Monday, November 19, 2012

This Week in Television History: November 2012 PART III

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

November 19, 1959

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Premieres Jet Fuel Formula.

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is the collective name for two separate animated series: Rocky and His Friends (1959 – 1961) and The Bullwinkle Show (1961 – 1964). Rocky & Bullwinkle enjoyed great popularity during the 1960s. Much of this success was a result of it being targeted towards both children and adults. The zany characters and absurd plots would draw in children, while the clever usage of puns and topical references appealed to the adult demographic. Furthermore, the strengths of the series helped it overcome the fact that it had choppy, limited animation; in fact, some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.

The show was broadcast for the first time in the fall of 1959 on the ABC television network under the title Rocky and His Friends twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, at 5:30pm(et). In 1961, the series was moved to NBC where it was renamed The Bullwinkle Show, and first appeared on Sundays at 7pm(et), just before Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color; eventually, it was rescheduled on late Sunday afternoons, and early Saturday afternoons in its final season. Subsequently, in 1964, the show returned to ABC, where it was canceled within a year. However, reruns of episodes were still continually aired on ABC's Sunday morning schedule [11am(et)] until 1973, at which time the series went into syndication. In addition, an abbreviated fifteen minute version of the series ran in syndication in the 1960s under the title The Rocky Show. This version was sometimes shown in conjunction with The King and Odie, a fifteen minute version of Total Television's King Leonardo and His Short Subjects. The King and Odie was similar to Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it was sponsored by General Mills and animated by Gamma Productions.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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