Television: Mothers' Brothers

Like shooting bottles off a barnyard fence, the gunslingers on NBC's top-rated Bonanza have for several seasons systematically picked off every show offered in the opposing time slots. Five months ago, CBS rushed in a pair of suburban slickers, and to the industry's surprise, they knocked Bonanza out of the No. 1 slot and made the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour the most popular new TV show of the season.

They did it by shooting from the lip, dauntlessly laying down a crossfire of patter that is often more fizzle than sizzle. Sample exchange from this week's season-ending show:

Tom: Stay tuned...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!