Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Repeat Report: Summer 1961, Part 1

Ah, summer. The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and our favorite TV shows…. well, they’re still on, but we see repeats. Or at least, that’s how it always worked, up till the last few years. Nowadays, our favorite shows vanish during the summer, and other shows (mostly reality crap) temporarily replace them. The only way to see repeats now is to wait for syndication, buy ‘em on home video or stream ‘em via Hulu or Netflix.

But the old model was firmly in place in 1961, which meant you got around 36 new episodes per year, a few random pre-emptions, and 12-plus weeks of repeats during the summer. But The Twilight Zone being, well, The Twilight Zone, there had to be a little twist somewhere. The show’s second season wrapped in early June, which should have led into repeats from season two…right? Wrong. The repeats directly following season two were culled exclusively from season one.

Why? I presume it’s because, with such a plethora of new episodes each season, only a fraction of them could be aired again during the repeat season. In fact, by summer 1961, only 16 of season one’s 36 episodes had been repeated. That left a whopping 20 episodes, plus season two’s 29 offerings, as rerun fodder. Since more time had elapsed since season one, those episodes would be less familiar. Makes sense.

Fear not, we will see season two repeats… but not until next summer, after season three wraps.

The Twilight Zone's repeat schedule for summer 1961 was 14 weeks long. We'll cover the first 7 here. Make sure to click on the images to see the full-size HD beauty.

"Where Is Everybody?"
(originally broadcast 10/02/1959)

"Perchance to Dream"
(originally broadcast 10/27/1959)

"I Shot an Arrow in the Air"
(originally broadcast 01/15/1960)

"Escape Clause"
(originally broadcast 11/06/1959)

"A World of Difference"
(originally broadcast 03/11/1960)

"The Fever"
(originally broadcast 01/29/1960)

"The Purple Testament"
(originally broadcast 02/12/1960)

1 comment:

Bill Huelbig said...

One improvement between then and now: some of those summer series are actually pretty good. Falling Skies is way better than I expected.

My current favorite show, Mad Men, was a summer series. Since the 5th season has been delayed till next spring, this will be the first summer with no Mad Men since 2007. I miss it already!