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1960 Television Ratings

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77 Sunset Strip
Warner Brothers
American private detective series originally created in 1958 which starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr ( Stuart Bailey ), Roger Smith ( Jeff Spencer ) and Edd Byrnes ( Kookie ). No doubt that the West Coast hot-rodding, quiff-combing, jive talking Byrnes was the main interest of the series for teenage females on both sides of the Atlantic. Bailey and Spencer were the freelance private eyes who, along with their secretary Suzanne ( Jacqueline Beer ), were assisted in their enquiries by local 'head', Kookie. Kookie....Kookie...lend me your comb.... and the theme tune was pretty snappy too

A Life Of Bliss
BBC 1960-61
George Cole starred in the successful carry-over of this 30 minute comedy series from radio to television, playing the part of David Bliss, a gullible young bachelor prone to verbal gaffes and jumping to incorrect conclusions. His pet dog, Psyche, was 'voiced' by animal impersonator Percy Edwards. Sheila Sweet starred as his girlfriend, Isabel Dean as sister Anne and Colin Gordon as his brother-in-law. Two series were made, written and produced by Godfrey Harrison


All Our Yesterdays
GRANADA 1960-73
20 minute ( later 30 minute ) nostalgia documentary programme which showed newsreels from 25 years ago on that week. These were made up from the twice-weekly cinema Pathe newsreels which were shown at the time, later to include television news archive footage and studio guests. First narrated by James Cameron and later narrated and introduced by Brian Inglis

28 x 30 minute episodes featured the adventures of Air Police Inspector Bigglesworth based on the stories by Captain W.E.Johns. A children's action series with very definite goodies and baddies. The goodies were Biggles ( Nevil Whiting ), Ginger ( Chart-topping pop star John Leyton ) and Bertie ( David Drummond )

ITV 1960-
NBC 1959
Huge, long-running blockbuster American western series featuring the life and adventures of the Cartwright family, owners of the Ponderosa ranch, and citizens in nearby Virginia City during the wild west of the 1860s. Ben Cartwright was played by Lorne Greene and his three sons, Hoss, Little Joe and Adam were played respectively by Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts. Very much a 'moral' series with the Cartwrights demonstrating the best traits of human nature, usually with a happy ending despite nature's setbacks and gun-toting baddies of all types. Immensely popular series still showing on various channels today

Ponderosa Map
BBC 1960-62
Slapstick 25 minute comedy series produced and written by Shaun Sutton which featured Bonehead ( Colin Douglas ), Happy ( Douglas Blackwell ) and Boss ( Paul Whitsun-Jones ) as the 'Silliest and least successful gang in the Underworld'

Citizen James
BBC 1960-62
This 30 minute comedy series was essentially a spin-off of the character played by Sid James in Hancock's Half Hour. The first series, written by Galton and Simpson, presented the character as a layabout, aided and abetted by Bill Kerr and girlfriend Liz Fraser. The second series, written by Sid Green and Dick Hills transformed him into a well-meaning but bungling do-gooder aided by pal Sydney Tafler

Coronation Street
What can I possibly say in a few lines that would do justice to what started as a twice-weekly soap opera about the lives of North-western city folk and has since turned into a British institution. It was originally intended to be a 13 part series, written by creator Tony Warren, to be called 'Florizel Street'. Original series main characters included Ena Sharples ( Violet Carson ), Martha Longhurst ( Lynne Carol ), Minnie Caldwell ( Margot Bryant ), Elsie Tanner ( Pat Phoenix ), Len Fairclough ( Peter Adamson ), Dennis Tanner ( Philip Lowrie ), Albert Tatlock ( Jack Howarth ), Ken Barlow ( William Roache ) and the masters of 'The Rover's Return' Annie and Jack Walker ( Doris Speed & Arthur Leslie )

Danger Man
ATV 1960-61 1964-67
Cult action / adventure espionage series created by Ralph Smart which featured Patrick McGoohan as John Drake, a top agent for the NATO secret service ( British Intelligence M9 in the second series ) who, unlike his American counterparts, rarely resorted to gunplay, preferring to slug his way out of trouble. The first series consisted of 39 x 30 minute episodes produced by Ralph Smart and the second series of 45 x 60 minute episodes produced by Aida Young (64/65) and Sidney Cole. Two 60 minute episodes (1967) were made in colour - 'Koroshi' and 'Shinda Shima' which were recombined into a 93 minute telefeature called 'Koroshi'. The programme was networked in the U.S. by CBS under the title 'Secret Agent'

