Classic TV: The 50s : What is the first TV series you remember watching

What is the first TV series you remember watching

When the first TV station in my town signed on for the first time, the first show on the air was “Your Hit Parade” (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0042172/). I would rush home from first grade to catch a daily episode of “Crusader Rabbit” (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0042097/). Other early series were “Badge 714” - the syndacated title of “Dragnet” - (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0043194/) and “Winky Dink and You” (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0045456/).

mf

"I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody." -Franny

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Wow, things get a bit mixed up when you think back over some 50+ years.

Cartoon shows were the very first, starting about 1951. The reason I remember the year is that we moved from one house to another at that time and I can still recall the first house when I was only four years old.

The earliest:
I Love Lucy
Molly Goldberg Show
I Married Joan
Life of Riley (Bendix)
Andy's Gang (a truly terrible children's show)
Rocky Jones, Space Ranger

MikeF6,

I remember Your Hit Parade when the hits included "Ivory Tower" and "Green Door" at the dawn of the rock era. I had a Winky Dink drawing set and I recall watching the original Dragnet with Webb and Ben Alexander when it was new.

Oddly, I have no recollection of Crusader Rabbit, despite the ton of animated toons I must have sat through at the time. There was Ruff and Ready and their adventures on the planet Munimula (Aluminum spelled backwards).

To God There Is No Zero. I Still Exist.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching


I remember Your Hit Parade when the hits included "Ivory Tower" and "Green Door" at the dawn of the rock era.


I started watching it in the early ‘50s – from about 1951-2. The end came when rock became mainstream about 1956. The legendary moment (which I missed) had Big Band singer Snooky Lanson crooning “Hound Dog.” Elvis’ version of this R&B standard was released in July 1956 as the “B” side to “Don’t Be Cruel.”.

Take a look at the color picture at this Wikipedia article. This was the quartet of singers that I watched: Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms, and Gisele MacKenzie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Hit_Parade

mf

"I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody." -Franny

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

The first TV show I remember seeing was at a friend's house -- would you believe Liberace ca. 1951/ I also saw a few episodes of My Friend Irma and Amos 'n' Andy ca. 1952. We got our first TV set in 1953. Shows I vividly remember were Love of Life, Search for Tomorrow, The Guiding Light, The Big Payoff, Dangerous Assignment, Foreign Intrigue, Father Knows Best, Space Patrol, and Winky Dink as well as the weekday kiddie shows featuring cartoons and movie serials. Of course our entire family watched Arthur Godfrey (who dominated daytime TV, they telecast his radio series!), Jackie Gleason, I Love Lucy, Milton Berle and Meet Millie. Sunday Nights, jack Benny alternating with Private Secretary, Ed Sullivan, and What's My Line. Does remembering all these shows indicate a misspent youth? Although I didn't see the shows daily or weekly (I did have a life and went to elementary school), I am bemused by the fact that I can remember storylines on the soaps which I only saw off and on during vacations. Our local station didn't carry Kukla, Fran and Ollie or Howdy Doody so I could only view them when we went north for summer vacation. And, crime of crimes, our local station didn't carry Your Show of Shows!
PS - Of course I loved them on radio so I was a faithful fan of Our Miss Brooks and My Little Margie. I was rather shocked that Gale Storm's death last year received so little notice ... only us old folk remember her not only as a comedienne but an excellent singer. LOL

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Walt Disney...1955..... Davey Crocket with Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen, Texas John Slaughter, Tom Tryon, Elfago Baca, and The Swamp Fox with Leslie Neilson Zorro with Guy Williams, Spin and Marty with Tim Considine all Disney Classics

Maverick, Have Gun will Travel, Cheyene, Sugarfoot, Lawman, Wagon train all classic westerns from the 50's But the best western of the 50;s.......... Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels....... HIYO SILVER AWAY The Lone ranger

Re: Memories of 'Hit Parade'

My father, who watched only sports and "action shows," often wandered through the TV room when other shows were on. We thought it was hilarious that he thought Dorothy Collins was Snooky Lanson -- as "what kind of GUY would have a name like Snooky?" We thought he was woefully out of touch -- and now I find myself doing identical things, asking very similar questions. In fact, just this morning I asked someone "Who is Snooki?"

Re: Memories of 'Hit Parade'

I remember Hit Parade's Gisele MacKenzie having these fabulous hips - and that's well over 50 years ago!

