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Boomer TV: The Stuff We Watched - Part 3

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On these pages, we'll remind you about the television shows that made a permanent imprint on our minds. We have the cast, description, pictures, and in many cases, even the memorable theme music.

Tell us your boomer TV memories here.

On this page, we feature these shows (Scroll down to see what's on other pages):
Dennis the Menace
Gilligan's Island
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Munsters
I Dream of Jeannie
The Rifleman
The Waltons
McHale's Navy
"F" Troop
Kojak
Sonny & Cher Show
Route 66
The Roy Rogers Show
Winky Dink
The Monkees
The Partridge Family
Mission Impossible
Good Times
Star Trek
Sky King
Little House on the Prairie
The Bob Newhart Show
Police Woman
I Spy
I Remember Mama
Green Acres
Welcome Back Kotter
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
The Carol Burnett Show
Topper

This is the third installment of 100 of the best television shows of the boomer years.

TV themes and some pictures are available only to BBHQ members. Click here for information on how to become a BBHQ member.

Dennis the Menace

Cast:
Jay North - Dennis Mitchell
Henry Anderson - Henry Mitchell
Gloria Henry - Alice Mitchell
Joseph Kearns - Mr. (George) Wilson
Sylvia Field - Martha Wilson
Jeannie Russell - Margaret Wade

Description:
This was a television version of the popular comic strip by the same name. Just in time for boomers, this was a pretty good series, better than the recent movie. CBS, 1959-1963.
Gilligan's Island
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Cast:
Bob Denver - Gilligan
Alan Hale, Jr. - The skipper, Jonas Gumby
Jim Backus - Thurston Howell, III
Natalie Shafer - Lovely Howell
Dawn Wells - Mary Ann Summers
Russell Johnson - The professor, Ron Hinkley
Tina Louise - Ginger (Grant) the beautiful actress

Description:
Well, you all know the story here.... the S. S. Minnow, her crew of two and five passengers, took off for a 3-hour tour... a 3-hour tour. During a storm, they landed on an uncharted island and made the best of a bad situation. And of course, had the series had gone on, they'd still be there today. This was a goofy, but well-done series. The big secret seems to be what Gilligan's first name was. We hear that it was once written in a script as "Willie," but for some reason, the name never made it on the air. CBS, 1964-1967.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Cast:
Robert Vaughn - Napoleon Solo
David McCallum - Illya Kuryakin
Leo G. Carroll - Mr. (Alexander) Waverly

Description:
In the shadow of the wildly successful James Bond films of the mid 60s, this was one of television's popular responses. Alexander Waverly headed up the United Network Command for Law Enforcement from behind the false front of the Del Florias Taylor Shop. His primary agents, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryahkin, did weekly battle against the forces of the enemy, THRUSH, a secret organization trying to rule the world. NBC, 1964-1968.
The Munsters
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Cast:
Fred Geynne - Herman Munster
Yvonne DeCarlo - Lily Munster
Al Lewis - Grandpa Munster
Beverly Owen - Marilyn Munster
Par Priest - Marilyn Munster
Butch Partick - Eddie Munster

Description:
The Munster family thought they were normal. In fact, daughter Marilyn was normal... except that she thought the rest of her family was just a tad.... quirky. In fact, they were nuts... but in a nice, harmless way. They lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, in, of course, Mockingbird Hts. "The Munsters" was very funny. CBS, 1964-1966.
I Dream of Jeannie

Cast:
Barbara Eden - Jeannie
Larry Hagman - Capt./Maj. Anthony Nelson
Bill Daily - Capt. Roger Healey

Description:
This was a 1960s twist on the Aladdin and his lamp story. Capt. Nelson crash lands on an island in the Pacific and finds a green bottle. Poof! Out pops an attractive genie, who offers to be his slave... every man's dream. But Jeannie gets her master into trouble more than she grants him wishes. Still, this was another delightful, harmless sitcom. NBC, 1965-1970.
The Rifleman

Cast:
Chuck Connors - Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford - Mark McCain
Hope Summers - Hattie Denton (owner, general store)
Joan Taylor - Millie Scott (owner, general store)

