1950–51 United States network television schedule

The 1950–51 United States network television schedule began in September of 1950 and ended in the spring of 1951. This season became the first in which primetime was entirely covered by the networks. It was also the inaugural season of the Nielsen rating system. Late in the season, the coast-to-coast link was in service.

In September 1950 NBC added two live variety series, Four Star Revue and The Colgate Comedy Hour, to its fall schedule. These programs were a network effort to bring NBC's most popular radio stars to television; talent included Eddie Cantor, Jack Carson, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Durante, Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn, Bob Hope and Fred Allen. The two new star-studded series were scheduled directly against two of CBS's most popular programs: Four Star Revue went up against Arthur Godfrey and Friends on Wednesday nights, while The Colgate Comedy Hour was slated against Toast of the Town. NBC was confident that its strategy would pay off.[1]

CBS answered NBC's schedule with big radio stars and variety programs of its own, bringing in Frank Sinatra and (in occasional specials) Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and Edgar Bergen. "Despite the big budget variety shows in its schedule, though, CBS felt that situation comedy was actually a more stable television form that would be easier to exploit in the long run."[1]

In many time slots, the underfunded DuMont Network did not bother to compete against NBC's or CBS's hit series, instead airing what some TV historians have called "time-filler". For example: "During its long run [The Johns Hopkins Science Review] was scheduled against such hit shows as Break the Bank [and] Dragnet, programs from which its network had little chance of luring away viewers."[2] During fall 1950, The Court of Current Issues and The Johns Hopkins Science Review aired at the same time as the most heavily viewed program on television, NBC's Texaco Star Theater. Given the competition, DuMont's Tuesday night public-affairs programming attracted virtually no audience. The network had some success with a crime drama that had debuted in January the previous season titled Inside Detective (later retitled Rocky King, Detective), which became one of the longest-running series on the network. Another DuMont series to debut during the season, Star Time, while short-lived, is remembered for including a television version of the popular radio sketches The Bickersons, and for being an early example of a sponsored network series to feature an African-American as a regular (jazz pianist Teddy Wilson, a familiar member of the Benny Goodman Sextet).

New fall series are highlighted in bold.

Legend

  •      Light blue indicates local programming..
  •      Blue-gray indicates news programming.
  •      Light green indicates sporting events.
  •      Light purple indicates movies.
  •      Red indicates irregularly-scheduled programs, including specials.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[3]

  •      Lime indicates the #1 most watched programs of the season
  •      Yellow indicates the top-10 most watched programs of the season
  •      Cyan indicates the top-20 most watched programs of the season
  •      Magenta indicates the top-30 most watched programs of the season

Sunday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue Showtime U.S.A. Hollywood Premiere Theatre Sit or Miss Soap Box Theater The Marshall Plan in Action Life Begins at Eighty Youth on the March
CBS The Gene Autry Show This Is Show Business / The Jack Benny Program Toast of the Town (15/36.5) The Fred Waring Show Celebrity Time What's My Line?
DMN Star Time Rhythm Rodeo Local Programming The Arthur Murray Party They Stand Accused
NBC Leave It to the Girls The Aldrich Family (16/36.1) The Colgate Comedy Hour (5/42.0) The Philco Television Playhouse (3/45.3) Garroway at Large Take a Chance

Note: On CBS, beginning in January, The Jack Benny Program aired as occasional specials once every six to eight weeks.

Hopalong Cassidy (9/39.9) aired on NBC, 6–7 p.m.

Monday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Club Seven Hollywood Screen Test Treasury Men in Action Dick Tracy The College Bowl On Trial Feature Film
CBS The Stork Club CBS Television News (7:30)

The Perry Como Show (7:45)

Lux Video Theatre (30/31.5)
(Tied with The Speidel Show)
Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (8/40.6) The Horace Heidt Show The Goldbergs Studio One (24/33.8)
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers Manhattan Spotlight (7:30)

The Susan Raye Show (7:45)

Visit With the Armed Forces The Al Morgan Show Wrestling From Columbia Park Arena
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie The Mohawk Showroom (7:30)

Camel News Caravan (7:45)

The Speidel Show (30/31.5)
(Tied with Lux Video Theatre)
The Voice of Firestone Lights Out (19/35.6)
(Tied with Armstrong Circle Theatre and Big Town)
Robert Montgomery Presents (11/38.8) /Musical Comedy Time Who Said That?

