1963–64 United States network television schedule

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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.[1] 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, weekly primetime boxing series would disappear entirely from network television.[1] ABC introduced two variety hours that fall with The Jimmy Dean Show and the short lived Jerry Lewis Show.[citation needed]

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.[1] CBS also brought two show business veterans to weekly variety television that year with Judy Garland and Danny Kaye.[citation needed]

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.[2]

On July 17, 1963, NBC removed The Robert Taylor Show from the lineup due to conflicts between the producers and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

All times are Eastern and Pacific. 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.[2]

This network TV season is also notable for being the season when the JFK Assassination took place on Friday, November 22, 1963. Many programs that were originally scheduled to air on that weekend on all three networks (and on the day of the assassination) on prime time had to be pushed back to the following weekend due to all three networks doing news coverage that would last until November 26.

This became a landmark TV season when the Beatles made their American debut on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964. An estimated 73 million people tuned in to watch the Fab Four perform on the show, which made it one of the highest rated TV episodes in the history of prime time television.

     Yellow indicates the top 10 programs for the season.
     Cyan indicates the top 20 programs for the season.
     Magenta indicates the top 30 programs for the season.


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 Fall Local The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters Arrest and Trial 100 Grand ABC News Reports
Follow-up Laughs For Sale
Winter Local
Spring Empire (Color)
CBS Fall Lassie (12/25.0)
(Tied with I've Got a Secret and The Jack Benny Show)
My Favorite Martian (10/26.3) The Ed Sullivan Show (8/27.5) The Judy Garland Show Candid Camera (7/27.7) What's My Line? (24/22.6)
(Tied with To Tell the Truth)
Spring The Celebrity Game Made in America
Summer Brenner
NBC The Bill Dana Show Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (21/23.0) (Color) Grindl Bonanza (2/36.9) (Color) The DuPont Show of the Week

Notes: Mister Ed aired on CBS from 6:30 to 7 p.m. 100 Grand only lasted three weeks, and was replaced by Laughs For Sale, which ran until December 1963. On April 1964, The Celebrity Game was added to CBS' primetime lineup. Empire on ABC consisted of reruns of the 1962-63 NBC TV series.


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC The Outer Limits Wagon Train (Color) Breaking Point
CBS To Tell the Truth (24/22.6)
(Tied with What's My Line?)
I've Got a Secret (12/25.0)
(Tied with Lassie and The Jack Benny Show)
The Lucy Show (6/28.1) The Danny Thomas Show (9/26.7) The Andy Griffith Show (5/29.4) East Side/West Side
NBC NBC Monday Night at the Movies Hollywood and the Stars Sing Along with Mitch (Color)

Note: Beginning in September, CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite (formerly Walter Cronkite with the News) and The Huntley-Brinkley Report expanded to a half-hour, airing weekdays at 6:30 p.m


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Combat! McHale's Navy (22/22.8)
(Tied with Hazel)
The Greatest Show on Earth (Color) The Fugitive (28/21.7)
CBS Fall Marshal Dillon (Gunsmoke repeats) The Red Skelton Show (11/25.7) Petticoat Junction (4/30.3) The Jack Benny Show (12/25.0)
(Tied with I've Got a Secret and Lassie)
The Garry Moore Show
Summer High Adventure with Lowell Thomas
NBC Fall Mr. Novak Redigo (Color) The Richard Boone Show The Bell Telephone Hour / The Andy Williams Show (Color)
Winter You Don't Say! (Color)

Note: The 1964 CBS summer series High Adventure with Lowell Thomas consisted of reruns of specials which had aired under that title during the late 1950s. In January 1964, Redigo was cancelled and replaced with You Don't Say!.


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (29/21.6) The Patty Duke Show (18/23.9) The Price Is Right Ben Casey Channing
Follow-up The Farmer's Daughter
CBS Fall Chronicle / CBS Reports Glynis The Beverly Hillbillies (1/39.1) The Dick Van Dyke Show (3/33.3) The Danny Kaye Show (30/21.5)
(Tied with Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre)
Winter Tell It to the Camera
Summer Suspense On Broadway Tonight
NBC The Virginian (17/24.0) (Color) Espionage The Eleventh Hour


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall The Flintstones (Color) The Donna Reed Show (16/24.5) My Three Sons (27/21.9) The Jimmy Dean Show The Edie Adams Show / The Sid Caesar Show Local
Winter ABC News Reports
Spring Ensign O'Toole The Jimmy Dean Show
CBS Password Rawhide Perry Mason (26/22.1) The Nurses
NBC Fall Temple Houston Dr. Kildare (19/23.6) Hazel (22/22.8)
(Tied with McHale's Navy) (Color)
Kraft Suspense Theatre (Color) / Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (once a month) (Color)
Summer Ford Presents the New Christy Minstrels (Color)

Note: Ensign O'Toole on ABC consisted of reruns of the 1962-1963 NBC situation comedy. On NBC, The Robert Taylor Show was supposed to air 7:30-8:30, but it was never happened and placed Temple Houston on the schedule at the last minute.


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall 77 Sunset Strip Burke's Law The Farmer's Daughter 10:00 The Fight of the Week / 10:45 Make That Spare
Follow-up The Price is RIght
Winter Destry
CBS The Great Adventure Route 66 Twilight Zone The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
NBC Fall International Showtime Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (30/21.5)
(Tied with The Danny Kaye Show) (Color)
Harry's Girls The Jack Paar Program (Color)
Winter That Was the Week That Was
Summer On Parade

Note: 77 Sunset Strip on ABC ended February 7, 1964, replaced the next week by Destry. On December 6, 1963, The Farmer's Daughter was put on another day and timeslot, and put The Price Is Right at 9:30pm.


Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Hootenanny The Lawrence Welk Show The Jerry Lewis Show (ends 11:30)
Winter The Hollywood Palace Local
CBS Fall The Jackie Gleason Show (15/24.6) The New Phil Silvers Show The Defenders Gunsmoke (20/23.5)
Follow-up The Defenders The New Phil Silvers Show
Summer The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
NBC The Lieutenant The Joey Bishop Show (Color) NBC Saturday Night at the Movies (Color)

Note: ABC-TV Presents: The Hollywood Palace debuted on January 4, 1964, replacing The Jerry Lewis Show.


  1. ^ a b c Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 162–170. ISBN 0-07-010269-4.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  • 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.