Color Episodes


Why was this filmed in color? How many people could have had a color TV in 1955? Were these ever shown in movie theaters which would explain the color.

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Soon color TV would be a reality and, in anticipation, a number of shows were filmed in color before the 60's. I found this interesting message board thread on-line:
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NATIONAL TELEVISION TOPICS => Classic TV => Topic started by: Hal Erickson on September 03, 2009, 06:35:43 PM
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Title: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Hal Erickson on September 03, 2009, 06:35:43 PM
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1959 was the year of the "big push" in color TV, with RCA and NBC scheduling more regular color shows than ever--while CBS dropped its existing color series to spite General Sarnoff!
Working from memory, here's my list of the filmed color TV series that aired (not always IN color) prior to 1959.
Network:
DRAGNET (the Christmas episode was filmed in Technicolor, and TV GUIDE lists all 1958-59 season episodes as being in color--though they evidently exist only in B&W)
NOAH'S ARK
NORBY
THE RED SKELTON SHOW (alternated "live" and "filmed" episodes, many in color up until 1958-59)
MY FRIEND FLICKA (filmed in color shown in B&W)
SIR LANCELOT (last 13 filmed in color but not shown that way by ABC)
DISNEYLAND/WALT DISNEY PRESENTS (not shown in color until it moved to NBC in '61, but the DAVY CROCKETT installments and several other individual episodes shot in color)
LOWELL THOMAS: HIGH ADVENTURE (brief documentary series)
NORTHWEST PASSAGE
THE LONE RANGER (FINAL 39 EPISODES)
SERGEANT PRESTON(to be continued)


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Hal Erickson on September 03, 2009, 06:42:23 PM
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And here's some more pre-1959 filmed color shows:

NETWORK:
ANDY'S GANG (some episodes)
THE GENE AUTRY SHOW (some episodes)
MATINEE THEATER (telecast live, but 30 kinescoped episodes constantly rebroadcast in color)
SYNDICATED:
THE CISCO KID (all episodes)
BOSTON BLACKIE (most episodes)
I LED THREE LIVES (at least one season)
MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (at least 26 episodes)
SCIENCE FICTION THEATER (1st season only)
HIGHWAY PATROL (1st season only)
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (52 of 104 episodes)
WILD BILL HICKOK (last two seasons at least)
JUDGE ROY BEAN
LONG JOHN SILVER
COWBOY G-MEN (only exists in BW/13 episodes filmed in 3-D!)
HIGH ROAD TO DANGER (semi-documentary, 13 of 39 eps)
Most documentary series, notably KINGDOM OF THE SEA, DANGER IS MY BUSINESS and TREASURE
Are there any more?



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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Prais on September 03, 2009, 07:02:07 PM
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(not sure of how many but I know some) Life is Worth Living (Bishop Sheen)
I know this because I have SEEN them a few years ago in use on a Catholic tv station


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Ultimajock on September 04, 2009, 01:06:29 PM
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Quote from: Prais on September 03, 2009, 07:02:07 PM

(not sure of how many but I know some) Life is Worth Living (Bishop Sheen)
I know this because I have SEEN them a few years ago in use on a Catholic tv station


...what you saw were reruns of The Fulton Sheen Program, his syndicated series from 1961-68. That series began in black&white and switched to color around '65. Life is Worth Living was always in black&white and ended in 1957. Both programs were identical in format, which is why EWTN and TBN lumped the two together under the earlier series' title when rerunning them...

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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Corky Marlowe on September 04, 2009, 04:31:59 PM
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Quote

...what you saw were reruns of The Fulton Sheen Program, his syndicated series from 1961-68. That series began in black&white and switched to color around '65. Life is Worth Living was always in black&white and ended in 1957. Both programs were identical in format, which is why EWTN and TBN lumped the two together under the earlier series' title when rerunning them...

I thought the color Bishop Sheen shows were later, just because he looked older. But regarding the list, Wow! The only 2 I knew of were Superman and Cisco Kid.


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: hubcity on September 04, 2009, 11:15:22 PM
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Apparently, at least if the "CBS At 75" show from 2003 that someone has kindly uploaded to YouTube is to be believed, there's at least one color "Burns And Allen" show out there. Allen retired in 1958, so it qualifies.