Four Feather Falls
AP Films
39 x 15minute episodes were made of one of Gerry Anderson's early puppet-based adventure/fantasy shows. Sherrif Tex Tucker saves the life of Makooya, the son of indian chief Kalamakooya and is rewarded with four magic feathers which, among other things, enable his guns to fire by themselves and allow his dog, Dusty and horse, Rocky to be able to talk to him. The series villains are bandits Pedro and Fernando. Other characters included Martha Jones, Grandpa Twink and Little Jake


Here's Harry
BBC 1960-65
A very popular and long-running comedy series starring the genius of Harry Worth whose bumbling attempts at do-gooding landed him in all sorts of hot water and strange situations. The series followed on from the earlier BBC sitcom 'The Trouble With Harry'. Writers included Vince Powell and Harry Driver and the shows, like the earlier series, were produced by John Ammonds


International Detective
ITV 1960
Delry - A.Edward Sutherland
Associated British - Pathe
A series of action / drama detective stories based on the actual files of the William J.Burns international detective agency. 39 x 30minute episodes were made, directed by Eddie Sutherland and featuring Arthur Fleming as private investigator Ken Franklin

It's A Square World
BBC 1960-64
A long-running series of satirical comedy shows masterminded by Michael Bentine of Goon Show fame. Notable for the unusual variety of means employed to convey the very visual gags, including cartoons and silent-movie techniques. The series, produced by John Street and G.B.Lupino also featured many other famous comedians including Benny Lee, Clive Dunn, Frank Thornton, Dick Emery, John Bluthal and the possibly less well-known Leon Thau, Anthea Wyndham, Louis Mansi and Janette Rowselle


BBC 1960-63
Winwell Productions
51 episodes x 45/55minutes over four seasons featured Rupert Davies in the title role as Georges Simenon's famous fictional character after the BBC acquired worldwide rights to the creation. The thoughtful, highly observant French detective was supported by assistant Lucas ( Ewen Solon ) and Mme Maigret, played by Helen Shingler. Giles Cooper wrote and edited the series scripts and Ron Grainer composed the music which accompanied Eileen Diss's atmospheric French settings. Davies reprised the character for a one-off 90 minute programme in 1969 for the 'Play of the Month' series

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On Trial
A series of 10 x 60minute authentic docu-dramas which chronicled and re-enacted famous historical British trials such as those of Oscar Wilde and Sir Roger Casement ( Peter Wyngarde ). The shows included factual narration by Andrew Faulds and an explanatory commentary by Brian Inglis. The series producer was Peter Wildeblood

Our House
ABC 1960-61
Very much in the 'Carry On' mould, this 13 episode x 55minutes and 7 episodes x 45 minutes two season series was written by Carry On writer Norman Hudis. Nine inherently incompatible people ( Season one: Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques, Norman Rossington, Joan Sims, Frank Pettingell, Trader Faulkner, Ina de la Haye, Frederick Peisley and Leigh Madison ) club together to purchase and inhabit a run-down house. The disasters and belly laughs continued into season two with the addition of Hylda Baker and Bernard Bresslaw. The series was produced by Ernest Maxim

Police Surgeon
ABC 1960
The series starred Ian Hendry as Doctor Geoffrey Brent in this lightweight straight crime drama series. Other regular participants were John Warwick as Inspector Landon and Ingrid Hafner as Amanda Gibbs. Michael Crawford appeared in one episode - 'Easy Money' - as a juvenile delinquent. As it was essentially insipid, the show was cancelled after one season but the character of Geoffrey Brent, still played by Hendry, was revived 12 months later, having gained a partner, as one of the two main parts in the first series of 'The Avengers'

Sykes and a .......
BBC 1960-65
Superb long-running situation comedy series which starred Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques as brother and sister who lived at 24 Sebastopol Terrace next door to long-suffering neighbour Charles Brown, played by Richard Wattis. The .... of the title each week was the object, situation or latest weird obsession which was the cause of that episode's mayhem and disaster, frequently attended by local beat policeman PC 'Corky' Turnbull ( Deryck Guyler ). 60 x 25-30 minute episodes were made in black and white, written by Eric Sykes, Johnny Speight, Spike Milligan and John Antrobus. Occasional guests on the series included Peter Sellers, Joan Sims and Les Dawson. One episode was remade in 1967 by Associated London Films as a 54 minute classic comedy film called 'The Plank'

