Neglected TV Shows of the 50s, 60s & 70s

The world of television is a vibrant collection of creativity, but with so many shows released each year, it can be easy to forget about the older programs. Nowadays, we have access to hundreds of shows at the click of a button but go back a few decades, and there were fewer choices.

Source: Pinterest / Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

NBC, CBS, and ABC were some of the biggest networks back in the day and have remained on top. Though humor and values have shifted over the years, networks have kept up with the times. Network competitions led to a slew of short-lived shows that didn’t last long, and some simply faded into the archives when production ended. Let’s take a look through the vault at some forgotten titles.

My Favorite Martian

Featuring: Pamela Britton, Ray Walston, Alan Hewitt, Bill Bixby
First Premiered: September 29, 1963
Seasons: 3
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $70,000

Source: Twitter

Life on other planets was a hot commodity back in the’60s when America was wrapped up in the Space Race. “My Favorite Martian” was a show that follows a young reporter who finds a humanlike alien who needs a place to stay while he repairs his broken spaceship.

The CBS series was produced by Jack Chertok and averaged 35 episodes per season. Viewers enjoyed the show as it was similar to other popular ones such as “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie. ” Ratings took a massive hit by season 3, leading to its cancellation.

Bourbon Street Beat

Featuring: Arlene Howell, Richard Long, Andrew Duggan, Van Williams
First Premiered: October 5, 1959
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): Undetermined

Source: Twitter

Moody cop dramas have always been popular with fans, though “Bourbon Street Beat” didn’t have the right mix to keep it on air for past season 1. This show was one of the first to showcase a private detective agency. Though similarly formatted to other Warner Bros. Studios hits, “Bourbon Street Beat” just wasn’t as successful.

The show followed characters Cal Calhoun (Duggan) and Rex Randolph (Long) as they solved cases before the show was axed, but they would have a second chance. Rex was added to “77 Sunset Strip” and introduced as a new guy around town, while Cal stopped by for an episode before retiring from the force for good.

Tales of Tomorrow

Featuring: Lon Chaney, Jr., Thomas Mitchell
First Premiered: August 3, 1951
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $40,000

Source: Imgur

“Twilight Zone” and “American Horror Story” are champions of the anthology genre, both heavily inspired by “Tales of Tomorrow” featuring Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney, Jr.

Tales like “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “Frankenstein” were just some of the stories retold in the engaging black and white series.

Each episode told a different story and featured many guest stars, including Boris Karloff and Leslie Nielson. After two seasons and 85 episodes, it was more than just a blip on the radar. “Tales of Tomorrow” often gets forgotten and overshadowed by “Twilight Zone, ” but it paved the way for the series.

Shotgun Slade

Featuring: Scott Brady
First Premiered: October 24, 1959
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $52,000

Source: Pinterest

“Shotgun Slade” worked so well because it offered something different from the Western TV shows and movies that they had grown tired of in the 1950s. This unique Western mystery had big-name guest stars, such as Jeanne Cooper, Walter Coy, Frank Ferguson, Ernie Kovacs, and more. The typical Western music score was replaced with modern jazz, another novelty of this show.

Slade was a private investigator who would take on exceptional cases, which was unusual in a Western. After two seasons and the series wrapped, Scott Brady continued to work in various television shows and movies, memorably starring in1984’s “Gremlins. ”

Flying High

Featuring: Connie Sellecca, Kathryn Witt, Howard Platt, Pat Klous
First Premiered: August 28, 1978
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: YouTube

While male-led TV shows had dominated in the past, the’70s saw more female-orientated creations rise through the ranks. One of them was “Flying High,” a cheeky dramedy about three air hostesses. Production wanted to cast models to star in the show, hoping their beauty would draw more fans.

Although CBS had high expectations for the show, it ultimately lacked substance and didn’t resonate with viewers. “Flying High” was canceled after 18 episodes due to unflattering comparisons to the uber-successful “Charlie’s Angels” and negative reviews.

The Hathaways

Featuring: Barbara Perry, Peggy Cass, Jack Weston, Marcy Grace Canfield, Harvey Lembeck
First Premiered: October 6, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

The quirky comedy starred Peggy Cass and Jack Weston as doting parents living in the suburbs, but with a twist; the children were chimpanzees. “The Hathaways” was one of the earliest shows to feature animals on TV, and it was an all-around disaster. The lack of sponsors forced ABC to fund itself alongside animal food company Ralston-Purina.

The show was called “possibly the worst series ever to air on network TV” and was considered “utterly degrading.” However, monkey enthusiasts loved it. The sitcom wasn’t successful, but in 1962 they released “The Hathaways” comic book series featuring the show’s famous chimps.

Peck’s Bad Girl

Featuring: Patty McCormick, Wendell Corey, Marsha Hunt, Ray Ferrell
First Premiered: 1959
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $45,000

Source: Imgur

When Lucille Ball and white picket fences were the standards, parodies like1959’s “Peck Bad Girl” weren’t well received. The sitcom wanted to make fun of other shows by going overboard with the plotlines. Many viewers at the time had no idea that they were even watching a comedy.

Initially a silent MGM film from 1918, the show hosted celebrity guests from the era, though that didn’t help show success. Immediately after its release, “Peck Bad Girl” was archived. In fact, today, there’s no Wikipedia page about it because there’s so little information about the series.

Broadside

Featuring: Sheila James, Kathleen Nolan, Joan Staley, Edward Andrews, Dick Sargent
First Premiered: September 20, 1964
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $65,000

Source: Pinterest

Kathleen Nolan starred in1964’s “Broadside,” the war drama that fixated on the women of the Navy in World War II. When the show got cut, it was especially shocking since the show’s ratings were consistently good throughout the run. What set this military-set series apart were the quality writing and eager cast members.

The production company simply didn’t have enough space on the lot, so the show got the ax after one season. Truly unfortunate for “Broadside” as another show that used the same exterior lot got to continue filming in Italy.

Convoy

Featuring: John Gavin
First Premiered: September 17, 1965
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season with inflation*): $12 million

Source: Twitter

NBC’s “Convoy” followed Commander Dan Talbot (John Gavin) and his crew on a cargo ship in World War II as they helped supply troops with provisions. One of the show’s most significant challenges was that it was shot in black and white, allowing the inclusion of old war footage. In the mid-60s, viewers were more drawn to new, exciting technicolor shows.

Before becoming an actor, John Gavin was an officer in the Navy and had trouble with how the show depicted Naval life. Instead of becoming NBC’s breakout hit, “Convoy” sank to the bottom of the ocean after one season.

Holmes & Yo-Yo

Featuring: Lee Hewitt, Jack Sher
First Premiered: September 25, 1976
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $40,000

Source: YouTube

A good on-screen duo can go down in network history if done well. Despite high hopes from ABC, “Holmes & Yo-Yo” fell short, even though Yo-Yo being a robot was a twist to the standard detective comedy. A staff writer for the show “Get Smart” was a producer for “Holmes & Yo-Yo,” and Yo-Yo was based on Stymie.

The series was deemed an instant disaster, but it did leave its mark. TV Guide included “Holmes & Yo-Yo” on its List of the Worst 50 TV Shows of All Time.

The Brothers Brannagan

Featuring: Mark Roberts, Stephen Dunne, Barney Phillips
First Premiered: September 24, 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

“The Brothers Brannagan” followed sibling crime-solving detectives, not a fresh premise by any means, which lead to only one season. What the show lacked in budget, they made up for in enthusiasm from the cast and crew. The series featured famous guest stars, including Ann McCrea, Flip Mark, Sterling Holloway, Christopher Dark, Ron Hagerthy, and even Burt Reynolds.

Stars Mark Roberts and Stephen Dunne shot 39 episodes which were broadcast in the early 1960s. Although it didn’t pan out, it was a TV drama that could’ve easily held on for a bit longer if the budget would’ve been more extensive.

Coronado 9

Featuring: Rod Cameron
First Premiered: September 6, 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $60,000

Source: Pinterest

Producers were hopeful that casting 50s- and 60s-star Rod Cameron in “Coronado 9” would help the show’s popularity. The show followed private investigator Dan Adams (Cameron) as he used his Naval experience to solve cases. During filming, Cameron was going through a lot of personal turmoil as he divorced his wife and then married her mother.

