Flashback: Fall 1960 Primetime

Continuing our look back at the Fall 1960 primetime TV schedule with Wednesday nights.

Although not included in our grids, CBS and NBC aired 15 minute national newscasts Monday-Friday from 715-730PM Eastern.

Fall 1960 Primetime Television: Wednesday
All Times Eastern

Net 7:30PM 8PM 8:30PM 9PM 9:30PM 10PM 10:30PM
ABC Hong Kong The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Hawaiian Eye Naked City
CBS The Aquanauts Wanted: Dead or Alive My Sister Eileen I've Got A Secret Armstrong Circle Theatre/The United States Steel Hour
NBC Wagon Train The Price Is Right Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall Peter Loves Mary LOCAL

ABC’s 1960 Wednesday lineup led off with Hong Kong, an adventure series starring Aussie actor Rod Taylor. Although the series only lasted a single season, Taylor went on to become a film star. He is perhaps best known for his role in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock classic The Birds.

The long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet aired next, followed by the detective series Hawaiian Eye. It starred Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley and Connie Stevens. Hawaiian Eye was created by Roy Huggins, who also came up with such classics as 77 Sunset Strip, The Fugitive and The Rockford Files.

Wednesday nights on ABC concluded with the police drama Naked City. Based on the 1948 film noir classic, Naked City originally aired as a half-hour series in the 1958-59 season. Despite some in-season cast changes, the show was cancelled in 1959. It was revived in a new hour-long format for the Fall 1960 season, with Paul Burke taking over the series lead from James Franciscus. The hour-long Naked City would go on to run for three seasons.

Like ABC, CBS aired an adventure series in their Wednesday night leadoff position. The Aquanauts featured future Tarzan Ron Ely, but like ABC’s Hong Kong, The Aquanauts was cancelled after only one season.

The third-and-final season of the Steve McQueen western Wanted: Dead or Alive followed The Aquanauts. The 9-10PM Eastern hour featured short-lived sitcom My Sister Eileen and the game show I’ve Got A Secret. The latter was hosted by Garry Moore, who also starred in his own Tuesday night variety series on CBS.

CBS wrapped up their Wednesday lineup with rotating anthology series Armstrong Circle Theatre and The United States Steel Hour. The Armstrong series was hosted by CBS newsman Douglas Edwards.

NBC Wednesdays started off with network TV’s 2nd highest-rated series, Wagon Train (Gunsmoke was #1). The popular western aired from 1957-65. This was a pivotal season, as star Ward Bond passed away in November 1960. He was replaced by John McIntire, who had previously starred in the 1958 version of ABC’s Naked City.

Wagon Train was followed by another top 10 series, The Price Is Right. This version of the classic game show was hosted by veteran emcee Bill Cullen. NBC’s 9-10 hour offered the musical variety series Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall.

The 10PM Eastern hour led off with Peter Loves Mary, a quickly-cancelled sitcom starring real-life husband-and-wife Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Haley. The duo is credited with being the first to sing the commercial jingle See the USA in Your Chevrolet, later popularized by Dinah Shore.

Another interesting bit of trivia regarding Peter Loves Mary involves cast member Bea Benaderet. In 1960 she was also working over at ABC, voicing Betty Rubble on the new animated comedy The Flintstones. Betty Rubble’s best friend was Wilma. What was the name of Bea Benaderet’s character on Peter Loves Mary? Wilma.

The final half-hour on Wednesdays was programmed locally by NBC affiliates.