Classic Television in the 1960s

Burkes Law, Mystery Comedy Combo
Gene Barry starred as Los Angeles chief of detectives Amos Burke. A dashing and debonair millionaire, Burke lived in a mansion and was chauffeured from crime scene to crime scene and suspect to suspect in his Rolls-Royce...
Batman
1966 saw a live action version of Batman come to television. Adapted from Bob Kane's comic book series, the program was an instant success. It combined action with campy humor...
Best Game Shows
I must have heard the words, "This show has been a Mark Goodson - Bill Todman Production" thousands of times while I was growing up, but I never gave it an ounce of thought...
Beverly Hillbillies: An All-time Classic
Beverly Hillbillies is one of my favorite classic television shows. The Beverly Hillbillies made its debut in 1962 and lasted almost a full decade...
Captain Nice
The success of Batman on the ABC television network in 1966 created a Bat-craze across the country. Naturally, the other networks wanted to cash in themselves, so NBC and CBS developed their own superhero shows...
Police Hilarity on Car 54, Where Are You?
In 1961 the first police-themed sitcom came to television. Its name was Car 54, Where Are You? Running on NBC for 60 one half-hour episodes, this black and white program was often very funny...
Checkmate: 1960 Crime Preventers
Crime and detective series have long been a popular staple on television. An interesting program in this genre was Checkmate...
Combat! 1960's Television at its Gritty Best
The series followed a platoon of American soldiers fighting in World War II Europe after the Normandy invasion. The program was realistic and it never glamorized war...
The Courtship of Eddies Father
The show was based on a single father raising his son in California. The scene I remember the most is the one with the father and son walking on the beach hand and hand and the son persistently asking his father questions, like most children his age do...
Daktari
Daktari is a Swahili word for "doctor", but the male doctor depicted on the program was not your ordinary doctor. Instead, he was an American veterinarian in charge of an animal study center in East Africa...
Daniel Boone, Television Style
A number of legendary figures from history have been depicted in television programs. One of them was Daniel Boone...
The Dick Van Dyke Show
An all-time favorite, the Dick Van Dyke show was a great television comedy show that depicted the wholesome perception or idea of the early to mid-1960's...
East Side/West Side – A Gritty 1960's Drama
While the 1960's were a tumultuous time in the United States, most of the television fare of the era was escapist. Still, there were a few programs that tackled tough social issues head-on. One of the best was the 1963-64 CBS series East Side/West Side...
A Couple of Far Out 60s Sitcoms
Mister Ed ran for 4 seasons from 1961 to 1965. It focused on an architect and a talking horse. The horse's name is Mr. Ed. The theme song begins "A horse is a horse, of course, of course...", but Mr. Ed is anything but a regular horse...
Flipper to the Rescue
A family friendly 30 minute program inspired by the 1963 movie of the same name, this series followed the adventures of a widowed Florida Park ranger, his two sons and, of course, the family's pet, Flipper the dolphin...
Four Exotic and Hip P.I. Programs
In the late 1950's and early 1960's four similar Warner Brothers private eye programs hit ABC television. All had warm weather exotic locales, handsome male leads, sexy females and featured theme music by Mack David and Jerry Livingston...
Gidget with Sally Field
Based upon the character from a 1957 novel and then made more famous by Sandra Dee in a 1959 film, the series followed an impulsive and melodramatic high school girl who loves to surf...
Gilligan's Island: The Story of Seven Castaways
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.." The famous opening verse of one of the most popular television sitcoms ever. The Gilligan Island show was so popular, even in reruns that a new reality TV show is in the works for the show...
I Dream of Jeannie
The show starred Barbara Eden who played Jeannie; her master Major Tony Nelson played by Larry Hagman; Roger Healey, Major Tony Nelson friend and coworker, played by Bill Daily...
Who was Art Fleming?
Long before Alex Trebek took over, Merv Griffin's successful game show was hosted by Arthur Fleming Frazzin, Though this was not his career goal, it gave him a place in the history of television game shows...
Laredo – A Western with Humor
The series revolved around several Texas Rangers and featured a lot of tongue-in-cheek, rowdy fun. Indeed, it was a western that never took itself too seriously...