Though the show only lasted for one season of 39 episodes, it featured guest stars like Beverly Garland and Doug McClure. December 2010 marked the Timeless Media DVD release of the series.

Diver Dan

Featuring: Suzanne Turner, Allen Swift, Frank D. Freda
First Premiered: January 4, 1960
Seasons: N/A
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

Kids in the 60s were easier to entertain since they didn’t have smartphones and loved cartoon programs, like “Diver Dan.” A cartoonist himself, John Ferlaine developed “Diver Dan” from his comic strip, “Fish Tales,” about a diving explorer. They filmed as a live-action series with puppet fish shooting through an aquarium created underwater effects.

Brian Cartoons developed “Diver Dan,” which was later sold to NBC, and then local stations would re-edit them into episodes. 104 total shorts were made, with some combined to make 30-minute shows and others used in other programs like “Felix & Diver Dan.”

Dog and Cat

Featuring: Kim Basinger, Lou Antonio, Matt Clark
First Premiered: March 5, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Pinterest

Having established herself as a top model, Kim Basinger transitioned into acting with her role on “Dog and Cat.” Basinger, with co-star Lou Antonio, played partners working together in the Los Angeles Police Department. Though the show lasted only six episodes, Basinger would star in several titles over the coming years.

Originally shown on ABC, “Dog and Cat” managed to snag the desired Monday night TV timeslot. “Dog and Cat” had some distasteful plotlines and was criticized for trying to imitate “Charlie’s Angels,” like many other detective shows starring a female lead.

Johnny Midnight

Featuring: Yuki Shimoda, Barney Phillips, Edmond O’Brien, Arthur Batanides
First Premiered: January 3, 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $50,000

Source: Twitter

In case it wasn’t clear, private detective shows were so popular in the’60s that every network scrambled to find success with one. “Johnny Midnight” focused on the gritty New York City detective played by Edmond O’Brien, supported by Yuki Shimoda as Uki, Barney Phillips as Lieutenant Geller, and Arthur Batanides as Sergeant Olvera.

The show paid homage to series that came before, with motion picture settings and lead character narration. Producer Jack Chertok was the man behind the curtain and would later create “My Favorite Martian.”

Sea Hunt

Featuring: Lloyd Bridges
First Premiered: January 4, 1958
Seasons: 4
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $40,000

Source: Imgur

Shows underwater can be tough to direct and even more challenging to afford, but somehow “Sea Hunt” managed it all. Bridges starred as Mike Nelson, a scuba diver with a Naval background. The MGM drama was filmed on location in places like Grand Bahama Island, Paradise Cove, and Silver Springs, among others.

Viewers fell in love with the tense and entertaining series, which kept numbers afloat for the show’s four-season run. Despite its popularity, “Sea Hunt” met an untimely end when organizational issues took over and prevented any chance of future episodes.

David Cassidy: Man Undercover

Featuring: David Cassidy, Wendy Rastatter, Simon Oakland
First Premiered: November 2, 1978
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $90,000

Source: Pinterest

After the success of “The Partridge Family,” David Cassidy was one of the most famous teen icons in the 1970s. After that show finished, Cassidy joined the cast of “David Cassidy: Man Undercover” as undercover cop Dan Shay.

NBC recast Cassidy’s wife’s role with Wendy Rastatter, an unknown actress, for reasons that they never shared. Each episode followed Shay going undercover in a case and getting to the heart of the crime, but even casting Cassidy couldn’t save the show. Only ten episodes were made before “Man Undercover” went under.

It’s a Man’s World

Featuring: Michael Burns, Ted Bussell, Glenn Corbett, Randy Boone
First Premiered: September 17, 1962
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $85,000

Source: Twitter

Dramedies following friends in a shared apartment is nothing new, but four guys sharing a houseboat is undoubtedly fresh. “It’s a Man’s World” saw an eclectic group of characters, including recently orphaned brothers Howie (Burns) and Wes (Corbett).

Despite captivating backstories and intriguing plotlines, the NBC show was canceled mid-season. Many praised “It’s a Man’s World” for being ahead of its time, delving into themes like feminism and the ever-growing divide between different generations in a time of intense change.

Me and the Chimp

Featuring: Anita Gillette, Scott Kolden, Ted Bessell, Kami Cotler
First Premiered: January 13, 1972
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $1 million

Source: YouTube

CBS learned very little from the mistakes made with “The Hathaways,” and instead, they opted to make a similar ’70s show called “Me and the Chimp.” Featuring Ted Bessell as dentist Mike Russell, the CBS sitcom saw the typical American family that included a mischievous former space chimp, Buttons.

The story didn’t click with audiences, so Buttons returned to his trainer, and Bessell would do TV movies before directing “The Tracey Ullman Show.” Thomas L. Miller and Garry Marshall created “Me and the Chimp” and would become better-known for their work on “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley.”

Supertrain

Featuring: Nita Talbot, Harrison Page, Robert Alda, Edward Andrews, Patrick Collins, Charlie Ball
First Premiered: February 7, 1979
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): Over $1 million

Source: Twitter

A fictitious nuclear-powered super train created for TV, “Supertrain” was an indulgence vessel that housed any desired activity and followed the passengers’ lives on board. NBC paid an unheard-of $10 million (in today’s dollars, $35.85 million) for the set of three trains.

They then paid even more to advertise the series in the hopes that ratings would help recover the losses.” Supertrain” was absurdly expensive to produce, making it the most expensive series released at the time, though it only had nine episodes. NBC almost went bankrupt because of the chances it took on “Supertrain.”

Another Day

Starring: David Groh, Joan Hackett, Hope Summers, Lisa Lindgren, Al Eisenmann
First Aired: April 8, 1978
Number of Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season with inflation*): $62.8 million

Source: Imgur

“Another Day” hit TV sets in 1978, only to be canceled a month later. The CBS sitcom followed family man Don Gardner, who was set on supporting his family solely with his income. The show only had four episodes in the month of April before its cancellation.

“Another Day” was considered unoriginal, gender-stereotypical, and unable to keep up with the rapidly changing times. CBS quickly recognized their mistake and cut the show after only four episodes, opting to quit before things could get any worse.

Doc Elliott

Featuring: James Franciscus
First Premiered: May 1, 1974
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

Dr. Benjamin R. Elliot, lovingly known as Doc Elliot in the series, went from the big city to small-town life in rural Colorado. Fed up with the daily grind, this mild-mannered doctor got his hands dirty in the community caring for his patients and making house calls.

Unfortunately, the series only lasted for 14 episodes as the show’s ratings were slow from the start. Leading man James Franciscus would work in Italian cinema and continued in the movie industry until his premature passing in 1991 from emphysema.

Gemini Man

Featuring: Ben Murphy, William Sylvester, Katherine Crawford
First Premiered: September 23, 1976
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Pinterest

Ben Murphy had a distinct bravado about him, making him the perfect fit to play secret agent bad boy Sam Casey. After being exposed to radiation, Casey finds himself invisible. The plot was based on H.G. Wells’ novel, “The Invisible Man,” and was the story’s third TV adaption.

Not to be mixed up with the modern thriller of the same name, “Invisible Man” was off to a rough start when the studio wasn’t willing to spend money on better special effects. Eleven episodes were made, but only five were broadcast in America as the series wasn’t popular amongst fans.

The Blue Angels

Featuring: Morgan Jones, Warner Jones, Michael Galloway, Dennis Cross, Don Gordon, Robert Knapp, Ross Elliott
First Premiered: September 26, 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

Dennis Cross starred as Commander Arthur Richards in “The Blue Angels.” The show took inspiration from the United States Navy, making a drama out of fictional events. The real-life Blue Angels are allocated $37 million a year from the Department of Defense budget, while “The Blue Angels,” the TV show, was less thrilling as a result of lacking funding.

The show was well-received among fans of the genre, but it flew under the radar and couldn’t bring in the viewership it needed to survive. “The Blue Angels” stopped production after one season and 39 episodes on the air.

Death Valley Days

Featuring: Ronald Reagan, Rosemary DeCamp, Robert Taylor, Stanley Andrews, Dale Roberton
First Premiered: March 1, 1952
Seasons: 18
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $40,000

Source: Twitter

One of the longest-running series of its time, “Death Valley Days,” aired from 1952 until 1970, totaling 452 episodes in 18 seasons. In 1955, this series got a similar anthology from NBC called “Frontier.” Walter Coy hosted the Western series in 1955, and despite only having one season, earned an Emmy nomination.

