It's About Time (TV series)

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It's About Time
Its About Time Title.png
Created by Sherwood Schwartz
Starring Frank Aletter
Jack Mullaney
Imogene Coca
Joe E. Ross
Theme music composer Gerald Fried
George Wyle
Sherwood Schwartz
Composer(s) Gerald Fried
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Sherwood Schwartz
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Redwood Productions, Inc.
Gladasya Productions, Inc.
United Artists Television
Distributor United Artists Television
Original network CBS
Original release September 11, 1966 – April 2, 1967

It's About Time is an American fantasy/science-fiction comedy TV series that aired on CBS for one season of 26 episodes in 1966–1967. The series was created by Sherwood Schwartz, and used sets, props and incidental music from Schwartz's other television series in production at the time, Gilligan's Island.


The cave family in the 20th century.

Two astronauts, Mac (Frank Aletter) and Hector (Jack Mullaney), travel faster than the speed of light, resulting in being sent back in time to prehistoric days. There, they have to adjust to living with a cave family led by Shad (Imogene Coca) and Gronk (Joe E. Ross). (Coca's character's name was originally pronounced "Shag" in the first episode, after which her character's name was pronounced "Shad" (evidenced in the re-run episodes on Antenna TV), though in the opening titles her billing still read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAG"; this changed in the episode "20th Century Here We Come" when new opening titles were created for the series' retooling (see below) and her billing was changed to read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAD". Their children were 18-year-old Mlor (Mary Grace, credited in the retooled closing titles as Mary Graham Grace) and 14-year-old Breer (Pat Cardi). The chief of the tribe, Boss (Cliff Norton) and his right-hand man Clon (Mike Mazurki) were always suspicious of the astronauts.

Ratings were impressive for the first few weeks on the air, but they soon plunged. Show creator Sherwood Schwartz came to the conclusion that three factors were the cause of the decline in audience interest:

  • Repetition of the astronauts being in danger from dinosaurs, clubs, spears, volcanoes, and cavemen.
  • An unattractive look to the show (e.g., caves, dirt streets, etc.)
  • The cave dwellers speaking a primitive form of English that was difficult to listen to.[1]

For these reasons, after eighteen broadcast episodes set in prehistoric times, the series was retooled beginning with the January 22, 1967 episode. (A nineteenth 'prehistoric' episode had been completed, but it was not broadcast until after the end of the series' original run; this could possibly have been due to its originally scheduled broadcast being preempted for special programming, which happened occasionally to many TV shows, throwing their original broadcast order out of sync when the networks would broadcast the episode at the end of the season's first-run episodes rather than postponing the broadcast until the following week.) Essentially reversing the premise which had been followed the first half of the season, on the January 22 episode the astronauts repair their space capsule and return to 1967, with Shad, Gronk, and their children in tow. Boss and Clon make their final appearances in this episode, which also introduces two new supporting characters who would stay with the show going forward: Alan DeWitt as Mr. Tyler, manager of the apartment building where Mac and Hector live, and Frank Wilcox as General Morley, their commanding officer.

In the retooled version of the show (which had an updated theme song, explaining the new premise) the prehistoric family must begin adjusting to life in the 1960s, reacting to the unfamiliar surroundings, and setting up home in 20th-century New York City. For example, one episode had Gronk and Shad learning to write their names and signing them for many salesmen who brought "presents," which later had to be paid for. Mac and Hector also had to convince their disbelieving superior that they really did travel in time, and are not playing some sort of elaborate practical joke. Seven episodes were produced with this new premise before the series was cancelled at the end of the season.


No. Title Original air date
1 "And Then I Wrote 'Happy Birthday to You'" September 11, 1966
2 "The Copper Caper" September 18, 1966
3 "The Initiation" September 25, 1966
4 "Tailor Made Hero" October 2, 1966
5 "The Rainmakers" October 9, 1966
6 "Me Caveman—You Woman" October 16, 1966
7 "The Champ" October 23, 1966
8 "Mark Your Ballets" October 30, 1966
9 "Have I Got A Girl for You" November 6, 1966
10 "Cave Movies" November 13, 1966
11 "Androcles and Clon" November 20, 1966
12 "Love Me, Love My Gnook" November 27, 1966
13 "The Broken Idol" December 4, 1966
14 "The Sacrifice" December 11, 1966
15 "King Hec" December 18, 1966
16 "The Mother-in-law" December 25, 1966
17 "Which Doctor's Witch?" January 1, 1967
18 "To Catch a Thief" January 8, 1967
19 "20th Century Here We Come" January 22, 1967
20 "Shad Rack and Other Tortures" January 29, 1967
21 "The Cave Family Swingers" February 5, 1967
22 "To Sign or Not to Sign" February 19, 1967
23 "School Days, School Days" February 26, 1967
24 "Our Brothers' Keepers" March 5, 1967
25 "The Stone Age Diplomats" March 12, 1967
26 "The Stowaway" April 2, 1967
  • "The Stowaway" was originally scheduled to air on January 15, 1967, but was pre-empted after the first-ever Super Bowl was scheduled on the same evening. This episode was set in prehistoric times, and clearly predates the previous seven episodes. However, it didn't air until April 2, 1967. In the show's current syndication re-runs on certain networks - such as Antenna TV - this episode airs in its intended order, immediately preceding "20th Century Here We Come".

In popular culture[edit]

  • The punk rock band X incorporated some of the lyrics of the show's theme song into their song "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" for the album More Fun in the New World, as a commentary on the direction of 1980s music: "Glitter-disco-synthesizer night school/All this noble savage drum, drum, drum/Astronauts going back in time to hang out with the cave people/It's about time/It's about space/It's about some people in the strangest place."
  • Electronic musician Venetian Snares samples the show's theme song extensively in his song Einstein-Rosen Bridge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Bob. "It's About Time Undergoing Changes" Ocala Star-Banner (December 28, 1966)

External links[edit]