➳ CLASSIC TV SHOWS OF YESTERYEAR 🔫
Welcome, I will be putting up a few old TV shows time to time, mostly Premier Episodes of past old TV shows. I will try and be by here a few times a week. Enjoy! Anyone is welcome to join.
While TV didn’t begin in the 1950s, practically no one had a set before then, there were few shows, and people looked to radio and newspapers for entertainment and news. In 1947 RCA mass produced a 7 inch TV and 170,000 of them sold. By 1949, 1 million sets had been sold. As the Fifties progressed the post-war boom included both babies and TV. In 1950 there are about 10 million sets in the U.S.
When television became popular in the late 1940s and 1950s, TV westerns quickly became an audience favorite. The peak year for television westerns was 1959, with 26 such shows airing during prime-time. Traditional Westerns faded in popularity in the late 1960s, while new shows fused Western elements with other types of shows, such as family drama, mystery thrillers, and crime drama.
The earliest TV shows were really radio and vaudeville moving to a new medium. Some of these were quite successful. I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke come to mind. Variety Shows populated the early years which gave many a vaudevillian comedian a chance to show off sight gags that radio wouldn’t permit.
1953 the FCC had settled on the technical specifications for color standards, but broadcasting in color was expensive and few people had replaced those black and white sets with color ones. After all, they had just bought the B&W. This would quickly change. By 1962 a million color sets had sold, by 1965, 5 million and the networks had gone to color, by 1970 there were 37 million color sets in the U.S.
Among the first TV shows included about 120 Westerns. Mostly in black and white, cowboys set the standards of right and wrong and taught us about heroes. A few went to color. Bonanza, the Virginian and Wagon Train, the latter two experimenting with 90 minute formats.
Playhouse 90 and Howdy Doody end in 1960 but we have doctor shows to replace them, Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare. Adapting to changing times, Ed Sullivan brought us the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In mid Sixties you have the secret agents – Man From U.N.C.L.E. , Mission Impossible, I Spy, the Avengers. The latter half of the decade gave us our hippies, The Mod Squad and the Monkees.
As a reflection of changing social sensibilities, Bill Cosby becomes the first black lead on prime time TV in 1965 on I Spy. This paves the way for Greg Morris on Mission Impossible Clarence Williams of Mod Squad and Don Mitchell of Ironside.
Here, I plan to host the great, and forgotten TV shows of yesteryear. Hope you take the time, to relax and watch a few.
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⚑ The link features all TV series now on DVD, and any other past series currently going to DVD.
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