Tonight’s Granada TV… in 1964 

20 January 2016 tbs.pm/8338

The TVTimes gives us a run down of the programmes on Granada for Monday 20 January 1964. Things worth noting include:

  • No morning schools programmes. The educational broadcasts begin at 2.35pm (Granada comes on at 2.30pm with a formal start-up sequence), with a five-minute interval – a card and some music – at 3.20pm and a closedown at 3.45pm
  • Granada’s own programmes get their production credit in Granada’s own typeface
  • We’re back on air at 5pm for ATV’s Seeing Sport, then it’s off to ITC’s The Adventures of William Tell at 5.25pm. This is episode 30 of 39, first shown on ATV Midlands in April 1959
  • Our only visit to US network television of the evening is with My Favourite Martian at 6.05pm. This ran on CBS for three seasons of 107 episodes from 1963 to 1966. This is episode 9 and is less than 2 months old

  • Local news is at 6.30pm, presented by Mike Scott and Gay Byrne. The musical interlude – here provided by Wayne Fontana – was a standard part of Scene at 6.30, thanks to Granadaland’s crowded pop scene which included, of course, the Mersey sound
  • All Our Yesterdays at 7pm was astoundingly popular for Granada and they were very proud of the series. It looked back 25 years, so was looking at January 1939 in this edition. For purposes of comparison, an edition today would be looking at January 1991
  • A lot of names everyone vaguely recalls in Crane from A-R at 8pm. Sam Kydd and Gerald Flood were successful B-movie and television actors; Patrick Allen was most famous later for his commanding voice, which was used by E4 for their launch promos and is still impersonated on the channel now
  • The Play of the Week is Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical first play, The Glass Menagerie. It’s ideal for television, featuring just four characters and just one set, although like a lot of Williams it is turgid and drawn out, so the ‘edited for television’ note is probably a good one
  • Music for Guitar at 11.45 makes a useful replacement for the epilogue that Granada never bothered with and, despite being uncredited, is a Granada production

You Say

7 responses to this article

Russ J Graham 25 January 2016 at 10:07 pm

Television in the United Kingdom until the early 1970s was only allowed on for 7 hours of entertainment a day (plus news, sport and education) by law. The cabinet minister in charge of telecommunications – the Postmaster General – set the amount of time the two channels in the UK could operate.

Russ J Graham 1 February 2016 at 10:53 am

* To protect the BBC – every minute on air makes ITV more money; every minute on air costs the BBC more money;
* To make sure that workers got to their jobs on time without being distracted by television, and didn’t throw sickies in order to watch something specific on TV;
* To conserve electricity, as the generation of power was not keeping up with the growth in population and industry and was in particularly short supply during the day.

This article from a 1965 TVTimes may be of interest to you: Why is TV still rationed?

Russ J Graham 1 February 2016 at 11:58 pm

The BBC was described in the Television Act as ‘the principal instrument of Broadcasting’ in the UK. It was widely believed by the public. It was part of the Establishment, so the Establishment thought that too. The new ITV was a fly-by-night commercial experiment that could – and would be allowed to – go bankrupt. That was the nature of British society – indeed, most European society – at the time.

Parallels with the US affiliate system aren’t really worth looking for, since the Television Act required that ITV not only competed with the BBC but also completely within itself – each region against the other regions, each company against the other companies – for advertising, programming and talent. With only one frequency available in most areas, this couldn’t be achieved by starting two networks as the ITA would’ve liked, but they did their best to enforce competition within the system as the law required.

As for Britain being a ‘nanny state’… well, in the forefront of the political mind of the time was that Britain had just come through a gigantic worldwide war that had flattened many of its cities and bankrupted its treasury. The people of Britain had to work and work very hard to pay off the debts and rebuild. Politicians and officials were terrified that the nation’s spirit would falter and we’d all stop working hard just to pay down debt (as opposed to directly benefitting). Throwing distractions – more TV, pop music radio, cheap US imported cinema films – in the path of the workers was an anathema. And it was a policy, surprisingly, that workers agreed in polls at the time that they wanted.

Alan Keeling 16 February 2016 at 8:49 pm

My Favourite Martian was one of a number of US sitcoms, westerns & crime shows that were never screened by ATV in the Midlands region.

Paul Mason 22 February 2016 at 3:52 am

My late mother used to complain endlessly as a stay at home housewife there was.no daytime TV except for Welsh programmes and Watch With Mother on BBC1. Either that or schools programmes in term time, political conferences or sport, particularly HORSE RACING. RJGs point that the economy would suffer if daytime TV came in is valid but did the economy suffer when Wimbledon tennis was broadcast, or cricket and racing for that matter? Mum was glad when “Midday to Midnight” TV started in 1972. The following year she got a job!

Paul Mason 22 February 2016 at 4:00 am

I forgot to add that BBC1 broadcast afternoon programmes when ITV started in 1972 although many were repeats of evening shows. By 1975 however BBC was suffering an economic crisis (nothing new there!) and the testcard/music returned. In 1983 when breakfast TV started BBC beat TV-am to the chase but outside school terms returned to the testcard at 9am.

Pete Singleton 14 March 2016 at 4:59 pm

As a Granadaland teenager in 1964, I’m at a loss as to why Gay Byrne’s presence on GR seems to have slipped my mind. Must be my age.

Re All Our Yesterdays, the ‘tickertape’ heads scrolling across the bottom of the screen used to cause Brian Inglis a problem on occasion as he had to slow his delivery down to match the speed of the tickertape which he was no doubt reading off his monitor. An early form of news channel strapping!

The Granada ‘6.5’ slot after the 10 minute ITN was for a while occupied by American comedy series… The Beverley Hillbillies, Grindl, (Imogen Coca), Mister Ed (Alan Young), The Patty Duke Show, The Pruitts of Southampton (Phyllis Diller et al), Petticoat Junction, The Adams Family, Car 54 Where Are You? etc.

The exception was when Thunderbirds started at 5.25 and was cut in half (how very dared they!), the second half being screened after ITN.

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