TV Shows – 1950s

After Hours

1 9 5 8 – 1 9 5 9 (UK) 28 x 25 minute episodes After Hours reunited the co-star (Michael Bentine) and director (Dick Lester) of Yes, It’s The Cathode Ray Tube Show! The humour was drawn from musical and sporting guests and, in particular, film and news sketches – a formula that Bentine would later hone for(…)

Alan Young Show, The

1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 3 (USA) In 1950, when network television was still in its infancy in the US and radio ruled supreme as America’s favourite home entertainment medium, a young Canadian comedian named Alan Young was recruited by the CBS network to appear on a new half-hour weekly television series. TV(…)

Alaskans, The

1 9 5 9 (USA) 37 x 60 minute episodes When gold was discovered in the Yukon in the 1890s, thousands of hopeful prospectors headed north for a chance at becoming rich. The easiest passage to the Yukon was through the small Alaskan port town of Skagway, which quickly exploded into a sprawling boom town, offering(…)

Alcoa Hour, The

1 9 5 5 – 1 9 5 7 (USA) One of the finest dramatic shows on US television at the time, this hour-long live series alternated with The Goodyear TV Playhouse between 1955 and 1957. Both were produced by Herbert Brodkin. One episode, No License To Kill, received such a tremendous audience response when it first aired on(…)

Alcoa Theatre

1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 0 (USA)

Aldrich Family, The

1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 3 (USA) Before it became a successful sitcom on television, The Aldrich Family had been a long-running and popular radio show (1939 – 1953). While the radio show aired for 14 years, the TV series (which ran concurrently with the radio programme) lasted only three and a half years. The(…)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

1 9 5 5 – 1 9 6 2 (USA) Although only 20 of the 300 episodes of this anthology of murder mysteries were directed by the Master of Suspense, he presented every episode – usually from some macabre setting, such as an electric chair or impaled on a pole like a scarecrow – signing off(…)

All Star Revue

1 9 5 1 – 1 9 5 3 (USA) Comedy variety shows were popular in America during television’s first decade of prominence in the late 1940s – early 1950s. One popular series that used this format was NBC’s All Star Revue, which starred a rotating roster of big-name show business stars as weekly hosts. Such well-known(…)

All Your Own

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 6 1 (UK) Introduced by Huw Wheldon (later to become BBC Director of Television) and frequently produced by a young Cliff Michelmore, All Your Own gave children the opportunity to display their own individual skills and talents or discuss their hobbies and pastimes. The show guided a young guitarist by the(…)

American Bandstand

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 8 9 (USA) American Bandstand became a powerful symbol of American teenage culture with its nearly four-decade look at the ever-changing tastes of the country’s youth. Featuring guest artists who lip-synced to their latest tunes, and a teenage audience whose members danced for the cameras, the show launched a conga(…)

Amos ‘n’ Andy

1 9 5 1 – 1 9 5 3 (USA) 78 x 30 minute episodes Amos ‘n’ Andy had been one of radio’s biggest hits, but its creators and stars (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll) were whites who portrayed blacks, which worked perfectly well on radio, but was simply not going to cut-it on television! And so(…)

Andy Pandy

1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 7 (UK) 26 x black & white episodes 1 9 7 0 (UK) 13 x colour episodes Although Andy Pandy was actually produced in the late fifties, it was repeated often up to 1980 as the mainstay of the Watch With Mother series. Initially it was shown in the afternoon between 3:45pm and(…)

Andy Williams Show, The

1 9 5 8 (USA) 1 9 5 9 (USA) 1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 7 (USA) 1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 1 (USA) The first Andy Williams Show aired on ABC as a summer replacement in 1958. He then moved to CBS before, in 1962, settling with NBC – where he would stay until(…)

Andy’s Gang

1 9 5 5 – 1 9 6 0 (USA) Andy Andy Devine Midnight, the cat June Foray Tige, the dog Bud Tollefson Old Grandie, the witch June Foray The Teacher Billy Gilbert The Maharajah Lou Krugman The Poet Alan Reed Buster Brown Jerry Maren Gunga Ram Nino Marcel

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 9 (UK) Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? presented distinguished specialists attempting to guess the nature of museum exhibits. It wasn’t as dull as it sounds on paper – It was one of the BBC’s first major panel games, and the Queen liked it! Once a fortnight, a team of three experts tried to identify(…)

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