|WCIA, Channel 3, Champaign, Illinois-Part 2|
2: 1960 to 1980 Color Comes to WCIA!
During 1961 the FCC sent a "trial balloon" to test the waters on once again making the Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Danville market an all UHF market which once again brought the possibility of WCIA leaving channel 3 to broadcast on a channel in the UHF band. This proposed change could have cost Midwest Television it's position of a regional broadcasting station and according to figures from the station, would have left almost 150-thousand people without the services of WCIA. That included the populations of 56 cities and villages in central Illinois and west central Indiana. Midwest television vowed to fight the change to the FCC and in the courts if necessary. The change would have reduced the range of the station from 65 miles to 50 miles in all directions from it's transmitter and tower near Seymour. Whereas the original petition to the FCC was triggered by Plains Television owners/operators of WICS in Springfield, this one was simply a result of a plan by the FCC to change 8 markets in the country to all UHF, or all VHF to put UHF stations on a more equal competitive basis with the current VHF stations.
At that point a very vocal protest was heard by local legislators coming from various municipalities, interest groups and even individuals to keep WCIA at Channel 3. Midwest Television called the station "a natural resource." The company said "Midwest Television has an obligation to the people of the central Illinois area to fight to preserve channel 3 or any other VHF facility as a natural resource to the area." The proposal was finally dismissed by September 13th, 1962 to end the fight. WCIA remained at Channel 3.
By 1962, WCIA's plans for building and relocating the station appeared to have been scraped. The use for the purchased acreage on U.S. 45?....a golf course which opened in May. It was also in 1962 that the microwave repeater from AT and T in Danville to Champaign was eliminated when a coaxial cable was installed to Champaign. Until then, switching of network signals had to be done from the AT and T distribution point in Chicago, then relayed to Danville where it was microwaved to another microwave repeater near St. Joseph, then to Champaign and WICA's studios.
Golfers in Champaign might remember the "Par3 Golf Course." It's now the site of a strip shopping center, office complexes, and car dealerships(Carriage Center) off of South Neil Street in Champaign. Along with the golf course, it was the site of a tower and microwave repeater which was the initial stage of a system which passed a signal from Champaign to Peoria and WMBD-TV.
Even though it appeared that WCIA was able to pass CBS network programming in color in the mid 1950's, CBS broadcast hardly anything in color. It wasn't until 1965 WCIA added local capabilities to bring central Illinois color programming. With this move, WCIA was able to broadcast movies, the network and eventually local news, weather and sports along with any other locally produced programs.
In 1967 Midwest Television added another station to the stable. W-49-AA was constructed in Springfield to bring the Illinois capitol a city grade UHF signal which served as a translator for WCIA. During the 1960's, and even through the 1970's, Midwest Television fought local cable systems to maintain a monopoly on CBS programming. Cable companies in Paxton, Kankakee were two of the communities which border other TV markets and wanted to bring outside CBS signals into their communities. One argument in favor was the many times in which WCIA preempted popular CBS programs to broadcast University of Illinois sports. Many viewers complained that they had a right to bring in outside signals from Chicago to add to their station lineups. This attitude toward cable TV as being "the enemy" virtually eliminated any cable TV advertising on WCIA throughout much of it's history.
|A scene during one of the debates between Presidential
candidates Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Richard M. Nixon
which was televised by all networks in 1960.
||"Dennis the Menace"
starred Jay North in the title role. and
was a regular Sunday night feature airing at 6:30-7pm CT from 1959 to
1963. This series was based on the Hank Ketcham comic
strip. His parents were played by Gloria Henry and Herbert
Anderson. The poor next door neighbor was played by long time
radio and TV character actor Joseph Kearns until his death in
1962. He was replaced by Gail Gordon before he became Mr. Mooney
for Lucy. This show ran in syndication for years after it's first run.
||"The Ed Sullivan Show"
ran on CBS from 1948(as "Toast of the
Town"until 1955) until 1971 when CBS choose to "modernize" the prime
time schedule. No other show reflected the entertainment cultural
variety of the United States more than "The Ed Sullivan Show." It
was an institution on Sunday nights having held the 7PM CT hour from
1949 to 1971.