Tuesday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Club Seven The Beulah Show The Game of the Week Buck Rogers The Billy Rose Show Can You Top This? Life Begins at Eighty Roller Derby
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show Sure as Fate/Prudential Family Playhouse The Vaughn Monroe Show Suspense Danger We Take Your Word
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Joan Edwards Show Court of Current Issues The Johns Hopkins Science Review Cavalcade of Bands Star Time
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Little Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Texaco Star Theater (1/61.6) Fireside Theatre (2/52.6) Armstrong Circle Theatre (19/35.6)
(Tied with Lights Out and Big Town)
The Original Amateur Hour (26/33.4)
(Tied with Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts)

Wednesday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Club Seven Chance of a Lifetime First Nighter Don McNeill's TV Club Wrestling From the Rainbo in Chicago
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (18/35.9) Teller of Tales The Web Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts (26/33.4)
(Tied with The Original Amateur Hour)
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 The Most Important People / 7:45 Local Programming Local Programming Famous Jury Trials The Plainclothesman Broadway to Hollywood – Headline Clues Local Programming
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Four Star Revue Kraft Television Theatre (14/37.0) Break the Bank Stars Over Hollywood

Thursday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Club Seven The Lone Ranger (7/41.2) Stop the Music (23/34.0) Holiday Hotel Blind Date I Cover Times Square Roller Derby
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show/Starlight Theatre The Show Goes On The Alan Young Show (22/34.4) Big Town (19/35.6)
(Tied with Armstrong Circle Theatre and Lights Out)
Truth or Consequences Nash Airflyte Theater
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Joan Edwards Show Local Programming The Adventures of Ellery Queen Local Programming
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Little Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan You Bet Your Life (17/36.0) Hawkins Falls Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge Martin Kane, Private Eye (12/37.8) The Wayne King Show
  • Wayne King was seen only on NBC's Midwest Network.

Friday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Club Seven Life with Linkletter Twenty Questions Pro Football Highlights Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Penthouse Party Studs' Place
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Mama (10/39.7) Man Against Crime (13/37.4) Ford Theater/Magnavox Theater Star of the Family Beat the Clock
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 The Most Important People / 7:45 The Susan Raye Show Local Programming Hold That Camera Hands of Murder Rocky King, Inside Detective Cavalcade of Stars
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Quiz Kids We, the People Bonny Maid Versatile Varieties The Big Story (25/33.7) / The Clock 10:00 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (6/41.3) / 10:45 Greatest Fights of the Century

Saturday

Network 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC Sandy Dreams Life with the Erwins Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club Roller Derby
CBS 6:30 The Big Top 7:30 The Week in Review / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show The Ken Murray Show (28/32.1) The Frank Sinatra Show Sing It Again Local Programming
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Programming Country Style Saturday Night at the Garden
NBC The Hank McCune Show One Man's Family The Jack Carter Show Your Show of Shows (4/42.6) Your Hit Parade (29/32.0)

References

  1. ^ a b Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 53–62. ISBN 0-07-010269-4.
  2. ^ Heldenfels, R. D. (1994) Television's Greatest Year: 1954. New York: Continuum, pg 177–178. ISBN 0-8264-0675-0
  3. ^ 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.
  • McNeil, Alex. Total Television. Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  • Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1964). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (3rd ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.
1950–51 United States network television schedule (late night)

From May 29, 1950 through August 24, 1951, NBC aired programming in the late night television time slot, the first U.S. television network to do so.

None of the other three major broadcast networks (CBS, Du Mont or ABC) attempted late-night TV during this time frame. Du Mont's first and only show would begin in 1954 (the same year NBC returned to the time slot after a three-year hiatus), ABC would begin in 1964 and CBS in 1969. Most stations in this early period of television signed off during the late night hours.

