1950–51 United States network television schedule

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The 1950–51 United States network television schedule began in September of 1950 and ended in the spring of 1951.

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, 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, who appeared with the Benny Goodman Sextet).

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.[3]

     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[edit]

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 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[edit]

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 Club Seven Hollywood Screen Test Treasury Men in Action Dick Tracy The College Bowl On Trial Feature Film
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Lux Video Theatre (30/31.5) 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 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Susan Raye Show Visit With the Armed Forces The Al Morgan Show Wrestling From Columbia Park Arena
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan The Speidel Show (30/31.5) The Voice of Firestone Lights Out (19T/35.6) Robert Montgomery Presents (11/38.8) /Musical Comedy Time Who Said That?

Tuesday[edit]

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 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 Theater (2/52.6) Armstrong Circle Theatre (19T/35.6) The Original Amateur Hour (26T/33.4)

Wednesday[edit]

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 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 Blue Ribbon Bouts (26/33.4)
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 Theater (14/37.0) Break the Bank Stars Over Hollywood

Thursday[edit]

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 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 Theater The Show Goes On The Alan Young Show (22/34.4) Big Town (19T/35.6) 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) Wayne King
  • Wayne King was seen only on NBC's Midwest Network.

Friday[edit]

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 Club Seven Life with Linkletter Twenty Questions Pro Football Highlights Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Penthouse Playhouse 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[edit]

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 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[edit]

  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.