1952–53 United States network television schedule

The 1952–53 United States network television schedule began in September of 1952 and ended in the spring of 1953.

According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), 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

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC You Asked For It Enterprise All-Star News America in View This Is the Life Starring the Fisher Family 10:00 Hour of Decision / 10:15 Local Anywhere U.S.A.
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 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
DMN Georgetown University Forum Local Rocky King, Inside Detective The Plainclothesman The Arthur Murray Party Youth on the March

Monday

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Local Hollywood Screen Test Inspector Mark Saber – Homicide Squad United or Not All-Star News Local
CBS Local 7:30 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 Local 7:30 Those Two / 7:45 Camel News Caravan What's My Name? The Voice of Firestone Hollywood Opening Night Robert Montgomery Presents Who Said That?
DMN 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

Tuesday

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Local The Beulah Show Local
CBS Local 7:30 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 Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Life Is Worth Living Keep Posted Where Was I? Quick on the Draw* Local

Wednesday

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Local The Name's the Same All-Star News The Adventures of Ellery Queen Wrestling From Rainbo Arena
CBS Local 7:30 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 Local 7:30 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

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 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 Local 7:30 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 Drama 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

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 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 Local 7:30 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 Fall 7:00 The Herman Hickmann Show / 7:15 Local 7:30 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 Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Steve Randall Dark of Night Life Begins at Eighty Local Twenty Questions Down You Go
  • The RCA Victor Show Starring Dennis Day was aired in the first half of 1952 and was hence not a new series in the 1952/53 season. It moved to Monday at 9 p.m. on NBC in the 1953/54 season under the new title The Dennis Day Show, starring singer Dennis Day.

Saturday

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 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

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f 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
  • 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.
1952–53 United States network television schedule (weekday)

Most to All 3 to 4 Commercial Networks in the calendar year beginning in September 1952. All Times are in Eastern & Pacific.

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.

Boxing from Eastern Parkway

Boxing from Eastern Parkway was an American sports program broadcast by the DuMont Television Network from May 1952 to May 1954. The program aired boxing matches from Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn, New York. The program aired Monday nights at 10pm ET and was 90 to 120 minutes long. During the 1953-1954 season, the program aired Mondays at 9pm ET.

Broadway Television Theatre

Broadway Television Theatre is a one-hour syndicated television anthology series produced by WOR-TV in New York City. The series premiered April 14, 1952 and ran for 73 episodes through 1954.

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.

Doc Corkle

Doc Corkle is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC Television on Sunday nights for three weeks from October 5 to October 19, 1952.

The show's sponsor, Reynolds Metals, was so disappointed with the program that it was canceled and replaced by Mister Peepers.

Famous Fights from Madison Square Garden

Famous Fights from Madison Square Garden was a TV sports series broadcast by the DuMont Television Network from September 15, 1952 to December 22, 1952. The program aired famous past boxing matches at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The program aired Monday nights at 9:45pm ET, was 15 minutes long, and was preceded by another 15-minute show Football Sidelines.

Football Sidelines

Football Sidelines was a TV sports program broadcast on the DuMont Television Network from October 6 to December 22, 1952 and hosted by Harry Wismer. The program was 15 minutes long, and aired on Mondays at 9:30pm ET, followed by Famous Fights From Madison Square Garden at 9:45pm.

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.

Ladies' Date

Ladies' Date was an American daytime television series that was broadcast on the DuMont Television Network. The program was an afternoon variety/audience participation show, hosted by Bruce Mayer, who had been the host of a similar series locally in Detroit.

New York Times Youth Forum

New York Times Youth Forum was a public affairs program, sponsored by The New York Times and aired Sundays at 5pm EST on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network from September 14, 1952, to June 14, 1953. The host was Dorothy Gordon (born Dorothy Lerner, 1889-1970), who continued to host the show on WABD from the time the network closed in 1956 until 1958 when it moved to WRCA-TV (now WNBC).

The Times dropped sponsorship in 1960, at which point radio simulcasts moved from WQXR (AM) to WNBC (AM). Thereafter, Gordon continued the show as Dorothy Gordon's Youth Forum, winning a Peabody Award in 1966. Gordon continued to host the show until her death in 1970. The show also appeared first-run as late as April 23, 1967 (with guest Otto Preminger) on WNBC-TV.

One Woman's Experience

One Woman's Experience, also known as One Woman's Story, was a DuMont Television Network anthology TV show created and produced by Lawrence Menkin (1911-2000) and starring Wendy Waldron.

The show aired from October 6, 1952 to April 3, 1953, Mondays through Fridays from 2:45pm to 3pm ET. The 15-minute show aired alongside another 15-minute Menkin show One Man's Experience which aired at 2:30pm ET. Some sources suggest that these episodes were also aired during the DuMont series Monodrama Theater which aired at 11pm ET from May 1952 until December 7, 1953.

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.

Quick on the Draw

Quick on the Draw was an American game show that aired on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network.

The Pet Shop

The Pet Shop was an American television program broadcast on the DuMont Television Network. The series ran from 1951 to 1953, and was a primetime series on pet care hosted by Gail Compton and his young daughter Gay.The program, produced and distributed by DuMont, aired on Saturdays at 7:30 pm ET on most DuMont affiliates. The series was cancelled in 1953. DuMont replaced the series with local (non-network) programming.

The Plainclothesman

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

The Power of Women

The Power of Women was an early American television program broadcast on the DuMont Television Network. The series ran from July to November of 1952. This thirty-minute-long series was a public affairs program originally hosted by Vivien Kellems. Kellems would leave partway through the series' run.The program, produced and distributed by DuMont, aired Mondays at 8pm ET on most DuMont affiliates. The series was cancelled in November 1952, replaced by popular quiz show Twenty Questions.

Where Was I? (TV series)

Where Was I? was an American panel show which aired on the DuMont Television Network Tuesdays at 9pm ET from September 2, 1952, to October 6, 1953.

The series consisted of panelists would have to guess a location by listening to clues and viewing photos. Hosts included Dan Seymour, Ken Roberts, and John Reed King, and panelists included Bill Cullen, Nancy Guild, Virginia Graham, and Skitch Henderson.

Wisdom of the Ages

Wisdom of the Ages is a panel show aired on the DuMont Television Network from December 16, 1952, to June 30, 1953. The show combined the ideas of Juvenile Jury and Life Begins at Eighty, with a combined panel of youth and the elderly. Wisdom of the Ages aired Tuesdays at 9:30pm ET, and replaced Quick on the Draw which ended December 9, 1952.The show was hosted by Jack Barry, and was a production of Barry & Enright Productions.

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