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Good stuff, thanks. The article has one error that I noted immediately: the photo that identifies Doris Day as having appeared on the series with Frank Sinatra is incorrect. The singer in the photo is actually Helen O'Connell.

"I'm not afraid, Mother. I'm not afraid."

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching


Andy's Gang (a truly terrible children's show)


This was the third incarnation of a show that began as The Buster Brown Show in 1950. When I saw it, it was called Smilin’ Ed McConnell and His Gang. One of the unforgettable segments was Billy Gilbert going up against Froggy the Gremlin. Smilin’ Ed would conjure up Froggy ( a puppet) with the words, “Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy!” There would be a puff of smoke and Froggy would appear saying, “Hiya, kids, hiya.” Then Billy Gilbert would try to lecture the audience on something while Froggy would stand to one side and confuse him. A typical gag would go something like:

Gilbert: Then you take the doughy mixtureÂ…

Froggy: And put it in your ear.

Gilbert: Â…and put it in your ear. (He does so. ThenÂ…) No-o-o-o Froggy-y-y-y

Hilarious stuff. Really.

It was never the same show after McConnell died in 1955 and Andy Devine took over.

Smilin’ Ed’s audience eventually grew up to be ‘60s rebels and hippie dropouts. The “pluck your magic twanger” catchphrase turned into an ironic and salacious wisecrack.

mf

"I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody." -Franny

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I Married Joan
December Bride
The Gale Storm Show

"You can't send a kid like this up in a crate like that on a night like tonight!"

Andy's Gang

'Scuse me, but Andy's Gang contributed to the twisting of an entire generation. I mean "Plunk your magic twanger Froggy"???? Oh really!?!? Who cares if he was a lame puppet.
And that sinister cat ("Niccccceeeeee".) Of course, I love cats and prefer then to dogs, but nevertheless...
OK, the antiquated film clips they showed were really boring, but if Andy didn't come across as a World Class Perve then I'm an artichoke. ("Hey! Get away from that leaf!!! That's part of ME.")
I have a video somewhere, but, typically, I've no idea where it is, so I'm off to YouTube.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Our family didn't buy a TV until March 1956 but I got to see the first Gunsmoke episode on a friend's TV in the fall of 1955. Gunsmoke was a favorite of mine, especially because it had been a favorite radio program. Of course Gunsmoke started out as a half-hour show, and Dillon used his fists a lot more in those early shows before the public complained about violence on TV.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Some of the earliest shows I remember watching are Queen For A Day, Ding Dong School and Romper Room.

I just saw a clip of Crusader Rabbit on YouTube. Boy did that bring back memories.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I didn't send away for the Winky Dink kit of a plastic sheet and three crayons. Instead, I used Saran Wrap and Crayolas. Worked just as good.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

It wasn't the first series I watched but the earliest memory I have is of "One Step Beyond".

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

One Step Beyond came on about 1961 or 1962.

That creepy theme music scared the bejesus out of me and host John Newland also remains in my mind. I can still see his thin frame and hear his voice after all these years.

To God There Is No Zero. I Still Exist.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Actually, One Step Beyond premiered in 1959 and ran until 1961.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Sky King, and the circus shows that were on Saturday mornings, like Super Circus. I lived in Birmingham, AL.

Prime time: Dragnet, Perry Como, Your Hit Parade

Afternoons: Howdy Doody

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

If I remember correctly, it was probably Howdy Doody. I do remember sitting through 15 minutes of Kate Smith, waiting for Howdy.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

The very, very first time I looked at a TV screen was in 1949 -- it was a Ford commercial! I don't know what I expected, but I was surprised to see an automobile on a road, with an announcer lauding its virtues!

The first show we saw that night was "Kukla, Fran & Ollie," but there were a couple of 15-minute shows I recall, one of them featuring a lovely woman named Roberta, whose last name I cannot now recall.

During those very early days, there was a program called "Fireside Theater," hosted by Gene Raymond and comprising two 15-minute stories! Amazing what they packed into those 15 minutes.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

And remember when news broadcasts were only 15 minutes and included weather and sports. I believe Douglas Edwards was one of the first.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I had forgotten all about these shows and others mentioned here. I'm so glad there's people out there my age that remember shows from 'our' youth. Ahhhh -the memories - really good ones, less complicated times (or so we thought)- and surrounded by family ... mostly because there was only one small back and white TV set. :-)

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

The very first??

