Variety (February 1950)

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‘ Febliiii^^^ gg, I9§0 TfeiLfivisioiiir nt^rvimH Hi coaxi^, pickup of Prosideiit Truman^s JeffersTon^ iacksQU toner the I), jp. Arniory last Thursday uight was indicative nf video's failure to ctotalise on the oppo^unlties the Uiedlum enjoys for translating top special events into attention- x productions, ‘ ■ ; ; . ! .The^twornetwork pooled pickup of the President doing a sales ■ joh on behalf of the Dems. vs, the GOP (sinee the whole intent was td“ sVifell the'^ ‘‘war chest”) suffered from the monotony of watching the Chief Executive spiel forth ort the virtues Of his own party without any attempt to vest a . revealing camera with pro*^ V duction^;values, It^s a sjtfe bet that a better TV shew would have hiked the ***take'^ from the hoin^vie^ing Dems. Granted that President Truman over the past couple of years has devmoped a sureness of camera demeanor and can now lend ' some visual improvisations to his gab act. The fact remains that V on this Qccasion-r-as; on all. previous; occasions involving Presiden- tiaV tailk)^TV was Avilllng to settle for a carry-over of a “radio ' techniciue” into Video, since the camera treatment merely involved a pickup of the President, those adjacent to him bn the rostrum / or .ocCasional shots of the 400-odd diners. The feasibility of adding supplementary film fbotage. to illus- trate or background vital points'was ever present In \vatching the President tilk, hut the monotony of viewing a maii talkihg^ven though it was the Chief Executive—^went on and .on, • Rose, WHAT’S MY LINET With Arlene FranoIs» Xouis IJnter- meyer, Dt. Richard Hoffman^ ex- Goy. Harold Hoffman; John Daly, . emcee':. Producer: GlI Fates ' Director: Paul JMoUroe Writer: Bpb Bach 30 Mills.; Thurs., 8 p, m. Sustaining CBS-TV. from New York ; A Mark Goodsoh-Bill. Todiiian ■produbtipn, “What's My Line ? ” makes an amUsing low-budget quiz- zei\ Format consists of having seyeral, persohs appear before a pahel, write their names and an- swer questions, from which the ex- perts have to guess their occupa- ; tiOns. : Program has a strong eie^ hvent of viewer participatibn; with the hOhie audience also trying to hjgure out the contestant’s line of work. Oh the preem Thursday ‘U6J the guests included a lady wrestler, dance instructor and tax , collector, and the fact that it takes amateur detective work to learn ’ their- vocations provokes home ih- teresi. About halfway . in each spot, however, the audience is let In on the guest’s trade, at which point the panel’s fumbling to hit it provides laughs. In one segment viewers are kept completely in the dark and have to puzzle out things ' along with the panel. Another variation consists of a ^‘mystery guest/’ with the panel blindfolded and having to identify the celeb from his voice and replies to queries. On the bpener, Elliott Roosevelt was usc^ iu this sppt, and a typical yock came When Har- pld Hoffman, ex-governor of New Jersey/asked, “Are you a Repub- lican?” ; John Daly handled emcee, chores competently, and the ^ panel was . - well balanced, including Arlene Francis, Louis ITntermeyer, Hoff- man and a medico, Dr, Richard Hoffmann. Overall production was smooth, although there were a few rough spots, such as Daly’s not making completely clear the way paneiites’ misses are scored. How- ever, “Line” makes the John and Jane Doe. .contestants Interesting, because tlielr speech and gestures (which otherwise might be unim- portant) become clues to theh\ oc cupations, ‘ Bril SNELLENBURG-TV JAMBOREE^ With Bill Hart, Nancy Nyland, Joe McNamara/ /Topntny ; Fergii^n ■ ".Trio-. - Director: Warren Wright Writer; Bob Howard 60 Mins,; Mon.-thru-Fri., 8 p.ih; : N. SNEtLENBHBG CO. WCAU-TY, Phila. (Robert j. Enders) PhUadelpjiia s most . elaboratly | tions . and film clips, the session COMMAND POST 60 Mins,; Tues., 8 p.m. Sustaining, CBS-TV, from New York This Is the most ambitious at- tempt to utilize television as an educational medium. Produced in cpoperatlbn with CBS’s speciail events and news staffs, this series is. being presented by the U. S. Army In order to train its reserve officers corps in the skills of mili- tary leadership.: Ordinary dialers, of course, can also peek in to get an Idea of how the armfed forces operate. It's more likely, however, that the aiyerage citizen- will be found tiihed into the Milton Berle show opposite. on NBC. The series teed off uhevertly With the educative value of the initial show a doubtful factor, trh- . avoidably j perhaps, the preem was burdened with long aiid dull pre- liminary talks by the high brass of all-three services, each one cover/ ing more, or the less same ground about the objectives Of the course. By, comparison, -the second half bf the program, which was based oh a military problem, was more in- 'tereStihg. Blit ;Uiis section was also matred by a pedantic approach. Presum-: ably aimed at presenting an actual combat situation, the dramatisa- tion had an artificial and schematic character which could not have much relation to the realities of war. Via use of live dramatiza- sponsored.