1952–53 United States network television schedule

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The following is the 1952–53 network television schedule for the four major English language commercial broadcast networks in the United States. The schedule covers primetime hours from September 1952 through March 1953. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series cancelled after the 1951–52 season.

Contents

According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), the fall of 1953 marked a change in television when the networks began filling their schedules with "grade B" material. The networks' "need to fill so many hours of broadcasting each day put the networks and local programmers into the same position that Hollywood had been in years before with its theatrical features." [1] In between big-budget productions, the networks had to keep the public occupied. As the number of hours that the four TV networks offered programs continued to expand, "the appearance of TV equivalents to grade-B films was almost inevitable." [1]

Castleman and Podrazik also point out that another change was taking place around this time. Filmed television series had been seen since the late 1940s, but were "not considered very important to the networks' schedules" because many were of poor quality; live productions from New York were the norm at this time. CBS's success with filmed program I Love Lucy in fall 1951, however, had convinced NBC to add a few filmed series to its fall 1952 schedule. Among NBC's new filmed TV series were My Hero , I Married Joan , and Doc Corkle . The Red Skelton Show , previously airing live, also made the move to film. NBC also moved Skelton's program from its previous late-evening time to 7 p.m. on Sundays, hoping the program would be a "strong lead-in for the entire evening." [1]

NBC's Sunday night strategy failed, however, because Red Skelton's program suffered from excessive use of rerun episodes when Skelton unfortunately fell ill. Of the network's other filmed series, My Hero was "a weak slapstick vehicle" while Doc Corkle was "generally regarded as the worst sitcom of the new season". It lasted only three weeks before cancellation (replaced by the return of the live Mister Peepers ). With the exceptions of I Married Joan and the revival of The Life of Riley starring William Bendix in January, NBC would have little luck with filmed programs during the 1952–53 season. [1]

ABC had more luck with its new filmed series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , while CBS aired the filmed Our Miss Brooks . [1] Another successful CBS filmed show was anthology series Four Star Playhouse , which although not a top-rated show, did prove popular enough to run to 1956.

Fall 1952 was a major blow for DuMont, when the network's biggest star, Jackie Gleason, moved from DuMont to CBS. Gleason's new CBS series, The Jackie Gleason Show replaced DuMont's Cavalcade of Stars , airing Saturday nights at 8 p.m. [1] Ted Bergmann, DuMont's general director, stated in 2002 that Gleason's much-heralded move to CBS made DuMont look bad. [2] DuMont aired no programs against Gleason's new TV series. [3] One DuMont show, the 60-minute public affairs program New York Times Youth Forum began airing Sundays at 5 p.m. EST on September 14, 1952—outside of prime time—and ran until June 14, 1953. A notable DuMont series which aired during the season was dramatic anthology series Dark of Night , which was broadcast live from a different real-life location each week instead of being shot on a soundstage (for example, one episode was broadcast from a soft drink bottling plant, while another was broadcast from a castle in New Jersey).

New fall series are highlighted in bold.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research. [4]

  Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
  Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
  Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

Sunday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall You Asked For It Enterprise All-Star News America in View This Is the Life Presents "The Fisher Family" 10:00 Hour of Decision / 10:15 Local Anywhere U.S.A.
Spring Both Sides
CBS The Gene Autry Show This Is Show Business Toast of the Town The Fred Waring Show Break the Bank The Web What's My Line? (20/35.3)
(Tied with Strike It Rich )
NBC Fall The Red Skelton Show (28/33.7)
(Tied with The Lone Ranger )
Doc Corkle The Colgate Comedy Hour (7/44.3) The Philco Television Playhouse (17/37.3) / Goodyear Television Playhouse (15/37.8) The Doctor Local
Summer The Big Payoff
DMN Georgetown University Forum Local Rocky King, Inside Detective The Plainclothesman The Arthur Murray Party Youth on the March

Monday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Local Hollywood Screen Test Inspector Mark Saber – Homicide Squad United or Not All-Star News Local
CBS Local7:30 Douglas Edwards with the News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Lux Video Theatre Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (2/54.7) I Love Lucy (1/67.3) Life with Luigi (13/38.5) Studio One
NBC FallLocal7:30 Those Two / 7:45 Camel News Caravan What's My Name? The Voice of Firestone Hollywood Opening Night Robert Montgomery Presents Who Said That?
Spring7:30 Bob and Ray / 7:45 Camel News Caravan
DMN Fall Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local The Power of Women The Johns Hopkins Science Review Guide Right 9:30 Football Sidelines / 9:45 Famous Fights From Madison Square Garden Boxing From Eastern Parkway
Follow-up The Big Idea
Spring This Is the Life Presents "The Fisher Family"

