1952–53 United States network television schedule

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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 Mr. 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.

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[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 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? (20T/35.3)
NBC The Red Skelton Show (28T/33.7) 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[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 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[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 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 starring Milton Berle (5/46.7)/The Buick Circus Hour (once a month) (6/46.0) Fireside Theater (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[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 Local The Name's the Same All-Star News The Adventures of Ellery Queen Wrestling From Marigold
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 (20T/35.3) 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[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 Local The Lone Ranger (28T/33.7) 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 Television 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[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 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 (22T/35.0) 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 (22T/35.0) 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[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 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[edit]

  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.
  • 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.