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The 1959–60 United States network television schedule was for the period that began in September 1959 and ran through March 1960.

By the end of the 1950s, the three major U.S. television networks had basically given up direct control of their TV programs. According to TV historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), ABC allowed Warner Brothers studios to fill 30% of its fall 1959 schedule. The networks "acted as mere conduits", with Warner, Talent Associates, Ziv, Screen Gems, 20th Century-Fox, Goodson-Todman, and Desilu Studios producing nearly everything on the networks; with rare exceptions, only network news and sports were still produced in-house.[1]

By fall 1959 what the Hollywood studios were producing were mostly Westerns. According to Castleman and Podrazik (1984), "the rush to Westerns had become a virtual stampede so that, by the fall of 1959, viewers had their choice from a staggering twenty-eight different Western-based prime time series."[2] Westerns were popular with audiences, but critics lamented the loss of other program formats, which had quietly vanished from the three networks' schedules. The addition of Westerns and game shows came at the direct expense of the live dramatic anthology series seen during television's golden age.[3]


Schedule Edit

  • All times are Eastern and Pacific
  • New fall series are highlighted in bold.
  • The official schedule was set by each network before the start of the official fall season. The mid-season schedule is listed under the official fall season lineup of each network. The mid-season schedule is from December 1959 to May 1960.
  • The fall season is from September to November in the U.S..
     Lime indicates the #1 most-watched program of the season.[4]
     Yellow indicates the top-10 most-watched programs of the season.[5]
     Cyan indicates the top-20 most-watched programs of the season.[6]
     Magenta indicates the top-30 most-watched programs of the season.[7][8]

Sunday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Colt .45 Maverick (19/25.2) Lawman (15/26.2) The Rebel The Alaskans Dick Clark's World of Talent
CBS Lassie (29T/23.1) Dennis the Menace (16/26.0) The Ed Sullivan Show (12/28.0) The General Electric Theater (21T/24.4) Alfred Hitchcock Presents (25/24.1) The Jack Benny Program / The George Gobel Show What's My Line? (27/23.9)
NBC Riverboat NBC Sunday Showcase (Color) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (Color) The Loretta Young Show Local Programming

Monday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming Cheyenne (17/25.9) Bourbon Street Beat Adventures in Paradise Man with a Camera
CBS Fall 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 Douglas Edwards with the News* Masquerade Party The Texan Father Knows Best (6T/29.7) The Danny Thomas Show (4/31.1) The Ann Sothern Show (24/24.2) Hennesey The DuPont Show with June Allyson
Mid-Season The Kate Smith Show
NBC 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 The Huntley-Brinkley Report* Richard Diamond, Private Detective Love and Marriage Tales of Wells Fargo Peter Gunn Alcoa Theatre / Goodyear Television Playhouse The Steve Allen Plymouth Show** (Color)

(*) In some areas, Douglas Edwards with the News and The Huntley-Brinkley Report aired at 6:45 p.m. (**) Formerly known as The Steve Allen Show

Tuesday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming Sugarfoot / Bronco The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (20/25.0) The Rifleman (13/27.5) Philip Marlowe Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Keep Talking
CBS Fall 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 Douglas Edwards with the News Local Programming The Dennis O'Keefe Show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Tightrope! The Red Skelton Show (5/30.8) The Garry Moore Show
Summer Diagnosis: Unknown
NBC 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 The Huntley-Brinkley Report Laramie Fibber McGee and Molly The Arthur Murray Party (Color) Startime (Color) Local Programming

Wednesday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming The Court of Last Resort (repeats) Charley Weaver's Hobby Lobby The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Hawaiian Eye The Wednesday Night Fights
CBS 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 Douglas Edwards with the News The Lineup Men Into Space The Millionaire I've Got a Secret (28/23.5) Armstrong Circle Theatre / The United States Steel Hour
NBC 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 The Huntley-Brinkley Report Wagon Train (2/38.4) The Price is Right (8/29.2)(Color) Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (29T/23.1)(Color) This Is Your Life Wichita Town

Thursday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming The Gale Storm Show The Donna Reed Show The Real McCoys (11/28.2) The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom The Untouchables Take a Good Look
CBS 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 Douglas Edwards with the News To Tell the Truth The Betty Hutton Show Johnny Ringo Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (21T/24.4) Playhouse 90 / The Big Party
NBC 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 The Huntley-Brinkley Report Law of the Plainsman Bat Masterson Johnny Staccato Bachelor Father The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford (14/27.4)(Color) You Bet Your Life (26/24.0) The Lawless Years

Friday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming Walt Disney Presents The Man From Blackhawk 77 Sunset Strip (6T/29.7) The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor Black Saddle
CBS 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 Douglas Edwards with the News Rawhide (18/25.8) Hotel de Paree Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse / The Westinghouse Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (once a month) The Twilight Zone Person to Person
NBC 7.00 Local Programming / 7.15 The Huntley-Brinkley Report People Are Funny The Troubleshooters The Bell Telephone Hour (Color) / NBC News Specials M Squad 10:00 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports / 10:45 Phillies Jackpot Bowling

Saturday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Programming Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show John Gunther's High Road Leave It to Beaver The Lawrence Welk Show Jubilee USA
CBS Perry Mason (10/28.3) Wanted: Dead or Alive (9/28.7) Mr. Lucky (21T/24.4) Have Gun – Will Travel (3/34.7) Gunsmoke (1/40.3) Markham
NBC Bonanza (Color) The Man and the Challenge The Deputy Five Fingers It Could Be You

ReferencesEdit

  1. Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 129–138. ISBN 0-07-010269-4. 
  2. Castleman, H. and Podrazik, W. (1984) The TV Schedule Book: Four Decades of Network Programming from Sign-on to Sign-off. McGraw-Hill. pg 79-85. ISBN 0-07-010277-5
  3. Heldenfels, R. D. (1994) Television's Greatest Year: 1954. New York: Continuum, pg 210. ISBN 0-8264-0675-0
  4. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1959.htm
  5. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1959.htm
  6. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1959.htm
  7. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1959.htm
  8. 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.
  • McNeil, Alex. Total Television. Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  • Castleman, Harry & Podrazik, Wally (1984). The TV Schedule Book. New York: McGraw-Hill Paperbacks.
  • Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.

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