The 1952–53 United States network television schedule began in September of 1952 and ended in the spring of 1953. According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), fall of 1953 marked a change in television when the networks began filling their schedules with "grade B" material. The networks' "need to fill so many hours of broadcasting each day put the networks and local programmers into the same position that Hollywood had been in years before with its theatrical features." In between big-budget productions, the networks had to keep the public occupied. As the number of hours that the four TV networks offered programs continued to expand, "the appearance of TV equivalents to grade-B films was almost inevitable."

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  • The 1952–53 United States network television schedule began in September of 1952 and ended in the spring of 1953. According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), fall of 1953 marked a change in television when the networks began filling their schedules with "grade B" material. The networks' "need to fill so many hours of broadcasting each day put the networks and local programmers into the same position that Hollywood had been in years before with its theatrical features." In between big-budget productions, the networks had to keep the public occupied. As the number of hours that the four TV networks offered programs continued to expand, "the appearance of TV equivalents to grade-B films was almost inevitable." Castleman and Podrazik also point out that another change was taking place around this time. Filmed television series had been seen since the late 1940s, but were "not considered very important to the networks' schedules" because many were of poor quality; live productions from New York were the norm at this time. CBS's success with filmed program I Love Lucy in fall 1951, however, had convinced NBC to add a few filmed series to its fall 1952 schedule. Among NBC's new filmed TV series were My Hero, I Married Joan, and Doc Corkle. The Red Skelton Show, previously airing live, also made the move to film. NBC also moved Skelton's program from its previous late-evening time to 7 p.m. on Sundays, hoping the program would be a "strong lead-in for the entire evening." NBC's Sunday night strategy failed, however, because Red Skelton's program suffered from excessive use of rerun episodes when Skelton unfortunately fell ill. Of the network's other filmed series, My Hero was "a weak slapstick vehicle" while Doc Corkle was "generally regarded as the worst sitcom of the new season". It lasted only three weeks before cancellation (replaced by the return of the live Mister Peepers). With the exceptions of I Married Joan and the revival of The Life of Riley starring William Bendix in January, NBC would have little luck with filmed programs during the 1952–53 season. ABC had more luck with its new filmed series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, while CBS aired the filmed Our Miss Brooks. Another successful CBS filmed show was anthology series Four Star Playhouse, which although not a top-rated show, did prove popular enough to run to 1956. Fall 1952 was a major blow for DuMont, when the network's biggest star, Jackie Gleason, moved from DuMont to CBS. Gleason's new CBS series, The Jackie Gleason Show replaced DuMont's Cavalcade of Stars, airing Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Ted Bergmann, DuMont's general director, stated in 2002 that Gleason's much-heralded move to CBS made DuMont look bad. DuMont aired no programs against Gleason's new TV series. One DuMont show, the 60-minute public affairs program New York Times Youth Forum began airing Sundays at 5 p.m. EST on September 14, 1952—outside of prime time—and ran until June 14, 1953. A notable DuMont series which aired during the season was dramatic anthology series Dark of Night, which was broadcast live from a different real-life location each week instead of being shot on a soundstage (for example, one episode was broadcast from a soft drink bottling plant, while another was broadcast from a castle in New Jersey). New fall series are highlighted in bold. Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research. Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season. Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season. Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season. (en)
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  • The 1952–53 United States network television schedule began in September of 1952 and ended in the spring of 1953. According to television historians Castleman and Podrazik (1982), fall of 1953 marked a change in television when the networks began filling their schedules with "grade B" material. The networks' "need to fill so many hours of broadcasting each day put the networks and local programmers into the same position that Hollywood had been in years before with its theatrical features." In between big-budget productions, the networks had to keep the public occupied. As the number of hours that the four TV networks offered programs continued to expand, "the appearance of TV equivalents to grade-B films was almost inevitable." (en)
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  • 1952–53 United States network television schedule (en)
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