Mike Conners as a police undercover agent who worked in corruption and
organized crime for CBS during the 1959-1960 season.
out of the ocean and his run on the syndicated "Sea Hunt", Lloyd
Bridges stars as "The Loner" on
CBS from 1965-66. Bridges played a former Union cavalry officer
roamed the west and helped the pioneers he came across.
the 1964-64 season George C. Scott along with Elizabeth Wilson and
Cicely Tyson starred in "East Side
West Side" on CBS. It was a drama dealing with topical
issues from New York. Scott starred as a social worker. It
was liked by the critics for it's realism, but viewers found it a bit
||Shows for kids were an important part of the weekday
afternoon programming on WCIA. At far left is long time WCIA
Sid "Sheriff Sid" Perry spending time with central Illinois kids
on "The Little Rascals."
An audience of kids, games
and the selection of Popeye cartoons entertained kids in central
Illinois and helped to establish long term viewing habits for those
kids, who later became adults!
Other shows included "Cartoon Time," and "Popeye's Circus with Captain Eddie."
This is from the WCIA's 50th Anniversary website.
Information: from Priscilla Ziegler, a member of the Sheriff Sid
Show audience pictured
Priscilla Ziegler and her brother Steve are sitting in the firrst row at the far right.
"My brother Steve and I were only allowed to watch TV about an hour a day....and it was usually the Sheriff Sid Show. We bugged our Mom for weeks and months to be allowed to go see Sheriff Sid and she finally relented. She called the station and we had a date with Sheriff Sid!!"
"I know how excited Steve and I were to be meeting Sheriff Sid and being on his show. When we got to the station, we waited out in the lobby until it was almost showtime and then we were escorted back to the studio. I don't remember what the show was about, but we watched cartoons and were entertained by several other characters. At the end of the show each "guest" received a goody-bag filled with coupons, toys and candy."
"One of the coupons was for a trip to Joyland(an amusement park on North 45 in Urbana). Another coupon was for Kelly's Potato Chips and I think there was one for Borden's Milk. I don't remember what the others were for, but our trip to Sheriff Sid's show and seeing him in person was a treat beyond belief."
"We talked about it for days afterwards with all of our neighborhood friends and even though we had always played "cowboys and Indians" our being on the show made us that much more "knowledgeable" on the subject."
"My brother and I kept a scrapbook of that day with autographed pictures, mementos, ticket stubs, etc., but it was lost in a flooded basement around 1972. It would be such a joy to see that scrapbook again and what memories it would bring."
"I wish Steve were still here to help me share our memories with you, but he passed away in 2002. Just know that being on the Sheriff Sid Show was one of the best times of our childhood. Thanks for the opportunity to share them with you."
Thanks to you, Priscilla!
Walter Cronkite making the announcement that President Kennedy has died. This was from November 22, 1963.
This was the graphic which introduced the bulletin which stated that "President Kennedy has been shot!" It interrupted the daytime serial "As The World Turns."
|(left) Gene Robinson anchoring a newscast on
WCIA....sponsored by Sealtest Ice Cream.
(lower left) A shot of the news set at WCIA during the early 1960's. The desk at the left appeared to be news desk, the right desk was for sports and that's Mr. Roberts in front of the map.
Paul Davis was WCIA's News Director and main Anchor during much of the 1960's. He was there when WCIA produced the first color newscasts when ads told viewers that Paul Davis had blue eyes. Here the news was sponsored by Schlitz Beer with a logo actually on the news desk. That's something that would never happen today....or would it? That fact that WCIA had a national sponsor for local news was an indication that being the only VHF station in the market gave WCIA a great advantage in having an appeal to national advertisers. Having access to much bigger ad dollars guarenteed the success of WCIA!
This is from the WCIA's 50th Anniversary website.
