Only fiction series written and filmed throughout North America. Two young adventurers in a Corvette explore the social issues and changing customs of the early '60s, looking for the right place to settle down and search for themselves. The debut three years after "On the Road" changed the modern literature, while such newly available fast cars dominated the new youth culture. Tod, an Ivy Leaguer, and Buz, an orphan from Hell's Kitchen, travel to the US to explore changing relationships and lifestyles. Newton Minow, the FCC broadcaster, described US television in 1961 as an "immense wasteland," but "Route 66" found important and compelling stories everywhere. Sterling Silliphant, who won an Oscar for writing "In the Heat of the Night", toured the US and Canada to explore locations while writing ¾ of the episodes of the very dark, literary show - a feat that only Rod Serling combined with The Twilight Zone. Soon a crew of 50 men arrived on site. Shows were filmed in 40 states. Tod came from a once wealthy family and inherited only one Corvette when his father died. He and Buz (suddenly unemployed because he worked for Tod's father) strike across North America, especially along the legendary Route 66 from Chicago to LA, who were traveling The Okies. Tod and Buz take on local jobs (such as shrimp, shipbuilding, oil fabrication) to support their migrations. The two socially conscious knights of the street encourage, encourage and learn from the oppressed and troubled people they encounter. In 1962, guest star Ethel Waters became the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award. The CBS show doubled Corvette's sales in its first season. The two seats of the beige Corvette of death and Buz meant "sans souci" and constant movement, so almost every week shows were filmed in 6 days in a new city. The two drifters reject the suburb's American postwar dream while exploring a vanishing North America with a very diverse local culture that is not yet dominated by cookie cutters from international franchises and suburbs. The shows vibrate with the new dreams for a great society and the fears of the Cold War. The volatile Buz Murdock was quickly occupied, while Martin Milner defeated Robert Redford for the role of death style. Due to hepatitis Maharis did not appear in the last 1 ½ seasons of the series. The show evolved from a pilot project with creator Silliphant and Route 66 producer Herbert B. Leonard's "Naked City," also shot on location. Naked City and Route 66 bridged the broader anthologies and live plays of the Golden Age of Television in the 1950s with the much cheaper, one-hour dramatic series based on movements that continues to dominate primetime. Nelson Riddle's atmospheric theme of Route 66 and his episode scores contributed significantly to the show's allure. The airy song Route 66, written by Bobby Troup (from the 1970s series "Emergency!"), A 1946 Nat King Cole hit, was not used for the series. A continuation of Route 66 appeared in 1993, but only lasted 4 episodes.
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