Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years,1947¿1987 by Hal Erickson
Here is an excellent reference book on “first run” syndicationthe distribution of programs either made exclusively for non-network play, or of programs intended for network telecasts but ultimately making their debuts in syndication. Bringing together information not easily found, this work covers the classics such as Sea Hunt, Highway Patrol, The Merv Griffin Show and the Muppet Show, as well as such once-popular but now obscure productions as China Smith, Ripcord and The Littlest Hobo. Coverage goes back to 1947 and the book includes a number of series ignored in other works. The first section is an overview of the concept of syndication from its earliest application in the newspaper world to the attempt by Fox Television to become a fourth network. The next four sections each cover ten years of syndication, listing the shows (with full backgroundwho produced them and why, who liked them and why, etc.) alphabetically by title under the following genres: Adventure/Mystery, Children’s, Comedy, Drama, Game/Quiz, Informational, Music/Variety, Religious, Sports, Talk/Interview, Travel/Documentary, Westerns, and Women’s.