The Museum of Broadcast Communications has posted some great footage on the site brightcove.tv - I tried to embed their videos here as they'd have been a great fit for Classic Television Showbiz but it simply does not work. So instead, I send you to their site to watch their "Network Nights" series. Today I offer three different three and a half hour videos that depict, as closely as possible, what it was like to sit in front of your TV with only three channels for three and a half hours in these three years including commercials and network promos.
1955 - Primetime
What was on the air primetime in '55? We'll see The Lone Ranger and You Bet Your Life on NBC, flip over to CBS for Climax! with a dramatization of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Gore Vidal and back to NBC for The Ford Theater presentation of The Clay Pigeon with recognizable character actor Tom Tully. Fall asleep in the easy chair watching WGN's Late Show featuring the 1935 Bela Lugosi stinker Murder By Television including those late night cheapo commercials, this time courtesy Polk City Hallicrafter. Check it out here.
1963 - Primetime
The night starts off on ABC with a now-classic episode of The Outer Limits starring The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s David MaCullum. Then over to CBS for 90 minutes worth of Desilu powerhouse programming. First, something that you've probably seen in the public domain, The Lucy Show. Flipping through TV Guide we see that one of my all time favorite sitcoms is up next, the former Make Room For Daddy, The Danny Thomas Show. This episode includes an animated Thomas espousing the virtues of Post brand cereals. Morey Amsterdam makes a guest appearance as his character from the Danny Thomas produced Dick Van Dyke Show as well. The Danny Thomas Show's spin-off, The Andy Griffith Show continues the hour long Post cereal block with a Don Knotts-less episode. Back to ABC for the drama Breaking Point with special guest star John Cassavettes in an episode titled There Are the Hip and There Are the Square. Here it is.
1969 - Primetime
First up on Chicago's ABC affiliate it is the Irwin Allen adventure program Land of the Giants sponsored by Raleigh Cigarettes. Switch over to NBC and dig the forgotten Desi Arnaz presentation The Mother In-Laws featuring Classic Television Showbiz favorite Richard Deacon. On CBS it's Hee Haw with guest appearances from Charley Pride and Minnie Pearl, followed by Mission: Impossible. Here ya go.