The 1968 Exhibit: TV and Movies

TELEVISION IN 1968

With the staggering numbers of channels and possibilities in today's television landscape, it's useful to remember that in 1968 there was no cable TV, almost no satellite-TV transmissions, and no home video recorders. There were just the three major networks, a few obscure UHF channels, and a scattering of educational-TV channels. But television was changing.  Homes with color TV sets in their living rooms jumped from five million in 1966 to nearly 14 million in 1968, almost all of them made in the U.S.A. News programming took on special urgency in this turbulent year, perhaps signaled by the debut of 60 Minutes. Television coverage of Vietnam was vital to the rise and fall of public support for the war, the first 'living-room war.'

The year 1968 marked the last full season for The Monkees, Star Trek, The Andy Griffith Show, and the oft-censored Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Although the top-rated show of 1968 was a new one the crazily countercultural Laugh-In, the rest of the year's lineup is evidence of how predictable and 'safe' much of Sixties pop culture actually was, with shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

FILM IN 1968

The movie 'season' of 1967-68 marked one of the great turning points in Hollywood history, a moment when boundaries were stretched and old assumptions challenged. There were still westerns and big-budget musicals like Funny Girl and Oliver!, and some Golden Age stars, like John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn, were still big at the box-office. But in the theaters, violence was hitting the screen as never before, in movies like Bonnie and Clyde and Bullitt. The 'youth' movie was becoming smarter and edgier, as The Graduate and Petulia made clear.  New frontiers were opening for the horror and science-fiction genres, with such diverse products as 2001: A Space Odyssey, the low-budget Night of the Living Dead, and the scary-hip Rosemary's Baby.

Writing about the five movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 1968, historian Mark Harris writes:

The old and the new existed in uneasy proximity, eyeing each other across a red-carpeted aisle that was becoming easy to mistake for a battle line.  A fight that began as a contest for a few small patches of Hollywood turf ended as the first shot in a revolution.

TELEVISION IN 1968

FACTS AND FIGURES

20 Highest Rated Shows

95

  1. Laugh-In
  2. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
  3. Bonanza
  4. Mayberry R.F.D.
  5. Family Affair
  6. Gunsmoke
  7. Julia
  8. The Dean Martin Show
  9. Here’s Lucy
  10. The Beverly Hillbillies
  11. Mission: Impossible
  12. Bewitched
  13. The Red Skelton Hour
  14. My Three Sons
  15. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
  16. Ironside
  17. The Virginian
  18. The F.B.I.
  19. Green Acres
  20. Dragnet

EVENTS OF NOTE

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

20th Primetime Emmy Awards: Hosted by Frank Sinatra and Dick Van Dyke

TOP PROGRAMS BY AGE GROUP

Children

Teens

Young Adults

Top Rated Soap Operas

  1. As The World Turns
  2. Search for Tomorrow
  3. Another World
  4. The Edge Of Night
  5. Love Of Life
  6. The Doctors
  7. Days Of Our Lives
  8. Love is A Many Splendored Thing
  9. The Guiding Light
  10. General Hospital
  11. Dark Shadows
  12. The Secret Storm
  13. One Life To Live
  14. Hidden Faces

 

FILM IN 1968

 

FACTS AND FIGURES

Top Grossing Movies of 1968 (U.S. release revenues only)

Top Ten Box Office Stars 1968

  1. Sidney Poitier
  2. Paul Newman
  3. Julie Andrews
  4. John Wayne
  5. Clint Eastwood
  6. Dean Martin
  7. Steve McQueen
  8. Jack Lemmon
  9. Lee Marvin
  10. Elizabeth Taylor

Other Facts of Note

  • Number of domestic films released in the U.S.:  454
  • Average cost of a movie ticket:  $1.31 ($8.50 in 2011 dollars)
  • Total number of screens:  13,120
  • Number of drive:in theaters:  3,372
  • Total box office gross:  $1.05 billion
  • Tickets purchased per capita:  3.96

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

40TH Annual Academy Awards, April 10, 1968:  Hosted by Bob Hope (honoring 1967 films)

Best Picture:  In the Heat of the Night

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Rod Steiger in In the Heat of the Night

Other nominees:

           

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katharine Hepburn in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: George Kennedy in Cool Hand Luke

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Estelle Parsons in Bonnie and Clyde

Other nominees:

Best Director: Mike Nichols for The Graduate

Other nominees:

Best Original Song: “Talk to the Animals” from Dr. Dolittle

Other nominees

1968 Golden Globes (honoring 1967 films)

41st Annual Academy Awards, April 10, 1969 (honoring 1968 films): First Academy Awards show to be broadcast worldwide. 

Best Picture: Oliver!

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Cliff Robertson in Charly

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jack Albertson in The Subject Was Roses

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby

Other nominees:

Best Director: Carol Reed for Oliver!