"Huckleberry Hound Show" was syndicated and broadcast on WCIA as part of the weekday afternoon schedule at 5PM during the early 1960's. Even though the cartoons were produced in color it was never shown in color on WCIA.
"Yogi Bear" was part of the syndicated "Huckleberry Hound Show" but later was spun off in syndication in his own show with Boo-Boo. Once again, this Hanna Barbera Production was produced in color, but didn't appear in color on WCIA.
|"My Name is Barbra"
aired on CBS on April 28, 1965 in
glorious Black and White. This one woman show featured a girl
growing up to womanhood. Each act featured a different age.
I'm assuming by the costume shown here she was a young girl. She
won two Emmy awards for this special.
||"The Judy Garland Show"
ran on CBS beginning in the Fall of
1963 and continued to March of 1964. The show went through
several format changes along with producers during it's short
run. Among the regular cast members was Danville's own Jerry Van
This CBS Special featured as guest stars the children of Judy Garland including Liza Minelli and Lorna Luft.
premiered on CBS in 1961 where it ran until
1965. Sponsored by Studebaker. The series actually began in
January 1961 in syndication where it was picked up by CBS in October of
the same year. Mr. Ed was voiced by "Allan "Rocky" Lane a former
B-movie western star. Alan Young was his owner Wilber Post.
HIs wife, Carol, was played by Connie Hines.
||Another courtroom drama, "The
Defenders"aired on CBS from
1961 to 1965 and starred E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed(before "The
Brady Bunch"). Both actors starred as Lawrence Preston and
Kenneth Preston from the law firm of Preston and Preston. They
played father-son attorneys. It was based on a "Studio One" live
presentation which starred Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner as the
father-son attorneys as they defended the character played by a young
Steve McQueen accused of murder.
|"The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on February 9th,1964. Here is Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The songs featured included: All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want to Hold Your Hand. On that first appearance over 73 million people watched the Beatles. During this show most normal activities in America came to a standstill. They appeared eight more times on "The Ed Sullivan Show" over the years. They received $10,000 plus expenses for their mini-concert.||From the same appearance on "The
Ed Sullivan Show" here is
John Lennon of the Beatles.
The appearance of the Beatles on Sullivan's show made headlines and began the period called "Beatlemania" which brought incredible popularity for the Liverpool England group.
|I remember watching the Beatles' appearances on WCIA/CBS during those dark days of 1964 after the Kennedy Assassination. Never again will a popular music group have the impact on TV and America!||"The Ed Sullivan Show" featured the Beatles a total of 9 times through the 60's. Several of the appearances were either filmed or video taped from London. This appearance was produced in London and aired on Sullivan's show in 1964. This scene is with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and in the background Ringo Starr.||Here is John Lennon from the same appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964.|
The WCIA studios (below) utilizing the former Firestone Tire Store on South Neil Street in Champaign.
The microwave tower is still at that location at 509 South Neil.
This is from the WCIA's 50th Anniversary website.
was another one of the Sunday night
child friendly shows along with "Lassie," "Mr. Ed" and "Dennis the
This show was about a newspaper reported played by Bill Bixby who discovers a Martian played by Ray Walston who was stranded on earth. Bixby's character Tim O'Hara passed the Martian off as his Uncle Martin. They were always trying to keep his identity secret, while using his powers to make life a easier for them. This aired from 1963 to 1966, Sundays at 6:30-7:00pm CT.
|"Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall" was a special presentation of CBS in 1962. It won an Emmy for "Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama" for Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews in 1963.||A spinoff of
"The Beverly Hillbillies" it was also a cousin to "Green Acres" which
ran on CBS. "Petticoat Junction"
starred long time CBS character
actress Bea Benaderet after completing her voice over role as Betty
Rubble in "The Flinstones." She starred as Kate Bradley
owner/operator of The Shady Rest Hotel at Hooterville. The three
daughters were played at one time or another by Jeannine Riley,
Gunilla Hutton, Meredith MacRae, Pat Woodell, Lori Saunders and Linda
Kaye(daughter of the producer/creator).
