Tuesday, April 30, 2024

CBN's actual Saturday schedule 40 years ago

We had a good time recently looking at the classic TV schedule Christian Broadcasting Network presented on a weekday in 1984, so today let's look at what it offered on a Saturday 40 years ago. No, today is not Saturday, but, er, just go with it. This is the lineup for May 5, 1984, and afterwards we'll throw in the Sunday schedule, too. There is a distinct Western theme to the CBN weekend!

10:00 saw The Cisco Kid, followed by a Edgar Buchanan movie, 1955's Silver Star

Noon brought an episode of The Westerners. What exactly was that? Hard to say. TV Guide and The New York Times have no specifics for this day. The Westerners was the umbrella title given to a batch of old Four-Star Westerns, including the great one-season wonder starring Brian Keith called...The Westerner. Also included are Johnny Ringo, Law of the Plainsman, and Black Saddle.

At 12:30, CBN aired The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock with Guy Madison in the title role and Andy Devine as sidekick Jingles P. Jones. 

This program has an interesting history. Produced by William F. Broidy for first-run syndication, it moved to CBS and then ABC over its 8-year run. I was surprised to learn it ran 8 seasons, but I note it did mostly 13-episode seasons, meaning it accumulated "only" 113 episodes. Screen Gems bought out the Broidy company and got rights to the series, which ran in color its last season.

Another film was next, 1942's American Empire at 1:00. This Paramount Western stars Richard Dix, Preston Foster, and Leo Carrillo.

At 2:30, Call of the West is on, and I don't remember watching it, but I am 99% sure this is one of the rerun packages carved out of the massive 450+ episode library of Death Valley Days. New host segments with John Payne were shot for old installments.

It was back to films at 3:00 with 1936's Avenging Waters with Ken Maynard.

Next up, Wyatt Earp with BOTNS fave Hugh O'Brian in the title role, followed by Wagon Train at 4:30. I wasn't watching a lot of Westerns in 1984, but I don't remember anyone else showing these programs in that era.

The Monroes came next at 6:00. I don't remember anyone else showing this one anywhere in my day. It's another one-season (1966-67) wonder, with Barbara Hershey as one of 5 orphans experiencing frontier life. The show got a DVD release from Shout!

Alias Smith and Jones followed at 7:00.

8:00 was Carole Lombard in Made for Each Other. It's not a Western, but it's an acclaimed picture co-starring James Stewart and Charles Coburn. It's also public domain, which may be one reason why CBN was showing it!

10:00, it was back to vintage TV with I Spy, a show it aired during the week as well. Of course I have to remember that in 1984, the series was not even 20 years old! 

CBN ended the night with religious programming.

On Sunday, May 6, CBN began with more spiritual programming before offering a block of Flipper and Gentle Ben at 1:00.

2:00 was Abeline Town with Randolph Scott, another public domain oater.

Wagon Train was next at 4:00, followed by a Roy Rogers flick at 5:00: 1940's The Ranger and the Lady. After that it was religious programming the rest of the day, kicking off with The Flying House, a Japanese Bible-themed animated show.

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