Lawman
Troop came off as an honest and no-nonsense fellow. A steely-eyed man of few words he could handle a gun with the best of them...
Lucille Ball and Her TV Sitcoms after I Love Lucy
Without a doubt I Love Lucy is one of the true sitcom classics of television. Reruns of the program will probably play on television forever...
Maynard G. Krebs, Mainstream Media's First Beatnik
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was created by Max Shulman from stories that he wrote about the title character, but oddly, the Maynard G. Krebs character, the most famous beatnik in TV history, was not in either of Max Shulman's books...
Mia Farrow - More than Just a Famous Haircut
As a young girl, I followed the plot of Peyton Place, not because the story interested me but because I was intrigued by the actress who played Allison MacKenzie - Mia Farrow...
Military Sitcom's of the 1960's
Running from 1962 to 1966, the series was set in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. It focused on the misadventures of the crew of PT-73...
The ABC Movie of the Week
back in the days when there were only the three major networks, adherence to a strict schedule was paramount and it was a rare day when there was any variance...
Mr. Terrific
Mr. Terrific, on CBS, premiered on January 9th, 1967, just like Captain Nice and followed a Gilligan-like bumbler named Stanley Beamish who, with his partner Hal Waters, ran a gas station in Washington, D.C...
One ADAM-12, One ADAM-12!
The dispatcher's opening remarks to Officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed were a beckon to action on the streets of Los Angeles and its environs in the 1960's and into the 1970's...
The World of the Unexplainable – One Step Beyond
Originally titled Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, with the corporate sponsor's name in the title, this program went beyond the twisty and mysterious fictional tales of Rod Serling's famous series...
A Soap Opera Comes to 1960's Nighttime TV
Peyton Place focused on the personal lives and sexual inclinations of the citizens in a small New England town called Peyton Place. Gossip, prejudices, jealousy, blackmail and even murder filled the episodes..
Route 66
But as the program begins Stile's father has died virtually pennyless. His only asset, a Corvette convertible, passes to Tod. It is in this car that Tod and Buz hit the road searching for a new place to put down roots. Along the way they meet up with adventure, trouble, romance and more...
Irwin Allen and Science Fiction Television in the 1960's
The name Irwin Allen often brings to mind movies like The Lost World (1960) The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974)...
Shari Lewis and Lambchop
In 1956, she and Lamb Chop were on The Captain Kangaroo Show. After that one appearance, she had her own television show, The Shari Lewis Show, on NBC, in 1960...
The Holy Trinity: Shindig, Hullabaloo, and "Action"
hindig was the first and a first- a prime-time rock music show that live performances (the music and vocal tracks were actually recorded a day (or two) before the "live taping" and then a live "walk-through" during the afternoon taping;
Tales of Wells Fargo
Dale Robertson starred as Wells Fargo Agent Jim Hardie. Hardie's job was to protect the passengers, gold and other cargo being transported on the company's stage line...
The Addams Family
The Addams are a close-knit family descending from social outcasts such as witches and vampires. The are morbid and interested in deathly hobbies, but are otherwise extremely wealthy and good people...
A Scary Hour of Television
It begins with a woman walking on a dark night, and other footsteps sounding close behind. The woman begins to walk faster, and the other footsteps also pick up. Then, suddenly, she screams as she is grabbed by a shadowy figure who says, "You're such a pretty nurse"...
The Andy Griffith Show
The Andy Griffith Show consisted of Andy Taylor, the laid-back, equality consensus and easygoing small town sheriff played by Andy Griffith. Andy Taylor was also fair-minded and most of the time made the right choices...
The Big Valley
Acting great Barbara Stanwyck played Victoria Barkley, the ranch's matriarch and owner. A spunky woman, Victoria backed down to no one and more than once had to chase off outlaws or hold them at gunpoint...
The Defenders: A Legal Drama Classic
E.G. Marshall played defense attorney Lawrence Preston, and Robert Reed (star of the later sitcom The Brady Bunch) played his idealistic, just out of law school, son, Kenneth. Each week the father/son lawyer team would tackle a challenging case...
The Dick Van Dyke Show - A Comedy Classic
The program's portrayal of Rob's home life in New Rochelle, New York was just as inspired. Mary Tyler Moore played Rob's wife, Laura, with comic genius, and Larry Mathews was excellent as their young son, Ritchie...
