Early TV Favorites


Please Stand By


Allen Du Mont, a TV manufacturer who began offering programming in an attempt to boost sales of his sets, created America's first television network in 1946, when he linked his pioneering stations in New York and Washington, D.C. It would grow to scores of affiliates and create some of the most memorable programming of television's infancy, including Jackie Gleason's Honeymooners, Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, and the lovably discombobulated Captain Video and His Video Rangers and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

Moreover, DuMont ignored the standard network business model of the day, in which a single sponsor bought an entire show and then exercised totalitarian control over its content. Instead, DuMont programs usually contained commercials from several different advertisers, which meant every comma of a script didn't have to be approved by Procter & Gamble or General Mills. The result was that DuMont producers had much more free rein than their counterparts at the other networks, and--for better or for worse--they used it.

And there was more to the DuMont planing and network than eccentricity. The network developed several comedians, including Jackie Gleason, Morey Amsterdam, and Ernie Kovacs, who would later go on to stardom at other networks doing essentially the same material. It anticipated Sesame Street by two decades with a smarter-than-it-sounds program called Your Television Babysitter, and its Your Television Shopper was around way before cubic zirconium was cool.

But by 1955 Du Mont's network was out of business, strangled in its crib by an FCC which was protecting not consumers but its old (and generous) clients, the radio networks, which wanted to get control of the burgeoning new medium before it seriously threatened them. Allen Du Mont was the first victim of an FCC protectionist jihad that for three decades confined Americans to a three-channel television universe populated by video mutants like My Mother the Car and My Living Doll.


                 Captain Video                                                     Tom Corbett



Burr Tilstrom's Kukla, Fran, and Ollie

K,F, and O with Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney


Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop



Edger Bergen and friends
































Phil Silvers as Sgt Bilco



The $64,000 Question



The Rifleman



You Are There - with Walter Cronkite 



Wagon Train











I've Got a Secret





 Interactive TV:   Winky Dink and You






Our Miss Brooks



Person to Person





The Donna Reed Show





The Dinah Shore Show






The Roy Rogers Show



The Mickey Mouse Club



                                 Spin and Marty

The Mouseketeers



Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar



My Little Margie






Make Room for Daddy     




American Bandstand with Dick Clark





Annie Oakley



The Lawrence Welk Show

The Lennon Sisters






Ma and Pa Kettle 




     Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody                           Clarabell (played by Bob Keeshan)   

The Howdy Doody Show



starring Jackie Gleason




Romper Room






Hopalong Cassidy




with Groucho Marx







The Andy Griffith Show



The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis




Miss Frances of Ding Ding School






The Lone Ranger



Captain Kangaroo






This Is Your Life (Oliver Hardy)



The Red Skelton Hour





Perry Mason