Description:
"The fastest man with a 40-44 hair-trigger action rifle," widower Lucas McCain tries to raise his son on a cattle ranch in New Mexico at the end of the 19th century. Many years after the series ended, Soviet Premier Leonoid Brezhnev met Chuck Connors and gave him a huge bear hug. Obviously, he was a big fan. ABC, 1958-1963.
The Waltons
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Cast:
Ralph Waite - John Walton
Michael Learned - Olivia Walton
Will Geer - Grandpa Zeb Walton
Ellen Corby - Grandma Esther Walton
Richard Thomas - John Boy Walton
Judy Norton - Mary Ellen Walton
David Harper - Jim-Bob Walton
Kami Cotler - Elizabeth Walton
Jon Warmsley - Jason Walton
Mary Elizabeth McDonough - Erin Walton
Eric Scott - Ben Walton

Description:
Every boomer remembers "The Waltons," a heartwarming series about a large, close-knit family in Jefferson County, Virginia during the depression. CBS, 1972-1980.
McHale's Navy

Cast:
Ernest Borgnine - Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale
Joe Flynn - Capt. Wallace Binghamton
Tim Conway - Ensign Charles Parker
Carl Ballantine - Seaman Lester Gruber

Description:
On the island of Taratupa, in the South Pacific, during WWII, Captain Binghamton tries to get Lt. McHale out from under his skin. Binghamton tries to maintain order; McHale continues to try to make a buck. ABC, 1962-1966.
"F" Troop

Cast:
Forrest Tucker - Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke
Larry Storch - Cpl. Randolph Agarn
Ken Berry - Capt. Wilton Parmenter
Melody Patterson - Wrangler Jane

Description:
A Civil War captain, who has clearly reached his level of incomptence, tries to maintain order as commander of F Troop in Fort Courage, Kansas. ABC, 1965-1967.
Kojak

Cast:
Telly Savalas - Lt. Theo Kojak
Dan Frazer - Chief Frank McNeil
Kevin Dobson - (Lt. Bobbie) Crocker
Demosthenes Savalas - Det. Stavros
Vince Conti - Det. Rizzo
Mark Russell - Det. Saperstein

Description:
Tough, but mild-mannered Lt. Kojak, of the Manhattan South precinct, tackles the tough issues and the tough crimes. Who loves you, baby? CBS, 1973 - 1978.
Sonny & Cher Show
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Description:
This was one of the last variety shows. It was the odd chemestry between Sonny & Cher that helped make it a success. The regular sketches included "Cliff House," "The Laundromat," "The Vamp Sketch," and "Window on the World." CBS, 1971-1974.
Route 66

Cast:
Martin Milner - Tod Stiles
George Maharis - Buzz Murdock
Glen Corbett - Linc Case

Description:
Two young travelers drive down Route 66 in search of life's meaning and in an attempt to find themselves. The theme music has long outlived the series itself. CBS, 1960-1964.
The Roy Rogers Show
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Cast:
Roy Rogers
Dale Evans
Pat Brady
The Sons of the Pioneers

Description:
Roy and Dale owned a diner, ran the Double R Bar Ranch and helped keep law and order in Mineral City. Their famous horses were Trigger and Buttermilk. Cook Pat Brady had no horse; he drove one of those new fangled vehicles; he named his Jeep Nellybelle. The dog was Bullet. CBS, 1951-1964.
Winky Dink and You

Cast:
Jack Barry
Mike McBean
Mae Questel, the voice of "Winky Dink"

Description:
For some reason, most every early boomer remembers this one. This was an early "participation" kids show. Parents could buy a Winky Dink kit, which contained a film to place over the TV screen. Then, kids could draw on the screen to corresponding images on the show. The problem was that some kids drew on the screen even though they did not have the kit. Oops! Winky Dink was a cartoon character; his dog was Woofer. CBS, 1953-1957.
The Monkees