The Doctor is In
Richard Chamberlain was Dr. James Kildare, a young intern (and later resident) doctor who worked in a large hospital under Dr. Leonard Gillespie...
The F.B.I. - A Classic Crime Drama
The series followed the investigations of F.B.I. Inspector Lewis Erskine, played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Erskine and his team of special agents methodically tracked down extortionists, kidnappers, counterfeiters, spies, murderers and more with professional aplomb...
The Flintstones
Inspired by the 1950s show, The Honeymooners, The Flintstones joined the ABC primetime lineup for six years from 1960 to 1966, becoming one of the first sitcom cartoons to ever be successful with an adult audience...
The Fugitive – 1960's TV Drama at its Best
David Janssen played Dr. Richard Kimble a man convicted of murdering his wife who is on the run from the law as he attempts to find the real killer...
The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet was actually a wealthy man named Britt Reid. By day Reid was publisher of a newspaper, but by night he became a green-masked crime fighter aided by his kung-fu master valet, Kato...
The Guns of Will Sonnett – A Latter 60's Television Western
The stars of the series were Walter Brennan and Dack Rambo. Brennan played Will Sonnett, a tough and wise, scripture-quoting ex-army scout, who has raised his grandson, Jeff (Rambo), from infancy to young adulthood...
The High Chaparral: Western Drama in the Arizona Territory
This program followed the adventures of those living and working on a ranch in the Arizona territory of the 1870's...
The Invaders: A Short-lived but Good 1960's Scifi Series
Created by Larry Cohen and produced by Quinn Martin, the series had a short, but quite popular, 1½ season run on ABC. The series had some similarities to the hit Quinn Martin television program The Fugitive...
HEY HEY, I'M A MONKEES FAN – Forty Years Later
Launched as a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of the Beatles, "The Monkees" followed the adventures of a musical quartet as they fought the bad guys, chased the girls, frolicked on the beach, and made some pretty good music in between mugging for the camera...
The Munsters TV Show
The show was about a family of monsters including a couple of vampires, Lillian Munster played by Yvonne DeCarlo, and her father, Grandpa Munster...
The Outer Limits: Science Fiction TV at its Best
Beginning with Vic Perrin's unemotional opening narration you knew you were entering another world and going to see something unique, even brilliant...
The Saint – A Modern Day Robin Hood
The series was based on characters and stories created by the author Leslie Charteris. The title "The Saint" came from the main character's calling card – a stick figure with a halo. Simon Templar was a sort of modern day Robin Hood...
The Twilight Zone – One for the Angels
Many might argue that The Twilight Zone was the best science fiction show of all time. I think it would be hard to disagree. The show introduced many up and coming actors such as William Shatner and Robert Redford, and it actually made people think...
The Virginian – A Television Classic
The Virginian was set in the Wyoming territory of the late 1800's. Most of the action centered on or near the Shiloh Ranch or in the town of Medicine Bow. In addition to the western action, the program also featured thoughtful and intelligent stories...
Two Magical Sixties TV Sitcoms
The mid-1960's brought two magic-themed situation comedies to television: Bewitched on ABC and I Dream of Jeannie on NBC...
What's My Line? - The Black Tie Prime Time Game Show with Integrity.
The show was simple. Host John (Charles) Daly, who was a well-known and successful radio personality who transitioned well to television, and four sophisticated panelists, dressed in tuxedos and gowns...
The Wild Wild West: Where Western Meets SciFi Spy
What made The Wild Wild West different was the way it combined the western genre with the secret agent/spy/science fiction genres...
Are They Still On That Island?
If you've ever wondered what became of the Gilligan's Island cast, you should first realize that they're not stranded on that cheesy "uncharted desert isle" set they called home from 1964-1967...
THE LEGACY OF CAMELOT The Serling Zone
Picture if you will: a brilliant writer ahead of his time; a man who would alter television forever; a genius who would be responsible for some of the best-known stories of all time. You have just entered…The Serling Zone...
A Trip Down Country Lane
An array of wacky, rural characters popped up on television in the early 1960's. Critics were quick to berate these shows for their country humor, but TV viewers were hooked...

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