Most of the episodes of “Death Valley Days” were filmed in Los Angeles. Each episode of the historical anthology series focused on different tales from the Old West. Different narrators stepped in over the course of the show, including Ronald Reagan from 1964-1966.

The Everglades

Featuring: Ron Hayes, Gordon Casell
First Premiered: October 9, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (for the land*): $300

Source: Imgur

“The Everglades” was on a notoriously tight budget, though exact numbers for the nature adventure/crime show are unknown. An acre of the Everglades National Park, the show’s primary filming location, cost $300. Other locations shown in the show included Sweetwater, Frog City, Coopertown, and Forty Mile Bend, located on the Tamiami Trail.

Starring Gordon Casell and Ron Hayes, the show’s plot focused around Hayes as Lincoln Vail, a police officer who stopped crime and answered calls from his airboat through the Everglades.

The Jim Backus Show

Featuring: Nita Talbot, Bobs Watson, Jim Backus, George Ives
First Premiered: 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $100,000

Source: Twitter

“The Jim Backus Show” was also made famous by its other name, “Hot Off the Wire.” Starring Jim Backus as Mike O’Toole, the owner of a struggling wire service business. The show’s secondary stars included Bobs Watson, who starred as Sidney, and Nita Talbot, who played Dora Miles.

A number of big-name guest stars made appearances to try to increase struggling ratings for “The Jim Backus Show,” including Milton Frome, Vivi Janiss, George Ives, Alan Carney, and Olan Soule, among others.

The Virginian

Featuring: Lee J. Cobb, Roberta Shore, James Drury, Doug McClure
First Premiered: September 19, 1961
Seasons: 9
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $330,000

Source: Twitter

For the era, “The Virginian” was one of the most beloved Westerns. In its last season, it was retitled as “The Men from Shiloh.” The series starred Lee J. Cobb, James Drury, and Doug McClure as three ranch supervisors.

Owen Wister’s 1902 novel, “The Virginian, A Horseman of the Plains,” was a loose inspiration for the show. The series was filmed in numerous locations in California, including Bronson Canyon, Iverson Movie Ranch, and Lone Pine. The show “Laredo” was another series related to “The Virginian.”

The Time Tunnel

Featuring: James Darren, Lee Meriwether, Robert Colbert
First Premiered: September 9, 1966
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $500,000

Source: Imgur

“The Time Tunnel” holds the title as one of the most expensive shows of its time. The show spent $500,000 on a pilot episode, footed by the production companies Irwin Allen and Kent.

The show was a series about time travel and was one of the first in-color sci-fi TV shows. “The Time Tunnel” was on ABC and first aired in 1966. To learn more about “The Time Tunnel,” check out Martin Grams Jr’s biography about the show.

Ripcord

Featuring: Shug Fisher, Paul Comi, Allison Hayes, Larry Pennell, Ken Curtis
First Premiered: June 3, 1961
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $200,000

Source: Twitter

The series “Ripcord” followed the adventures of a skydiving company. Created by Jim Hall and Harry Redmond Jr., “Ripcord” starred Larry Pennell as Theo McKeever. McKeever and his friends (played by Paul Comi, Ken Curtis, and Shug Fisher) chased dangerous criminals at the police’s request.

They took their private plane and performed wacky, dangerous rescues of people in trouble. Skydiving was a totally new sport at the time, which added an element of excitement to the show. The syndicated series ran from 1961 until 1963 with 76 episodes.

My Mother the Car

Featuring: Ann Sothern, Jerry Van Dyke, Cindy Eilbacher, Maggie Pierce
First Premiered: September 14, 1965
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $50,000

Source: Pinterest

Fans of the sitcom “Arrested Development” might recognize this title, as the show “My Mother the Car” was referenced in the newer show. “My Mother the Car” was a rather silly show with a unique premise. The show follows a man who purchases a 1928 Porter car that ends up being his reincarnated mother.

Jerry Van Dyke’s character finds out that it is his deceased mother when the car lights flicker and her (Ann Sothern’s) voice comes through the radio. Though only on for one season, the show left its wacky and memorable mark.

Mister Ed

Featuring: Connie Hines, Allan Lane, Alan Young, Bamboo Harvester
First Premiered: January 5, 1961
Seasons: 6
Est. Production Cost (pilot episode*): $70,000

Source: Twitter

Another unique show on this list is “Mister Ed,” which followed a talking horse’s adventures, voiced by Allan Lane. The series filmed its 143 episodes in black and white (though later remastered in color). A series of Walter Brooks’ short novels served as inspiration for “Mister Ed.”

The horse on the show was called Bamboo Harvester when he wasn’t playing the role of Ed. Comedian George Burns was the first person to read the script and loved the idea so much that he $70K for the pilot himself.

Gibbsville

Featuring: Gig Young, Johnny Savage, Biff McGuire, Peggy McCay
First Premiered: November 11, 1976
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $140,000

Source: Imgur

The TV program “Gibbsville” was set in a tiny Pennsylvania town during the 1940s, despite being an actual small town in Wisconsin. The drama told the story of a senior reporter who is a recovering alcoholic and his partner a young, idealistic journalist.

In 1976, it was on TV for not even two months. Out of the 13 episodes that were filmed, only six of them made it to air. A movie pilot was also supposed to happen but never ended up getting made. Biff McGuire, Peggy McCay, and Bert Remsen were also credited as leading actors of the show.

Mr. T. and Tina

Featuring: Susan Blanchard, Ted Lange, Pat Morita, Jerry Fujikawa
First Premiered: September 25, 1976
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: seriespepito.com

“Mr. T and Tina” was a spin-off of the popular show “Welcome Back, Kotter,” which featured Pat Morita. “Mr. T and Tina” was revolutionary as the first TV show to feature a predominantly Asian-American cast. The premise of the series centered around an Asian-American family living in Chicago. The program had one season, airing during the fall of 1976. Komack Company produced the show, and major network TV, the pilot, wasn’t aired. Though the show wasn’t a huge success, it was groundbreaking for Asian-Americans’ visibility on major networks.

All That Glitters

Featuring: Lois Nettleton, Vanessa Brown, Barbara Baxley, Jessica Walter
First Premiered: April 18, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $40,000

Source: Pinterest

Eileen Brennan and Jessica Walter starred in “All That Glitters,” a show well ahead of its time. The series was not well received, likely for its level of social progressiveness. One of the first transgender characters on a major network, a fashion model named Linda and played by Linda Gray, was featured in “All That Glitters.”

Another thing that set this show apart was its flip of the patriarchal dynamic. All the men on the show were either stay-at-home dads, househusbands, or secretaries, while the women were breadwinners for their families. Former professional baseball player Wes Parker was the show’s only male voice.

Hee Haw Honeys

Featuring: Lulu Roman, Kathie Lee Gifford, Misty Rowe, Kenny Price
First Premiered: September 12, 1978
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $40,000

Source: Twitter

Before hosting “The Today Show” with co-host Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford starred on the show “Hee Haw Honeys.” The show was a spin-off of “Hee Haw” and also starred Kenny Price, Misty Rowe, Lulu Roman, and Gailard Sartain. “Hee Haw Honeys” was about Lulu’s Truck Stop (from “Hee Haw”) and the family that owned the restaurant/stop.

The restaurant had a stage where many country musicians would come and perform. The series was an attempted combination of a Western and musical. However, according to TV Guide, “Hee Haw Honeys” was considered one of the “worst series ever” in TV history.

Co-Ed Fever

Featuring: Alexa Kenin, David Keith, Heather Thomas, Hamilton Camp
First Premiered: February 4, 1979
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Imgur

“Co-Ed Fever” was a sitcom centered around a college frat house. It didn’t make it past the pilot episode because it had such low ratings. “Co-Ed Fever” was supposed to regularly aired on a Monday night, but it never got past a “special preview” on Sunday.

The show was loosely inspired by 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and hoped to draw some of that film’s success. “Co-Ed Fever” had six total episodes, and the five that weren’t aired went straight to DVD.

