From Lassie, Gunsmoke, Jack Benny, 77 Sunset Strip to Today

Ah, the 1950’s and 1960’s. “Scripted prime-time” TV series. Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip, Bourbon Street Beat, Surfside 6, and all the rest. In the 1950’s CBS and NBC pretty much ruled the roost, with their Western shoot-outs, etc., many of which were aimed at WWII and Korea veterans, giving a favorable context to some of the horrors of war as we have said.

ABC added to the duopoly gradually, and created shows like Yancy Derringer, and many detective shows with the same plots but different locales. (Please forgive us if we get networks wrong – shows were so much the same back then.) Now there’s none of that. The entertainment networks and their cheaper internet rivals are into every trivial and/or obscure thing. Hey, there are dozens of transgender shows. Good grief.

So the question of old remains: how do you create a show with great audience appeal across many lines, like the biggest shows of 1961 (Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith, Have Gun, Will Travel). Gunsmoke had 18 million viewers in 1961.

The networks have now tried to do that and the name of the show is: Impeachment. Hey, the CEO of CNN is the former CEO of NBC. 77 Sunset Strip, the FBI, etc. have been renamed: 24/7 Impeach Him! The plan hasn’t worked so far, of course. CNN has 1 million, not 18 million, viewers, and is down 25% from last year’s Big Hit: Russia!

One Response to “From Lassie, Gunsmoke, Jack Benny, 77 Sunset Strip to Today”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    The networks news organizations have ceased reporting news and have devolved into Democratic Party activists, the audience for such having a very low ceiling.

    Erstwhile blogger Whiskey used to note the decline of TV ratings among the networks. He always opined that if the networks would abandon political correctness and once again start portraying the male leads as they did in the 50s and 60s, they would earn back legions of viewers. He always maintained that straight white men did not want to watch shows where men were portrayed as gay, stupid, incompetent, or foolish, and that is the reason they abandoned network TV in droves.

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