May 8, 2017

What's on TV? Sunday, May 8, 1960

Today is my birthday, and Jon Hobden thoughtfully provided this issue from the day I was born: May 8, 1960. It's Mother's Day, and my own mother used to say that I was the best present she could have asked for. I often wish I'd lived up to that billing more that I have, but one could say the same about the programming for that day. There's nothing terribly special about what was on that day, but since I was too little to know any better (and, until 3:05 p.m. CT, I wasn't even around), it really didn't matter much to me - then or now! Let's take a look at it anyway, though.

As was the case the last time we looked at this area, the last four channels listed show only their network programs, so we really don't know much about the rest of their broadcast day. I don't have any details to add, but we'll see what network shows they carried anyway.

WRCV, Channel 3 (NBC)
Morning
06:25a
Thought for the Day
06:30a
Farm Front
07:00a
World’s Greatest Mother (special)
07:30a
It Is Written (color)
08:00a
Farm, Home and Garden (color)
08:30a
Enter His Gates
09:00a
Foresight
09:30a
Cartoon Comics
10:00a
Satellite Police
10:30a
Bertie the Bunyip (color)
11:30a
Movie – “Bandits of the West”
Afternoon
12:30p
The Big Idea
01:00p
Speak Up (color)
01:30p
The Catholic Hour
02:00p
Our Gang
02:30p
Abbott and Costello
03:00p
Kingdom of the Sea (color)
03:30p
Movie Spectacular – “Paris After Dark”
05:00p
Tournament of Champions Golf (special)
Evening
06:00p
Meet the Press (guest Rep. Chester Bowles, D-CT)
06:30p
Saber of London
07:00p
The Overland Trail
08:00p
Music on Ice (debut) (color)
09:00p
Dinah Shore (guests Andy Williams, Sally Ann Howes, Carl Reiner, the Kim Sisters) (color)
10:00p
Loretta Young
10:30p
This Man Dawson
11:00p
News (Norman Brooks)
11:10p
Movie 3 “The Gold of Naples”
01:00a
Briefing Session
01:30a
News (local)
01:35a
Thought for Tomorrow

Saber of London, on at 6:30 p.m,, tells the adventures of a British police captain working in the homicide squad of an American police department. (Think of it as McCloud, with culture.) As Brooks and Marsh point out in their Complete Directory to Prime Time Television, the Mark Saber character has one of the most varied existences in television history. A year-and-a-half after this series goes off the air, Saber returns as a one-armed private detective working in London. (Richard Kimble, call your office.)  The series itself goes by Mystery Theater, Inspector Mark Saber, The Vice, Saber of London and Detective's Diary. Having never seen an episode, I can't help but wonder if it was worth it.


WFIL, Channel 6 (ABC)
Morning
08:25a
Christian Answer
08:30a
Through the Porthole
08:45a
Adventure in Israel
09:15a
Christian Science
09:30a
The Christophers
10:00a
This Is the Life
10:30a
Bozo Cartoon Theater
11:30a
Triangle Theater
Afternoon
12:30p
Larry Ferrari
12:45p
Steelworkers
01:00p
Hollywood’s Best (double feature) "Chicago Calling”, “Mutiny on the Blackhawk”
04:00p
Music for Young Audiences (special)
04:30p
Tell It to the Mayor
05:00p
Matty’s Funday Funnies
05:30p
The Lone Ranger
Evening
06:00p
Cannonball
06:30p
Flight
07:00p
Broken Arrow
07:30p
Maverick
08:30p
The Lawman
09:00p
The Rebel
09:30p
The Alaskans
10:30p
Johnny Staccato
11:00p
News (John Roberts)
11:10p
Weather (Frank Smith)
11:15p
World’s Best Movies – Double Feature “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, “Yellow Jack”

Johnny Staccato
was one of the "jazz detectives" of the era, along with Peter Gunn and Richard Diamond. Star John Cassavetes would probably describe this as one of those acting jobs one takes in order to make money for the projects one wants to pursue. If so, I think he was probably right. Best bet is probably to go with the late double feature starring, respectively, Humphrey Bogart and Robert Montgomery.