Target Luna
Pathfinders In Space
Pathfinders To Mars

ABC 1960-61
6 x 30 minute episode childrens science fiction series written by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice. Sydney Newman's production style was reminiscent of a comic-style approach and featured children in the lead roles. This was the first of seven series and starred David Markham, Michael Hammond, Sylvia Davies and Michael Craze in a story revolving a trip to the moon.The series was followed by Pathfinders In Space ( 1960 - 7 x 30mins ), Pathfinders To Mars ( 1960/61 - 6 x 30mins ), Pathfinders To Venus ( 1961 - 8 x 30mins ), Plateau Of Fear ( 1961 - 6 x 30mins ), City Beneath The Sea ( 1962 - 7 x 30mins ) and Secret Beneath The Sea ( 1963 6 x 30mins )

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The Charlie Drake Show
BBC 1960-62 ATV 1963 BBC 1967-68
30 minute comedy series which followed on from the 1959-60 series 'Charlie Drake' and featured slapstick-style sketches and situations which brought out the pathos and genius of this much underrated comedian.Scripts were written by Charlie Drake and Richard Waring. Ronald Marsh produced. Most, if not all of the slapstick stunts were undertaken by Drake himself, causing him to be badly injured on more than one occasion. The 1963 ATV series was scripted by Drake and Lewis Schwarz and produced by Colin Clews

The Dickie Henderson Show
AR 1960-65 AR 1968
Although British-made, this Bill Hitchcock-directed 30 minute domestic sitcom series had a very American feel. Featuring the multi-talented Dickie Henderson as 'himself' with long-suffering wife June Laverick, 10 year old son John Parsons and musical manager friend Lionel Murton as the other main characters, plus weekly guest stars

The Flying Doctor
ABC 1960-61
Hands up who thought that this was an Australian show! 39 x 30minute episodes of stories based on the adventures of the Royal Flying Doctor Service were made on location in Australia ( plus a lot of stock footage ) and at the Associated British Studios in Elstree. The lead character, Dr. Greg Graham ( an American medico ) was played by Richard Denning, carted around by pilot Charley Wood ( Alan White ) and assisted by nurse Mary Meredith ( Jill Adams ). Series produce was David MacDonald

The Splendid Spur
BBC 1960
Adventure / drama series set during the English Civil War in 1642 starred Patrick Troughton as cavalier Captain Luke Settle in this 6 x 30 minute episode serial. David Goddard produced, based on a story by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Also appearing were Victoria Watts, Michael Balfour and Kenneth Farrington

The Strange World
of Gurney Slade

ATV 1960
Weird and surreal, this short series starred Anthony Newley as an over-imaginative young man prone to fantasising about his ideal female and frequently finding himself in conversation with trees and similar objects. The 6 x 30 minute episodes were written by Sid Green and Dick Hills and produced by Alan Tarrant. Max Harris's music was conducted by Jack Parnell

The Sunday Night Play
BBC 1960-63
A series of new plays specially written for television production, and starring some very famous names, which were shown periodically under this umbrella title between 1960 and 1963. The first one to be seen was 'A Walk In The Desert' by John Whiting which starred Lawrence Harvey, Tracy Lloyd and Nigel Stock. One of the productions - David Mercer's 'A Suitable Case For Treatment' - was later made into a feature film


The Untouchables
Desilu Productions
  114 ( possibly 118 ) 60 minute episodes were made of this classic gang-busting series starring Robert Stack as F.B.I. agent Eliot Ness, featuring the American establishment's fight against organised crime and the likes of Al Capone during the prohibition period. Although fairly mild by today's standards, it was considered to be one of the most violent TV shows of all time. The stories were essentially taken from F.B.I. files up to the end of prohibition. The later storylines continued into the Forties although the real 'untouchables' disbanded in 1932. Other agents were played by Nick Georgiade ( Enrico Rossi ), Abel Fernandez ( Bill Youngfellow ), Paul Percerni ( Lee Hobson ), Jerry Paris ( Martin Flaherty ) Steve London ( Agent Rossman ) and Anthony George ( Cam Allison ). Narration was by Walter Winchell

