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A 4-week run!

Author: jbacks3-1 from Denver
22 May 2004

ABC was a fledgling TV network in 1948--- it had a total of 5 stations on line by the time comedian Jerry Bergen was recruited to take a stab at live TV. Jerry was anxious to try something new, having just wrapped up on THE PIRATE. Unfortunately this live Wednesday night 15-minute comedy-variety series only lasted 4 weeks (last telecast December 8, 1948) and would do virtually nothing for Bergen or ABC and remains a historical footnote only because of Imogene Coca's appearance. I think it's fascinating to think that ABC had only begun network TV programming in August, 1948 and for years was considered to be on the brink of financial ruin--- a 1953 merger with United Paramount Theaters saved it, while ironically dooming another perennial also-ran network, Dumont, from which ABC had leaned on for production facilities so heavily early on. Since only 2% of American households had TV sets in 1948 and Neilsen ratings had yet to be devised, shows such as BUZZY WUZZY (and who thought up these titles anyway?) hung on the whims of fickle sponsors or temperamental stars who fought the stigma of acting on TV--- a common affliction in the late 1940's. The United Paramount deal landed Walt Disney in ABC's lap but it still took almost 30 years for ABC to gain Neilsen ratings comparable to NBC and CBS and it didn't have a #1 hit until MARCUS WELBY, MD in the 1970-71 season!

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