^ d^time telecast > was supposed 'to portray the pre- Snellenburg-TV Jamboree, thedicament of a typical Army di- dience-partiGipation shpw. staged m i vision faced with hurling back a RAINBOW REY0E With Lanny. Ross, emcee; Eileen Chrlstopherson, Joan Brqndon, Joan Gamble Producers: Bud and Edna Gamble Scripten Shelley Dobbins 26 mins.; Mon« (20), 1:30 p. m. ' WMAL-ABC, Washington Color Television, Ihc., third of the colpr video systems to be dem- onstrated here, and the smallest company of the trio, braved a skeptical press hi its eastern preem and: acquitted itself creditably, Consensus was that, despite many quirks and wrinkles, the West Coast contender may yet prove a dark horse in the tinted TV race. After a rather disaistroits trial run. before the FCC in the ihorh- ing, CTI straightened out its ini- tial techriical difficulties sufficient- ly to present a viewable, acceptable show in the afternoon. Show was. transmitted from a makeshifil: stu- dio in the Statler hotel to WMAti, local ABC outlet, via standard black and White equipment. It was picked up in the Statler ball- robm on pairs Of recelvers-^each pair ' a standard RCA black and’ white projection set, with the same receiver modified to receive color next to it. Layout of the room, with separate biocks of seats in front of each pair of rOcciyerS, THE MAGNIFICENT MENASgA WRli Men«ii^« Skiiinik* EIleR. wick* .Peggy .Hilliab, .Xoouardi Bohperer. others Writers: Matt. Brooks, Louis Quinn* Shelley Reynolds . Director: Alan Neuinan Producer; Martin Goodman 30 Mins./ Mon. (20)» 9:30 pah. Sustaining NBC-TV, from New York Mbhasha • Skulnlki one of America’s major comedians bf th« Yiddish theatre,' who has had oc/ caslonal flings in English-speaking houses, may some day find his niche as a TV personality. But the half-hour preview which NBC showcased Monday (20) night in the nature of a “test” attraction, was not the answer. Oddly: enough, NBC pitted tho show last Monday in the time seg- ment opposite “The Goldbergs,’• but the comparison ends, there, despite the fortunate stroke which blessed the progranv, with the tag • “The Magnificent Mehasha/’ If, the scripters of this Martin Goodman package had a particular character in inind-^either warm- heartedr simple, naive br loyeahie —none of them jelled , on Skulnik’s video bow. On occasibh' the^is- tinctive coriiedic traits that Tftivb made him a favorite of the Yiddish stage gaye’ forth a glimmer,V biit it dimmed all top sbbn., Monday night’s prOgrani was j bogged down by such endless' dialog—and poor dialog^, at that— that there was/neveiv an opportuni- ty fo^. the Sfculnik projection to assert itself., Added to the confli- the department store’s aUditbrium, Mondays through Fridays, to to 3 p.m:, and aired over WCAU-TV. Program is emceed by Bill Hart, station annouheerf and is com- pounded of regular fare guaran- teed to make the lady shoppers howl with glee. Women are called up from audience to take part in quizzes, games , and stunts and barid name prizes are given to win- ners. Commercials are used to plug the store’s merch'aridise— largely leader items. The com- mercials are cut in frequently, usu- ally drajjatized with housewives’ chatter, oi* sometimes just demon- strated with spiel by announcer George Thomas. - Professional, talent is employed for show section of program, and includes the Tommy Ferguson Trio, one of the smartest Of the lo- cal combos, for the musical back- grounds. Nancy Nyland, who has been out with name bands, and Joe McNamara handle the vocals. Audi- torium setup doesn’t allow much sets. Usually a hypothetical aggressor landing om the shores Of Amertca. The mechanism!of the high com- mand was presented through the medium of staff .conferences. The general was depicted as conferring with his subordinate officers, col-: lating all relevant information, mapping the strategy and detail- irig the execution of the mission. Each step was dished up in an ob- vious manner with all the lessons already well known even to the rankest amateur. The reserve offi- cer group meetings in various cities, which are being held to co- incide with this show, may possibly learn something about superficial military procedure but very little about the art of war, This show will probably settle ^ down to serious business in future!, can certainly instruct the reserve corps and the public in some of the specific technical skills needed In combat. Herm, Was well designed to avoid the! sibn of this futile attempt to Gonfurion of cbmparison between j channel an essentiaUy funny per- yaripus images and to demonstrate J son into the proper idiom was the compatibility of the syrtem, . Show