26+ Hidden Gems: Intriguing Facts About Your All-Time Favorite Classic TV Shows!

Published on 11/13/2023

America’s First Ninety-Minute Western On Television was The Virginian

Show: The Virginian
Original Network: NBC
Est. Production Budget: $330,000 per episode*

The Virginian, which ran for ninety minutes from 1962 to 1971, was the first western to air on American television. More complex plots and character development were made possible by the additional time. The show, which followed the exploits of the foreman of the Shiloh Ranch and starred James Drury as the titular title character, was based in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Due to the program’s popularity, long-form Westerns like Bonanza and Gunsmoke were able to produce longer episodes during a period when Westerns were still the most popular television shows.

America's First Ninety Minute Western On Television Was The Virginian

America’s First Ninety Minute Western On Television Was The Virginian


The Jeopardy Concept was created by Merv Griffin’s Spouse

Show: Jeopardy!
Original Network: NBC
Est. Production Budget: $5 million per year*

The well-known game show Jeopardy! has been providing viewers with entertainment for more than thirty years, but did you know that the show’s concept didn’t originate from a prominent network executive? Was it caused by Merv Griffin’s spouse? While traveling in the early 1960s, Griffin’s wife had the idea to start a game show in which participants would be given answers and would have to phrase them as questions. The rest is history—Griffin thought the idea was brilliant. It’s Jeopardy time! is a well-known brand, adored by viewers of all ages, and has TV celebrities and Super Bowl winners as guest hosts.

The Jeopardy Concept Was Created By Merv Griffin's Spouse

The Jeopardy Concept Was Created By Merv Griffin’s Spouse