Hello, Larry

Featuring: McLean Stevenson, Joanna Gleason, Kim Richards, Krista Errickson
First Premiered: January 26, 1979
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (in total*)b>: $250,000

Source: Imgur

“Hello, Larry” was produced and written by Dick Bensfield and Perry Grant. Bensfield and Grant are also the minds behind hit TV shows like “The Andy Griffith Show,” “One Day at a Time,” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

The series ran for two seasons and 38 episodes, the premise of which centered around Larry Alder (McLean Stevenson), who moves to Portland from Los Angeles with his teenage daughters after his divorce to take a job as a radio host.

The Ropers

Featuring: Norman Fell, Patty McCormack, Audra Lindley, Jeffrey Tambor, Evan Cohen
First Premiered: March 13, 1979
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $30,000

Source: Twitter

ABC’s top-rated sitcom, “Three’s Company,” warranted so much success that it was given a spin-off, “The Ropers,” that aired from 1979 until 1980. “The Ropers” also drew inspiration from a British show called “George and Mildred,” which was a spin-off of the show on which “Three’s Company” was originally based.

The show was filmed in Los Angeles. The show’s premise focused on Audra Linley and Norman Fell’s characters, a middle-aged couple of landlords for Jack, Chrissy, and Janet on “Three’s Company.” The show takes place in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood and paints the landlords as a couple of wackos.

Bearcats

Featuring: Rod Taylor, Roy Jenson, Dennis Cole, Edward Faulkner
First Premiered: September 16, 1971
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (for the show’s cars): $8,000

Source: Twitter

“Bearcats” was produced by Filmways, Inc. Filmways was also the producing team behind “The Addams Family,” “Beverly Hillbillies,” and “Green Acres,” so it was on a winning streak. “Bearcats” featured Dennis Cole and Rod Taylor as troubleshooters in the pre-WW1 historical show.

The show was a novelty due to it being super expensive. The show structure was similar to a Western. However, it used props that you usually didn’t see in such Westerns, including machine guns, airplanes, M1911 pistols, a WW1-era tank, and multiple cars that were especially popular during the early 1900s.

Chopper One

Featuring: Ted Hartley, Dirk Benedict, Jim McMullan, Lou Frizzell
First Premiered: January 1974
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season*): $1.2 million

Source: Twitter

“Chopper One” was about a particular cop show about two police officers who operate a helicopter for searches and apprehending criminals. The show aired its pilot episode in 1974 and got a highly sought-after timeslot on Thursday evening. The drama had 13 episodes before being canceled after six months.

“Chopper One” was the police counterpart of the show “Firehouse,” which was a drama/thriller series about a Los Angeles fire station. Neither show lasted very long, with “Chopper One” and “Firehouse” ending just one month apart from each other.

Get Christie Love!

Featuring: Teresa Graves, Andy Romano, Jack Kelly, Charles Cioffi, Harry Guardino
First Premiered: January 22, 1974
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Pinterest

“Get Christie Love!” was an incredibly culturally significant police procedural starring Teresa Graves. On the ABC show from 1974 to 1975, Graves starred as a Black female police detective. Besides Diahann Carroll (“Julia”), she was only the second Black woman to lead a network drama at the time.

Dorothy Uhnak’s thriller novel, “The Ledger,” was the storyline on which the show was based. Teresa Graves had previously starred in “Laugh-In,” and her castmates from that comedy, such as Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, and Arte Johnson, were guest stars on “Get Christie Love!”

Wagon Train

Starring: Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton, Ward Bond, John McIntire
First Premiered: September 18, 1957
Seasons: 8
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Twitter

“Wagon Train” was one of the priciest TV shows of its time. First airing on NBC from 1957 until 1962, it was then picked up by ABC from 1962 until 1965. “Wagon Train” followed the adventure of early pioneers traveling in a wagon train from Missouri through the Rocky Mountains and was set for the Gold Rush in California.

The Nielson ratings gave the show the number-one spot, which was why it was able to keep its large budget (which looks minuscule compared to more recent shows like the $15 million per episode “Game of Thrones”).

Land of the Giants

Starring: Don Matheson, Don Marshall, Heather Young, Deanna Lund, Gary Conway
First Aired: September 22, 1968
Number of Seasons: 2
Estimated Production Cost: $250,000 per episode*

Source: Pinterest

“Land of the Giants” was developed by sci-fi creator Irwin Allen, who produced four other projects centered around science fiction concepts. “Land of the Giants” even launched its own series of novels. Five books based on the TV series were released, and three of them were written by acclaimed sci-fi author Murray Leinster.

“Land of the Giants” featured Gary Conway as the lead, one of several travelers sucked into a magnetic space storm and stranded on a planet where everything is 12x as big as it is on Earth.

Mack & Myer for Hire

Featuring: Joey Faye, Mickey Deems
First Premiered: 1963
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $1,000 per episode

Source: Imgur

Slapstick comedy took centerstage with “Mack & Myer for Hire” when it aired from 1963 to 1964. The show followed Mack and Myer (Mickey Deems and Joey Faye, respectively) as two repairmen who seem to mess up every job they do. Each episode was 12 minutes long, so it was typically on as a part of another program.

Often shorts like “Mack & Myer” could be seen amongst other comedy shorts, like “The Three Stooges,” complete with a laugh track. The production budget was low but still appealed to children in the United States and across the world.

Miami Undercover

Featuring: Rocky Graziano, Lee Bowman
First Premiered: January 23, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $10,000

Source: Twitter

“Miami Undercover” was more or less an intro to shows like “CSI: Miami” and “Miami Vice,” airing for one season (and 38 episodes) in 1961. “Miami Undercover” was a crime drama featuring Lee Bowman as PI Jeff Thompson.

Thompson and his partner (played by retired boxer Rocky Graziano) were hired to keep the neighborhood clean and problem-free by local business owners. The show’s vintage feel was due to it being in black and white along with being shot by a single camera.

Planet of the Apes

Featuring: Ron Harper, James Naughton, Roddy McDowall, Mark Lenard
First Premiered: September 13, 1974
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $250,000

Source: Twitter

Walt Disney Studios owns a portion of the media empire that has come out of “Planet of the Apes.” The show was initially based on a French show from 1963 called “La Planete des Singes.” Since it has made its way over to American producers, it has been made into comic books, remakes, novels, reboots, and movies.

The TV series “Planet of the Apes” was one of the first endeavors of this media empire into the world of TV. This live-action CBS series was part of the 1974 fall lineup, but poor ratings led to its demise.

The Saint

Featuring: Aubrey Morris, Arnold Diamond, Lois Maxwell, Roger Moore, Geoffrey Keen
First Premiered: February 9, 1969
Seasons: 6
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Pinterest

In 1920, Leslie Charteris created a Batman-like character that helped the police solve crime named Simon Templar. Templar has been the muse for numerous books, shows, movies, and “The Saint.” The British spy thriller show “The Saint” was on NBC in the summer of 1969.

The series ended up being insanely profitable, grossing nearly $450 million (adjusted for inflation) throughout its 120-episode run. As a result of color TV still a few years behind, “The Saint” was shot in black and white for the bulk of its episodes.

Thunderbirds

Featuring: Sylvia Anderson, David Graham, David Holliday, Matt Zimmerman
First Premiered: September 30, 1965
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode adjusted for inflation*): $962,000

Source: Twitter

The British sci-fi program, “Thunderbirds,” was produced by AP Films owners Sylvia and Gerry Anderson. The ITC show had a massive budget of almost $1 million per episode due to the scale model special effects used on the show, which had no live acting.

“Thunderbirds” used a system called “Supermarionation,” technologically innovated, electric marionette puppetry. The show wasn’t a financially sustainable project due to its budget size, so it only had two seasons. “Thunderbirds” got canceled after American networks didn’t pick up the show, despite the efforts of Lew Grade, the Anderson’s financier.

The Ernie Kovacs Show

Featuring: Edie Adams, Jolene Brand, Ernie Kovacs, Boris Karloff, Bill Wendell
First Premiered: April 1953
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (for props*): $15 per week

Source: Pinterest

“The Ernie Kovacs Show” holds the high status of being one of the only six shows shown on all four US networks during the “Golden Age of TV.” The show appeared at assorted time slots and followed a combination format of SNL and a late-night talk show.

For instance, one well-known sketch from the show was a spoof of a “Kodadent” infomercial, an all-black toothpaste. According to the cast, the episode was so popular that viewers sent in homemade props, making the prop budget, according to the cast, only $15 per week.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In

Featuring: Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzi, Dick Martin, Dan Rowan, Arte Johnson
First Premiered: September 9, 1967
Seasons: 6
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: YouTube

“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” was comedic relief during a pretty troubling time. The concept of a “Laugh-In” was somewhat of a spoof of a sit-in or die-in, two forms of protest standard during the Vietnam era.