Tom Jones (below), was another of the long time personalities of WCIA during the 60s' and early 70's. Not only was he a sportscaster and Sports Editor(in 1971) but also hosted his own morning show "Sunup" on WICA during the 1960's.
This is from the WCIA's 50th Anniversary website.
|By the 1960's the format of the "Jack Benny Show" became inconsistent at best. Gone were the episodes which were sit com formatted, and now Jack featured musical acts revolving around short skits with major guest stars. Some of them were really bad, including the one's with guest stars like Wayne Newton||"The Munsters" aired
on CBS from 1964 to 1966. How can
you describe this sit com? To them, they were normal the rest of
the world was odd. The characters were based on those Universal
Studios movie characters of Frankenstein's monster, along with the
bride of Frankenstein and Dracula. Here, though, they were
harmless, in fact lovable. Fred Gwynne played Herman, long time B
movie actress Yvonne DeCarlo played his wife Lilly while Al
Lewis played Grandpa Munster. The son was Eddie played
by Butch Patrick and niece Marilyn was the "normal" one played by
Beverly Owen and laer by Pat Priest. It lasted until being placed
opposite of "Batman" on ABC in 1966 which brought about the end of the
Tom Jones was the weekend sports anchor for most of his time at WCIA during the reign of Tom Schoendienst who was the weekday sports anchor
From 1960 to 1966 here is a partial list of CBS network shows seen on WCIA, Channel 3: Lassie, Dennis the Menace, The Ed Sullivan Show, G.E. Theater, Jack Benny Show, Candid Camera, What's My Line, To Tell The Truth, Pete and Gladys, Bringing Up Baby, Danny Thomas Show, Andy Griffith Show, Hennesey, Presidential Countdown, Father Knows Best, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Tom Ewell Show, Red Skelton Show, Garry Moore Show, Aquanauts, Wanted: Dead or Alive, My Sister Eileen, I've Got a Secret, Armstrong Circle Theatre: U.S. Steel Hour, The Witness, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, Angel, Peck's Bad Girl, Person to Person, DuPont Show with June Allyson, Rawhide, Route 66, Mr. Garlund, Twilight Zone, Eyewitness to History, Perry Mason, Checkmate, Have Gun Will Travel, Gunsmoke, Window on Main Street, Dick Van Dyke Show, Ichabod and Me, Alvin Show, Mrs. G. Goes to College, Frontier Circus, Bob Cummings Show, The Investigators, CBS Reports, Father of the Bride, Real McCoys, G.E. True Theater, Lucy Show, New Loretta Young Show, Stump the Stars, Lloyd Bridges Show, Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Ed, The Nurses, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Fair Exchange, Jackie Gleason Show, Defenders, My Favorite Martian, Judy Garland Show, East Side/West Side, Petticoat Junction, Clynis, Danny Kaye Show, Password, Great Adventure, Phil Silvers Show, My Living Doll, Joey Bishop Show, Candid Camera, Many Happy Returns, Slattery's People, Doctors and the Nurses, Cara Williams Show, Baileys of Balboa, The Entertainers, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., The Reporter, Gilligan's Island, Mr. Broadway, Hazel, Steve Lawence Show, Lost in Space, Breen Acres, The Munsters, My Three Sons, Smothers Brothers Show, The Trials of O'Brien and The Loner.
|"Mr Terrific" was a
response to the other super hero sit comes of the day, including
"Captain Nice" and "Batman." "Mr. Terrific" starred Stephen
Strimpell as the gas station attendant Stanley Beamish. His top
secret power pills allowed him to work for the Bureau of Secret
Projects and fight crime for about an hour....two pills, an hour and 20
minutes, but he was the only person who could use the pills. The
January through August 1967 series also starred Dick Gautier and John
aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967.
The first two seasons were in black and white. It was met with
scorn from the critics, but audiences, especially kids, loved it.
