabricated scene is in the movie to establish that
      (a) Charlie knows the name of the newly-crowned King of Belgium, Baudouin (boe-dwan).
      (b) Goodwin knows that he knows.
      Baudouin is the answer that Charlie got wrong, which knocked him off the show.
      And that leads us to -

      Part II:
      Charlie's on air, in the isolation booth, and Goodwin's in the audience watching -
      - and Charles Van Doren just casually tosses off King Leopold, the wrong answer.
      You know, like he's deliberately blowing it, to get himself off the show.
      Well, of course, that's what he's doing, but the movie makes it look like he's crossing up TWENTY-ONE's producers, who are shown going into a panic.
      That's not what happened.
      In his NEW YORKER confessional piece, Van Doren is clear: his TWENTY-ONE departure was scheduled, just as his arrival was.
      Also, on the actual broadcast Charlie made a real performance of the whole thing: flexing his fists, repeating "The son of Leopold, the son of Leopold - I know the name ...", finally shaking his head and saying "I'll say Leopold, although it's probably wrong."
      That's not in the movie; Ralph Fiennes just gives the wrong name, and the Panic That Didn't Happen, happens.

      A few weeks back, I mentioned a brief TV Guide piece about Vivienne Nearing, the lady who won that night - that was on the newsstands that very week.
      Coincidence?

      I saw QUIZ SHOW in theaters several times during its theatrical run.
      Each time I saw it, when the movie ended I'd hear someone say, "You know, that all really happened."
      Boy, did I ever want to say something to those people ...
      ... I stopped myself, though.
      At the time, I didn't think it was worth the trouble.
      The Internet was some time off ...

      Delete
  2. "Ozzie and Harriet" was an ABC show, but I would think that WMTW didn't carry it, allowing WCSH to do so (even though on a delayed basis; 10:30 P.M. seemed too late an hour for a "family sitcom").

    "Tonight! America After Dark", hosted by "Today Show" alumnus Jack Lescoulie, was a complete fiasco both in format (it was more like "Today" than a late-night talk/variety show as we now know the genre) and ratings, and was cancelled in June.

    Indeed, one published account suggested that in the six-month run of "America After Dark", the show's "clearance" dropped from 130 stations (when Steve Allen left) to just sixty stations (when "America After Dark" ended). But the number of stations carrying Jack Paar jumped from 62 when he began to 160 by the fall of 1960 (although it would include such cities like Boston and Cleveland where the local NBC station wouldn't clear Paar but another station in that city did).

    Because Paar and his producers/musicians/cast wouldn't be ready until late July, "America After Dark" actually stayed on the air for a month after it was cancelled, with New York disc jockey Al "Jazzbo" Collins serving as interim host until Paar was ready.

    WBZ Channel 4 (along with the other NBC affiliate Group W/Westinghouse owned at the time, KYW, then of Cleveland) dropped "America After Dark" effective the night Collins took over as caretaker host until Paar was ready.

    WBZ didn't carry "The Tonight Show" again until 1966, almost four years after it's most famous host, the legendary Johnny Carson, had taken over.

    ReplyDelete

And now for something completely different.