Talk/variety shows are highlited in yellow, local programming is white.

1950–51 United States network television schedule (weekday)

Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.

Note: The DuMont Television Network still missing in the schedules. All Monday–Friday Shows for all networks beginning in September 1950.

Broadway to Hollywood

Broadway to Hollywood was an early American television program broadcast on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. While the daytime version was mainly a talk show with news, celebrity gossip, and home-viewer quizzes, the quiz portion became a full-fledged nighttime version within two weeks of the program's debut.

Chez Paree Revue

Chez Paree Revue was an American variety television series, which aired on the DuMont Television Network in 1950. Very little information exists as to the timeslot, running time, or dates aired.

Club Seven

Club Seven is an early United States television series, which aired from 12 August 1948 to 1951 on ABC. Some episodes were 30 minutes, while others were 15 minutes.

Hands of Murder

Hands of Murder (also known as Hands of Mystery and Hands of Destiny) was an American mystery/anthology series that aired on the DuMont Television Network.

Hold That Camera

Hold That Camera is an American game show that ran on the DuMont Television Network's primetime schedule from August 27 to December 15, 1950. The series aired on Fridays at 8:30 PM Eastern.

Originally a game show hosted by Jimmy Blaine (1924-1967), after the first few episodes the format was completely overhauled into a variety show with Kyle MacDonnell as host. MacDonnell (1922-2004) was named "Miss Television 1948" by Time magazine. The orchestra leader was Ving Merlin.

Hollywood Screen Test

Hollywood Screen Test is an American talent show which aired on ABC from 1948 to 1953. This program holds the distinction as the first regularly broadcast television series by the American Broadcasting Company.

Penthouse Party

Penthouse Party is a TV variety series which aired on American Broadcasting Company in 1950 and 1951.

Pro Football Highlights

Pro Football Highlights, also known as Football News or Football Highlights, was a 30-minute TV sports program broadcast by ABC (1950–1951) and the DuMont Television Network (1951–1953). The ABC version aired Fridays at 8:30 pm ET and the DuMont version aired Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET.

Star of the Family (TV program)

For the 1982 ABC series, see Star of the Family.Star of the Family is a CBS Television program which premiered on September 22, 1950 and aired until June 26, 1952.

The Hank McCune Show

The Hank McCune Show was an American television situation comedy. Filmed without a studio audience, the series is notable for being the first television program to incorporate a laugh track.The series began as a local Los Angeles program in 1949. NBC placed it on its national primetime schedule at the start of the 1950-51 season. It debuted at 7:00pm Eastern Time on September 9 and was cancelled three months later. It was briefly resurrected as a syndicated program in 1953-54, but without a laugh track.

The Hazel Scott Show

The Hazel Scott Show was an early American television program broadcast on the now defunct DuMont Television Network. The series, hosted by Hazel Scott, ran during the summer of 1950, and is most notable for being one of the first U.S. network television series to be hosted by any person of African descent.

The Most Important People

The Most Important People (also known as Mr. and Mrs. Carroll) was a 15-minute musical variety show on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network, hosted by orchestra leader Jimmy Carroll (1913-1972) and his wife Rita Carroll. The show aired Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm EST from October 18, 1950, to April 13, 1951. The title referred to babies, since the sponsor was Gerber's Baby Food.

The Plainclothesman

The Plainclothesman is an American crime drama series which was broadcast on the now defunct DuMont Television Network.

The Straw Hat Matinee

The Straw Hat Matinee was an American television series that debuted during the 1950s.The series was hosted by Rosemary Kelly Conrad and was broadcast from Cincinnati.

The Susan Raye Show

The Susan Raye Show was an early American television program broadcast on the now defunct DuMont Television Network.

Versatile Varieties

Versatile Varieties, also known as Bonnie Maid Versatile Varieties and Bonny Maid Versatile Varieties, was a TV series that ran from 1949 to 1951 on NBC, CBS and ABC under three different formats. The sponsor was "Bonnie Maid Linoleum".

We the People (U.S. TV series)

We the People was an American talk show aired on CBS Television (1948-1949) and then on NBC Television (1949-1952).

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