itself, abbreviated from its AM version because of statiOp !' suggestion of a voice that , some- times.. sounded by Henry Aldrich and at other times, like Uncle .Dayid an the way of backdrop is employed with props i brought in from the store; Tickets : are free, but due to the flood of; SPRING TRAINING requests they must be written for With Beriiie Barcher, Ppe Wee and picked up several days in ad- Reese . vahee.. i Producer-director: Dick Jackson ; Show is written by Bob Howard, 115 Mins,; Thuirs., 7:15 p.m. former Bob Hope scripter, and eiti-: Siistaiiiing phasis is on the sunts rather tlian j WAVE-TV. Louisville commitments, Was , well knR^ n- ^ angled for variety in preseritation ' Basically, the .chief error lay in of color, Format is becoming i ® of’ which standard for color tests, but Is as , cast Skulnik as the manager ol a effective as any other formula for ! restaurant who becomes driving home the^ point. Lanny I A”. ^ purse-snatching ROss emceed the. middified variety ! subsequent - court- show with simple informality. He | ^ tossed in enough witticism ,to keep i supporting .cast didn t parr the show rolling without intruding j tmuiarly help matters. Rose, dialog on the primary purpose ot' ‘ the program. Ross also added a /^®J^^^^N v®NOPpERS solo, “Antoiriette,'' sung in dialect , tji / / in his always pleasant romahtic - manner, Even this had a color Bhhiey angle, the blue of the French sail- . valmhan, Mario & Denise, Sani- or’S beret. Singbr mixed voices With J Beymour.trio ^ Eileen Ghristopherson; company’s Then, ^to^ provide i WNBW, NBC’s ideal TV outlet; Ross ^raised the ;Curtain . and did • copped a plum in thi.s newest the. fadeoiit to the tune of the . most ambitious daytime pro- theme-song appropriately enough | ^ram here to date. Show, a “Oyer the Rainbow.” Theme was. format under local sponsorship, further carried out by rainbow should do much to hypo cominciv trademark flashed on the screen cial interest in video, If it clicks, with company “commercial.” / and the cards are definitely stacked Chantoosey, garbed in a cdlotful; in its favor. Dutch costume, chosen for obvi- ; Robert Enders agency, originator ous reasons, sang “My Little Pink i of idea for the show, has a rtmilar Pants.” magician Joan Brandon,.! one. clicking in Philadelphia, with went through her. paces with a i another one under department of elderly gals attempting tp bal- j cal viewers. Fortunate stroke of 1 colorfully clad models. ance cards oh upper lip w'hile j luck was fact that Pee Wee Reese^ tickling each other With feathers.' DPdger shortstop and team captain, for which it has been specifically Contests of this sort are great for sustained yocks. Gagh. THE Practical parson With Bob Ber)ry, All-Girl Choir. Joseph Mitler Producer-writer: Victor F. Camp- bell Director: Jerre Wyatt 15 Mins.; Tues* (11)» 7:45 p. m. Sustaining: WBAL-TV^ Baltimore Televisiph has come up with a aemi-religious stanza fhat shows cTeativeness ih, the field of new prograniniing. This qu«irter-hbur has been tabbed by WBAL-TV With a wealth of , inspirational , philosophy and appropriate settings for viewers Who seek respite from the rushing tempo of the day. Bob Berry, who .has been spot- lighted on many other, local radio and television Shows, assumes the title I'ole and delves into spirited songs of past and: pire-sent vintage. His technique tends toward unser- hioh-like approach. Backed by or- ganist Joseph Miller, the all-giri choir attired in black and white ceremonial vestment of the church lends atmosphere without invad- ing the sanctity of personal wor- ship, Effective cloistered sets, with shadowy, indirect lighting techniques, give the small studio . a cathedral appearance and strike a definite note of reality to the entire presentation. Writing turned in by producer- scripter Victor Campbell is high- calibre copy slanted for ease on | FASHIONS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM With Leona Bender, Margaret Lacey. Norman Cx Netter. How- ard Cunningham Producer: Dick Perry Director: J. R. Duheah 15 Min.; Mom. 8:30 p.m. CST WOLFF & MARX CO. WOAlrTV, San Antonio (Bernard M. Brooks) The first live TV fashion show In South Texas has made its appear- is a local boy who winters with the hohiefolks, and while in town worked three shows on WAVE-TV. Other baseball figures in the area, such as prez of the Louisville Colonels baseball club, and major leaguers who make this their home, will appear on subsequent tele-^ casts. The lineup of personalities look promising. Nice production job by Dick Jackson, who used some imagina- tion in making the show realistic, was helped a lot by couple of sets devised by Mary Alice Hadley, of the WAVE-TV art staff. Miss Had/ New York TV producers Budf^^siSned, and shape,*? as a bonanza and Edna Gamble handled their the agency, as well a.s for sta- chores deftly enough, and scripter ; “ons, Shelley Dotons, borrowed