Cast:
Davy Jones
Mike Nesmith
Mickey Dolenz
Peter Tork

Description:
"Hey, hey, we're the Monkees! People say we monkey around. But were too busy singing, to put anybody down." We know; it does not make sense. But that is part of its particular... charm. The Monkees's TV show was more like a cartoon than a sitcom. Still, it was kind of cute. NBC, 1966-1968; CBS, 1968-1972; ABC, 1972-1973.
The Partridge Family

Cast:
Shirley Jones - Shirley Partridge
David Casidy - Keith Partridge
Susan Dey - Laurie Partridge
Danny Bonaduce - Danny Partridge
Jeremy Gelbwaks - Chris Partridge

Description:
This is every your teenager's dream... or a variation thereof. Young Danny Partridge organizes the family into a rock band, which tours the country in a modified school bus. The family dog... was Simon. ABC, 1970-1974.
Mission Impossible

Cast:
Peter Graves - Jim Phelps
Steven Hill - Dan Briggs
Barbara Bain - Cinnamon Carter
Greg Morris - Barney Collier
Peter Lupus - Willy Armitage
Martin Landau - Rollin Hand
Leonard Nimoy - Paris
Lesley Warren - Dana Lambert
Greg Morris - Barney Collier
Peter Lupus - Willy Armitage
Sam Elliott - Dr. Doug Robert (Lang)
Lynda Day George - Casey
Peter Lupus - Willy Armitage

Description:
The was perhaps the most successful of the high-tech, adventure series of the 60s and 70s. The IMF (Impossible Missions Force), a top-secret organization of the government, takes on the toughest challenges threatening our nation's security. "As always, Mr. Phelps, should you or any member of your IM force be captured or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your existence." CBS, 1966-1973.
Good Times

Cast:
John Amos - James Evans
Esther Rolle - Florida Evans
Jimmie Walker - James (JJ) Evans, Jr.
Bernadette Stanis - Thelma Evans
Ralph Carter - Michale Evans

Description:
One of the first and one of the best "real" sitcoms, and one of the first to feature a black family in the lead roles. This series showed how life in a housing project in Chicago can have its funny moments. "Dy-no-mite!" CBS, 1974-1979.
Star Trek

Cast:
William Shatner - Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock
Deforest Kelley - Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy
Michelle Nichols - Lt. Uhura
James Doohan - Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott (Scotty)
Grace Lee Whitney - Yeoman Janice Rand
Majel Barrett - Nurse Christine Chapel
George Takei - Mr. Sulu

Description:
If you don't know about Star Trek, you need to get out more! The U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC 1701, representing the United Federation of Planets, goes where no man has gone before in the 22nd century. NBC, 1966-1969.
Sky King

Cast:
Kirby Grant - Sky King
Gloria Winters - Penny King, Sky's neice
Ron Haggerthy - Clipper King, Sky's nephew
Ewing Mitchell - the sheriff

Description:
"Out of the blue of the western skies comes Sky King!"
The location is the Flying Crown Ranch, in Grover, California. Sky King, a former WWII flying ace, helps maintain law in order in the wide open country of California. CBS, 1952-1966.
Little House on the Prairie
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Cast:
Michael Landon - Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle - Karen Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert - Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson - Mary Ingalls

Description:
This was family values 125 years before we knew what faimly values were. The Ingalls family struggles to help settle the town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. NBC, 1974-1984.
The Bob Newhart Show
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Cast:
Bob Newhart - Dr. Robert Hartley
Suzanne Pleshette - Emily Hartley
Bill Daily - Navigator Howard Borden
Peter Bonerz - Dr. Jerry Robinson, an orthodontist
Marcia Wallace - Carol Kester, the office secretary

Description:
A wonderful cast and terrific writing made this sitcom, seemingly about very little, enormously funny. The Hartley's lived in an apartment in Chicago. CBS, 1972-1978.
Police Woman

Cast:
Angie Dickenson - Sgt. Pepper (Suzanne) Anderson
Earl Holliman - Sgt. William Crowley
Charles Dierkop - Sgt. Pete Royster
Ed Bernard - Sgt. Joe Styles
Val Bisoglio - Lt. Paul Marsh

