This was the television schedule on all three networks for the fall season beginning in September 1963.
ABC began its new fall schedule a week early, beating CBS and NBC out of the starting gate. New series debuting this week included sci-fi anthology The Outer Limits, police/lawyer series Arrest and Trial, drama The Fugitive, and game show 100 Grand. ABC also completely revamped its Friday night schedule, with three new series: detective show Burke's Law, sitcom The Farmer's Daughter, and boxing program The Fight of the Week. Fight would mark the end of boxing on network television. Boxing had debuted on network TV in 1946 and had enjoyed a run on all networks at various times, but after September 11, 1964, boxing would disappear entirely from network television.
CBS's success with rural comedies The Andy Griffith Show and The Beverly Hillbillies had convinced the network that rural sitcoms would continue to be popular. As a result, CBS president James Aubrey added what some critics described as an "endless procession of country clones [of] the wildly successful Beverly Hillbillies" to the network's schedule. Petticoat Junction, from the same producers of Hillbillies, debuted on September 24.
Westerns continued to be popular on television, and all three networks scheduled several Western series. NBC, in particular, retained a number of Westerns on its fall 1963 schedule: two returning series The Virginian and Bonanza, and new series Temple Houston, and Redigo. NBC's Western-heavy schedule would pay off, as Bonanza again became the second highest-rated TV series in the Nielsen ratings that year; The Virginian reached #17. CBS's Gunsmoke reached #20.
All times are Eastern and Pacific. New fall series are highlighted in bold.
^ abcCastleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 162–170. ISBN0-07-010269-4.
^ abHighest-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.
Castleman, H. & Podrazik, W. (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. 314 pp.
McNeil, Alex. Total Television. Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1984). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (3rd ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.