from : ,,pP®hing show past Wednesday the French Broadcasting System, i ( 15^ was welLpaced and relatiyely did a capable job In background-1 smooth, albeit on the busy” side, ing the shbw with as little script: solid and needs little as pbssito. I revamping to shape into topnolch MiiAcfiAfi entertainment. J e r r y Strong’s •‘WHat’ ot tii, color*- /mceeing i? deft, wit/flashes of What Of the color^ hep showmanship. Strong, a pop- The system shows definite promr, uTar local radio figure and a recent ise. The color, on the whole, is i addition to station, wilt undoubted- bright and good. Fidelltjr, as dem-: ly build With the program. He is onstrated by such standard pipps on familiar ground with this type as an American flag, ^ is high. | of light banter and audience chit Weakness, as per this demonstra^; chat, but gave signs, at preein, of tion, lies in detail. Facial fca-| feeling his w^ay. tures and fine costume detail, such j / Ray Michael, who handles the ouubAi • X I , •m ■ X -i i • ...wx " uitv* i | ... x\UV .XVliUXlacl, VVIIU -MallLLLtfS Lne _ance_under fh6 sponsorship of the neat are largely los^. i commercial :chores, works right hot only for women, but for the entire-family. Norman C. Netter, prez of the company appeared on the prograrn and outlined 'the future plans and aims of the,series. He also stated that future airings would bring Into the living room T> • TJ....AI lufujex v/ci Lflfii- pnaxter ana maKing nis plugs lor Bernie , Baicher show seen in the Statler . the sponsor a.spainles.s as possible. the features of Uie cast program itself., divided into four fir/zv, and .blurrcd. Lanov with a different manu- to the diamond, and wi«l ^ base- poss’ tie showed up a true and fjeturer sponsoring each one, is ball sack as e prop,^gp ^ i sharp red; his eyes might have - a chaUenge to any announcer, tipn and answer _sesh. Q^^^^ any color. A model’s dress Wrinkles in the handling of eom- ui.ue bright, contrast ■mcrcm the latest iri niercbandise of all red and black, btit her Switch from the four co-spbn.sors, kinds as fast as ih^were received were standing on the. ueia fgee could hardly lau metri- With camera-s trained oh the prbd- at the store. : during practice, ory, exceiit a very hazy one This uct of the moment, plus the overall Professional models . displayed Needless .to say, Reese knows a failure to pick up detail was; drum beating for the Hecht Co. the latest in all styles of women's; lot of the answers to the technical, brought, home in the rhagic act of stores, beebmes soihewhat confus- wear. Nine models are being used baseball questions, and gave a Miss Brandon, which wa.y largely . ing, on each showing, being photo-; practical demonstration of how to' wa.sted because of it. Such de- Show cast, consi.sting of tenor grapihed against a variety bf sets, slide into .second, how to take a vices a.s a card trick requires far Sieve Olds, chantoosey Jody Milleiv principaily smaU intimate interiors lead off first and keep the pitcher, more sharpness than caught by former Miss Washington, Mario & suitable for the type Of garment j worried, and the like. It’s an easy ; the screen. Yet conversely enough., Denise, team of Arthur Murray featuredr, j exchange of‘baseball playing info,; the color at large showed ,clear terpers, and strpng trio for back- Leona Bender, fashion coordina- ! and packs plenty of punch for fans and sharp. : ground* as well as feature music, tor for the store* is commentatpr; pf any age. As to comparl.son between the are planned as “regulars.-’ There’s of the scries. She has a pleasant Barcher takes off soon for the three systems sbpwn to date, GBS sufficient variety in the lineup to speaking voice and describes the i:,QuisviIle Colonels training camp, still walks off with top honors for insure interest, with individuals latest fa,shions worn by the model gnff ^vill send back films made on ; brilliant, sharp color, with depth stacking up nicely in talent, in a minimum of words. She also fpe spPt for showing over WAVE-; and warmth. Whatever the weak-/ Giveaway angle arid audiehet Aveaves into her descriptiori .iust a ^V. Guy is youthfully telegenic,; ness of the color wheel .system, participation gimmick are woven slight mention of the stpre which gn(j( works easily before the cam-! fact remains that to the Jay eye in via the epntest device. Contesti is the priiy commercial actually eras* While the .show is currently it still remains : the nearest thing on ppening, show included a hat iSponsorcd, from show viewed ! tP the public’s standard, which, trimming race and a samba contest, '7i ^h/‘ siariza looks ripe for com- after all. is the technicolor o' ihe with audience acting as judges. the rlidio and video ride. Camp-! - in Oiova » hn hell ;iiso incorporates letters from ! it is PfoposedTo have a ^ es o n listeners. ^ (Continued oh page 39> mercial slptting. Wied. ’ theatre screen. Loire. Lowt.