Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ABC Fall Preview 50 years ago (1967)

Time to look back at what primetime television was like 50 years ago. We'll see about locating NBC & CBS' fall previews from that year, and also the 1962 editions if at all possible, but we'll start with ABC.

ABC went with a shorter presentation this time around, narrated by Gary Owens (Space Ghost, ex-The Green Hornet), who was a network announcer at the time before being cast in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, which further cemented his icon status.

The freshman class of 1967 (all have been reviewed here or, in the case of Off to See The Wizard, in Saturday Morning Archives):

Off to See The Wizard:  Chuck Jones and MGM tried their version of The Wonderful World of Disney on Friday nights, replacing Green Hornet, but met the same fate. Some of the same movies, split into two parts on this series, would be used on the SFM Holiday Network years later.

NYPD: Jack Warden, Frank Converse, & Robert Hooks star in this entry from David Susskind's Talent Associates (Get Smart). Might as well say this was meant to be an East Coast version of Dragnet, but without the narration and factual source material.

Judd For The Defense: Carl Betz (ex-The Donna Reed Show) returns as a Texas lawyer. Lasted two seasons.

The Guns of Will Sonnett: Walter Brennan, whose last series, The Tycoon, flopped three years earlier, has the title role of a God-fearing parent searching for his missing son. Second series collaboration from Danny Thomas & Aaron Spelling, after Tim Conway's Rango flopped earlier in the year as a mid-season replacement. Guns lasted two seasons as well.

Garrison's Gorillas: "The Dirty Dozen" meets Mission: Impossible in this World War II actioner, the last primetime series from Selig Seligman's production company. Seligman, you may not know, was a network executive at the time.

Custer: Wayne Maunder as George Armstrong Custer. Viewers tuned this out, knowing how Custer's story would end.

The Flying Nun: After Gidget had failed two years earlier, Sally Field returns as a nun with a most unusual gift. Ran for 3 seasons.

Cowboy in Africa: Chuck Connors' 2nd post-Rifleman series comes from Ivan Tors (Daktari, Flipper, Gentle Ben), but lasts just 1 season. Why? Gunsmoke, that's why.

Now, scope the video. Mind the audio quality:

Rating: B.

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