The show really hit full steam when it was syndicated during the late
60's into the 70's. It was so popular that NBC in the late 70's
produced a series of "Gilligan's Island" TV movies beginning in
1978. Do I really need to run through the cast?
||"My Three Sons",
second incarnation with Barry
Livingston(Chip) and real life brother Stanley Livingston(Ernie) as two
of the three sons. Don Grady(Robbie) was by then the older of the
three. One of the shows which went color in 1966 on CBS. This show was so unrealistic it was
pathetic! It's like it was written by 80 year old men who thought
that this was the way young guys acted.
||"Family Affair" ran
on CBS from 1966 to 1971. The show
starred Brian Keith as Bill Davis, Sebastian Cabot as man servant Mr.
French, with children Cissy played by Kathy Garver, Jody played by
Johnnie Whitaker and Buffy(pictured) played by Anissa Jones. Her
doll was Mrs. Beezely. Here's
another of the totally unrealistic CBS family sitcoms much like "My
Three Sons." This style of shows was why CBS was regarded as the
"old folks network" an gave ABC the foothold to be considered the young
||"Gomer Pyle-U.S.M.C." was a spinoff series from "The Andy Griffith Show" and ran on CBS from 1964 to 1970. It was one of the rural comedies of CBS which featured Jim Nabors as the lovable naive, bumbling character from Mayberry. The show also starred Frank Sutton as his Sgt. Carter, along with Ronnie Schell, (a pre-That Girl) Ted Bessel and (a pre Father Mulcahay-MASH) William Christopher. The show went color in 1966.|
|(Below): "The Prisoner"
was a British export, which was a
"continuation" of a former British and CBS series "Secret Agent
Man." That's the series in which Johnny Rivers sang the
theme. "The Prisoner" was a limited series which shows the secret
|"The Danny Kaye Show"
was a Wednesday night regular from
1963 to 1967. The show was a musical variety show with
monologues, pantomime and sketches while Danny sang, danced and played
music. Supporting cast members included Harvey Korman, Joyce Van
Patten as well as the Johnny Mann Singers. "The Danny Kaye Show"
ran during the 9-10pm CT hour.
||"Ed Sullivan" in
color during the 1966 season on CBS.
||By the late
1960's, most of the daytime serials were being produced in color.
On February 20, 1967 "As the World
Turns" was broadcast in color.
March 13, 1967 was the first day of colorcasting for "Guiding Light"
||Walter Cronkite witnessing the first steps on the Moon by
Neil Arnstrong during the CBS coverage in 1969..
|Jethro, Max Baer Jr., and
Granny, Irene Ryan of the "Beverly
Hillbillies" checking out what was on TV in Mr. Drysdale's
office. There were probably
why people were still watching their program. This was long after
they "jumped the shark" and moved the storyline to England after Jed
bought a castle.
From 1966 to 1970 here is a partial list of CBS network shows seen on WCIA, Channel 3: Lassie, It's About Time, Ed Sullivan, Garry Moore Show, Candid Camera, What's My Line, Gilligan's Island, Run Buddy Run, Lucy Show, Andy Griffith Show, Family Affair, Jean Arthur Show, I've Got a Secret, Dakatari, Red Skelton Hour, Petticoat Junction, CBS News Hour, Lost in Space, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Danny Kaye Show, Jericho, My Three Sons, CBS Thursday Night Movie, Wild Wild West, Hogan's Heroes, CBS Friday Night Movie, Jackie Gleason Show, Pistol's and Petticoats, Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, Gentle Ben, Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Family Affair, Carol Burnett Show, Good Morning Show, He and She, Dundee and the Culhane, Cimarron Strip, Mannix, Here's Lucy, Mayberry R.F.D., Doris Day Show, Good Guys, Jonathan Winters Show, Blondie, Hawaii Five-O, To Rome with Love, Leslie Uggams Show, Lancer, Govenor and J.J., 60 Minutes, Clen Campbell Good Time Hour, Medical Center, Jim Nabors Hour, Get Smart, Tim Conway Comedy Hour, Hee Haw, Storefront Lawyers, The Interns, Arnie and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
premiered on NBC during it's first run between 1966 and 1968 than ran
reruns on CBS from 1969 to 1973 on Saturday mornings. For more
see WICD/WICS pages.
