1958–59 United States network television schedule

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The following is the 1958–59 network television schedule for the four major English language commercial broadcast networks in the United States. The schedule covers primetime hours from September 1958 through March 1959. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series cancelled after the 1957–58 season.

Contents

According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), the networks' schedules were thrown "into complete chaos" by the quiz show scandals that erupted during fall 1958. At first only one series, Dotto , was implicated in the game-fixing charges. Ed Hilgemeier, a contestant on the program, filed a complaint with the show's sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate withdrew its sponsorship of the Tuesday evening (on NBC) and daytime (on CBS) versions of Dotto, and the show did not appear on either network's fall 1958 schedule. [1]

The $64,000 Challenge (on CBS) similarly did not appear that fall, and by November, The $64,000 Question (CBS) and Twenty-One (NBC) were also removed from the network schedules, amidst accusations of game rigging. NBC's primetime Tic-Tac-Dough lasted through December. According to Castleman and Podrazik, "NBC and CBS were adamant in their own statements of innocence" since they only aired, and did not produce, the rigged series. They also claimed the cancellations were due to low ratings, not because of game-fixing accusations. ABC had few game shows on its 1958–59 schedule, and "eagerly pointed out" its innocence in the quiz show mess. The network affirmed its commitment to Westerns, which could not be rigged. [1]

Western TV series continued to be very popular with audiences, and for the first time, the three highest-rated programs on television, CBS's Gunsmoke , NBC's Wagon Train , and CBS's Have Gun – Will Travel , were all Westerns. ABC's new series, The Rifleman even hit #4, quite a feat for a network which had had no series in the top 30 five years earlier. [2]

Although ABC, CBS, and NBC remained the largest television networks in the United States, they were not the only companies operating television networks during this era. In May 1958, Ely Landau, president of the NTA Film Network, announced an NTA Film Network schedule for the 1958–59 season. The schedule consisted of three and a half hours of programs on Friday nights: Man Without a Gun at 7:30, followed by This is Alice at 8:00, then How to Marry a Millionaire at 8:30, and Premiere Performance , a package of films from the network's minority shareholder 20th Century Fox, from 9:00 to 11:00. Although the NTA Film Network had over 100 affiliate stations, only 17 agreed to air the Friday night schedule "in pattern" (during the scheduled time). [3] Other NTA Network affiliates carried the network's programs whenever they had available slots, and outside of Gun, Alice, Millionaire and Performance, NTA's programs were aired whenever the local stations preferred. National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor to PBS founded in 1952, also allowed its affiliate stations to air programs out of pattern.

New series are highlighted in bold.

All times are U.S. Eastern and Pacific time (except for some live sports or events). Subtract one hour for Central and Mountain times.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research. [2]

Legend

Sunday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall You Asked For It Maverick (6/30.4) The Lawman (27/26.0) Colt .45 Encounter Local
Follow-upLocal
Winter Deadline for Action*
CBS Fall Lassie The Jack Benny Program / Bachelor Father The Ed Sullivan Show General Electric Theater (25/26.7)
(Tied with Name That Tune )
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (24/26.8) The $64,000 Question What's My Line?
Follow-up Keep Talking
Winter Richard Diamond, Private Detective
Summer That's My Boy (reruns)
NBC Fall Saber of London Northwest Passage (Color) The Steve Allen Show (Color) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (Color) The Loretta Young Show Local
Winter The Music Shop (Color)
Follow-up The Steve Allen Show (Color) Pete Kelly's Blues
NTA Local

NOTES: The Canadian-produced anthology series Encounter aired only five episodes on ABC before cancellation.

Deadline for Action on ABC consisted of reruns of episodes that starred Dane Clark of the 1956–1957 series Wire Service .

From February to September 1959, Richard Diamond, Private Detective , starring David Janssen, aired for a third and final season on CBS, on the Sunday schedule at 10 p.m. Eastern. It switched to NBC and returned to the air for a fourth season during the 1959–60 television season.

Monday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 ABC News Polka Go-Round Bold Journey The Voice of Firestone Anybody Can Play This is Music 10:30 John Daly and the News / 10:45 Local
Follow-up Tales of the Texas Rangers Polka Go-Round The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show
WinterDr. I.Q.
Spring This is Music
Summer Polka Go-Round Pantomime Quiz Top Pro Golf
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Name That Tune (25/26.7)
(Tied with General Electric Theater )
The Texan (15/28.2) Father Knows Best (13/28.3)
(Tied with Zane Grey Theater )
The Danny Thomas Show (5/32.8) The Ann Sothern Show (21/27.0)
(Tied with Sugarfoot and The Parry Como Show)
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse / The Westinghouse Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (once a month)
NBC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Tic-Tac-Dough (Color) The Restless Gun Tales of Wells Fargo (7/30.2) Peter Gunn (16/28.0)
(Tied with Wanted: Dead or Alive )
Alcoa Theatre / Goodyear Television Playhouse The Arthur Murray Party (Color)Local
Winter Buckskin
NTA Local