Here's the clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlyZmu36FeA&feature=related

Skip to 7:40 and see for yerself...


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: oldiesfan6479 on September 05, 2009, 12:28:36 AM
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Quote from: hubcity on September 04, 2009, 11:15:22 PM

Apparently, at least if the "CBS At 75" show from 2003 that someone has kindly uploaded to YouTube is to be believed, there's at least one color "Burns And Allen" show out there. Allen retired in 1958, so it qualifies.

Here's the clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlyZmu36FeA&feature=related

Skip to 7:40 and see for yerself...

You may also want to go to 4:57 in, where Mr. Julie Chen is introing a
retro of CBS' early days with Bill Paley.

I'm 98.6% sure the still pic shown is Bobby Sarnoff of NBC, not Paley!

Did anyone get canned over this major gaffe? Assuming the original
recording is of the east coast feed, did CBS correct it in time for the
left coast feed?

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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: radioman148 on September 05, 2009, 03:32:02 AM
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Quote from: Hal Erickson on September 03, 2009, 06:42:23 PM

And here's some more pre-1959 filmed color shows:

NETWORK:
ANDY'S GANG (some episodes)
THE GENE AUTRY SHOW (some episodes)
MATINEE THEATER (telecast live, but 30 kinescoped episodes constantly rebroadcast in color)
SYNDICATED:
THE CISCO KID (all episodes)
BOSTON BLACKIE (most episodes)
I LED THREE LIVES (at least one season)
MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (at least 26 episodes)
SCIENCE FICTION THEATER (1st season only)
HIGHWAY PATROL (1st season only)
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (52 of 104 episodes)
WILD BILL HICKOK (last two seasons at least)
JUDGE ROY BEAN
LONG JOHN SILVER
COWBOY G-MEN (only exists in BW/13 episodes filmed in 3-D!)
HIGH ROAD TO DANGER (semi-documentary, 13 of 39 eps)
Most documentary series, notably KINGDOM OF THE SEA, DANGER IS MY BUSINESS and TREASURE
Are there any more?



I believe The Adventures of Superman (55-58) were filmed in color and some Lone Ranger also.

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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Bob1370 on September 05, 2009, 11:12:26 PM
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"not sure of how many but I know some) Life is Worth Living (Bishop Sheen)
I know this because I have SEEN them a few years ago in use on a Catholic tv station"

The ones you're seeing in color weren't episodes from the original 1951-57 series that aired live on DuMont and later ABC, all of which were telecast live in black-and-white and kinescoped for later rebroadcast (many of those old ones still show up on EWTN from time to time).

The series was revived in syndication from 1961 to about 1969 under the title "The Bishop Sheen Program". The revival was taped largely in color, first in New York while he was an auxiliary bishop in the NY archdiocese and head of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, then from 1966 on at WOKR-TV (now WHAM-TV) in Rochester, NY while Sheen was serving as Bishop of the Rochester Roman Catholic diocese. EWTN revived the run of both the syndicated color tapes and DuMont/ABC black and white kinescoped shows recently.. although no commercials are currently being run with the show.


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: bpatrick on September 06, 2009, 06:29:05 PM
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I ran across one from 1958 on NBC: "The Investigator."
I know nothing about this show. By that time the "Kraft
Theatre" was being telecast in color, although it was live
(as was "Matinee Theater" BTW). NBC gave practically all
of its 1950s shows at least one test color episode; prior to
'59 most of the shows broadcast in color on NBC were either
variety shows (Perry Como, Steve Allen) or game shows
(notably "The Price Is Right" and the Bert Parks-hosted
"Masquerade Party"s from 1958-60--Groucho, BTW, aired
in color only once, on December 8, 1960, and that show is
rerun in black and white).

Although it was live, it's as good a time as any to tell a story
about the day CBS gave "Guiding Light" a test color episode
(around 1954)--to make a long story short Irna Phillips staged
the entire episode in a hospital room where the walls, the bedsheets,
everything was white. I think there were some very unhappy people
at CBS because "GL" didn't air in color again until 1967.

