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5 memorable TV premieres from 1968

"The Mod Squad" starred Clarence Williams III, Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton. Photo Credit: Handout

As the sixth-season finale of AMC's "Mad Men" airs Sunday, the drama has now moved forward to the fall of 1968. And that reminds us, of course, that fall '68 was also when we were becoming acquainted with some memorable TV shows, which had just premiered:

1. MAYBERRY RFD (CBS) -- When Andy Griffith left his eponymous show, the network revamped it, keeping the comedy set in Mayberry (along with most of the supporting characters), but bringing in "F Troop's" Ken Berry as the new lead.

2. THE MOD SQUAD (ABC) -- Three young misfits (Clarence Williams III, Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton) are recruited by the LAPD to be undercover cops. One of the grooviest shows of all time -- as well as prime-time TV's first attempt to co-opt the counterculture.

3. JULIA (NBC) -- With this gentle sitcom, Diahann Carroll broke new TV ground: Playing a widowed nurse raising a young son, she was TV's first African-American female lead character who was not portraying a domestic.

4. HAWAII FIVE-O (CBS) -- The original, with Jack Lord as Det. Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as his sidekick, Det. Danny (Dann-o) Williams.

5. 60 MINUTES (CBS) -- The Sunday-night institution actually began life as a Tuesday at 10 p.m. program that alternated with "The CBS News Hour." Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner were the co-hosts.


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