The show originally aired without a sponsor, but NBC agreed to pay for initial production costs; it was assumed that once the show actually aired and advertisers were able to see its sophistication, a national sponsor would emerge. None did; many national companies did not want to upset their customers in the South, who did not want to see a black man on TV shown in anything other than a subservient position. Although NBC agreed to continue footing the bill for the show until a sponsor could be found, star Nat 'King' Cole pulled the plug on it himself in its second season. In the 1956 season, the show had a 15-minute running time. It was expanded to a 30-minute segment in 1957. Said Cole of the doomed series, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark." See more »
In the fall of 1956,NBC-TV took great risks with this star,who was at the time very famous for his chart-topping hits off his Capitol Records label,but also made television history as the very first African-American to have his own weekly variety series. This was something that took extreme measures to do even in the heyday of 50's golden television especially when individuals refused to let people of other minorities to do so.
Yes,ladies and gentlemen history was being made with "The Nat King Cole Show".
I got the chance to see a glimpse of the lost series from the 50's and this was brilliant beyond belief. Each week,Cole would bring in special guests to performed with him and also every once in a while have his two lovely daughters(Natalie and Cookie)do a song. However,this show didn't last very long,but it was a rare opportunity to see a classic performer at his very best. Yes,this was a rarity if it is to be seen.
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