The news that CBS was going to debut almost all its shows in a traditional premiere week starting Sept. 18 transported me back to the days when I and other kids I knew waited eagerly for the blitz of new programs to hit the black & whitebread, cap pistol-packing mid-sixties airwaves.
Nowadays there is so much stunting and schedule shape-shifting and midseason launching, and early season-canceling that there is no longer that Christmas-morning anticipation of a new crop of shows to be hooted with or marveled at, or hooted at and marveled with,
Of course, when I was doing the anticipating the new programs were shows like Hank, McHales Navy and Please Don't Eat the Daisies.
But anticipation would build as the networks teased the shows in August. Once the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon hit, I knew it was only a few more days until the shows started launching and I might be forced to make some tough choices.
There was always the slight twinge, unknown in these days of VCR's and DVD burners and TiVos, of two new shows opposite one another, each an unknown quantity, but hyped as the second coming of Lucy or Ben Cartwright by their respective networks. Green Acres or Big Valley, for instance, at 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights. Linda Evans or Arnold Ziffel. Tough, tough choices.
It was 1965, a booming boomer TV year to rival 1939 in the movies. Here is just a partial list of the new shows for fall of 1965: Big Valley, F Troop, Hogan's Heroes, The Wild, Wild West, Green Acres, I Dream of Jeannie, I Spy, Gidget, Lost In Space, The Smothers Brothers.
Am I the only one for whom the heavy step back to class after summer break was lightened by the prospects of a bunch of new TV shows to check out?
By John Eggerton