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The 1960–61 United States network television schedule was for the period that began in September 1960 and ran through March 1961.

On May 9, 1961, at the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters new FCC chairman Newton Minow delivered a scathing speech directed at the "procession of game shows, violence, audience participation shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, Western badmen, Western goodmen, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons, and, endlessly, commercials, many screaming, cajoling, and offending, and, most of all, boredom [...] Is there one network president in this room who claims he can't do better?"[1] Minow called TV a "vast wasteland"; the phrase was picked up by the press and resulted in bad publicity for the networks and for the television industry as a whole. According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), the networks were in a bind, though: they had already purchased their fall 1961 programs and had locked in their 1961-62 schedules. "The best the networks could do was slot a few more public affairs shows, paint rosy pictures for 1962-63, and prepare to endure the barrage of criticism they felt certain would greet the new season."[1]

New fall series are highlighted in bold. All times are Eastern and Pacific. The highest-rated show for the year is colored in gold, the second-highest appears in silver, and the third-highest in bronze.[2] Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its (rank/rating) as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[3]

Sunday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC 6:30 Walt Disney Presents Maverick Lawman (26/22.3) The Rebel The Islanders The Valiant Years
CBS Lassie Dennis the Menace (11/26.1) The Ed Sullivan Show (15/25.0) General Electric Theater (20/23.4) The Jack Benny Program (10/26.2) Candid Camera (7/27.3) What's My Line? (22/23.1)
NBC Shirley Temple's Storybook National Velvet The Tab Hunter Show The Dinah Shore Chevy Show The Loretta Young Show This Is Your Life

Note: ABC aired the interim The Walter Winchell Show at 10:30 p.m. from early October until early November.

Monday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local The Cheyenne Show (28/22.0) / Sugarfoot / Bronco Surfside 6 Adventures in Paradise Peter Gunn (29/21.9)
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News To Tell the Truth Pete and Gladys Bringing Up Buddy The Danny Thomas Show (12/25.9) The Andy Griffith Show (4/27.8) Hennesey Face the Nation
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Riverboat Tales of Wells Fargo Klondike Dante The Barbara Stanwyck Show Jackpot Bowling starring Milton Berle

Note: On CBS, Presidential Countdown aired as an interim series, 10:30–11 p.m. in September and October. In some areas, Douglas Edwards with the News and The Huntley-Brinkley Report aired at 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Expedition! The Bugs Bunny Show The Rifleman (27/22.1) The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Stagecoach West Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Local
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Local Father Knows Best (repeats) The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (23/23.0) The Tom Ewell Show The Red Skelton Show (19/24.0) The Garry Moore Show (25/22.7)
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Laramie Alfred Hitchcock Presents Thriller Specials

Wednesday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Hong Kong The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Hawaiian Eye Naked City
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News The Aquanauts Wanted: Dead or Alive My Sister Eileen I've Got a Secret Armstrong Circle Theatre / The United States Steel Hour
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Wagon Train (2/34.2) The Price Is Right (8T/27.0) Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall Peter Loves Mary Local

Thursday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Guestward, Ho! The Donna Reed Show The Real McCoys (5/27.7) My Three Sons (13T/25.8) The Untouchables (8T/27.0) Take A Good Look
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News The Witness Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Angel The Ann Sothern Show Person to Person The DuPont Show with June Allyson
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Outlaws Bat Masterson Bachelor Father The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford (24/22.9) The Groucho Show* Local

* formerly You Bet Your Life

Friday Edit

PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Local Matty's Funday Funnies Harrigan and Son The Flintstones (18/24.3) 77 Sunset Strip (13T/25.8) The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor The Law and Mr. Jones
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Douglas Edwards with the News Rawhide (6/27.5) Route 66 (30/21.7) Mr. Garlund The Twilight Zone Eyewitness to History
NBC 7:00 Local / 7:15 Huntley-Brinkley Report Dan Raven The Westerner The Bell Telephone Hour / NBC News Specials Michael Shayne

Saturday Edit

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The Roaring 20s Leave It to Beaver The Lawrence Welk Show 10:00 The Fight of the Week / 10:45 Make That Spare
CBS Perry Mason (16/24.9) Checkmate (21/23.2) Have Gun – Will Travel (3/30.9) Gunsmoke (1/37.3) Local
NBC Bonanza (17/24.8) The Tall Man The Deputy The Nation's Future Local

Note: On NBC, The Campaign and the Candidates aired as an interim series, 9:30–10:30 p.m., from mid-September to early November.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 139–146. ISBN 0-07-010269-4. 
  2. 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.
  3. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1960.htm
  • 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 (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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