WOW!!!! Thanks bpatrick
That explains so much now.
I knew a lot about the daytime strength of NBC in the early to mid 1970's, but I had never
understood what Harding Lemay (HW Another World) meant in an interview where he said
the "morning juggernaut" was yanked out from under the soaps which caused ratings decreases
from poor lead-ins.
I kept wondering, well what the heck other than DOOL was the lead in?
So NBC had a powerhouse game show line up much like "Price Is Right" for CBS today.
Yeah, you're right. That's sad.
It looks to me like that network has never been too smart about daytime t.v. This latest idea
to launch a bunch of news and information stinks really bad. Isn't that what MSNBC is for??
Why bore the heck out of us?
Thanks for the details, partner (
LOL, I'm saying that in a John Wayne way, bud).
The influence of Pat Weaver also still hovers over NBC daytime. NBC had a strong block of radio soaps (Stella Dallas, Just Plain Bill, even Guiding Light and Ma Perkins before they switched to CBS), but when television came along Weaver didn't want to do the same things NBC had been doing on radio. He went in heavily for personality-driven shows like the Today show, the original Home show (Hugh Downs and Arlene Francis), and variety shows with Kate Smith and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Meantime, over at CBS, Bill Paley (a true radio fan) felt that what had worked on CBS radio could work on CBS television: Arthur Godfrey in the morning,
a soap block (different from the one on CBS radio, except for GL, which aired on both from 1952-56) and Art Linkletter in the afternoon. Paley turned out to be the big winner; most of Weaver's shows were a bust, and when he was finally turned out of his job in 1956, NBC chose to concentrate on a form largely ignored on CBS:
game shows. Consequently, NBC never really made a strong commitment to soaps;
only Days, The Doctors, and Another World lasted more than ten years, and some (especially in the '50s) were gone almost as soon as they came on the air.
ABC's long-range plan was to duplicate CBS, but since it didn't have a full daytime schedule until 1958, and needed instant credibility, it went largely with game shows in the early years; as a rule, a game will catch on right away or not at all, while a soap needs at least 18 months to prove itself. ABC finally put on its first soap, General Hospital, in 1963, and we all know how committed ABC has been to the form since then.
But NBC did have some great games in the early '70s: Concentration, Sale Of The Century, Hollywood Squares, Jeopardy!, Who, What Or Where, and a pretty good one in Three On A Match. Thus a strong lead-in for NBC's soaps. From about 1970 to 1973 everything seemed to click for NBC daytime, but Lin Bolen took care of that...even though Pat Weaver planted the seed for NBC's daytime struggles as far back as 1950.