Description:
A spinoff of "Police Story," this series showed a female in a strong but feminine role. She was beautiful, smart, strong, compassionate.. and she was a terrific cop! NBC, 1974-1978.
I Spy

Cast:
Bill Cosby - Alexander Scott (Scotty)
Robert Culp - Kelly Robinson

Description:
Scotty and Kelly were two undercover agents fighting the evils of the world. This was the first series to feature a Black actor as a star. Bill Cosby played the smarter of the two characters. But the show was not about race; race played no part in the show. That is part of what made it a success. NBC, 1965-1968.
I Remember Mama

Cast:
Peggy Wood - "Mama" Marta Hansen
Judson Laire - "Papa" Lars Hansen
Dick Van Patten - Nels Hansen
Rosemary Rice - Katrin Hansen
Iris Mann - Dagmar Hansen (1949)
Robin Morgan II - Dagmar Hansen (1950-1956)
Toni Campbell - Dagmar Hansen (1956-1957)

Description:
"I remember the big white house on Elm Street, and my little sister Dagmar, and my big brother Nels, and Papa. But most of all, I Remember Mama." Perhaps only your parents... or your older sister or brother will remember this series. It was my mother's favorite. This was the story of a Norwegen family settling in San Francisco in the early 1900s as seen through the eyes and words of Katrin Hansen. Heart-warming, gentle, educational, inspirational, and occasionally funny, this was a delightful contribution to early television. CBS, 1949-1957.
Green Acres

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Cast:
Eddie Albert - Oliver Wendell Douglas
Eva Gabor - Lisa Douglas
Pat Buttram - Mr. Haney
Tom Lester - Eb Dawson
Alvy Moore - Hank Kimball
Frank Cady - Sam Drucker
Hank Patterson - Fred Ziffel
Barbara Pepper - Doris Ziffel
Fran Ryan - Doris Ziffel
Arnold - Arnold Ziffel
Sid Melton - Alf Monroe
Mary Grace Canfield - Ralph Monroe
Kay E. Kuter - Newt Kiley
Edgar Buchanan - Joe Carson
Bea Benaderet - Kate Bradley
Eleanor Audley - Eunice Douglas

Description:
"Green Acres is the place to be." Attorney Oliver, wanting to leave the rat race behind, buys a farm in Nowheresville. (OK, OK... it was Hooterville.) His wife, played very well by Eva Gabor, was made for New York City, and yearns to return. Chaos and dissention ensue... and the result was a very amusing sitcom. Nope; we don't know where Hooterville was... but we can imagine. Yes, Arnold was the pig. Lisa's dog was appropriately named Mignon (just like the steak). CBS, 1965-1971.
Welcome Back Kotter

Cast:
Gabe Kaplan - Gabe Kotter
Marcia Strassman - Julie Kotter, Gabe's wife
John Travolta - Vinnie Barbarino
Robert Hegyes - Juan Epstein
Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs - Freddie Washington
Ron Palillo - Arnold Horshack
John Sylvester White - Mr. Michael Woodman, the principal
Debralee Scott - Rosalie (Hotsie) Totzie
Vernee Watson - Verna Jean
Helaine Lembeck - Judy Brown
Dennis Bowen - Todd Ludlow
Catarina Cellino - Maria
Melonie Haller - Angie Globagoski
Stephen Shortridge - Beau De Labarre
Charles Fleischer - Carvelli
Bob Harcum - Murray
Irene Arranga - Mary Johnson

Description:
A graduate of James Buchanan High School, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Gabe Kotter returns as a teacher to do his part to educate and civilize the "sweat hogs." ABC, 1975-1979.
Topper

Cast:
Leo G. Carroll - Cosmo Topper
Anne Jeffreys - Marian Kirby
Robert Sterling - George Kirby
Lee Patrick - Henrietta Topper
Kathleen Freeman - Katie, the maid
Edna Skinner - Maggie, the housekeeper
Buck - Neil (the dog)

