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The Walter Winchell Show [#2] (variety)

    (NBC Primetime, 1956)

    [The hard-charging 1940's reporter whose riveting combination of
     gossip and commentary had made him a fixture on network radio,
     with his teletype-punctuated delivery sounding as if everything
     he reported had earth-shattering importance, didn't make the
     transition to network television very well.

     He was given three seasons on ABC (1952 - 1955) to try to 
     attempt the transition, but the simulcast of his radio show
     was a curiousity that didn't really work in the format of 
     a Sunday-evening "news" show. By that time, TV news was 
     more sophisticated, including filmed stories and more factual
     reporting.

     So eventually the aging Winchell quit over a confrontation
     with a network news executive who tried to mold it into what
     was needed for the new medium.

     The next year in 1956 NBC gave him a second chance -- to try a 
     different role entirely -- that of a variety show impresario. 
     After all, Winchell knew just about everybody who was anybody 
     then. And if Ed Sullivan -- another "newsman" -- could pull it 
     off, why couldn't Winchell?

     But Winchell was basically a celebrity power broker, whose
     ego and many grudge feuds had reached the point where they
     began to backfire against him.

     One thing about television -- it reveals the character
     of people more than they might want; and Winchell was not
     such a nice man. At times he was downright nasty. So what
     qualities Ed Sullivan may have revealed in presenting his
     guests with a certain grandiose admiration was lacking 
     from the Winchell persona. His persona lacked even the
     pretense of humility. He was a force to be reckoned with. 
     And he let everyone know it. So his variety show was 
     cancelled in mid-season after just 13 weeks.

     Winchell tried a filmed show later with his pals at Desilu
     for whom he had narrated "The Untouchables" series. "The
     Walter Winchell File" (1957 - 1959) was a typical crime 
     drama, which did have better luck -- airing for one season 
     on ABC, and then another season or two in syndication.

     As the 1950s drew to a close, this 1940's radio legend had
     found he was viewed more as a caricature of his former self,
     whose role on the world media stage had worn out its welcome.]


Theme: Give My Regards To Broadway, from the 1904 Broadway musical
                "Little Johnny Jones"

     Composer: George M. Cohan (ASCAP)
              [professional name of George Michael Cohan]

     1978 Publisher: [several Public Domain arragements credited 
                      in the 1978 ASCAP Index of Performed
                      compositions]

     2001 Publisher: In the Public Domain; and
                     George M. Cohan Music Publishing Co. (ASCAP) 
                        c/o Carlin America 
                        of New York, NY

     Composition Date: 1904

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:

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