||Gene Rayburn hosted an updated CBS version of his original "Match Game" which aired
on NBC duirng the 60's. This time, Match
Game aired beginning in 1973-79 and included 6 celebrity guest stars
who would complete phrases and sentences to be matched by
contestants. The real show was the many double-entendres and the
comic talents of the stars including Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard
Dawson and Brett Somers. Other often guests included Betty White,
Fannie Flagg and Dick Martin. The show also ran in syndication as
"Match Game PM"and was revived by NBC in the 80's as part of the Match
Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.
|"Maude" was a
spinoff of "All in the
Family" as the title
character was Edith Bunker's liberal cousin. She was played by
"Maude" was the center of controversy for WCIA during the 1970's as a demostration against the series was staged at the station when the character Maude, had an abortion.
|Maude was extremely outspoken and dealt with many issues brought about by her daughter Carol, played by Adrienne Barbeau and Maude's husband Walter played by Bill Macy(shown). Other characters included her maid Florida Evans played by Esther Rolle(who went on to reprise the character in "Good Times"), Conrad Bain and Rue McClanahan were the next door neighbors the Harmons. Even though it was a Sitcom, it also had a serious theme as Maude had an abortion, went through menoause and had a face lift. It ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978.|
M*A*S*H became a hit for CBS during it's run from 1972 through 1983. It was based on the Robert Altman movie of the same name which was a medical drama/black comedy in 1970. It starred Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Wayne Rogers, Mike Farrell, McLean Stevenson, Harry Morgan, Larry Linville, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr and Gary Burghoff(the only cast member who was in the original movie). It was later syndicated and ran on WCIA at 10:30pm for a number of years before David Letterman made the move to late night on CBS. It's continued at various time slots in syndication on WCIA and later on sister station WCFN.
|Starting in 1966,
"Petticoat Junction" went through some cast
changes....but same characters...and was now in color and it continued
||"The Edge of Night"
continued it's run on CBS when it was canceled and moved to ABC in 1975.
||Bonnie Franklin in "One Day at a Time" which aired on CBS for nine years beginning in 1975. It was a Sunday night staple of CBS during many of it's years on the schedule. Bonnie Franklin starred as Ann Romano a divorced mother of two daughters played by Mackenzie Phillips(Julie) and Valerie Bertinelli(Barbara). Pat Harrington Jr. played Swayne Schneider, the apartment building maintenance man. Reruns were also shown on CBS daytime beginning in 1979.|
|"The Waltons" began with a TV Christmas Special with a slightly different cast in 1971. One character which had the same actor was John Boy Walton, played by Richard Thomas(pictured). It was narrated by Earl Hamner Jr. and defined life during the depression in the south. The large family, the large supporting cast, great production and great writing made this one a family favorite especially in rural areas and with the WCIA audience. It's credited with the cancellation of "Flip" on NBC with Flip Wilson.||It was the reverse of "The Beverly Hillbillies" when the downtown urban Douglas's moved from the city to the country....Hooterville, to be exact. Yea, the same place, just down the tracks from "Petticoat Junction." "Green Acres" starred Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor and a cast of charactors. It ran on CBS before the great "Rural TV cancellation in 1971, 1965 to 1971.||Here is Chad Everett on CBS' "Medical Center." It ran
from 1969 to 1976. The story was based in a L.A. based hospital,
part of a university complex. Everett played Dr. Joe
Gannon. It co-starred James Daly as Dr. Paul Lochner. Other
regulars included Jayne Meadows as Nurse Chambers, Corinne Camacho as
Nurse Courtland and Audrey Totter as Nurse Wilcox. "Medical
Center" was the longest running medical drama in the history of
prime-time TV at 7 years!
