1961–62 United States network television schedule

1961–62 United States Network Television Schedule

1961–62 United States network television schedule

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The 1961–62 United States network television schedule was for the period that began in September 1961 and ran through April 1962.

The previous season had been excoriated by FCC chairman Newton Minow in May 1961. Minow had criticized poor programs and weak network schedules, calling television a "vast wasteland" and calling on television executives to try harder to develop innovative and interesting television programs.

Television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982) believe the 1961-1962 season marked a comeback for television, as the networks rearranged their schedules to accommodate the critics. They point out CBS's high-quality legal drama The Defenders, NBC's medical drama Dr. Kildare, CBS's The Dick Van Dyke Show, and ABC's medical drama Ben Casey as bright spots in the new TV schedule. Despite the praise for these four series, the authors also highlight several less worthy series which debuted during the 1961-1962 season: Room for One More, Window on Main Street, Hazel ("possibly the dumbest family in TV history"), and the truly terrible The Hathaways ("possibly the worst series ever to air on network TV").

NBC lured Disney's popular anthology series from ABC; Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color premiered on September 24, 1961. The color programs were a change from the previous ABC programs, which had been seen in black and white.<ref...
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