Bill Orr, Jack Warner's son-in-law and head of Warner Brothers' television
division in the '50s and '60s, tried to convince his father-in-law to film
"Maverick," "Cheyenne," "77 Sunset Strip," and the rest of their lineup in
color. Sure, all our shows are on ABC and they don't have color now,
but they will, and color will be in by the time our shows leave the network,
Orr argued. We can put them into reruns and people will think they're new.
Warner wasn't interested in spending the extra cash to film
the shows in color...except for the second season of "F Troop," and then
he asked ABC to cancel it when it went $3000 over budget. For the most
part the shows have been gathering dust, although the Starz Westerns channel
does rerun "Cheyenne" at 5 PM (ET) and double-reruns "Maverick" at 6 and
7 PM (ET)...in glorious black and white.


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Prais on September 07, 2009, 04:41:05 AM
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1954......"I think there were some very unhappy people at CBS because "GL" didn't air in color again until 1967."

I think the reason for the cbs 1954 GL episode was to test the cbs (not compatible) "color wheel" color tv system.

THEN CBS finally went "compatible (rca method) color is '67.




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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: bpatrick on September 07, 2009, 08:10:01 AM
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I thought the FCC had rejected the CBS "color wheel" system
in favor of RCA's electronic system by 1954. I do know that
about 50% of CBS's primetime schedule was in color in the
fall of 1965, and that the RCA system was in use at both CBS
and ABC by that time.




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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Tim L on September 07, 2009, 10:51:46 AM
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It's too bad that CBS didnt work with NBC (Not that NBC would have wanted them to) to develop a compatible color system in the 1950's.Then maybe color tv would have been widespread much sooner..If NBC and CBS both had the major amount of their schedule in color by say, 1960, ABC would have been forced to have color sooner..


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: mleach on September 07, 2009, 12:25:00 PM
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What about the commercials? When did they begin to air in color?

A few weeks ago I was watching online "The Hollywood Palace" from 1966 which of course had aired on ABC. The entire program itself was in color however only HALF the commercials were. Interesting the ones that were in color were only for drinks and tobacco ( Pepsi-Cola, Falstaff Beer, Winston Cigarettes and Dutch Master Cigars ) while all the ads for food and drug products ( Pillsbury Cake Mix, Kelloggs Cereals and Anacin & Dristan pills ) there were all in B/W.
Ads for household cleaning products like for Cheer and Ajax were in black & white as well. And I noticed this "trend" taking place on the other episodes that I had seen ofthe Hollywood Palace.

The 50's..in the past I have seen ads from that decade in color but they were all for soda pop, cigarettes and beer but not food. Even on a show that was filmed in color like Superman, the commercial the cast did for Kelloggs..that was in black & white. I don't get it.

Was this done on purpose? I know companies like Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds Tobacco and Coca-Cola had spent a ton of cash on ads back then so its not a surprise that they had filmed a good many of their ads in color but Kelloggs and Pillsbury were ( still are ) big companies, yet during the 50s and at least half of the 60's their ads stayed in black & white. Could it be that food "looks better" in b&w?

Wonder if the networks & stations back then charged more for color ads than for black & white even if they didn't do the filming of them?


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Title: Re: FILMED TV SERIES IN COLOR PRIOR TO 1959
Post by: Hal Erickson on September 08, 2009, 09:09:55 AM
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I remember watching MCHALE'S NAVY during its final (1965-66) season. The show itself was in black-and-white, but
the cast commercials (for Kellogg's, I believe) were in color!




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Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. -Groucho Marx

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Most TV series made money only when they went into syndication. If a program was created for syndication in the first place, and the material was likely to have staying power, it made sense to shoot in color. Adventures of Superman is the classic example.

I appreciated the list of early color series.

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Color is not always an artistic advantage. Gunsmoke's night scenes, shot on the Dodge City set, have some of the finest B&W cinematography I've seen anywhere.

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An interesting thread with a lot of information especially by IMDB user "cappolis". When the GRIT network started showing SPOtY, was the very first time I had ever seen the series even though I had heard reference made to it over the years (I was born in 1963). The VERY first thing that caught my attention was that I thought it was pretty surprising and unique that it was in color being the fact that it ran from 1955-58.

Rule #1 - Remember... it's a movie & NOT reality
Rule #2 - If you can't remember #1... Get a life!!

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