||From 1969 to 1971, "Scooby-Doo, Where are You?" was part of the Hanna Barbera Saturday morning catalog. It premiered in 1969 with the production of 17 episodes, and 8 episodes in 1970 and 71. Four teens, Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo solved supernatural mysteries. Voices were provided by: Scooby-Don Messick(also Astro on "The Jetsons"), Shaggy-Casey Kasem(of radio's "American Top 40"), Fred-Frank Welker, Velma-Nicole Jaffee and Daphne-Indira Stefanianna Christopherson.||Telly Savalas was "Kojak" which ran on CBS from 1973 to 1978. Along with catch phrases like "who loves ya baby?" he was street smart and outspoken. Other cast members included Dan Frazer playing Frank McNeil, Kevin Dobson as Lt. Bobby Crocker and his real life brother George Savalas as Det. Stavros. The series was shot in New York and he maintained a supply a his trademark lollipops.|
MTM Enterprises, brought CBS some major hits of the 1970's and 80's. The shows included "Mary Tyler Moore," "Newhart," "Rhoda," "Phyllis,""Lou Grant," "The Betty White Show," "The White Shadow," WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Paris."
|"The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
ran on CBS from 1970 to 1977 and
became a classic, right out of the box. Mary played Mary Richards
an idealized single woman moving to Minneapolis to produce a local TV
news broadcast. The cast included Ed Asner as Lou Grant, Ted
Knight as Ted Baxter(the news anchor), Gavin MacLeod as Murray
Slaughter(a writer), friends Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern and
Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Linstrom. Both Harper and Leachman
went on to star in "Rhoda" and "Phyllis" on CBS during the 70's.
||This was the final scene when the series left the air
on September 3rd, 1977. Mary's real life husband Grant
Tinker were the force behind MTM Productions which went on to produce
other shows for CBS. In spite of high ratings, they decided to
end the series in 1977.
||"Rhoda" was spun off
from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and
aired on CBS from 1974-1978. Valerie Harper was in the starring
role with Julie Kavner, playing her sister, Brenda. The story
line has Rhoda leaving Minneapolis to move back to New York where she
was born. Here she dealt with her sister Brenda as well as her
parents played by Nancy Walker and Harold Gould. The best ratings
of the series was the marriage of Rhoda and Joe Gerard on October 28,
1974. Her marriage fell apart after two seasons of ratings
declines and boring story lines and she and Joe divorced during the
||More to come||"WKRP in Cincinnati"
aired on CBS from 1978 to 1982 and
featured the adventures of a struggling radio station in
Cincinnati. The cast included Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Gary
Sandy, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders and Frank
From 1970 to 1980 here is a partial list of CBS network shows seen on WCIA, Channel 3: Lassie, Hogan's Heroes, Ed Sullivan, Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Tim Conway Comedy Hour, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, Mayberry R.F.D., Doris Day Show, Carol Burnett Show, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Hee Haw, To Rome with Love, 60 Minutes, Storefront Lawyers, Govenor and J.J., Medical Center, Hawaii Five-O, Family Affair, Jim Nabors Hour, CBS Thursday Night Movie, The Interns, The Headmaster, CBS Friday Night Movie, Mission:Impossible, My Three Sons, Arnie, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mannix, CBS Sunday Night Movie, Cade's County, Cannon, Bearcats, Chicago Teddy Bears, O"Hara U.S. Treasury, New CBS Friday Night Movies, All in the Family, Funny Face, New Dick Van Dyke Show, Anna and the King, M*A*S*H, Sandy Duncan Show, New Bill Cosby Show, Maude, The Waltons, Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Bridget Loves Bernie, Bob Newhart Show, New Adventures of Perry Mason, Barnarby Jones, Kojack, Calucci's Dept., Roll Out, Apple's Way, Rhoda, Good Times, Sons and Daughters, Manhunter, Planet of the Apes, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, Three for the Road, Cher, Bronk, Phyllis, Joe and Sons, Switch, Beacon Hill, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Kate McShane, Big Eddie, The Jeffersons, Doc, Delvecchio, All's Fair, Executive Suite, One Day at a Time, Ball Four, Alice, Blue Knight, Spencer's Pilots, On Our Own, Young Dan'l Boone, Betty White Show, Rafferty, The Fitzpatricks, Lou Grant, Busting Loose, New Advetures of Wonder Woman, Logan's Run, We've Got Each Other, Tony Randall Show, Mary, Kaz, WKRP in Cincinnati, People, Paper Chase, In the Beginning, Incredible Hulk, Flying High, American Girls, Dallas, Archie Bunker's Place, Trapper John M.D., White Shadow, California Fever, Last Resort, Struck by Lightning, Dukes of Hazzard, Working Stiffs, Bad News Bears, Big Shamus-Little Shamus, Paris, Flo, Ladies Man, House Calls, Enos, Magnun P.I., Knot's Landing, Tim Conway Show, Freebie and the Bean and Secrets of Midland Heights.