“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” highlighted pre-taped bits, comedy segments, and recurring sketches. It featured Dick Martin and Dan Rowan, and its six seasons totaled 140 episodes, each around 45 minutes long. Fans of the show will remember the theme song, as “Inquisitive Tango” was used to announce the bright title screen.

Gigglesnort Hotel

Featuring: Bill Jackson
First Premiered: 1975
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Twitter

“Gigglesnort Hotel” was an imaginative and popular kids’ show that aired from 1975 until 1978 on WLS-TV. It was hosted by children’s performer Bill Jackson, who also had several other shows like “Clown Alley” and “The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show,” two children’s shows that were popular during their time.

“Gigglesnort Hotel” featured Jackson as a hotel clerk, where he checked in a collection of puppet guests, many of which starred in his earlier programs. When the program ended, Jackson donated all of his puppets to the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications.

The !!!! Beat

Featuring: Gatemouth Brown, Hoss Allen
First Premiered: January 31, 1966
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Pinterest

“The !!!! Beat” was a program that showcased DJ Hoss Allen and his house band, led by Gatemouth Brown. One of the first to be shot in color, the show aired in 1966. Thanks to ABC’s big-budget, the program was able to utilize the color facilities.

Being able to shoot in color was a privilege and something that Nashville stations didn’t have. “The !!!! Beat” was a variety show, and it featured many performances from big-name musical guests, including Etta Jones, The Ovations, Otis Redding, Freddie King, and many more.

Mystery Theater

Featuring: E.G. Marshall, Himan Brown
First Premiered: January 6, 1974
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $1,000

Source: Twitter

“Mystery Theater” (full name: CBS Radio Mystery Theater) was a long-running, beloved radio show that technically had only one season, but that season was made up of 1,399 original episodes. There were 2,969 programs, with reruns, over eight years (1974 through 1982).

“Mystery Theater,” which adopted a spooky black cat as its logo, was introduced by E.G. Marshall and read by Himan Brown, who broadcast mystery, horror, and ghost stories to readers. It was still popular with seventies’ teenagers (along with older crowds) despite the show being a little behind-the-times when it came to its slang use.

Mona McCluskey

Featuring: Juliet Prowse, Herbert Rudley, Robert Strauss, Denny Miller, Bartlett Robinson
First Premiered: September 16, 1965
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $15,000

Source: Pinterest

The series “Mona McCluskey,” which sometimes went by the name “Meet Mona McCluskey,” aired from 1965 to 1966. It had only one season and 26 episodes. The show featured Julie Prowse as the titular character of Mona, and it featured Denny Miller as her husband, Mike, a USAF sergeant.

The sitcom revolved around Mona trying to start an acting career while balancing her marriage with Mike, who didn’t want her to follow that career path. The series also had other TV actors guest stars on the show like Herbert Rudley, Barry Kelley, Med Flory, Doris Singleton, and more.

Heaven for Betsy

Featuring: Cynthia Stone, Jack Lemmon
First Premiered: December 23, 1952
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $2,500

Source: Twitter

The series “Heaven for Betsy” had a fall lineup slot on CBS, airing from September to December of 1952. This ‘50s sitcom featured Cynthia Stone and Jack Lemmon, who were married on the show and a real-life married couple.

The show was based on “The Frances Langford/Don Ameche Show” sketch called “The Couple Next Door,” which Stone and Lemmon often guest-starred in. “Heaven for Betsy” had a quick run time, twice a week. It aired for 15 minutes in black and white. Lemmon played Pete, a toy buyer in a New York department store, and his wife, Betsy.

The Starlost

Featuring: Robin Ward, Gay Rowan, Keir DeLuca
First Premiered: September 22, 1973
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode with inflation*): $569,560

Source: Imgur

“The Starlost,” a sci-fi show, was one of its time’s costliest series, though it had just one season and 16 episodes. The basis of the show was space-age. It featured a colonist society that crewed an enormous colony spacecraft called The Earthship Ark. Those aboard, however, didn’t know they were on a massive spaceship. The spaceship flew off course, and the tension of the series centered around trying to keep the true essence of Earthship secret. The series was burdened with production issues because of its ambitious plot, which set the show in the year 2790.

He & She

Featuring: Paula Prentiss, Jack Cassidy, Hamilton Camp, Richard Benjamin, Kenneth Mars
First Premiered: September 6, 1967
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: Undetermined

Source: Pinterest

“He & She” was shown on CBS as part of its late ‘60s lineup. General Foods and Lever Brothers produced the series. It starred Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, who were also married off-screen, as a married couple trying to work through their differences.

The show was considered well ahead of its time because of its mature approach to comedy that flipped the traditional sitcom format on its head. Broadcast historians have stated that “He & She” paved the way for shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to become successful with audiences in the ‘70s.

Car 54, Where Are You?

Featuring: Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Joe E. Ross, Paul Reed, Hank Garrett
First Premiered: September 17, 1961
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (for the movie*): $15 million

Source: Twitter

“Car 54, Where Are You?” was a famous sitcom based on the misadventures of two police officers in New York City. Their station was the 53rd precinct in The Bronx, and their patrol car, obviously, was number 54.

Joe Ross and Fred Gwynne starred as New York’s finest while the program was filmed in black and white. The series was filmed on location in the Bronx. “Car 54, Where are You?” featured Gwynne and Ross as a good cop/bad cop dynamic, with Gwynne as the quieter, more thoughtful officer, while Ross was the bad cop.

Salvage 1

Featuring: Trish Stewart, Joel Higgins, Richard Jaeckel, Andy Griffith, Heather McAdam
First Premiered: January 20, 1979
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: YouTube

“Salvage 1” focused on Andy Griffith’s character, Harry, who decides that he wants to travel to the moon for the sole purpose of searching for items to sell up there. The sci-fi show highlighted a spaceship built from recovered parts and powered by monohydrazine, a chemical that the show made up for its own purposes.

The spaceship on the ABC series was actually made from a salvaged tanker truck that used to tote gasoline for Texaco. The “capsule” on the spaceship was originally a cement mixer; however, the three rocket boosters on the main tank were authentic.

Occasional Wife

Featuring: Patricia Harty, Michael Callan, Bryan O’Byrne
First Premiered: September 13, 1966
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $150,000

Source: Twitter

The series “Occasional Wife” featured Peter Christopher as a bachelor who loves the single life but isn’t getting ahead at work because he’s without a wife and his boss is a firm believer in marriage. He decides to get a young hat-check girl he meets to pretend to be his wife.

The sitcom starred Michael Callan and Patricia Harty as the fake married couple. It ran for one season and 30 episodes, and the show had a great writing team behind it. Guest star Bryan O’Byrne played the quiet neighbor distractedly watching the goings-on of the phony husband and wife.

Dante

Featuring: Tom D’Andrea, Mort Mills, Howard Duff, Alan Mowbray
First Premiered: October 3, 1960
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost: $100,000 per episode*

Source: Pinterest

The NBC drama “Dante” starred Howard Duff as Willie Dante, who managed the nightclub called Dante’s Inferno in San Francisco. Dante had given up his life of crime, and the show revolved around his struggles staying away from trouble. Other stars of the show include Tom D’Andrea, Alan Mowbray, and Mort Mills.

The series had one season and 26 episodes, each being a half-hour. Dante was sort of a spin-off, as it played a part in “Four Star Playhouse,” which was a radio show that centered around a detective who had to deal with Dante when he was a criminal.

Bus Stop

Featuring: Marilyn Maxwell, Richard Anderson, Joan Freeman, Rhodes Reason, Buddy Ebsen
First Premiered: October 1, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Twitter

The drama series “Bus Stop” aired for 26 episodes in the early ‘60s and starred Marilyn Maxwell, Rhodes Reason, and Richard Anderson. The show was set in the fictional town of Sunrise, near the Rocky Mountains. The drama was an adaptation of the play “Bus Stop,” written by William Inge (who was a series consultant).

The show featured numerous travelers passing through the bus station and the nearby diner. “Bus Stop” became difficult to make as it was tough finding new weekly guest stars, leading Maxwell to leave the show and eventually leading to cancellation.

