Thursday, September 18, 2014

1964 TV

1964 was far from a golden age in television. In fact, many of the shows premiering that year seemed sillier than what came before or after with GOMER PYLE, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, THE MUNSTERS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, MR. MAGOO, FLIPPER, and GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.These sound like kid's shows, but were not.We who lived through this era may have some fondness for these shows, but I doubt any else would.

But there were a few shows that bore watching for me: THE AVENGERS, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE M,A.N FROM U.N.C.L.E, THE SAINT, THE FUGITIVE, and perhaps PEYTON PLACE as the first try at a multi-night soap.

Middling show for me included MY THREE SONS and BEN CASEY. And a couple good westerns still saddled up: BONANZA and GUNSMOKE.

Was it the death of a President that made us so sensitive to anything more demanding? Did we need foolishness to get past it?

U.S. TV attempted to produce a version of the satirical British show THIS WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS in 1964, but Americans were in no mood to watch political satire. In a few years, the war in Vietnam probably changed that.


Any of these resonate for you guys?


Anonymous said...

Wghile I wouldn't say I miss any of them now, I did watch quite a few of those shows - including some of the silly ones. I will even admit that I was a fan of BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

There, I said it.

Jackie will watch any show with doctors in it, so naturally was a fan of BEN CASEY. I wasn't.

I'd say DICK VAN DYKE, THE FUGITIVE, MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and ANDY GRIFFITH stood out then. The only one I've watched at all since then is the last of those.

The others I liked: The Rogues. The Defenders. And of course SHINDIG! and HULLABALOO.

Jeff M.

Randy Johnson said...

I was and still am an Andy Griffith watcher. It's almost de rigueur for a Tarheel.

Bonanza was one of my westerns. The Fugitive. Combat. Most any crime show.

On comedy, I watched Gomer Pyle(the connection with Andy Griffith), Munsters, probably Addams Family.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I will still watch an Andy now and then. They are like meditation for me--as is Leave it to Beaver.
I guess the music shows are all competitions now or videos. It was fun.

Al Tucher said...

I remember binge-watching THE FUGITIVE on A&E back in the 90s. The series was uneven, and the finale downright disappointing, but the best episodes were gripping. They pressed a paranoid button that I think most of us had.

There were also little extras, like Kurt Russell as a boy actor.

Heath Lowrance said...

This was an interesting post. I didn't know Dick Van Dyke and Andy Griffith premiered the same year-- odd, because those are the only two sit-coms I've ever liked.

pattinase (abbott) said...

They were both on in 1964 but premiered earlier.

Kent Morgan said...

In looking at your list, I realized that Bonanza was the only one that I watched on a occasional basis. Some I have never seen, but I've never been a fan of comedies on TV or in the movies. In thinking back to 1964, I remembered that I was playing softball in the summer and refereeing hockey and curling in the winter so wasn't home many evenings to watch these shows. Wow, that's 50 years ago.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Don'T I know it. Rarely watched TV in high school!

Cap'n Bob said...

Combat. In 1966 I was watching it when a friend came over and said he was going to join the Army and would I like to go with him. I said yes and 10 months later I was in Viet Nam. No regrets.

John said...

I grew up on 70s TV but I saw a heckuva a lot of 60s TV thanks to the inundation of syndicated reruns back then. Amazingly I've seen all of these shows you list but only in their second life. And some of these are now on their fifth, sixth or eleventh life thanks to a resurgence in nostalgia TV networks (Cozi, MeTV, MeTV Too, Antenna TV). THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW will always be one of my favorites. THE AVENGERS was pretty fun TV. Seems like we're having a revival of that style of weird, offbeat action TV series these days.

david hartzog said...

The Avengers (my all time favorite) The Man From Uncle, The Fugitive, The Saint, all of I have on dvd and still enjoy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Avenerd was on Friday night and I rarely made it through.

Benzadmiral said...

I grew up with Rob and Laura Petrie, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, and Andy Taylor. Years later I got to see some "Fugitive" episodes, and realized why my mother was so dazzled by the show: They were GOOD!