Besides a grid showing what was on Channels 3, 5 and 8 (and later, 11, 13, 43, etc.) there were the capsule summaries of the network programs. The listings also identified if the program was the premiere of a brand new show, a season premiere of an old favorite, or an (ugh) repeat.
There were also features and columns about upcoming programs of interest, as well as a publicity photo of a TV star or special.
Since the Journal was an evening newspaper back then, the listings for the next day's early shows were included. Similarly, since the Journal didn't publish on Sundays until later in the 1960s, the listings for the Sabbath were included with Saturday's.
And that's what we have here (above), the Weekend in Television section (minus the grids) of the TV page that appeared in the paper on Saturday, September 23, 1961 – 54 years ago this month.
There's all kinds of goodies for TV fans to read, including articles and blurbs about some of my favorite shows.
Of course, the season premiere of what was to be the final year of Maverick caught my eye. James Garner (Bret Maverick) had already quit the series, so Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick) was now the star and the only Maverick brother in town. (I posted the TV page from when Maverick debuted in September 1957 here.)
Several animated cartoons were making their nighttime premiere on network TV at that time, including The Alvin Show, The Bullwinkle Show and Top Cat.
Elsewhere on that same page, the locally well-known Kos Family Band is mentioned as appearing on Channel 5’s Polka Varieties program.
It’s strange thinking back to the days when TV watching was a shared viewing experience, thanks to the limited number of stations. With such few selections, specific programs were watched by millions and are still remembered today by Baby Boomers.
Over the decades, today's TV audiences have been split into countless separate sub-groups, thanks to cable, VCRs, satellite dishes, and more recently, DVRs, the internet and all those hand-held devices. Now, it’s rare to go to work and talk about a television program that everyone has watched, unless it was a football game.