What’s on TV: Tuesday Nights (Fall 1965)
Hey, hey, hey! Kim here. Today we’re continuing my deep dive through the 1965 network TV line-up. In our last installment we looked at the CBS domination happening on Monday night. So, today I’m turning my attention to Tuesday’s. Let’s see what’s on TV?
Without further ado, let’s dive into what’s sure to be a fun night of television.
Like Monday, the night starts out with a wide-ranging and interesting mixture of programming hitting the airwaves.
NBC started out the night with the fourth season premiere of long-running military drama Combat!. The World War II series starred Vic Morrow and Rick Jason and followed a troop of American infantrymen fighting their way across Europe. The series had been chugging along since its premiere in 1962 and would go on to run another year on the network.
Meanwhile, CBS got going with western series Rawhide. The show was going into its eighth and final season on the network, is best known to contemporary audiences for its role in jumpstarting the career of Clint Eastwood. The series feels very similar to shows like Wagon Train and Route 66, featuring a standard anthology narrative following tht goings on during a cattle drive. Tuesday was a brand new night for the western. In it’s previous seasons, it had been seen on Friday nights.
Rawhide came to an end in January of 1966 and was replaced in the timeslot by Daktari. The brand new drama starred Marshall Thompson as a veterinarian working at an African animal preserve.
Jumping over to NBC, they were cornering the market on comedy to start the night with the now relatively infamous single season comedy, My Mother the Car. This is one of those shows where you might not have seen an episode, but you’ve likely heard about it. The name truthfully sums it up. My Mother the Car starred Jerry Van Dyke as an attorney who comes to discover that his deceased mother has been reincarnated as rundown car and she talks to him through the radio. Ann Southern did the voice work as mother.
While ABC and CBS aired the second half hours of Rawhide and Combat, NBC had the lone half hour offering with the debut of Please Don’t Eat the Daises. The series– which was based on the 1960 Doris Day film of the same name– starred Patricia Crowley and Mark Miller. The narrative follows Miller and Crowley as an English professor and his newspaper columnist wife trying to make family life work while pursuing a career, and all the zany happenings that follow.
Everyone brought new offerings with the start of the next hour.
ABC stuck with the general military theme, just took a hard left into comedy with the final season of the legendary McHale’s Navy, starring Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway and Joe Flynn. The show came into the year in transition as McHale and company were transferred from the south pacific base that had been the show’s home since its 1962 debut.
Meanwhile, CBS also moved into comedy with The Red Skelton Hour. By this point in history, Skelton was a comedy legend with work going back more than 25 years on the big screen. He’d also been a recurring figure on the small screen going back to the early 1950s.
Over on NBC, they stepped away from their comedy block to air the second weekly installment of Dr. Kildare. We talked about this in my video on Monday nights. This was a new format for the series, which had previously ran as an hour long medical drama.
While CBS ran with the second half hour of The Red Skelton Hour and NBC ran the Tuesday night movie, ABC had an open block to continue with the military trend with the debut of F-Troop. The series starred Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch and Ken Berry and followed a ragtag cavalry troop in the old west.
Over on NBC, they continued with Tuesday Night at the movies.
Meanwhile, ABC ran with Peyton Place. I touched briefly on the primetime soap in the Monday night video. The series was entering it’s second season in 1965 and this was the second airing of what would be three slots a week.
Finally, CBS dropped what is probably the biggest show of the night in terms of contemporary staying power, Petticoat Junction. The show was entering it’s third season in 1965 and it would go on to last until 1970.
This is a bit of a shorter night thanks to not only the Tuesday night movie, but also CBS ending the night on news.
ABC ended the night with the only new programming with the third season of the popular crime drama The Fugitive which would go on to run one more season. This is another instance of a show that has stuck around in the pop culture memory.
That’s sure saying something.
Unlike Monday nights there don’t seem to be solid examples of any shows out muscling each other, with the exception of probably NBC’s comedy block going up against Rawhide and Combat.
While there aren’t many legendary shows in this schedule (holding it up against the Lucille Ball Andy Griffith twosome on Monday there are also it of solid and memorable performers. While there were a few series that would come to an end after this season, My Mother the Car was the only single season performer.
Looking over the schedule, ABC takes the win on Tuesdays, particularly thanks to that military block. It’s a work of brilliance. It’s only a pity that this took shape during the last season of McHales Navy— or I suppose, that F-Troop didn’t premiere a few years earlier. Having both shows at their peak would have been amazing.
Next up, I’ll be turning my attention to a packed Wednesday night.
Stay tuned for more here at Female Gaze Productions as we look at classic popular culture through a historical and feminist lens. My name is Kim, you can find us on Twitter at kpierce624. Facebook person? I give me like or a follow at Kimberly C. Pierce. I also have lots of additional classic entertainment content posted at Journeys in Classic Fim dot com. As always, if you like what you’re seeing, please like and subscribe.
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