NBC Evening News for Tuesday, May 02, 1978
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(Studio) Spec. report on prime time programming on NBC, CBS and ABC.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(Los Angeles, California) Networks' attempts to try new formulas in programs for ratings wars and return to new shows based on original popular hit series outlined. Advent of sex into prime time described. "Three's Company" TV show cited as example; scene shown. ["Roller Girls" television show producer Jimmy KOMACK - says PTA knocked violence off TV, so sex has replaced it.] NBC's turn to Komack, creator of "Chico and the Man", who is turning to girls to bring in ratings, examined. [KOMACK - did "Sugar Time"! last yr. with 3 girls and new show has 5 girls; thinks 5 will do even better than 3.] [NBC executive Dick EBERSOL - knows popularity of "jiggly" shows at present, but thinks if nothing more brought to show than beautiful women, then programmers have failed.] Programmers' claims to control what viewers see through censors and apparent failure of censors to keep watch on amount of television violence shown detailed. Rise in viewer censorship of television as result of this, with orgs. such as Television Awareness Training (TAT), described. [TAT spokesperson Nelson PRICE - states organization's belief that television doesn't respond to social concerns of viewers.] Decr. in TV violence in 1977 and potential public outcry over television sex noted. [PRICE - cites concerns about sex on TV.] [NBC programmer Paul KLEIN - thinks there will be more sex on air, but there'll be revulsion to it. Sees shows that don't present it well being killed in ratings. Says people want sex wrapped in Americana.] NBC pilot for new season, "Joe and Valerie", and 2 losers of last season, "The Kalikacks" and "The San Pedro Beach Bums", mentioned. Popularity of girls in upcoming season described, citing exs. of programs called "The California Girls, The American Girls, The Cheerleaders, Legs, The El Paso Pussycats", and "Mother, Jugs and Speed." Comment of one television critic in advance of season quoted.
REPORTER: Tom Snyder