We’re launching a new feature today, taking a look back at some classic TV primetime schedules.
First up is Fall 1960, starting with Sunday nights. We’ll continue with the rest of the week’s schedules in future blog posts:
Fall 1960 Primetime Television: Sunday
All Times Eastern
|ABC||Walt Disney Presents (6:30)||Maverick||The Lawman||The Rebel||The Islanders||Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years|
|CBS||Lassie||Dennis the Menace||The Ed Sullivan Show||General Electric Theater||The Jack Benny Program||Candid Camera||What's My Line?|
|NBC||Shirley Temple's Storybook||National Velvet||The Tab Hunter Show||The Dinah Shore Chevy Show||The Loretta Young Show||This Is Your Life|
Longtime Sunday night staple Walt Disney Presents aired on ABC from the 1950s until 1961, when it moved to NBC as Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The anthology series changed titles and networks several times, later airing on CBS and back on ABC which Disney purchased in 1996.
On Sunday nights in 1960, ABC followed up Disney with a two-hour block of westerns, including Maverick, The Lawman and the final season of The Rebel. A short-lived adventure series, The Islanders, and documentary series about former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill rounded out the evening. The Churchill program later aired in the UK.
The classic family series Lassie led off Sunday nights for CBS in 1960, paired with sitcom Dennis the Menace. That was followed by The Ed Sullivan Show, a Sunday night institution from 1948-71. The half-hour anthology series General Electric Theater aired immediately after Sullivan. G.E. Theater was hosted by future president Ronald Reagan.
Rounding out the CBS Sunday night lineup: The Jack Benny Program, Candid Camera and What’s My Line?
The late Shirley Temple’s anthology series Storybook kicked off the Peacock network’s Sunday night lineup in 1960, airing under the title The Shirley Temple Show. Among the classic stories aired in the show’s final season: The Land of Oz, Winnie the Pooh and Pippi Longstocking.
Storybook was followed by a TV adaption of another popular book, National Velvet. Actress Lori Martin took over the role of Velvet made famous by Elizabeth Taylor in the classic 1944 movie. Martin later played Gregory Peck’s daughter in the original version of Cape Fear (1962). The Tab Hunter Show aired after National Velvet. Hunter played a cartoonist in this sitcom, which only lasted a single season.
NBC’s Sunday nights continued with The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Loretta Young Show and This Is Your Life. The latter two shows were in their final seasons, although TIYL was later revived in syndication.