Frontier Circus

Featuring: Pat O’Malley, Chill Wills, Richard Jaeckel
First Premiered: October 5, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $225,000

Source: YouTube

“Frontier Circus” was part of the Western genre, yet it highlighted a traveling circus. The series’ premise centered around an 1880s circus in the West. The show was broadcast on CBS for four weeks in the fall of 1962. The show had to call in tons of guest stars to make the circus work.

Revue Productions produced “Frontier Circus,” with writers Sam Peeples and Frank Price, and directors Will Witney and Tay Garnett. The Western series starred Chill Wills and J. Pat O’Malley. “Frontier Circus” ran for only one season, with 26 episodes.

Operation Petticoat

Featuring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Cary Grant, John Astin
First Premiered: September 17, 1977
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $400,000

Source: Twitter

Starring Hollywood’s leading man, Cary Grant (along with Tony Curtis and Dina Merrill), the film “Operation Petticoat” would go on to inspire a TV show adaption with the same name. “Operation Petticoat,” the TV show, was on the air from 1977 until 1979.

Jamie Lee Curtis starred as Lieutenant Duran, and Commander Sherman was played by John Astin. The series didn’t make it past season 2 because of casting switches, which led to low ratings and, eventually, cancellation. Only 32 episodes of the two-season series were produced, but it is pretty neat to see a young Jamie Lee Curtis.

Ghost Story

Featuring: Billy Goldenberg, Robert Prince, William Castle
First Premiered: March 17, 1972
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Imgur

Did you know that one of TV’s most popular shows, “American Horror Story,” had a predecessor called “Ghost Story”? “Ghost Story” followed a similar anthology format, with recurring cast members, and featured supernatural creatures like witches, vampires, ghosts, and more.

The series was presented by Sebastian Cabot. It would go on to be known by a new title – “Circle of Fear.” The program ran for one season and 22 episodes before its low rating performance took it off the air. Fans of AHS should check out this ‘70s series.

Branded

Featuring: Anna Morrell, Chuck Connors
First Premiered: January 24, 1965
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Twitter

The show “Branded” was a Western series funded by Procter & Gamble and developed by Larry Cohen. The series was set in the Wild West, after the end of the Civil War. Chuck Connors played US Army Captain Jim McCord.

McCord’s character was court-martialed and dismissed from the Army because of biased, false accusations of “cowardice.” McCord becomes a wandering cowboy, and the show focused on his adventures. “Branded” secured a sought-after Sunday night timeslot for its two seasons and 48 episodes.

Destry

Featuring: Med Flory, Ron Hayes, John Gavin, Roger Mobley
First Premiered: February 14, 1964
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $50,000

Source: Pinterest

Another Western that aired you might remember is “Destry,” a ‘60s show. The series was rushed into production to adjust to star John Gavin’s busy schedule. “Destry” was inspired by the 1939 Western film called “Destry Rides Again” and the movie remake “Destry,” with star Audie Murphy.

The program followed a cop from the Wild West, trying to avoid violence despite his talents with a gun. The series had one season and 13 episodes. Each episode ran for 50 minutes, and Frank Telford was on board as a producer.

My Living Doll

Featuring: Julie Newmar, Jack Mullaney, Bob Cummings, Doris Dowling
First Premiered: September 27, 1964
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per week*): $500

Source: Twitter

“My Living Doll” was unique, not just because of its plot, but because it never had a formally requested pilot episode, which is the norm for a major network show. The sci-fi sitcom’s premise is about an Amazonian robot (Newmar) presented to a psychiatrist named Dr. McDonald (Cummings).

Cummings attempts to help her hide her robot nature from the rest of the world because if she’s discovered, the US military will try to capture her. The show was developed and written by Al Martin, Leo Guild, and Bill Kelsey, among others.

Cain’s Hundred

Featuring: Carol Rossen, Peter Mark Richman
First Premiered: September 19, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $150,000

Source: YouTube

What set this crime drama apart from others of its era was its original premise. “Cain’s Hundred” starred Peter Mark Richman, and over 20 writers signed onto the project. Richman played a former Mafia member who decided to leave his criminal life after getting engaged.

The Mafia disagreed with that and sent a hitman after Richman. The gunman shot Richman’s fiancée accidentally, and Richman swore revenge. He teamed up with the FBI to arrest 100 of the mob’s most dangerous members. The show totaled one season with 30 episodes.

Darkroom

Featuring: Billy Crystal, Helen Hunt, Claude Akins, June Lockhart, Richard Anderson, Carole Cook, Brian Dennehy, Lawrence Pressman
First Premiered: November 7, 1981
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $300,000

Source: YouTube

The series “Darkroom” was on the air from November 27, 1981, until January 15, 1982, and also appears to have been an early inspiration for today’s “American Horror Story.” This thriller anthology series was produced by Universal for ABC. It featured two thriller/horror storylines per episode.

James Coburn was the host of the segment’s wraparound. The show had seven episodes and 16 segments. “Darkroom” had new actors for each story, including some big names like Billy Crystal, Helen Hunt, Claude Akins, June Lockhart, Richard Anderson, Carole Cook, and countless others.

Ben Jerrod

Featuring: Anderson Richards, Isabel Randolph, Lyle Talbot, Michael M. Ryan
First Premiered: April 1, 1963
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost:

Source: Imgur

The series “Ben Jerrod” aired for a few months in the spring of 1963. The show was famed for being the first daytime drama broadcasted in color. It shared a premiere date with “General Hospital” and “The Doctors”: April 1, 1963.

“Ben Jerrod” ran for one season and had 65 episodes, which were each a half-hour long. The NBC series had a surprisingly brief run of two months in comparison to other daytime soap operas. Michael Ryan starred in the series and would go on to work on the soap “Another World.”

Way Out

Featuring: Roald Dahl, Michael Conrad, Murray Hamilton, Martin Balsam, Henry Jones
First Premiered: March 31, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $225,000

Source: YouTube

Beloved author Roald Dahl hosted this eerie fantasy/horror/sci-fi series. “Way Out” first aired in 1961, and it featured half-hour, frightening episodes with Dahl starting off in a hall of mirrors. Much like other horror shows on our list, “Way Out” featured unusual plotlines.

One of the stories saw someone murder a rival lover with ground tiger whiskers. Another plot featured one of Dahl’s own stories, “William and Mary,” about a wife’s vengeance on her recently departed husband, whose brain she keeps in a bowl of water. The captivating series had one season with 14 episodes.

The Fantastic Journey

Featuring: Jared Martin, Ike Eisenmann, Carl Franklin, Katie Saylor, Roddy McDowall
First Premiered: February 3, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $400,000

Source: Twitter

“The Fantastic Journey” was a sci-fi series that aired for a single season with nine episodes, though 13 were contracted as a mid-season replacement for another show. Low ratings tanked “The Fantastic Journey,” and NBC pulled the 10th episode two months after the cancellation.

The show followed a family on a cruise that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, ending up transported into an alternate universe. The show’s producer, D.C. Fontana, later claimed that she didn’t have enough time to develop the show, which was reflected in critic commentary.

A Year at the Top

Featuring: Julie Cobb, Paul Shaffer, Gabriel Dell, Greg Evigan
First Premiered: August 5, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $175,000

Source: Pinterest

“A Year at the Top” was a sitcom from the ‘70s that aired its five episodes on CBS. The show followed two brothers struggling to become respected musicians. Out of desperation, the musicians sign a contract with the devil’s son for a year to become successful.

“A Year at the Top” featured Paul Shaffer and Greg Evigan as the two siblings. The series was produced by TAT Communications Co., with Norman Lear and Don Kirshner as executive producers. Heywood Kling created and developed the show.

Paris Precinct

Featuring: Louis Jordan, Claude Dauphin
First Premiered: April 3, 1955
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $50,000

Source: Twitter

An effort at making a cop show drama French gave us “Paris Precinct.” The show, produced by Andre Hakim, only had one season and starred Claude Dauphin and Louis Jourdan. The show’s episodes were each 30 minutes long and were aired on ABC. It premiered in 1955 and was canceled shortly after its premiere because of abysmal viewership ratings.

“Paris Precinct” was set in France and was based on files from the Surete, which is the French version of detectives and law enforcement. Initially, the series was also titled “World Crime Hunt,” a reference to its international focus.

