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.[1]

Pro Football Highlights
GenreSports
StarringJoe Hasel (ABC)
Steve Owen (DuMont)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s)English
Production
Running time30 minutes
Release
Original networkABC (1950–1951)
DuMont (1951–1953)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 15, 1950 –
December 17, 1953

Episode status

As with most DuMont series, no episodes are known to exist.

See also

References

  1. ^ IMDB entry

Bibliography

  • David Weinstein, The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59213-245-6
  • Alex McNeil, Total Television, Fourth edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1980) ISBN 0-14-024916-8
  • Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Third edition (New York: Ballantine Books, 1964) ISBN 0-345-31864-1

External links

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.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."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." 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.

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." 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."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."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.ABC had more luck with its new filmed series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, while CBS aired the filmed Our Miss Brooks. 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. Ted Bergmann, DuMont's general director, stated in 2002 that Gleason's much-heralded move to CBS made DuMont look bad. DuMont aired no programs against Gleason's new TV series. 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.

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.

1953–54 United States network television schedule

The 1953–54 United States network television schedule began in September of 1953 and ended in the spring of 1954.

Despite hit filmed programs such as I Love Lucy, both William S. Paley of CBS and David Sarnoff of NBC were said to be determined to keep most programming on their networks live. Filmed programs were said to be inferior to the spontaneous nature of live television. Thus, NBC and CBS continued to schedule many live programs, including two new 1953 fall NBC series The Dave Garroway Show and Bonino. According to Brooks and Marsh (2007), Garroway's show "was faced with overwhelming competition from Mama and Ozzie & Harriet, which were running opposite on CBS and ABC, and it only lasted a single season". Bonino did not even last the full season. CBS had more luck with new live programs Person to Person and My Favorite Husband (which would later make the switch to film).

ABC, perennially in third or fourth place among the four U.S. television networks, had been on the verge of bankruptcy, but the February 1953 merger of United Paramount Theaters with ABC had given ABC a $30 million cash infusion. ABC revamped its schedule for Fall 1953 with big-budget programs. New ABC programs included Make Room for Daddy, and an ABC version of NBC's popular Kraft Television Theatre; the strategy was designed to "take on CBS and NBC with a strong schedule".In contrast to ABC's revamped schedule, DuMont's Fall 1953 prime time schedule looked weak, with programs that were "doomed from the start by third-rate scripts and cheap production." The 1953–54 season would be the last year DuMont was able to schedule nearly 20 hours of programming in prime time. By the 1954–55 season, DuMont would be forced to cut back its schedule, while the other three networks continued to expand.

During the 1953 season, both DuMont and ABC "made sporadic efforts to compete for the daytime audience, but faced so many problems just filling prime time that they found it much more efficient to focus primarily on weekend sports". DuMont paid $1.3 million in 1953 for the rights to broadcast National Football League games in prime time; starting December 12, DuMont also broadcast a series of NBA basketball games, the first time pro basketball was seen regularly on network TV. Both DuMont and ABC "were especially aggressive in pursuit of sports broadcasts because they were desperately in need of special attractions to bring in viewers".Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.

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.

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.

Football This Week

Football This Week was a TV sports program broadcast on the DuMont Television Network. The 15-minute program aired on Thursdays at 10:45 pm ET from October 11 to December 6, 1951.

List of programs broadcast by the DuMont Television Network

This is a list of programs broadcast by the DuMont Television Network, which operated in the United States from 1946 to 1956. All regularly scheduled programs which were aired on the DuMont network are listed below, regardless of whether they originated at DuMont. Some DuMont network series were actually broadcast from Baltimore's WAAM-TV, Chicago's WGN-TV, Cincinnati's WCPO-TV, or Philadelphia's WFIL. These stations were not DuMont-owned stations but were affiliated with the network. Programs which aired on the DuMont network but originated from affiliate stations are noted in this list.

Some DuMont programs were produced by other networks but aired on DuMont. For example, Play the Game (1946) was produced by ABC, but aired on DuMont since ABC had no network until 1948. The Admiral Broadway Revue (1949) aired on both NBC and DuMont at the same time, as did Man Against Crime (1953). Pick the Winner (1952) aired on both CBS and DuMont. Some programs, such as Flash Gordon (1954) aired both in syndication and on DuMont. These exceptions are noted in the list.

Programs produced at DuMont facilities but which aired on other networks, such as CBS's The Honeymooners (1955), are not included in this list. Also not included in this list are the numerous local programs seen on individual DuMont stations, Paramount television series, and programs created by successor companies (DuMont Broadcasting Company, Metropolitan Broadcasting, Metromedia, and Fox Broadcasting Company). See those articles for programs produced or aired by those companies.

A timeline of DuMont network programs appears at the end of this list. For a list of surviving DuMont programs, see List of surviving DuMont Television Network broadcasts.

NFL on DuMont

The NFL on DuMont was an American television program that broadcast National Football League games on the now defunct DuMont Television Network. The program ran from 1951 to 1955.

Steve Owen (American football)

Stephen Joseph Owen (April 21, 1898 – May 17, 1964) was an American football player and coach. He earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as head coach of the National Football League's New York Giants from 1930 to 1953.Owen's skill at designing defenses, his fundamentals-centered approach to the game and his innovative "A formation," a variation on the single-wing, also helped his offenses thrive and were key to his success. His personal style was memorable for the odd congruence of gravelly voice and easy disposition to go with his perpetual tobacco chewing.

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