5 must-see episodes on MeTV this week of April 17

Tune in to see a classic comedy premiere, a headless biker and Opie facing a bully.

Like Darren McGavin up top there, you won't believe the gems we have on offer for viewing this week. Once Tax Day passes, it's time to kick back and enjoy some television from the golden era. Our handful of selections include a classic comedy premiere, some ace scripts and the very first piece of work from one of Hollywood's biggest directors.

Let's get to the picks!

Hogan's Heroes "The Informer"
Wednesday 19 at 10:30PM | 9:30C

There's one major difference between this pilot episode and the rest of the series — it's in black & white. The pilot for the WWII comedy was filmed in 1964, though it was not aired until September 1965. Aside from that significant difference, all the familiar components are there. See how the characters were first introduced. Plus, tune in half an hour earlier to catch the series finale, "Rockets of Romance," to see how it all wrapped up. (Rather unceremoniously.)

The Twilight Zone "The Purple Testament"
Wednesday 19 at 12:30AM | 11:30C

The Philippines, 1945. WWII is nearing its end on the hot, humid island nation. American troops are wrung out physically and emotionally. One soldier suddenly begins to see an aura around his fellow servicemen — just before they are killed in battle. This dark and harrowing episode proved that Rod Serling did not need last-minute twists and shocking reveals to craft an affecting Twilight Zone tale. 

Maverick "Rage for Vengeance"
Saturday at 10AM | 9C

Bret Maverick will make or take any bet. The cracking episode begins with an arrest and a wager. Maverick is arrested after robbing a bank. He bets ten bucks that the sheriff will let him go once he hears the story of why he looted the bank. Thus we get the tale of a stagecoach ride to Montana, a case full of counterfeit cash and a beautiful woman. James Garner delivers line after line of witty genius. For example, he lights a smoke with a fake bill and proclaims, "Oh, I'm sorry. I've always wanted to light a cigar with a hundred dollar bill. The satisfaction's real, even if the bill isn't."

The Andy Griffith Show "One-Punch Opie"
Sunday at 7:30PM | 6:30C

This classic episode delivers morals, mirth and charm, when Opie must learn to defend himself against a bully.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker "Chopper"
Sunday at 10PM | 9C

A decade before they teamed up for Back to the Future, Robert Zemekis (Forrest Gump) and Bob Gale sold this, their first Hollywood script. This being Kolchak, it centers around a "headless" biker (or at least a tall biker with an extremely long torso). The motorcycle camp is fun enough, but the guest stars truly shine, as both Larry Linville (Frank Burns from M*A*S*H) and Jim Backus (Thurston Howell from Gilligan's Island) turn up in juicy scenes.

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