Our Man Higgins

Featuring: Audrey Totter, Frank Maxwell, Ricky Kelman, Stanley Holloway, K.C. Butts
First Premiered: October 3, 1962
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: YouTube

With one season and 34 total episodes, the series “Our Man Higgins” aired from October 3, 1962, until May 17, 1973. The show centered around Higgins, an English butler, played by Stanley Holloway. The butler is brought to work for a suburban American family, which causes a massive culture clash.

Frank Maxwell and Audrey Totter play the parents of the suburban family. The three kids are played by Ricky Kelman, K.C. Butts, and Regina Groves. The show was originally a ‘50s radio comedy series, but ABC wanted to adapt it from radio to primetime television.

Everglades!

Featuring: Gordon Casell, Ron Hayes
First Premiered: October 9, 1961
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season*): $2 million

Source: YouTube

“Everglades!” another police procedural that offered cops and adventure outdoors. Developed by Albert Wilmore, “Everglades!” aired for one season in the early ‘60s. The show was syndicated, with 38 total episodes. Ron Hayes starred as Constable Lincoln Vail, a police officer with the Everglades County Patrol.

Vail helped fight crime by traveling through the Florida Everglades in an airboat. Hayes was a passionate conservationist and outdoorsman off-screen, too, so the part was fitting for him. The bulk of the series was directed by Jack Herzberg, Franklin Adreon, and John Floria.

Adam-12

Featuring: Kent McCord, Martin Milner
First Premiered: September 21, 1968
Seasons: 7
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $300,000

Source: Imgur

“Adam-12” was a police procedural that followed the adventures of two LAPD cops named Pete Malloy (Milner) and Jim Reed (McCord). The popular show “Dragnet” was created by Jack Webb, who, along with Robert Cinader, also developed “Adam-12”.

The series ran from 1968 until 1975, and it is affiliated with popularizing the idea of a cop show and showing police vocab and procedures to viewers. Each episode was slotted for 30 minutes and was produced by Universal Television and Mark VII Limited.

Arrest and Trial

Featuring: Roger Perry, Chuck Connors, Ben Gazzara, John Larch
First Premiered: September 15, 1963
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $150,000

Source: YouTube

Ben Gazzara agreed to star as the lead detective in “Arrest and Trial,” a crime/legal drama on ABC, if the show didn’t paint police in a stereotypical light. After he was assured that he’d be portrayed as a “thinking man’s cop,” he agreed to join the cast. Roger Perry, Chuck Connors, and John Larch also starred on “Arrest and Trial,” which ran for one season and 30 episodes. The show was an early influence on the colossal Law & Order franchise that would sweep TV. The plot would be adapted by those show creators decades in the future.

A Year at the Top

Featuring: Julie Cobb, Paul Shaffer, Gabriel Dell, Greg Evigan
First Premiered: August 5, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $175,000

Source: Imgur

“A Year at the Top” was a sitcom from the ‘70s that aired its five episodes on CBS. The show followed two brothers struggling to become respected musicians. Out of desperation, the musicians sign a contract with the devil’s son for a year to become successful.

“A Year at the Top” featured Paul Shaffer and Greg Evigan as the two siblings. The series was produced by TAT Communications Co., with Norman Lear and Don Kirshner as executive producers. Heywood Kling created and developed the show.

Combat!

Featuring: Vic Morrow, Pierre Jalbert, Dick Peabody, Rick Jason, Jack Hogan
First Premiered: October 2, 1962
Seasons: 5
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $183,000

Source: YouTube

“Combat!” was nominated for and took home various Emmys, including Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The show had five seasons, airing from October 2, 1962, until March 14, 1967. It portrayed an American platoon in WWII, battling its way across Western Europe.

The show declined to glamorize the soldiers or the war in an effort to maintain a realistic depiction. “Combat!” placed the focus on the soldiers’ struggle to keep their own humanity during war times, rather than paint them as unbiased heroes, despite them being on the right side.

Cimarron Strip

Featuring: Jill Townsend, Randy Boone, Stuart Whitman, Slim Pickens
First Premiered: September 7, 1967
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $250,000

Source: Twitter

“Cimarron Strip” was well-received by fans, who praised the show for making cowboys look like “smart” but “violent.” The program aired in the CBS fall lineup from 1967 until March 1968, finishing its run of one season with 23 episodes.

“Cimarron Strip” revolved around cowboys who scouted the region between the Native American lands and the colonized lands. The show was a lot like “Gunsmoke” and most likely would not be shown on TV these days. In the late ‘60s, it was an archetypal Indians vs. Cowboys premise that was canceled partly because of high production costs.

Don’t Call Me Charlie

Featuring: Linda Lawson, Art Johnson, Josh Peine, Alan Napier, John Hubbard
First Premiered: September 21, 1962
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season*): $2.5 million

Source: YouTube

This sitcom was aired on NBC from September 1962 until January 1963 during the Friday night timeslot. “Don’t Call Me Charlie” had one season with 18 episodes, and producer Don McGuire developed it.

The “Don’t Call Me Charlie” premise centered around Judson McKay (Peine), a veterinarian who suddenly gets drafted into the US Army during WWII. He has to adjust from caring for pets to serving on a Parisian military base and all the trauma that comes with that incredibly fast.

Felony Squad

Featuring: Howard Duff, Ben Alexander, Dennis Cole, Frank Maxwell
First Premiered: September 12, 1966
Seasons: 3
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $50,000

Source: Twitter

“Felony Squad” was a classic police procedural show. It centered around a veteran detective (Duff) and a new recruit (Cole) who partner up to fight crime in the big city. The ABC show aired from September 1966 thru January 1969, and it had three seasons with 73 total episodes.

Richard Murphy developed ” Felony Squad.” Most notably from IMDb, reviews of the show said that despite how “short-lived” the show was, it had solid plotlines and “great acting.” The show’s detectives were joined by other actors such as Frank Maxwell, Ben Alexander, and Barney Phillips.

Who’s Watching the Kids?

Featuring: Lynda Goodfriend, Scott Baio, Caren Kaye, Tammy Lauren
First Premiered: September 22, 1978
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $110,000

Source: Pinterest

“Who’s Watching the Kids?” was a comedy that revolved around two Las Vegas showgirls who were roommates. Each showgirl lived with a younger sibling, and the sitcom depicted their lives trying to handle showbusiness and preventing their younger siblings from ruining the house.

The show was on from September 22, 1978, until its final episode on December 15, 1978. The show had one season, and there were 15 total episodes, though six went unaired. “Who’s Watching the Kids?” got canceled due to low ratings, despite having big name stars Caren Kaye and Lynda Goodfriend (and a young Scott Baio).

Space Academy

Featuring: Pamelyn Ferdin, Maggie Cooper, Ty Henderson, Ric Carrott, Jonathan Harris
First Premiered: September 10, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $200,000

Source: Twitter

“Space Academy” revolved around the experiences of a group of students who were going to military school in outer space. This CBS sci-fi show aired from September until December in 1977, totaling 15 episodes. This live-action children’s program starred Pamelyn Ferdin, Maggie Cooper, Ty Henderson, Ric Carrott, and Jonathan Harris.

Produced by Filmation, “Space Academy” held a Saturday morning timeslot until it was taken off the air due to poor ratings and the expensive production costs. “Space Academy” was a standout because it was a departure from the typical Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

Arnie

Featuring: Sue Ane Langdon, Roger Bowen, Herschel Bernardi, Del Russel, Herb Voland
First Premiered: September 19, 1970
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $110,000

Source: Pinterest

“Arnie,” David Swift’s creation, was shown on CBS from 1970 until 1972. The series starred Herschel Bernardi as Arnie, a man struggling to adjust to life after becoming wealthy due to an enormous promotion. This sudden change turns everything upside down, both with his family and at work.

“Arnie” had two seasons, and it had a coveted timeslot, as it was on right before “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Initially successful, “Arnie” just couldn’t keep ratings consistently high, which led CBS to cancel it.

H.R. Pufnstuf

Featuring: Billie Hayes, Lennie Weinrib, Joan Gerber, Jack Wild, Roberto Gamonet
First Premiered: September 6, 1969
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $52,000

Source: Twitter

“H.R. Pufnstuf” was a puppet show that was a kind of “Sesame Street” or “The Muppets” of its era. The children’s program featured H.R. Pufnstuf, a citizen of Living Island, who joins the other puppet residents to help Jimmy, a human who has been shipwrecked on Living Island while attempting to escape Witchiepoo.