WGAL, Channel 8 (Lancaster) (CBS, ABC)
Morning
09:55a
News and Weather (local)
10:00a
Lamp Unto My Feet
10:30a
The Catholic Hour
11:00a
The Christophers
11:30a
This Is the Life
Afternoon
12:00p
Film Features
12:30p
Sky King
01:00p
High School Band
01:30p
Championship Bowling
02:00p
Baseball (Indians vs. Red Sox)
04:30p
News, Sports (Pat Bange)
04:40p
Time Out for Sports
05:00p
Tournament of Champions Golf (special)
Evening
06:00p
Doorway to Life
06:20p
News, Weather (John MacAlarney)
06:30p
The Twentieth Century
07:00p
People Are Funny
07:30p
Dennis the Menace
08:00p
Ed Sullivan
09:00p
Dinah Shore (guests Andy Williams, Sally Ann Howes, Carl Reiner, the Kim Sisters) (color)
10:00p
Loretta Young
10:30p
What’s My Line? (guest panelist Laurence Harvey)
11:00p
CBS News (Walter Cronkite)
11:15p
Weather (Bill Right)
11:20p
Official Detective
11:50p
Divorce Court
01:05a
One Minute with Your Bible

The Mystery Guest on What's My Line?, and I can tell you this because I've seen the episode (don't read any further if you don't want the mystery spoiled!) is Gertrude Berg, best known for The Goldbergs, the ethnic sitcom from the '50s that I just don't find that funny. Kind of a letdown to have her as the Mystery Guest on my birthday - but then, I wouldn't have remembered anyway...

WCAU, Channel 10 (CBS)
Morning
06:20a
Give Us This Day
06:25a
News (local)
06:30a
Our Lady of Fatama (special)
07:30a
Sunday School
08:00a
Cartoons & Stuff
09:30a
Ed Randall
10:00a
Lamp Unto My Feet
10:30a
Look Up and Live
11:00a
FYI
11:30a
Camera Three
11:55a
CBS News (Harry Reasoner)
Afternoon
12:00p
Crisis in Education (special)
01:00p
Caucus
01:30p
Eye on Philadelphia
02:00p
Picture for a Sunday Afternoon – “The Keys of the Kingdom”
04:00p
Bulletin Forum
05:00p
Face the Nation
05:30p
G-E College Bowl
Evening
06:00p
Small World
06:30p
The Twentieth Century
07:00p
Lassie
07:30p
Dennis the Menace
08:00p
Ed Sullivan
09:00p
G.E. Theater
09:30p
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
10:00p
George Gobel (guest Imogene Coca)
10:30p
What’s My Line? (guest panelist Laurence Harvey)
11:00p
CBS News (Walter Cronkite)
11:15p
The Late Show – “Mailbag Robbery”
12:45a
The Late, Late Show – “Ladies in Washington”
02:20a
News (local)
02:25a
Give Us This Day

On the other hand, Alfred Hitchcock Presents has a tight little drama entitled "Insomnia," not to be confused with the Al Pacino movie of the same name. The premise, from the always-reliable Wikipedia: "Charles Cavender (Dennis Weaver) suffers from insomnia, caused by his fear of his brother-in-law, Jack Fletcher. Charles's wife was killed in a house fire and her brother, Jack, believes that Charles let her die. Charles confronts Jack at his apartment and, after a struggle, Jack is killed. That night Charles sleeps peacefully, and doesn't wake up when his heater catches a fire and burns his apartment building down." Ironic, isn't it?

WLYH, Channel 15 (Lebanon) (ABC)
Afternoon
12:30p
Larry Ferrari
Evening
06:30p
Saber of London
08:00p
Music on Ice (debut) (color)
09:30p
The Alaskans
10:30p
Johnny Staccato


WTPA, Channel 27 (Harrisburg) (ABC)
Afternoon
05:00p
Matty’s Funday Funnies
Evening
07:00p
Broken Arrow
07:30p
Maverick
08:30p
The Lawman
09:00p
The Rebel
09:30p
The Alaskans
10:30p
Johnny Staccato


WSBA, Channel 43 (York) (ABC)
Afternoon
05:00p
Matty’s Funday Funnies
Evening
07:00p
Broken Arrow
07:30p
Maverick
08:30p
The Lawman
09:30p
The Alaskans


WHP, Channel 55 (Harrisburg) (CBS)
Afternoon
05:00p
Face the Nation
05:30p
G-E College Bowl
Evening
06:00p
Small World
07:00p
Lassie
08:00p
Music on Ice (debut) (color)
09:00p
G.E. Theater
09:30p
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
10:00p
George Gobel (guest Imogene Coca)
11:00p
CBS News (Walter Cronkite)


13 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Mitchell!

    And thank you for all of your diligent research to keep alive our TV heritage.

    George Everson

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  2. Happy Birthday!