The World of Tim Frazer
18 x 30 minute episodes were made of this drama intrigue series which were actually three individual 6-part stories although shown consecutively. Jack Hedley starred as Tim Frazer, a structural engineer who gets recruitede as an undercover agent by a government intelligence department. The whole series came under the general heading of 'Francis Durbridge Presents', Durbridge collaborating with three different writers for the three 'series' which were produced byRichmond Harding


A-R 1960-61
AP Films / Pelham Productions


Another early Gerry Anderson-directed puppetry series, this time aimed at a slightly younger audience. Torchy, a clockwork toy with a battery-powered light on his hat, travels in his space rocket to and from Topsy-Turvy Land, where all the neglected and mistreated toys live and come alive to join in his adventures. 3-Dimensional sets were introduced for the first time on this series and puppets were fitted with moving mouths and eyes. Creator Roberta Leigh went on to make a second series of Torchy with Associated British Pathe

ATV / ITC 1960-61
Artransa Park
34 x 30 minute shows were made of this Wild West style action series which was set in 1850s Australia. Peter Graves ( Mission Impossible ) starred as stagecoach company owner Chris Cobb and featured his adventures in the constant struggle against outlawry and competitors during the continent's formative years. Anthony Wickert featured as his helper, Dan. The 'baddies' in the series included George Wallace Jr and Belfast-born Chuck Faulkner, who had actually been Australia's first newsreader and weatherman back in 1956 for Channel 9. Did you know that Peter Graves and James Arness of 'Gunsmoke' are brothers?

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Some Other 1960 Shows Which You May Have Seen are...

An Age Of Kings
- BBC - Shakespeare's historical dramas - 15 x 60minutes

Deadline Midnight - ATV - Fleet Street drama - 39 x 60mins

Glencannon - Gross-Krasne Ltd - Seafaring comedy - 39 x 30 mins

How Green Was My Valley - BBC - Serialised novel - 8 x 30mins

Siwan - BBC - 13th Century drama - 90mins

SMS - AR - Somerset Maugham stories - 11 episodes

Soldier Soldier - BBC - Social drama - 60 minutes

Candid Camera - ABC - Camera hoaxes hosted by Jonathan Routh and Bob Monkhouse - 30 minutes

Rolling Stones - ATV - Comedy series

Somerset Maugham Stories - AR - Drama series

Bootsie and Snudge - Granada - Sitcom

Mess Mates - AR - Sitcom

Kipps - Granada - 8 part Drama series

Our Street - AR - 7 part documentary

Twenty Questions - ITV - Celebrity panel quiz show

Knight Errant 60 - Granada - Action adventure series (see pre 60 )

Knight Errant Limited
- Granada - Action adventure series ( see pre 1960 )

Pinky and Perky's Pop Parade - BBC - Puppet music series

A to Zoo
- Granada - 26 x 30minute wildlife series

Animal Story
- Granada - London / Whipsnade Zoo animal series

Great Captains - BBC - Biographical documentary series

- BBC - Hans and Lotte Hass underwater documentary series

Leave It To Mr Pastry
- BBC - Children's comedy

Overland Trail
- 25 x 30 mins imported western series starring Doug McClure

Stagecoach West - 38 x 60 mins imported western series starring Wayne Rogers

Bourbon Street Beat
- ITV - U.S. Detective series similar to 77 Sunset Strip

Surfside Six
- ITV - U.S. Detective series similar to 77 Sunset Strip
Bernard Delfont's Show - ITV - Variety series

TV Playhouse - ITV - Drama series

Hippodrome - ITV - Variety series

Concentration - ITV - Game show

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1960 Television Ratings ( millions of homes )

Royal Variety Show
Armchair Theatre
Take Your Pick
No Hiding Place
Wagon Train
The Army Game
Bootsie and Snudge
Sunday Night at The London Palladium
The Larkins
The Arthur Haynes Show
Bernard Delfont's Show
Knight Errant Ltd
Double Your Money
TV Playhouse
Emergency Ward 10
Dickie Henderson
Candid Camera
The Moscow State Circus

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