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More Comedy on Tap for 1964-65 TV Season

Mar. 14, 1964 - Television, which has grown tired of telling serious stories, will laugh it up next season. Each network will open the 1964-65 season with at least four more half-hour comedy shows than it had on its 1963-64 schedule. A total of 37 weekly programs of this category are planned, which averages out to more than five each night of the week. In addition, there are some hourlong comedy shows here and there and many other programs with elements of comedy.

Some of the new comedy shows are moving away from the old-fashioned “kitchen comedy” based on family happenings and are going in for special devices. This is known as “device” or “gimmick comedy.” CBS’s “My Living Doll” (pictured), for instance, will star Julie Newmar as a robot.

NBC, which had only five half-hour comedy shows last fall, the fewest of the three networks, will have nine next season. They are “Hazel,” Jack Benny, “Karen,” “Tom, Dick and Mary,” “Harris Against the World” (the last three comprise a 90-minute programming block titled “90 Bristol Court”), “Kentucky Jones,” “Mr. Magoo,” “That Was The Week That Was,” and either “Grindl” or Bill Dana.

ABC, which started this season with nine half-hour comedies, will have 14 next fall. They are “Broadside,” “No Time For Sergeants,” “Wendy and Me,” Bing Crosby, “McHale’s Navy,” “Tycoon,” “Ozzie and Harriet,” Patty Duke, “The Addams Family,” “The Flintstones,” Donna Reed, “My Three Sons,” “Bewitched,” and “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

CBS, which has found that comedy pays off in high ratings, will increase its half-hour comedy shows from the 10 of last fall to 14. On the list are “My Favorite Martian,” Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball, “Many Happy Returns,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Beverly Hillbillies,” Dick Van Dyke, Cara Williams, “The Munsters,” “The Baileys of Balboa,” “Gomer Pyle,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Living Doll,” and another show that may co-star Martha Raye and William Bendix.

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