Note: The Westinghouse Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show was later rebroadcast and syndicated as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. In most areas, Douglas Edwards with the News and The Huntley-Brinkley Report aired at 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 ABC News Cheyenne (18/27.9) / Sugarfoot (21/27.0)
(Tied with The Ann Sothern Show and The Perry Como Show)
/ Bronco
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (10/29.1) The Rifleman (4/33.1) Naked City Confession 10:30 John Daly and the News / 10:45 Local
Winter Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond
CBS Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Stars in Action (repeats) Keep Talking To Tell the Truth The Arthur Godfrey Show The Red Skelton Show (Color) (12/28.5) The Garry Moore Show
Follow-up The Invisible Man
Summer Peck's Bad Girl The Andy Williams Show
NBC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Dragnet The George Gobel Show (Color) / The Eddie Fisher Show (Color) Colgate Theatre The Bob Cummings Show The Californians Local
Follow-up The George Burns Show
NTA Local

Confession, with host Jack Wyatt, which had begun as a local program in the Dallas, Texas, market in early 1957, premiered as a summer replacement on ABC on June 19, 1958, in advance of the 1958–59 television season. It ended on January 13, 1959, and was succeeded on January 20, 1959, by the paranormal anthology series Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond .

Wednesday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 ABC News Lawrence Welk's Plymouth Show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet The Donna Reed Show The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show The Wednesday Night Fights
Follow-up Accused
Summer Music For a Summer Night
CBS Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Twilight Theater (repeats) Pursuit The Millionaire (30/25.6) I've Got a Secret (9/29.8) Armstrong Circle Theatre/The United States Steel Hour
Summer Armstrong by Request /The United States Steel Hour
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Wagon Train (2/36.1) The Price is Right (Color) (11/28.6) Milton Berle starring in the Kraft Music Hall (Color) Bat Masterson This Is Your Life (29/25.8)Local
NTA Local

Notes: On CBS, Armstrong Circle Theatre alternated with the The United States Steel Hour . Armstrong by Request, which also alternated with The United States Steel Hour and aired in place of Armstrong Circle Theatre from July 8 to September 16, 1959, consisted of reruns of six documentary dramas which originally had aired on Armstrong Circle Theatre during the 1958–1959 season.

On NBC, Milton Berle starring in the Kraft Music Hall formerly was known as The Milton Berle Show.

Thursday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 Local / 7:15 ABC News Leave It to Beaver Zorro The Real McCoys (8/30.1) The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom The Rough Riders Traffic Court 10:30 John Daly and the News / 10:45 Local
CBS Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News I Love Lucy (repeats) December Bride Yancy Derringer Zane Grey Theater (13/28.3)
(Tied with Father Knows Best )
Playhouse 90
Summer The Invisible Man
NBC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Jefferson Drum The Ed Wynn Show Twenty-One Behind Closed Doors The Ford Show (20/27.2) (Color) You Bet Your Life Masquerade Party (Color)
10/30

Follow-up

Concentration
11/27 Follow-up It Could Be You
Summer Bachelor Father
NTA Local*

Friday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 Local / 7:15 ABC News The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin Walt Disney Presents Man with a Camera 77 Sunset Strip 10:30 John Daly and the News / 10:45 Local
CBS Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Your Hit Parade Trackdown The Jackie Gleason Show The Phil Silvers Show Schlitz Playhouse/ Lux Playhouse The Lineup Person to Person
Winter Rawhide (28/25.9)
NBC Fall7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Buckskin The Adventures of Ellery Queen (Color) M Squad The Thin Man 10:00 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports / 10:45 Fight Beat
Winter Northwest Passage (Color)
NTA Local Man Without a Gun This is Alice How to Marry a Millionaire Premiere Performance

Note: On January 9, Phillies Jackpot Bowling premiered in the 10:45-11 p.m. spot on NBC, while on March 13 Tombstone Territory replaced Man with a Camera on the ABC schedule.

Saturday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC FallLocal The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show The Billy Graham Crusade Lawrence Welk's Dodge Dancing Party Sammy Kaye's Music from Manhattan Local
Follow-up Jubilee USA
Winter The Billy Graham Crusade
CBS FallLocal Perry Mason (19/27.5) Wanted: Dead or Alive (16/28.0)
(Tied with Peter Gunn )
The Gale Storm Show Have Gun – Will Travel (3/34.3) Gunsmoke (1/39.6)Local
Summer Brenner Markham
NBC FallLocal People are Funny The Perry Como Show (21/27.0)
(Tied with Sugarfoot and The Ann Sothern Show ) (Color)
Steve Canyon Cimarron City Brains & Brawn
Winter Black Saddle The D.A.'s Man
NTA Local

Note: On NBC, Brains & Brawn was replaced on January 3, 1959, by The D.A.'s Man . On CBS, Markham premiered Saturday, May 2, 1959, at 10:30 pm.

By network

ABC

CBS

NBC

NTA

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

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References

  1. 1 2 Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television . New York: McGraw-Hill. pp.  124–129. ISBN   0-07-010269-4.
  2. 1 2 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.
  3. Kleiner, Dick (1958-05-03). "Thin Man Mystery Show May Add Baby to Cast". The Lima News. p. 19.