I'd say it is a toss-up between Father Knows Best (in original prime time run) and Captain Midnight.



But throughout it all, my motto was "Dignity! Always dignity!".

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching


Captain Midnight


Brought to you by Ovaltine.

His sidekick was Ichabod Mudd. "With two Ds," as Icky would always point out.

mf

"I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody." -Franny

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I guess "Howdy Doody," "Ding Dong School," and "Super Circus" (Sunday afternoons), were the first kids' shows that I recall.

The first series, in terms of a regular cast of characters in an ongoing situation, was "Mr. Peepers," with Wally Cox and Tony Randall. "Our Miss Brooks," "Amos 'n Andy," and "Topper," also make up some early memories.

The great kids' series, or "hero" shows, were "The Adventures of Superman," "Sky King," "The Cisco Kid," and, of course "Roy Rogers and Dale Evans."











Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Although they were not the very first programs that I saw, my most vivid memories are of "Disneyland" and "The Mickey Mouse Club" which my brothers and I watched religiously. We never had the mouse ears but we did have the "coonskin" caps popularized by Fess Parker as Davy Crockett. To me, the cutest girl Mouseketeer was Cheryl Holdridge who died of lung cancer last year at age 64.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Great thread, MikeF-6!

My very first memories, about 2 or 3, were of "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," and "Howdy Doody." My dad, ever the doting parent, bought me a HUGE Clarabelle doll; it was almost as tall as I.

I always took Clarabelle to bed with me, and, once in the middle of the night, I awoke to see the face of the doll beside me. It was horrifyingly white and gleaming in the shaft of moonlight coming in through the window. I remember hearing myself scream and scream and scream, and my parents running into my roomm.

That was the last of Clarabelle and Howdy Doody in my house. LOL!!

As I got older, horses became my passion, so any Western - no matter how bad - were my favorite shows. Wasn't that interested in the cowboys, but I remember knowing every horse and its name.

My dad - he really knew no boundaries when it came to buying me gifts - acknowledged my passion by buying me a life-size stuffed pony, with bridle and saddle, from FAO Schwartz. My mom made him take it back.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

In the 49-50 Season:
"Mama" and "Man Against Crime" both on Friday evenings

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

You answered this one for me. We got our Emerson 16"er in 1950 and Mama and Man Against Crime were among the first we watched. Racket Squad, Stu Erwin, Joan Davis, and 1950 Nash's in use as Police cars are all memories for me.

Man Against Crime often featured Ralph Bellamy as Mike Barnett in a woolen topcoat. I think I remember Ralph saying he did the show directly after finishing work on stage and so used his street clothes as costume.

As well, most of the live drama under the hot early TV lights had some sort of sultry locale featuring lots of brow-mopping.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Have sent you a PM

Re: I remember when TV first came to the house

I'm not sure what was the first show I watched. We didn't have our own TV till '56 or '57. But I did watch some shows on friends' TVs. Two earliest I remember are Captain Midnight and Beany and Cecil. Would be funny to see those shows today. Extremely low-tech.

Re: I remember when TV first came to the house


"Tightrope" a series of 20 minute thrillers with Mike Connors who made his name later as "Mannix". I don't remember anything about the series whatsoev

Re: I remember when TV first came to the house

Mike Connors played an undercover cop in Tightrope. The intriguing thing about the series is the audience never knew the character's name. He often used the alias "Nick", so writers commenting on the show frequently refer to him by this name. But in the closing credits he was simply referred to as The Man.

But throughout it all, my motto was "Dignity! Always dignity!".

Re: Maid?

Yeh, now I remember the old guy saying "Hello Mrs. Angel, Hello Mrs. Angel's friend". My brother and I repeated that for years.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Wonderful Betty White is enjoying enormous celebration, lately. Most people remember her earliest role to be Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But, Life with Elizabeth, from '52 was another great early series. It started out as a daytime program, and was the best thing about staying home, sick, from school.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

In the 50's, Betty played a maid on Date With The Angels. She was relatively new to TV then.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

For some strange reason I remember a show called Duffy's Tavern. I guess my folks use to watch it.

I mostly remember cartoon shows like Crusader Rabbit, but also others like Q.T. Hush. Hush was very much like one of those cliffhanger serials. Also remember Pow Wow the Indian Boy cartoons. Susan's Place a morning kid show. And Jobbellwaky Place another kids show that featured Terry Bennett and his wife Joy as Pamula puppet.