    At least the TV listings from the day you were born weren't from The World's Worst Town(R).

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  3. I would think WGAL Channel 8 carried only CBS and NBC programs (and not anything from ABC) then (it's now a fulltime NBC affiliate), given that several UHF stations in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster area were for the most part carrying ABC programs (although WLYH Channel 15 and WHP Channel 55 carried some CBS and NBC shows not picked-up by WGAL).

    Being the only VHF in that area probably gave WGAL the choice of "picking and choosing" between the top two networks of the era, leaving NBC and CBS shows rejected by WGAL to go on UHF.

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  4. A very Happy Birthday, Mitchell. I am celebrating today myself as the 11th anniversary of my arrival at Utica College as graduate admissions director.

    There are some many more guides to analyze ...and find.

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  5. Happy Birthday Mitchell, from another May Birthday Boy. Though mine isn't until May 20th and I was born in 1961, we're both part of that 60's-70's TV Generation.

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  6. A very happy birthday, Mitchell!

    I'm no big Gertrude Berg fan either, but there's a show she did a year after you were born called Mrs. G Goes to College. It's on weekdays on GetTV at 6am eastern. This morning's episode had Arlene Francis as guest star, speaking of What's My Line. The show seems to always have a moral to the story and it co-stars the irrepressible Mary Wickes and it's worth looking at just for that.

    It only lasted one season, so there are only 26 episodes. Marion Ross and Aneta Corsaut are also in it on a regular basis, as well as Sir Cedric Hardwicke, who was evidently in it for the money. I'd never heard of Mrs. G until I saw it recently. It's worth a look.

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    Replies
    1. You have to watch the documentary about Berg...YOO HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG. Hardwicke and Berg co-starred on Broadway in the play A MAJORITY OF ONE.
      Also in the cast of MRS. G was a young actress named Karyn Kupcinet...daughter of famed Chicago newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet. She was brutally murdered in November 1963--the case remains unsolved to this day.

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    2. When Mrs. G. went on in '61, TV Guide did a feature on Gertrude Berg's return to TV, with much contribution by Sir Cedric Hardwicke.
      Sir Cedric and Mrs. Berg became quite close during the Broadway run (and subsequent national tour) of A Majority Of One.
      That the Mrs. G show was a payday for Hardwicke was no secret - if you know anything about his marital history, you can figure out where most of that money went.
      It was Hardwicke's first - and only - weekly TV gig, but Berg was why he got on board.
      In the Guide piece, Hardwicke told of how CBS and Four Star functionaries would question some of Berg's comedy judgments (her son Cherney Berg was the headwriter), and his answer to them was always the same: "Trust Berg!"
      I've got a DVD set of Mrs. G from Martin Grams - not the whole series, but if the Get-TV run does at all well, an official release could follow.
      They might even find some of Mrs. Berg's commercials: one of them was for SOS scouring pads - "With soap it's loaded!"

      Delete
  7. Just a minor nitpick--I think it was Francis Davis who did the weather at 11:10 PM on WFIL-TV.

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  8. If I had the TV Guide from my birth week, I would have a piece of wealth..it is the first one with Little "Ricky" on the front... I always tell my communications classes that TV Guide and I are the same age.




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  9. Saber Of London:

    (This is a little complicated, so pay attention.)
    The show you seem to be referring to is Mystery Theater, aka Inspector Mark Saber, which was made in Hollywood by Hal Roach Productions, in 1951-52.
    This series, which starred Tom Conway (George Sanders's brother), went out of production after '52.
    In 1955, a British company took the Saber character name and built a completely different show about the one-armed PI (played by Donald Gray, who actually lost an arm in war service), which ran under various titles for several seasons, 1960 being the final one.
    This is the series you've got here; Saber Of London was its final title. (One of the previous titles was The Vise, such as you would find in a machine shop).

    Summarizing:
    In the US series, Tom Conway was a police detective.
    In the GB series, Donald Gray was a private eye.
    The British had a wonderful term for this latter genre: thick ear.

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  10. Thanks to you all for the happy birthday wishes - much appreciated, and it makes me glad to know we're all part of this classic TV community. Please know that your participation on the blog, even just in reading it, is very gratifying to me personally; not only am I writing about something I enjoy enormously, but I'm able to touch people with it as well.

    Again, thanks so much - even though I don't always respond to every comment, additional piece of information, trivia, or correction, I do read them all, and appreciate them all!

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Keep those cards and letters coming in!