Persistence. It means getting who you want or what you want without giving up. To the producers of the “Real McCoys,” it meant pulling out all the stops to get Walter Brennan out of a tailored suit and into a pair of overalls to get a series about West Virginia hillbillies transplanted to SoCal not just on the air, but also as one of TV’s biggest hits. Brennan’s stubbornness almost matched that of the family patriarch he played so much, it took 2 magic words to finally convince Brennan this was the right vehicle for him: Pilot film. ABC execs were downright excited and the producers “Five-year plan” would finally come to fruition. Brennan told TV WEEK in a bit of second-guessing that he should’ve went along right from the start and that he was glad that the show was a huge hit. It all came down to one magic word for Brennan to be the “Real McCoy:” Persistence.
Speaking of “magic words,” TV WEEK’s cover subjects that week were husband-wife magic team Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell, whose “Magic Land of ALAKAZAM” was a huge Saturday morning hit for CBS. The show, which started out as a regional hit in Texas, relied on the Wilsons and a staff of magicians(including their 7-year old son) to come up with the stunning feats of sleight-of-hand that went into each show. The use of CBS’s Television City facilities also helped the magic along at a lively pace. Not to mention maybe, a little “persistence.”