I never hear anything about these really old shows. Wish they were on DVD. I sure would like to see them again.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

My earliest tv show memories are of The Friendly Giant. I loved the stories "Friendly" told, and especially liked the programs when they have a concert in the music room of the castle. I also watched Chez Helene and while I remember Suzy the Mouse, none of the French lessons ever took.

Afternoon television seemed to me to be all about Madame Benoit cooking and Bonnie Pruden exercising.

When I was a little older I lived for after school programming of Zorro, Rin Tin Tin, Wild Bill Hickcock and The Forest Rangers. I was also crazy about The Mickey Mouse Club during its early 60s syndicated run. Loved the serials!





"All this talk of blood and slaying has put me off my tea."

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Tell me misspaddylee, if you can remember, did this show of which you have the earliest memory, have a puppet that was a knight? I have been everywhere searching and I never find a thing. I used to have a hand puppet of the knight, but cannot remember what show it was from. Perhaps, you have something more I can go on."The Friendly Giant" sounds like the type of show that may have had this character.

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

No knight. "Friendly" was human and the puppets were Jerome the giraffe (he was as tall as the giant) and Rusty the rooster who had a book bag. There were a couple of cat puppets who were the visiting musicians.

A knight? Could it have been King Friday from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?





"Madame meets many people, but she usually avoids the mad ones."

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

No, it was not Mr. Rogers, but thanx anyway.

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I was born in 1968 but some 50s shows were still on network TV in the early 70s.

I clearly recall seeing the opening credits to both Gunsmoke & Bonanza.

Too bad that I was too little to understand them at the time.

I know the first sit-com from the '50s that I saw in re-runs was most certainly "I Love Lucy".

HaPpIpUPpI 13 *Arf!*

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

RAWHIDE (1959) had a BIG crush on Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood)

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching



Here where I live in the UK we could not get local commercial TV when it started in the 50s so had to watch a very wobbly screen of anything we could pick up from London, and the first series I remember watching was The Adventures of Superman.

I was enthralled!!! But seeing an episode of that very same series recently may me realise just how crudely it was put together, BUT we were happy in those days and much easier to please!



Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

the most stuff I remember watching..or rather the earliest..was afternoon tv series...December Bride, Our Miss Brooks,Topper, etc..and Loretta Young all made there way to daytime tv. gameshows, like Queen for a Day or the Price is Right ...was Bill Cullen the host at one time? ...I remember watching all of those you mentioned too and Tom Terrific Crabby Appleton..the meanest man in town. Gumby. For whatever reason...Gumby didn't do much for me. and Art Linkletter's show...then the afternoon shows for kids would play...Disney, the Cisco Kid, Sgt Preston, Ramar etc...some space ship thing too. We had to have the Ovaltine rocket ship to make our Ovaltine or Bosco.

Just snake a tube down her throat and I'll be there in about four hours! caddieshack

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching


December Bride would be first, followed by I Remember Mama, phew that shakes some dust outta those dormant brain cells...


you haven't pillowed since you have been here? you must be very constricted

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I an answer that question better than many people because my family didn't have a tv set until i was six.

However, i rmember visting family friends and watching afternoon kid's kids shows before we had a television.

So the first tleevision show i ever watched was probably alocal pPhiladelpia afternon t kid's show, but I can't rmember the first time I watched television or anything which would intentify the eries.

I imagine that most members of younger gnerations have been exposed to tv from infancy and might be alble t identify the first show they rmember seeing but not the first show they actually saw months or s years earlier thanthat one.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

Verily I say unto thee..."Highway Patrol" starring Broderick Crawford.

Re: What is the first TV series you remember watching

I was born in 1949, and the first TV Shows I remember watching and loving, were "The People's Choice" and "Hennesey", both starring Jackie Cooper, who just passed away today at the age of 89. I was shocked that the newspaper obituarys only credit him with The Little Rascals and the 1978 Superman films.
No mention of those two ground breaking sit-coms that started it all.

My first tv memories consist of



Laff in
The Smothers Brothers
Gentle Ben
Cimarron Strip
The Red Skelton Show
I Love Lucy (I particularly remember the one where she gets her toe stuck in the bathtub spigot).
Ed Sullivan

Of course, it is hard to narrow it down to one, as I was all of about three or four at the time.



The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. Samuel Beckett
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