Description:
This was a very early sitcom, and it lasted for only 3 seasons. But for some reason, most early boomers remember it well; I sure do. At the beginning of each episode, the announcer set the scene: "This is Cosmo Topper. Bank Vice-President, loving husband, and, no he's not a magician. George and Marion Kerby are doing that. Ghosts. Yes, a handsome couple who were swallowed by an avalanche and came back to spread a little joy into a sedate business man's life. And that's their ghost-dog Neil. The St. Bernard who couldn't save them. That's what you get for drinking on the job old boy. Aren't they a wonderful bunch? And just think, Topper is the only person in the whole world who can see or hear them. Except for you and I, of course. Well, it's off to the bank for Topper. What a way to start the day!" The show was based on the movie by the same name. The St. Bernard dog (the third ghost) had a particular affinity for liquor... fine liquor. This was a very clever twist to the show. CBS, 1953-1955.
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
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Cast:
Tom Smothers
Dick Smothers
Pat Paulsen
Mason Williams

Description:
Pushing the edges of comedy and variety entertainment, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" was very creative and very well done. The comedy sketches and songs were topical and sometimes controversial. One of them got them kicked off the air in 1970. CBS, 1967-1969; ABC. 1970.
The Carol Burnett Show

Cast:
Carol Burnett
Harvey Korman
Vicki Lawrence
Lyle Waggoner
Tim Conway

Description:
You just cannot say enough good things about "The Carol Burnett Show." Her show outlasted all the variety shows of the 70s and left no room for anyone to do any more. Best leave well enough alone. CBS, 1967-1978.


Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs Now you can have a great piece of boomer memoriabilia for yourself or your favorite boomer. Click here for BBHQ's Pictures, Posters & Autographs. It's great stuff!!

But wait... there's much, much more!

Boomer TV - Part 1:
Father Knows Best
Leave It to Beaver
Zorro
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Mickey Mouse Club
The Twilight Zone
Bonanza
Rocky and His Friends
The Flintstones
The Jetsons
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Car 54, Where Are You?
My Three Sons
The Adventures of Superman
The Lone Ranger
Fractured Fairy Tales
The Untouchables
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
The Honeymooners
The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp
Have Gun Will Travel
Gunsmoke
Ozzie & Harriett
Ed Sullivan
My Favorite Martian
Spin & Marty
Fury
Sea Hunt
The Donna Reed Show
The Little Rascals

Boomer TV - Part 2:
77 Sunset Strip
All in the Family
The Andy Griffith Show
Andy's Gang
Batman
The Howdy Doody Show
Dragnet
Gomer Pyle
The Fugitive
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Davy Crockett
Mr. Ed
The Brady Bunch
The Jackie Gleason Show
Lassie
Petticoat Junction
The Jeffersons
What's My Line?
I Love Lucy
Laugh-In
Make Room for Daddy
The Addams Family
The Real McCoys
The Life of Riley
Ben Casey
The Beverly Hillbillies
Sanford & Son
Dr. Kildare
Get Smart
Bewitched

And... part 4 arrives at BBHQ soon!


Boomers' memories:
Tell us what you remember about your favorites TV shows of the 50's, 60's, and early 70's. We're waiting to hear from you...

"My little Margie" with Gale Storm, who was a "dream bunny" also went on to "Oh Sussanna". "Our Miss Brooks", with a young, and very comedic Richard Crenna. How bout more game shows, i.e. Beat the Clock, Video Village, T or C, Treasure Hunt, Seven Keys, etc.?

"Watching Saturday morning cartoons was the thing to do. MIGHTY MOUSE was my favorite hero. It was comforting to know that no matter how bad the villain, Mighty would save the day!"

"What about Ernie Kovacs shows? There was a great show (I believe too intelligent for the times) "Hot Off the Wire" with Jim Backus that lasted one season. Also there was a short-lived Jay Ward variety comedy show called I believe "The Nuthouse"? It was not a cartoon show, circa 1964. One show featured a man-eating giant chocolate cake.

Laramie, The Rebel, Bat Masterson, Hotel DeParee, Eight Seventh Precint, these live in my heart. Especially Laramie, and Wagon Train.


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rev. 04/04/09