Fifty years ago, there was no ESPN and very little televised sports. In fact, given the typical night's TV fare, it's no wonder our generation went nuts in the late 1960s. The three networks served up a smorgasbord of westerns, washed-up comedians and movie stars and the appalling spectacle of Lawrence Welk. Forget how bad it was? Here's the actual weekly prime-time lineup on the three networks from 1961, according to TV Guide:
ABC -- Walt Disney Presents; Maverick; Lawman; The Rebel; The Islanders; The Walter WInchell Show.
CBS -- The 20th Century; Lassie; Dennis the Menace; The Ed Sullivan Show; General Electric Theater; The Jack Benny Program; Candid Camera; What's My Line.
NBC -- People Are Funny (ED; No, they weren't!); The Shirley Temple Show; National Velvet; The Tab Hunter Show (ED: Anyone know a therapist able to purge childhood memories?); The Dinah Shore Show; The Loretta Young Show; This Is Your Life (ED: And I wasted it watching this stuff?).
ABC -- Cheyenne; Surfside 6; Adventures in Paradise; Peter Gunn.
CBS -- To Tell the Truth; Pete & Gladys; Bringing Up Buddy; The Danny Thomas Show; The Andy Griffith Show; Hennesey; Face the Nation (ED: When most of it's asleep).
NBC -- Riverboat; Tales of Wells Fargo (ED: At last a local sports show!); Klondike; Dante; The Barbara Stanwyck Theater; Jackpot Bowling Starring Milton Berle (ED: Hmm, I could have sworn Peter Ustinov hosted that.).