Monday, February 17, 2014

From Primetime to Daytime: Annie Oakley (1954)

There's a lot of noise these days about how certain children's cablers are ignoring female viewers, and targeting pre-teen to early-teen boys. Back in the early days of television, demographics didn't matter, because programmers were more concerned with building their programming to appeal to the entire family.

In addition, after some series ended their runs, they were usually brought back in reruns to fill time on weekend mornings. Annie Oakley was one of those shows, airing on Saturdays & Sundays on ABC in the early 60's after its original syndicated run ended in 1957 after 3 seasons.

Produced by actor-singer Gene Autry's production company, Annie Oakley starred Gail Davis in the title role as the Old West icon, now joined by brother Tagg (Jimmy Hawkins, though Billy Gray, later of Father Knows Best, also essayed the part) and her horse, Target. Let's take a look at a sample episode:

Hawkins experienced a growth spurt, leaving him unable to continue as Tagg, and so Autry opted to end the series, rather than recast the part again.

Didn't much care for saddling Annie with the kid brother-sidekick angle, which I think was done for the sake of attracting families to the show. Meh.

Rating: C.

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