January: I’ve Got A Secret
I’ve Got a Secret was one of the most popular and long-standing TV game shows. It was on television for 24 years, from 1952 until 1976. Hosts included Gary Moore, Steve Allen, and Bill Cullen. Witty panelists included celebrities such as Henry Morgan, Jayne Meadows, Orson Bean, and Bess Myerson, and their job was to guess the surprising secret of the contestant.
February: The Jack Benny Show
Jack Benny started in vaudeville, then had a successful radio show beginning in 1932, and finally, a TV program, beginning in 1950 and continuing until 1976. Other characters on this program included announcer Don Wilson, singer Dennis Day, Jack’s wife Mary Livingstone, “Rochester” (Jack’s butler and valet), and Mel Blanc, whose voice creations included everything from a train depot announcer (“train leaving on track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu…camonga) to Jack’s ancient Maxwell auto. This episode includes guest star pianist Lee Liberace.
A comedy show about a Korean War medical unit sounds like a strange combination, but this TV show was one of the highest rated among viewers during its run from 1972 to 1983. Characters such as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce, nurse “Hotlips” Houlihan, Col. Potter, Cpl. “Radar” Riley, and others were beloved by fans of this show. The show’s final episode drew the largest television audience ever to watch a single TV show up to that time.
April: The Life Of Riley
This NBC situation comedy show involved lovable characters such as bumbler Chester A. Riley, his kids Junior and Babs, and “Digger” O’Dell, “the friendly undertaker.” Jackie Gleason played Riley in the first season, and William Bendix did during its later run.
May: Behind Your Radio Dial
This fascinating 1947 promotion film tells the story of the National Broadcasting Company, and includes a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC’s network facilities at Radio City, Rockefeller Center, New York City.
June: Wagon Train
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, cowboy and western shows were extremely popular television fare. Ward Bond played the role of the wagon master in the early years of the program. This drama made clear the hardships faced by the pioneers who traveled across the Great Plains and mountains during the settling of the West. The show was popular in part because the scripts included thoughtful character development of heroes and scoundrels.