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The TV That Time Forgot: Richard Diamond

With all of the CSI-style forensic cop shows on TV, it may be hard to remember that network television was once ruled by cowboys and two-fisted private eyes.

One of the first of the shamuses was Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

The show was one of the first on TV because it had been a long-running, successful radio series. The radio show was created by Blake Edwards, who was later to create TV detective Peter Gunn as well as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther film fame.

 Diamond had been played on radio by Dick Powell, but when it made the jump to CBS television, Powell stepped behind the camera as Executive Producer. In his place a young David Janssen was cast, beginning what was a very long career as a television star (The Fugitive, O’Hara, U.S. Treasury, Harry O, etc.).

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Richard Diamond

Make Room For Daddy

A.K.A. The Danny Thomas Show

Virtually forgotten now, Make Room for Daddy was one of TV’s earliest and most successful sitcoms.

But it took a long and winding road to get there and along the way, it created some television firsts.

Read more: Make Room For Daddy

Television's Original Hipster

How We Went Koo-Koo for "Kookie"

Who could have known that a serial killer would become one of TV’s first teen idols?

In the late 1950’s, private eye shows were giving Westerns a real run for their money in prime time. Starting in the summer of 1957, Richard Diamond (created by Blake Edwards) made the jump from radio to television and did pretty well.

In the fall of 1958, two “imitation Diamonds” hit the air: Peter Gunn (also created by Edwards) and 77 Sunset Strip (created by Roy Huggins). Both were smash hits.

Huggins had intended his series to be hard-boiled, centering on former military intelligence officer Stu Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.). However, viewer reaction to a serial killer in the pilot soon sent the series in a radically different direction.

Read more: Television's Original Hipster

The Baby Boom’s First Superstar

To this day, walk up to any Baby Boomer and exclaim, “Say kids, what time is it?” Odds are tremendous that Boomer will reply (and loudly, too): “It’s Howdy Doody time!”

No doubt as a child, you may have had a Howdy Doody coloring book, puzzle, drinking mug, Golden Book or if you were really fortunate, an actual Howdy Doody marionette; but how much do you really know about the backstage history of our generation’s first true superstar?

Let’s explore the life and times of this legend.

Read more: The Baby Boom’s First Superstar

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