Programs: Here Come the Merry Widows

On paper, the 1968-69 season, which opens this week, looks indistinguishable from 1967-68. Onscreen, viewers will find a few new wrinkles. Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, The Big Valley, The Andy Griffith Show and My Three Sons encouraged a trend by all featuring at least one character who was a widow or a widower. This year the trend becomes a stampede. In addition, the big, new angle is interracial — there is a vast increase in roles played by Ne groes. Whether all this signifies a vast improvement in entertainment is, of course, problematical....