The 1957–58 United States network television schedule was for the period that began in September 1957 and ran through March 1958.
As in previous seasons, both CBS and ABC continued to add Westerns to their schedule, filling prime time with as many "oaters" (as they were derisively called) as possible. In addition to several returning Westerns which the network retained on its fall 1957 schedule, ABC's new western series included Sugarfoot and Broken Arrow on Tuesday nights, Tombstone Territory on Wednesdays, Colt .45 on Fridays, and Maverick on Sundays.
ABC, third in the network Nielsen ratings, placed its new Western Maverick in a difficult time slot: Sunday night against two hit series: The Steve Allen Show on NBC, and The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. ABC aired Maverick a half hour before the other two programs began; the strategy was designed to "hook the audience before it fell into its usual viewing habits".
NBC, late to the Western format, also began plugging Westerns into its fall schedule. New NBC Western series debuting in the 1957-1958 season included Wagon Train, The Restless Gun, and The Californians (though one NBC executive insisted The Californians is not a Western but a drama set in California in the 1850s).
Another programming shift occurred at NBC: the network's flagship news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, moved to the 7:15 PM weekday timeslot, for the first time going head to head against both ABC's and CBS's news programs. The face-off between the three networks' news programs would become the standard model for U.S. broadcast television; the three networks still air their network news programs against one another.
1958 saw a number of executive changes at the networks; these presidential shifts would affect the network television schedules. Oliver Treyz became the president of ABC on February 17, Louis Cowan became the president of CBS on March 12, and NBC programmer Robert Kintner became the president of NBC on July 11. Dr. Allen B. DuMont resigned as chairman of the board of the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation on May 13, and the name of the company was changed to Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation. According to Castleman and Podrazik (1982) the final DuMont Network program, Monday Night Fights aired for the last time on August 4, 1958, carried on only five stations nationwide. NBC's Kraft Television Theatre, which had debuted in 1947 and was the oldest program still left on television, was cancelled in spring 1958. It was the dawn of a new era in television; producer David Susskind, who had produced KTT at the end, would call 1958 "the year of the miserable drivel".
New fall series are highlighted in bold. Series ending are highlighted in italics
The highest-rated show for the year is highlighted in lime. The top ten rated programs are highlighted in yellow. The top 20 rated programs are highlighted in cyan. The top 30 rated programs are highlighted in magenta.. Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its (rank/rating) as determined by Nielsen Media Research.
Saber of London, with Donald Gray in the lead role, entered its seventh season with a new name, its fourth, and a new network, NBC. It had run on ABC from 1951-1954 and 1955-1957, under three previous titles, Mystery Theater, Inspector Mark Saber--Homicide Detective, and The Vise.
Keep It In The Family
Country Music Jubilee
Lawrence Welk's Dodge Dancing Party
The Mike Wallace Interview
The Dick Clark Show (Later renamed as Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show)
↑ 1.01.11.21.3Castleman, Harry; Walter J. Podrazik (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 109–115. ISBN0-07-010269-4.
↑Castleman, H. and Podrazik, W. (1984) The TV Schedule Book: Four Decades of Network Programming from Sign-on to Sign-off. McGraw-Hill. pg 79-82. ISBN 0-07-010277-5
↑Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.