1 9 5 3 – 1 9 5 4 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
This series of 26 episodes – aired on NBC and hosted by Burgess Meredith in his first regular job on television – was designed to educate and inform children aged between 8 and 16 about topics such as culture, science and politics.
The debut episode was a dramatisation of Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn, with Clifford Tatum as Huck, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson as Jim (in his first TV acting role), Eddie Albert as the Duke, and Thomas Mitchell as the Dauphin.
The following week, former president Harry Truman appeared for a brief chat (he was apparently paid $8,000 for his 12-minute talk on opportunities of youth), as did ex-president Herbert Hoover on 21 October and US Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest.
Other episodes were similarly ambitious, and the telecast on the history of jazz on 28 February 1954 was broadcast in colour.
Excursion was expensive to produce though, and audiences were small, so after six months, it took a trip to the world of cancelled TV shows.