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It's About Time (TV series)

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No. of seasons

Program creator

Created by
Country of origin
United States

First episode date
11 September 1966

It's About Time (TV series) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners12007325p12007

Frank AletterJack MullaneyImogene CocaJoe E. Ross

Theme music composer
Gerald FriedGeorge WyleSherwood Schwartz


It's About Time is an American fantasy/science-fiction comedy TV series that aired on CBS for one season of 26 episodes in 1966–1967. The series was created by Sherwood Schwartz, and used sets, props and incidental music from Schwartz's other television series in production at the time, Gilligan's Island.


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The show currently airs on Antenna TV.


It's About Time (TV series) It39s About Time TV Series 19661967 IMDb

Two astronauts, Mac McKenzie (Frank Aletter) and Hector Canfield (Jack Mullaney), travel faster than the speed of light, resulting in being sent back in time to prehistoric days. There, they have to adjust to living with a cave family led by Shad (Imogene Coca) and Gronk (Joe E. Ross). (Coca's character's name was originally pronounced "Shag" in the first episode, after which her character's name was pronounced "Shad" (evidenced in the rerun episodes on Antenna TV), though in the opening titles, her billing still read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAG"; this changed in the episode "20th Century Here We Come" when new opening titles were created for the series' retooling and her billing was changed to read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAD". Their children were 18-year-old Mlor (Mary Grace, credited in the retooled closing titles as Mary Graham Grace) and 14-year-old Breer (Pat Cardi). The chief of the tribe, Boss (Cliff Norton) and his right-hand man Clon (Mike Mazurki) were always suspicious of the astronauts.

It's About Time (TV series) It39s About Time TV series Wikipedia

Ratings were impressive for the first few weeks on the air, but they soon plunged. Show creator Schwartz came to the conclusion that three factors were the cause of the decline in audience interest:

It's About Time (TV series) It39s About Time

  • Repetition of the astronauts being in danger from dinosaurs, clubs, spears, volcanoes, and cavemen
  • An unattractive look to the show (e.g., caves, dirt streets, etc.)
  • The cave dwellers speaking a primitive form of English that was difficult to listen to

  • It's About Time (TV series) It39s About Time TV series Wikipedia

    For these reasons, after 18 broadcast episodes set in prehistoric times, the series was retooled beginning with the January 22, 1967 episode. (A 19th "prehistoric" episode had been completed, but it was not broadcast until after the end of the series' original run; this could possibly have been due to its originally scheduled broadcast being preempted for special programming, which happened occasionally to many TV shows, throwing their original broadcast order out of sync when the networks would broadcast the episode at the end of the season's first-run episodes rather than postponing the broadcast until the following week.) Essentially reversing the premise which had been followed the first half of the season, on the January 22 episode, the astronauts repair their space capsule and return to 1967, with Shad, Gronk, and their children in tow. Boss and Clon make their final appearances in this episode, which also introduces two new supporting characters who would stay with the show going forward: Alan DeWitt as Mr. Tyler, manager of the apartment building where Mac and Hector live, and Frank Wilcox as General Morley, their commanding officer.

    In the retooled version of the show (which had an updated theme song, explaining the new premise), the prehistoric family must begin adjusting to life in the 1960s, reacting to the unfamiliar surroundings, and setting up home in 20th-century Los Angeles. For example, one episode had Gronk and Shad learning to write their names and signing them for many salesmen who brought "presents", which later had to be paid for. Mac and Hector also had to convince their disbelieving superior that they really did travel in time, and are not playing some sort of elaborate practical joke. Seven episodes were produced with this new premise before the series was cancelled at the end of the season.


    It's About Time is a 1960s typical 'silly' comedy of the times (in the style of Gilligan's Island, also created by Sherwood Schwartz) about two astronauts who accidentally break the speed of light with their spacecraft and travel back in time to prehistoric Earth, replete with cavemen (and cavewomen) and, anachronistically, dinosaurs. Unable to return to Earth, they make friends with the "natives", usually through humorous interactions, misunderstandings, and dilemmas. Eventually, they do return to 'modern day' Earth, taking some of the cavepeople back with them, who must then adjust to living in 1960s Los Angeles.

  • "The Stowaway" was originally scheduled to air January 15, 1967, but was pre-empted by an episode of Lassie after CBS revamped it's prime time line up following the first-ever Super Bowl which aired earlier that evening. This episode was set in prehistoric times, and clearly antedates the previous seven episodes. However, it did not air until April 2, 1967. In the show's current syndication reruns on certain networks - such as Antenna TV - this episode airs in its intended order, immediately preceding "20th Century Here We Come...".
  • DVD release

    ClassicFlix has announced that later in 2017 they will release The Complete Series on DVD in region 1.


    The TV series was adapted into a comic strip by Dan Spiegle, distributed by Gold Key Comics.

  • The punk rock band X incorporated some of the lyrics of the show's theme song into their song "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" for the album More Fun in the New World, as a commentary on the direction of 1980s music: "Glitter-disco-synthesizer night school/All this noble savage drum, drum, drum/Astronauts going back in time to hang out with the cave people/It's about time/It's about space/It's about some people in the strangest place."
  • Electronic musician Venetian Snares samples the show's theme song extensively in his song Einstein-Rosen Bridge.
  • References

    It's About Time (TV series) Wikipedia

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