TV Shows – 1950s

$64,000 Question, The

$64,000 Question, The

1 9 5 5 - 1 9 5 8 (USA) Before the quiz show scandal of the late 1950s, The $64,000 Question was a high-stakes, nail-biting, ratings-topping game show phenomenon. It was the first of TV's big money prime time game shows, and some of its biggest and most illustrious winners included a housewife, an eleven year-old whiz(...)

1950s Television – Introduction

1950s Television – Introduction

Television mesmerised us from the moment it entered our households, and - in less than a decade - became a staple of our way of life. The rapid growth of the popularity of television surpassed even that of radio broadcasting in the 1920s. In 1949 there were one million television receivers in the United States. In(...)

A Rubovian Legend

A Rubovian Legend

1 9 5 5 - 1 9 6 3  (UK) Some of the earliest British children's TV programmes featuring puppets were ambitious. Gordon Murray, who worked in the BBC Children's Department in the early 1950s, created a fantasy series called A Rubovian Legend. It consisted of original plays performed by the BBC Puppet Theatre with titles(...)


1 9 5 6 - 1 9 5 7 (UK) BBC entertainment in which Alan Melville strung together sketches, songs, parodies and guest appearances to a different letter of the alphabet each week. Derived originally from a published format by Wolf Mankowitz, it was somewhat ahead of its time and rather sophisticated for the day. An(...)

Abbott and Costello Show, The

1 9 5 2 - 1 9 5 4 (USA) 52 x 30 minute episodes Stage and screen comedians Bud Abbott (born William Abbott) and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo) brought their routines to television in a half-hour situation comedy series that was first released in 1952. The Abbott and Costello Show revived many of the(...)

Abigail and Roger

1 9 5 6 (UK) 9 x 20 minute episodes The comedy adventures of an engaged couple living separately (this was the 1950s) in London's bedsitter land, with the humour arising from their differing attitudes to life . . . Shorthand typist Abigail was an outspoken and capable individual who could cook, drive a car, mend a(...)

About Britain

1 9 5 2 - 1 9 5 4 (UK) Following on the success of London Town, Richard Dimbleby presented About Britain - a similar series presenting "journeys to people and places of yesterday and today". Episodes included 'The Lake District', 'Scotland - Down The Clyde', 'North Wales', 'Bath - The Queen of the West', 'The Heart of England', 'Edinburgh'(...)

About The Home

1 9 5 1 - 1 9 5 8 (UK) About The Home was an essential part of afternoon viewing for many British women in the 1950s. The long-running programme was designed to help housewives improve their domestic skills such as cookery and needlework, although other items covered included shopping, deportment and even puppy-training. Hope improvement tips(...)


A now forgotten alternative to the commercial break in the early days of British commercial television was the Advertising Magazine (or 'Admag') in which performers were allowed to extol the virtues of various products during the course of a generally vapid quarter-hour of chat. Jim's Inn was the best-known example. The show featured Jimmy Hanley and(...)

Adventures In Paradise

1 9 5 9 - 1 9 6 2 (USA) 91 x 60 minute episodes Created by James Michener, this black & white action adventure series from ABC recounted the exploits of Korean War veteran Captain Adam Troy, now working on his own freelance boat the Tiki out of Papeete, Tahiti. Troy became involved in all kinds of(...)

Adventures of a Jungle Boy

1 9 5 7  (UK) 13 x 30 minute episodes Producers of Jungle Boy were searching for some time for a youngster to play the title role in the planned series who could handle the animals he would have to co-star with. It was whilst searching locations in East Africa that one of the producers came across(...)

Adventures of Aggie, The

1 9 5 6 (UK) 26 x 30 minute episodes This early British made sitcom starred a US actress so it could be sold to America. The actress in question was Joan Shawlee who appeared as Aasgard Agnette Anderson, an international buyer working for a world-famous fashion house. The demands of her job meant that she didn't(...)

Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull, The

1 9 5 9 (UK) 5 x 30 minute episodes This British sitcom followed the adventures of retired Army Brigadier, Garnet Wellington-Bull, who was a widowed career soldier trying to come to terms with life on civvy street but not finding it very easy. He stumbled from one mishap to another and had to rely on(...)

Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu, The

1 9 5 6 (USA) 13 x 30 minute episodes Dr Fu Manchu, evil genius and possessor of seemingly unlimited financial resources, has pledged to bring about the downfall of western civilisation to avenge unknown wrongs of the past. Only Sir Dennis Nayland-Smith of the Yard is able to thwart his evil plans. Dr. Fu(...)

Adventures of Garry Halliday, The

1 9 5 9 - 1 9 6 2 (UK) 50 x 25 minute episodes This children's Saturday serial from the BBC starred Terence Longdon as dashing pilot Garry Halliday (pictured below left), with Terence Alexander as his faithful but dim friend and co-pilot Bill Dodds. Their sinister arch enemy, The Voice, was played by Elwyn Brook-Jones(...)

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