Tuesday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Local The Beulah Show Local
CBS Local7:30 Douglas Edwards with the News / 7:45 Heaven for Betsy Leave It to Larry The Red Buttons Show (11/40.2) Crime Syndicated/City Hospital Suspense Danger Local
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Short Short Drama 7:30 The Dinah Shore Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Texaco Star Theater (5/46.7)/ The Buick Circus Hour (once a month) (6/46.0) Fireside Theatre (10/40.6) Armstrong Circle Theater Two for the Money 10:30 Embassy Club / 10:45 On the Line with Considine
DMN Fall Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Life Is Worth Living Keep Posted Where Was I? Quick on the Draw Local
Follow-up Wisdom of the Ages
Spring The Big Issue
Summer Your Big Moment/Blind Date The Big Idea Local

Note: On December 16, 1952, Wisdom of the Ages replaced Quick on the Draw.

Wednesday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Local The Name's the Same All-Star News The Adventures of Ellery Queen Wrestling From Rainbo Arena
CBS Local7:30 Douglas Edwards with the News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (3/47.1) Strike It Rich (20/35.3)
(Tied with What's My Line? )
Man Against Crime 10:00 Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts (14/37.9) / 10:45 Sports Spot
NBC Local7:30 Those Two / 7:45 Camel News Caravan I Married Joan Cavalcade of America / Scott Music Hall Kraft Television Theater This Is Your Life Local
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers Pro Football Highlights Local Stage a Number Local

Thursday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Local The Lone Ranger (28/33.7)
(Tied with The Red Skelton Show )
All-Star News Chance of a Lifetime Perspectives On Guard Local
CBS Local7:30 Douglas Edwards with the News / 7:45 Heaven for Betsy The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Amos 'n' Andy (25/34.4) / Four Star Playhouse Biff Baker, U.S.A. Big Town Racket Squad I've Got a Secret
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Short Short Dramas 7:30 The Dinah Shore Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan You Bet Your Life (9/41.6) Treasury Men in Action (27/34.2) Dragnet (4/46.8) / Gang Busters (8/42.4) Ford Theatre (30/33.6) Martin Kane, Private Eye Local
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Broadway to Hollywood – Headline Clues Trash or Treasure What's the Story Author Meets the Critics Local

Friday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Local The Stu Erwin Show (aka Trouble With Father ) The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet All-Star News Tales of Tomorrow Local
CBS Local7:30 Douglas Edwards with the News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Mama (18/37.0) My Friend Irma Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Our Miss Brooks (22/35.0)
(Tied with The Big Story )
Mr. and Mrs. North Local
NBC Fall7:00 The Herman Hickmann Show / 7:15 Local7:30 Those Two / 7:45 Camel News Caravan The RCA Victor Show Starring Dennis Day Gulf Playhouse The Big Story (22/35.0)
(Tied with Our Miss Brooks )
The Aldrich Family 10:00 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (24/34.7) / 10:45 Greatest Fights of the Century
Winter The Life of Riley (16/37.4)
DMN Fall Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local This Is the Life Presents "The Fisher Family" Dark of Night Life Begins at Eighty Local Twenty Questions Down You Go
Follow-up Steve Randall
Winter City Assignment

Notes:The RCA Victor Show Starring Dennis Day was aired in the first half of 1952 and was hence not a new series in the 1952-1953 season. It moved to Monday at 9 p.m. on NBC in the 1953-1954 season under the new title The Dennis Day Show, starring singer Dennis Day.

On Dumont, City Assignment, which ran from February to July 1953, consisted entirely of reruns of episodes of the CBS series Big Town .

Saturday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club Live Like a Millionaire Feature Playhouse Local
CBS The Stork Club Beat the Clock The Jackie Gleason Show Jane Froman's U.S.A. Canteen Meet Millie Balance Your Budget Battle of the Ages
NBC Watch Mr. Wizard My Little Margie All-Star Revue (26/34.3) Your Show of Shows (19/36.0) Your Hit Parade
DMN Local The Pet Shop Local Wrestling From Marigold

By network

ABC

CBS

DuMont

NBC

Note: The * indicates that the program was introduced in midseason.

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References

Notes
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp.  73–80. ISBN   0-07-010269-4.
  2. Bergmann, Ted; Skutch, Ira (2002). The DuMont Television Network: What Happened?. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN   0-8108-4270-X.
  3. Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN   978-0-345-49773-4.
  4. Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN   978-0-345-49773-4.
Bibliography