Witchiepoo is a kooky witch aiming to take Jimmy’s talking flute because she yearns to add it to her collection of magic objects. The adorable show had one season with 17 episodes. NBC had its own opening theme song, “H.R. Pufnstuf,” composed.

Do Not Adjust Your Set!

Featuring: Denise Coffey, David Jason, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin
First Premiered: December 26, 1967
Seasons: 2
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $10,000

Source: Twitter

This British TV show was on the air from December 26, 1967, thru May 14, 1969. “Do Not Adjust Your Set!” kids’ sketch comedy show starring amusing characters like Captain Fantastic, Bonzo Dog, and Doo-Dah Band. “Do Not Adjust Your Set!” was a spin-off of the “At Last the 1948 Show.”

The show had a total of 29 episodes. Terry Gilliam would become famous for “Python” but started as an animator on “Do Not Adjust Your Set!” Other stars from the program David Jason, Eric Idle, Denise Coffey, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.

Davey and Goliath

Featuring: Norma MacMillan, Nancy Wible, Hal Smith, Dick Beals, Ginny Tyler
First Premiered: September 1, 1960
Seasons: 6
Est. Production Cost (per Claymation character*): $6,000

Source: Twitter

This children’s show, “Davey and Goliath,” tells various Bible stories. It shows the stories from the point of view of Davey Hasen, his sister Sally, and their talking dog named Goliath. The series was one of the first shows to use clay animation.

The Claymation show premiered on September 1, 1960. It ran for six seasons, but the sixth season was only one episode, a summer special that aired precisely four years after the season five finale. The theme song for “Davey and Goliath” was composed by Martin Luther.

Mr. Terrific

Featuring: Stephen Strimpell, John McGiver, Paul Frees, Dick Gautier, Paul Smith
First Premiered: January 9, 1967
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per season*): $4 million

Source: Pinterest

“Mr. Terrific” is a sitcom that took the ‘60s trend of superheroes and essentially made it for kids. It premiered on January 9, 1967. The series ran during the coveted Monday night slot at 8 PM, each episode running for 30 minutes.

Jack Arnold produced the show, which had 17 episodes (technically 18 if counting the unaired pilot) and one season. Stephen Strimpell starred in “Mr. Terrific” as Stanley Beamish, a secret superhero who got superpowers once he took a pill from the Bureau of Secret Projects. He fought crime with his super strength and flying capabilities.

It’s About Time

Featuring: Frank A letter, Joe E. Ross, Imogene Coca, Jack Mullaney, Pat Cardi
First Premiered: September 11, 1966
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $40,000

Source: YouTube

This sitcom featured a similar style to “Gilligan’s Island.” “It’s About Time” was a classic silly ‘60s comedy that revolved around two astronauts (Imogene Coca and Frank Aletter) who shatter the speed of light with their rocket and end up in a different time period.

They find themselves in prehistoric times, back when Earth ran rampant with cavepeople and dinosaurs. “Gilligan’s Island” creator Sherwood Schwartz also developed this show for CBS. It aired just one season of 26 episodes.

The Flying Nun

Featuring: Sally Field, Marge Redmond, Alejandro Rey, Shelley Morrison, Madeleine Sherwood
First Premiered: September 7, 1967
Seasons: 3
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $200,000

Source: Twitter

“The Flying Nun” followed Sister Bertrille, played by the beloved Sally Field, a nun who gets the ability to fly among other powers. Sister Bertrille lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with her fellow nuns in the Convent San Tanco. She utilizes her superpowers to assist in solving issues the convent faces.

The joyful, entertaining series was similar to “Bewitched.” “Flying Nun” had three seasons, totaling 82 episodes. It aired its 60-minute pilot, on September 7, 1967, with its series finale airing on April 3, 1970. Producers Tere Rios, Bernard Slade, and Harry Ackerman were the creators behind this treasured comedy.

Logan’s Run

Featuring: Heather Menzies, Donald Moffat, Gregory Harrison, Randolph Powell
First Premiered: September 16, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $200,000

Source: Twitter

“Logan’s Run,” which saw a quick boost of relevancy when it was spoofed in a “Family Guy” sketch, was a series that first aired in 1977. It had one season, and it was adapted from the ‘76 movie of the same name. “Logan’s Run” took place in a dystopian community in the 2400s.

In this society, no one is allowed to survive past 30 years old. Logan was a Sandman, a member of the police assassin team instructed to assassinate anyone over 30. At age 26, he started to question authority, and the show follows his quest for Sanctuary.

Cliffhangers

Featuring: Susan Anton, Geoffrey Scott, Ray Walston, Michael Nouri
First Premiered: February 27, 1979
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $1 million

Source: Twitter

“Cliffhangers” was different because it was trying to turn movie series into a made-for-TV episode format. Each episode was 60 minutes and was divided into three shorter episodes that all together told the entire story. There were three total episodes in season 1: “Stop Susan Williams,” “The Secret Empire,” and “The Curse of Dracula.”

Kenneth Johnson developed the Western/sci-fi series, making “Cliffhangers” a sort of precursor to “Westworld.” The writing staff was comprised of many young, eager names that would later become well-known, like Sam Egan, Richard Matheson, Andrew Schneider, and Jeri Taylor.

Quark

Featuring: Patricia Barnstable, Richard Benjamin, Cyb Barnstable, Bobby Porter, Richard Kelton
First Premiered: May 7, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $200,000

Source: YouTube

“Quark” was a sci-fi/comedy that held the Friday night timeslot on NBC. The series premiere aired on May 7, 1977, but the series continue until nearly a year later, in February of 1978, where it lasted until it got canceled in April 1978.

“Quark” shared the story of a collection of inhabitants of a space station who are tidying up debris in outer space when they run into numerous evil monsters and aliens. “Quark” was made as a kind of parody of sci-fi shows and films that took themselves too seriously.

Man from Atlantis

Featuring: Belinda Montgomery, Patrick Duffy, Alan Fudge, Victor Buono, Ted Neeley
First Premiered: September 22, 1977
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $150,000

Source: Twitter

“Man from Atlantis” was another well-known ‘70s sci-fi drama highlighting a survivor of the storied Kingdom of Atlantis. The Atlantean worked alongside a crew of scientists to study oceanography and the plethora of threats that Atlantean enemies (and human ones) posed.

The show aired on NBC for one season, 13 episodes in total. The series premiere aired in September 1977 and was directed by Lee H. Katzin, “Man from Atlantis,” starred Patrick Duffy as the displaced survivor from Atlantis. Alongside Duffy were Ted Neeley, Belinda Montgomery, Alan Fudge, and Victor Buono.

Tabitha

Featuring: Lisa Hartman, Karen Morrow, David Ankrum, Robert Urich, Mel Stewart
First Premiered: April 24, 1976
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Twitter

“Tabitha” was a “Bewitched” spin-off centering around Tabitha Stephens, the witch daughter of Darrin and Samantha Stephens. On “Bewitched,” Tabitha was featured in season 2, and the spin-off features her as an adult. The comedy first premiered in 1976.

It had 11 episodes and two pilots, one of which didn’t make it to air. The comedy aired on ABC, and it was a comedy and fantasy combo. Lisa Hartman starred as Tabitha, and Karen Morrow played Aunt Minerva. “Bewitched” was on the air longer than “Tabitha,” as it was on TV from 1964 until 1972.

Baby… I’m Back!

Featuring: Lila Garrett, Helen Martin, Kim Fields, Demond Wilson, Denise Nicholas
First Premiered: January 30, 1978
Seasons: 1
Est. Production Cost (per episode*): $100,000

Source: Imgur

Chet Dowling wrote “Baby…I’m Back” about a man named Ray Ellis, who was a gambling addict. Ellis left his family for seven years before reappearing, only to discover that his wife, who worked at the Pentagon, had remarried. Ellis had been declared legally dead, so his return took the family by complete shock.

This dramatic show was actually billed as a sitcom. Demond Wilson played Ray Ellis. According to Lila Garrett, one of the actresses on the series, “Baby… I’m Back!” ended because “Good Times” was coming back for another season, and Norman Lear pressured CBS into canceling “Baby…I’m Back.”