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The 1950–51 United States network television schedule began in September of 1950 and ended in the spring of 1951.

In September 1950 NBC added two live variety series, Four Star Revue and The Colgate Comedy Hour, to its fall schedule. These programs were a network effort to bring NBC's most popular radio stars to television; talent included Eddie Cantor, Jack Carson, Dean Martin, Jimmy Durante, Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn, Bob Hope and Fred Allen. The two new star-studded series were scheduled directly against two of CBS's most popular programs: Four Star Revue went up against Arthur Godfrey and Friends on Wednesday nights, while The Colgate Comedy Hour was slated against Toast of the Town. NBC was confident that its strategy would pay off.[1]

CBS answered NBC's schedule with big radio stars and variety programs of its own, bringing in Frank Sinatra and (in occasional specials) Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and Edgar Bergen. "Despite the big budget variety shows in its schedule, though, CBS felt that situation comedy was actually a more stable television form that would be easier to exploit in the long run".[1]

In many time slots, the underfunded DuMont Network did not bother to compete against NBC's or CBS's hit series, instead airing what some TV historians have called "time-filler". For example: "During its long run [The Johns Hopkins Science Review] was scheduled against such hit shows as Break the Bank [and] Dragnet, programs from which its network had little chance of luring away viewers."[2] During fall 1950, The Court of Current Issues and The Johns Hopkins Science Review aired at the same time as the most heavily-viewed program on television, NBC's Texaco Star Theater. Given the competition, DuMont's Tuesday night public-affairs programming attracted virtually no audience.

New fall series are highlighted in bold. The highest-rated show for the year is colored in lime, the top-ten shows appear in yellow, the top-twenty shows in cyan, and the top-thirty ones in magenta.[3] Each of the top 30 highest-rated shows is shown with its (rank/rating) as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[4]

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 Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue Showtime U.S.A. Hollywood Premiere Theater Sit or Miss Soap Box Theater The Marshall Plan in Action Life Begins at Eighty Youth on the March
CBS The Gene Autry Show This is Show Business/The Jack Benny Program Toast of the Town (15/36.5) The Fred Waring Show Celebrity Time What's My Line?
DMN Star Time Rhythm Rodeo Local Programming The Arthur Murray Party They Stand Accused
NBC Leave It to the Girls The Aldrich Family (16/36.1) The Colgate Comedy Hour (5/42.0) The Philco Television Playhouse (3/45.3) Garroway at Large Take a Chance

Note: On CBS, beginning in January, The Jack Benny Program aired as occasional specials once every six to eight weeks.

Hopalong Cassidy (9/39.9) aired on NBC, 6–7 p.m.

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 Club Seven Hollywood Screen Test Treasury Men in Action Dick Tracy The College Bowl On Trial Feature Film
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Lux Video Theatre (30/31.5) Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (8/40.6) The Horace Heidt Show The Goldbergs Studio One (24/33.8)
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Susan Raye Show Visit with the Armed Forces The Al Morgan Show Wrestling from Columbia Park
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan The Speidel Show The Voice of Firestone Lights Out (19T/35.6) Robert Montgomery Presents (11/38.8) /Musical Comedy Time Who Said That?

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 Club Seven The Beulah Show The Game of the WeekTemplate:Dn Buck Rogers The Billy Rose Show Can You Top This? Life Begins at Eighty Roller Derby
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show Sure As Fate/Prudential Family Playhouse The Vaughn Monroe Show Suspense Danger We Take Your Word
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Joan Edwards Show Court of Current Issues The Johns Hopkins Science Review Cavalcade of Bands Star Time
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Little Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Texaco Star Theater (1/61.6) Fireside Theater (2/52.6) Armstrong Circle Theatre (19T/35.6) The Original Amateur Hour (26T/33.4)

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 Club Seven Chance of a Lifetime First Nighter Don MacNeill's TV Club Wrestling from the Rainbo in Chicago
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (18/35.9) Teller of Tales The Web Blue Ribbon Bouts (26/33.4)
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 The Most Important People / 7:45 Local Programming Local Programming Famous Jury Trials The Plainclothesman Broadway to Hollywood – Headline Clues Local Programming
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Four Star Revue Kraft Television Theater (14/37.0) Break the Bank Stars Over Hollywood

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 Club Seven The Lone Ranger (7/41.2) Stop the Music (23/34.0) Holiday Hotel Blind Date I Cover Times Square Roller Derby
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show/Starlight Theater The Show Goes On The Alan Young Show (22/34.4) Big Town (19T/35.6) Truth or Consequences Nash Airflyte Theater
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 Manhattan Spotlight / 7:45 The Joan Edwards Show Local Programming The Adventures of Ellery Queen Local Programming
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Little Show / 7:45 Camel News Caravan You Bet Your Life (17/36.0) Juvenile Jury Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge Martin Kane, Private Eye (12/37.8) Local Programming

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 Club Seven Life with Linkletter Twenty Questions New York Giants Quarterback Huddle Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Penthouse Playhouse Studs' Place
CBS The Stork Club 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 The Perry Como Show Mama (10/39.7) Man Against Crime (13/37.4) Ford Theater/Magnavox Theater Star of the Family Beat the Clock
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers 7:30 The Most Important People / 7:45 The Susan Raye Show Local Programming Hold That Camera Hands of Murder Rocky King, Inside Detective Cavalcade of Stars
NBC Kukla, Fran and Ollie 7:30 The Mohawk Showroom / 7:45 Camel News Caravan Quiz Kids We, the People Bonny Maid Versatile Varieties The Big Story (25/33.7)/The Clock 10:00 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (6/41.3) / 10:45 Greatest Fights of the Century

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 Sandy Dreams Life with the Erwins Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club Roller Derby
CBS 6:30 The Big Top 7:30 The Week in Review / 7:45 The Faye Emerson Show The Ken Murray Show (28/32.1) The Frank Sinatra Show Sing It Again Local Programming
DMN Captain Video and His Video Rangers Local Programming Country Style Madison Square Garden
NBC The Hank McCune Show One Man's Family The Jack Carter Show Your Show of Shows (4/42.6) Your Hit Parade (29/32.0)

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 53–62. ISBN 0-07-010269-4. 
  2. Heldenfels, R. D. (1994) Television's Greatest Year: 1954. New York: Continuum, pg 177–178. ISBN 0-8264-0675-0
  3. 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.
  4. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1950.htm
  • 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.

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