Other nominees:

Best Original Song: “The Windmills of Your Mind” from The Thomas Crown Affair

Other nominees:

1969 Golden Globes (honoring 1968 films)

American Film Institute List of 100 Best American Movies

1998 List

Revised 2007 List

1968 films selected for Library of Congress Film Preservation Registry

('for culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films')

TELEVISION IN 1968

FACTS AND FIGURES

20 Highest Rated Shows

95

  1. Laugh-In
  2. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
  3. Bonanza
  4. Mayberry R.F.D.
  5. Family Affair
  6. Gunsmoke
  7. Julia
  8. The Dean Martin Show
  9. Here’s Lucy
  10. The Beverly Hillbillies
  11. Mission: Impossible
  12. Bewitched
  13. The Red Skelton Hour
  14. My Three Sons
  15. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
  16. Ironside
  17. The Virginian
  18. The F.B.I.
  19. Green Acres
  20. Dragnet

EVENTS OF NOTE

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

20th Primetime Emmy Awards: Hosted by Frank Sinatra and Dick Van Dyke

TOP PROGRAMS BY AGE GROUP

Children

Teens

Young Adults

Top Rated Soap Operas

  1. As The World Turns
  2. Search for Tomorrow
  3. Another World
  4. The Edge Of Night
  5. Love Of Life
  6. The Doctors
  7. Days Of Our Lives
  8. Love is A Many Splendored Thing
  9. The Guiding Light
  10. General Hospital
  11. Dark Shadows
  12. The Secret Storm
  13. One Life To Live
  14. Hidden Faces

 

FILM IN 1968

 

FACTS AND FIGURES

Top Grossing Movies of 1968 (U.S. release revenues only)

Top Ten Box Office Stars 1968

  1. Sidney Poitier
  2. Paul Newman
  3. Julie Andrews
  4. John Wayne
  5. Clint Eastwood
  6. Dean Martin
  7. Steve McQueen
  8. Jack Lemmon
  9. Lee Marvin
  10. Elizabeth Taylor

Other Facts of Note

  • Number of domestic films released in the U.S.:  454
  • Average cost of a movie ticket:  $1.31 ($8.50 in 2011 dollars)
  • Total number of screens:  13,120
  • Number of drive:in theaters:  3,372
  • Total box office gross:  $1.05 billion
  • Tickets purchased per capita:  3.96

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

40TH Annual Academy Awards, April 10, 1968:  Hosted by Bob Hope (honoring 1967 films)

Best Picture:  In the Heat of the Night

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Rod Steiger in In the Heat of the Night

Other nominees:

           

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katharine Hepburn in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: George Kennedy in Cool Hand Luke

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Estelle Parsons in Bonnie and Clyde

Other nominees:

Best Director: Mike Nichols for The Graduate

Other nominees:

Best Original Song: “Talk to the Animals” from Dr. Dolittle

Other nominees

1968 Golden Globes (honoring 1967 films)

41st Annual Academy Awards, April 10, 1969 (honoring 1968 films): First Academy Awards show to be broadcast worldwide. 

Best Picture: Oliver!

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Cliff Robertson in Charly

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

Other nominees:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jack Albertson in The Subject Was Roses

Other nominees:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby

Other nominees:

Best Director: Carol Reed for Oliver!

Other nominees:

Best Original Song: “The Windmills of Your Mind” from The Thomas Crown Affair

Other nominees:

1969 Golden Globes (honoring 1968 films)

American Film Institute List of 100 Best American Movies

1998 List

Revised 2007 List

1968 films selected for Library of Congress Film Preservation Registry

('for culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films')

TELEVISION IN 1968

With the staggering numbers of channels and possibilities in today's television landscape, it's useful to remember that in 1968 there was no cable TV, almost no satellite-TV transmissions, and no home video recorders. There were just the three major networks, a few obscure UHF channels, and a scattering of educational-TV channels. But television was changing.  Homes with color TV sets in their living rooms jumped from five million in 1966 to nearly 14 million in 1968, almost all of them made in the U.S.A. News programming took on special urgency in this turbulent year, perhaps signaled by the debut of 60 Minutes. Television coverage of Vietnam was vital to the rise and fall of public support for the war, the first 'living-room war.'

The year 1968 marked the last full season for The Monkees, Star Trek, The Andy Griffith Show, and the oft-censored Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Although the top-rated show of 1968 was a new one the crazily countercultural Laugh-In, the rest of the year's lineup is evidence of how predictable and 'safe' much of Sixties pop culture actually was, with shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

FILM IN 1968

The movie 'season' of 1967-68 marked one of the great turning points in Hollywood history, a moment when boundaries were stretched and old assumptions challenged. There were still westerns and big-budget musicals like Funny Girl and Oliver!, and some Golden Age stars, like John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn, were still big at the box-office. But in the theaters, violence was hitting the screen as never before, in movies like Bonnie and Clyde and Bullitt. The 'youth' movie was becoming smarter and edgier, as The Graduate and Petulia made clear.  New frontiers were opening for the horror and science-fiction genres, with such diverse products as 2001: A Space Odyssey, the low-budget Night of the Living Dead, and the scary-hip Rosemary's Baby.

Writing about the five movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 1968, historian Mark Harris writes:

The old and the new existed in uneasy proximity, eyeing each other across a red-carpeted aisle that was becoming easy to mistake for a battle line.  A fight that began as a contest for a few small patches of Hollywood turf ended as the first shot in a revolution.