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New fall TV shows, October 8, 1958

October 8, 2008 |  6:00 am


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Hey it's "Wagon Train" with Dean Stockwell!


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The new Wednesday night shows debut, with Gene Barry in "Bat Masterson," a short-lived series that tried to capitalize on the popularity of the TV Westerns.

Times critic Cecil Smith ruminates on the sad fate of TV comedy, citing Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and Sid Caesar, three of the top names in television comedy of the 1950s, in different guises from their initial successes. 

Smith notes: "Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca came back with a half-hour show last winter and flopped miserably.  Gleason, judging by his opening effort, probably won't set the tube on fire. Maybe Uncle Miltie can make it. I hope so."

Note that rather than "The Honeymooners," this is Gleason's mildly entertaining variety show, which featured Frank "Crazy Guggenheim" Fontaine.





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