O.K., this one happened the same way my Silver-Age quizzes for my Deck Log column do.  I was driving along one morning and happened to think of an unusual detail about a television programme.  That led to recalling another, and then, another.  Pretty soon, I wondered if I could get a decent-sized trivia quiz out of it.

 

As this posting shows, I did.

 

The topic is something near and dear to our experience---television.  We all have one of those magic boxes in our homes, and we all have spent many faithful hours in front of it.  The question is:  how closely were you paying attention?  Because this quiz is slightly different.  I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

Here are the guidelines:

1. The questions come from television programmes which appeared on the “Big Three” networks, NBC and CBS and ABC, and the only acceptable answers come from the same pool. That was the only way to make it manageable.  It’s impossible to take the thousands of fourth-network, cable, and direct-TV series over the past thirty years into account.

 

2.  With the exception of the question involving The Tonight Show (number twelve), all of the questions and answers are limited to shows which appeared in prime time, i.e., 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

3.  This is not a Silver-Age quiz. Any network prime-time programme which has aired since the inception of television to the present is eligible for consideration.

4.  Here is what makes this quiz slightly different: you are not required to know, or find out, any behind-the-scenes information about any given show.  The answers to all of the questions can be found simply by having watched television.

 

You will find questions like:

When William Frawley left the situation-comedy series My Three Sons, what was the reason given for his character, Bub, leaving the Douglas family?

 

What you won’t find is:

Why did William Frawley leave My Three Sons?

 

The latter question would require you to obtain behind-the-scenes knowledge of the reason for Frawley’s departure from the show.  The former question, however, only requires that you have viewed the pertinent episode.

 

In other words, it’s a genuine couch-potato quiz!

 

Finally, my usual caveat:  I am not all-knowing, not even on the subject of classic television.  It’s eminently possible that I’ve missed something.  Perhaps, even likely.  If anyone comes up with an answer that falls within the guidelines I’ve presented above and meets all the criteria posed by the question, then I’ll gladly award credit for it.  Besides, I always learn new stuff myself when that happens.

 

As with my comic-book quizzes, I’ve no objection to anyone referencing the Internet or even---gasp!---hard-copy material.  It’s my obligation to provide questions that are as Google-proof as possible.  I believe I have done so, but you fellows can get pretty creative in your thinking.

 

I think that’s everything . . . so let’s go!  

1.  This one has been plumbed so many times that the correct answer is definitely out there on the Internet, but it’s such a popular one that I had to lead off with it:

What was the first situation comedy to show a married couple sharing the same bed?

 

2.  Name three television series with the word “petticoat” in their titles.

3.  The detective series Mannix changed formats after the first season. Who was the only character, outside of Joe Mannix himself, to appear in episodes of both formats?

4.  What distinctive feature was shared by the theme songs of Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, and Mary Tyler Moore over the course of their network runs?

5.  Name two dramatic series that were spun off from situation comedies.

6.  Name the series in which the title character did not appear on camera until the second season.

7.  Who was the first captain of SSRN Seaview on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?

8.  What were the first and maiden names of Steve Douglas’ first wife on My Three Sons? O.K., how about the first and maiden names of his second wife, too?

9.  What sitcom featured sisters named Wilhelmina, Roberta, and Elizabeth?

10.  What was the radio call-sign for Sergeant Saunders’ squad on Combat!?

11.  Name a series in which the lead character was killed off in the final episode. (Note:  the lead character, the star, not just a regular character.)

 12.  On The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, when sidekick Ed McMahon was absent, bandleader Doc Severinsen replaced Ed as the announcer and second-banana, while Tommy Newsome took over leading the band. But, on that rare occasion when both McMahon and Severinsen were off on the same night, Newsome took over as announcer and second-banana to Johnny---but who stepped in to lead the band?

13.  Name three sitcoms where the four lead characters played themselves, in a fictional setting.

14.  I’m not making this one up, folks: what situation comedy changed to a spy series halfway through its run?

15.  The Fugitive is often credited as being the first series to resolve its premise in the last episode of its run. However, there were two series that did the same thing before Doctor Kimble caught the one-armed man.  Name them. 

And there's an American-produced series that was network-run in Canada and syndicated here in the U.S. that also beat out The Fugitive by ending its premise first.   Extra credit if you can name it, too.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the quiz and answers, Commander. This was a tough one.

I thought there'd be other correct answers to 11, but I couldn't find one.

I suggested Hudson's Bay as an answer to the bonus question on thin grounds. The IMDB's summary of the last episode says it had a plot about establishing a treaty with the Blackfeet. I assumed the Company got it, and thought that might've been represented as putting the Company in a more stable position.

Commander Benson said:

4.  What distinctive feature was shared by the theme songs of Gilligan’s IslandThe Brady Bunch, and Mary Tyler Moore over the course of their network runs?

CK got so close to this one---he stated "each show re-recorded the theme for a second season"---that, in essence, he got it right.  More accurately, the answer was all three shows changed the lyrics of its theme songs for their seconds seasons.

I knew how the Gilligan's Island theme -- "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" -- was altered, from:

The ship set ground on the shore of this
Uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan,
The Skipper too,
The Millionaire and his Wife,
The Movie Star,
and the rest
are here on Gilligan's Isle.

to:

The ship set ground on the shore of this
Uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan,
The Skipper too,
The Millionaire and his Wife,
The Movie Star,
The Professor and Mary Ann
Here on Gilligan's Isle.

While they were at it, they altered the title sequence to include images of Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells; their faces were absent from the first-season version.

And I knew that the refrain in the theme for Mary Tyler Moore  -- "Love Is All Around" -- changed from the hopeful but wishy-washy "You might just make it after all" to the definitive "You're gonna make it after all."

But for the life of me, I can't tell the difference in the versions of "The Brady Bunch Theme." What is it? 

I get it now. The kids sang the second season theme and it became subjective! So "That's how they became the Brady Bunch!" is changed to "That's how we became the Brady Bunch!"

I never understood why the Gilligan theme didn't originally say "the Professor and Mary Ann." How long does it take to sing the names?

It may have been a contract thing as Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells were perhaps not on the same level of fame as the others. I do know that they weren't happy about and that led to the change. Besides the Professor and Mary Ann were just as important as the rest of the characters.

It was as happy a moment as when DeForest Kelly was added to the main credits in Star Trek's second season.

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