|"Dallas" ran on CBS
from 1978 to 1991 and was a national
sensation during it's run through the 80's. This nighttime serial
starred ex-"I Dream of Jeannie" star, Larry Hagman in a much different
role as J.R. Ewing. There's more about "Dallas" in Part 3.
||Many of the
WCIA "Early Shows" as well as the "Late Show" movies were from the
Paramount package of films. The "Camp
Night at the Late Show"
featured the Paramount movies of W.C. Fields, Mae West, and the Marx
Brothers. If I remember correctly, it ran on Tuesday nights at
10:30pm CT. (see more on "The Early Show" in Part 3 of WCIA.)
||WCIA ran "Star Trek" in syndication, until it was picked up by WILL(the PBS affiliate).||"Star Trek" premiered on NBC in 1966 and ran for three seasons. At least during it's first season the local NBC affiliates, WICS/WICD did not air the series, choosing instead to show reruns of "Laramie." The show grew in syndication after it's network run throughout the 70's, enough to bring about a major motion picture franchise over 10 years after the original series left the air.||Here's DeForest Kelly as Doctor McCoy, William Shatner as Captain Kirk and James Doohan as Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. "Star Trek" popped up in syndication on WCIA during the 70's.|
|"To Rome With Love" starred John
Forsythe, Kay Medford, and even Walter Brennan during it's run on CBS
from 1969 to 1971. Forsythe (pre Dynasty), was Michael Endicott,
teacher at the American Overseas School in Rome.
programming was beginning to make an appearance on CBS. This one
combined relevance with the established star power of Broderick
Crawford. "The Interns" ran on
CBS in 1970-71 and also starred young actors Stephen Brooks,
Christopher Stone, Hal Frederick and Mike Ferrell(later M*A*S*H)
Ebsen formerly of the rural classic TV sitcom "The Beverly
Hillbillies" later came back as a retired P.I. in "Barnaby Jones." This Quinn
Martin Production also starred Lee Meriweather as his daughter-in-law,
Betty Jones. She joined him to find the person responsible in the
death of his son, her husband, and kept on fighting crime through the
1973 to 1980 seasons.
|"Cannon" starred veteran radio/TV
actor William Conrad. After an incredible career as a radio
actor(he played Matt Dillon in the radio version of "Gunsmoke" during
the 1950's, along with many other appearances on classic radio
shows). Now he had his own series which ran on CBS from 1971
veteran actor came to the small screen from the large screen after his
movie career slowed. Glenn Ford starred as Sam Cade, the sheriff
of Madrid County, California in "Cade's County" a modern day western themed series. It ran on CBS and WCIA in 1971-72.
|"Switch" was somewhat inspired by
"the con" as was done in the very popular movie of the era, "The
Sting." This was a modern day version, with Robert Wagner playing
the former con artist, and Eddie Albert playing the police detective
who recruited him to help the department fight crime. Others in
the cast included Charlie Callas, Sharon Gless and others. This
one ran from 1975 to 1978.
"Barn Dance" was a Saturday afternoon tradition
during the 1960's and 70's. Various local country-western
talent was featured, with long time host
Marvin Lee and his Band.
Picture is from WCIA's 50th Anniversary website.
web master: Doug Quick
copyright © 2001-2012 Doug Quick