Friday, July 15, 2011


The Fall of 1967 in America preceded the Winter of our discontent.

It was a time of social upheaval and political turbulence. But it was only a prelude to 1968, the year that the very fiber of American culture was tested.

Save the violence that played out on network, evening newscasts at dinner time or the occasional documentary that focused on the political tumult that people confronted at home or those public television,talk programs that examined the determination and capabilities of our enemies, prime time programming was almost oblivious to the real life challenges that caused angst among the viewers.

Private eyes and gentlemen spies were played for satire and sex.Sitcoms focused on the mores of marriage and the amenities of small town life.

Long before the 1971 debut of Norman Lear's, groundbreaking ALL IN THE FAMILY, broadcast networks valued non-controversial programs above all.

In 1967,Tiffany Network executives would famously battle their own SMOTHERS BROS. COMEDY HOUR production team , over content felt to be ,both, lurid and seditious.

But,in the 1960's,the awful truth of America's social and political revolution never really penetrated network television's daytime diet of soap operas, game shows and tv chefs.

In syndication, Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin chatted with the towering figures of politics, arts and literature.But not on the networks, where daytime was still designed to be an idyllic fantasy land for the housewives and children.

CBS,whose network reached deep into rural America, while NBC cultivated urban viewers and ABC embraced the young audience , believed that a mature, engaging word game, showcasing stars of stage, screen and (CBS)television would score in a big way.

PASSWORD, produced by the Goodson-Todman game show factory,was elegant in its simplicity and fun for people at home,who would participate, just by yelling back at the screen.

Affable and Urbane and The late Allen Ludden was the ideal host for the smart and sophisticated game show.

It was all the better when he was given able support from his radiant wife,the vibrant and versatile Betty White. As you'll see below,their personal and professional chemistry was evident and alluring. NY Giants football legend and iconic sportscaster, Frank Gifford , brought a strong , yet stoic presence to the shows usual,but eclectic mix of stars and everyday people. In the clips below, you'll see a special edition of the show, featuring NFL players and performers from the Ice Follies.

Posted here from the INDY 7888 YOU TUBE site are three clips that
constitute a special,Sunday,Prime Time, episode of PASSWORD. from 10/1/67. Enjoy!!!




No comments:

Post a Comment