Audience and Sponsors
During the program's 1955 premiere, Foley asked, "If you folks want us to come and visit at your house like this every Saturday night, why don't you drop me a line in Springfield, Missouri?" In the next week 25,258 cards and letters arrived from 45 of the 48 states, and the show typically received 6,000 letters each week. In May 1955, carried by 72 ABC affiliates, it was the only TV show with an audience equally divided among men, women and children, according to the American Research Bureau (ARB). For 1955, ABC reported these achievements for the program, citing ARB data:
- Largest male U.S. television audience
- 28 percent more per-set viewers than the average of all prime time shows
- Largest per-set U.S. television audience, 3.40 persons
By early 1956, the Jubilee had earned a 19.2 Nielsen rating, and ARB estimated its weekly TV audience to be as high as 9,078,000. (The $64,000 Question had the most viewers, 16,577,500.) By 1959 the show was carried by 150 affiliates, but rarely won its time slot, competing with such heavyweights as The Perry Como Show on NBC; and on CBS, The Honeymooners, Perry Mason, and in 1960, the top-rated Gunsmoke. Its ratings were also hampered when a few major-market affiliates such as WABC-TV took advantage of network break-away cues to carry 30- or, when it was 90 minutes, 60-minute portions.
ABC promoted and sold the program as prime family entertainment. Sponsors included the American Chicle Co., Rolaids, Anacin (1956), Williamson-Dickie (1957–60), Massey Ferguson (1958–60), Arrid, Postum (1958), Carter's Little Pills and Sargent's Dog Care Products (1960); and was sold nationally by Ted Bates & Company. Joe Slattery handled station breaks and some commercials, often appearing during Jubilee USA with Massey Ferguson farm tractors and accessories in film clips or on stage.
The live audience was briefly part of the broadcasts when a camera would swing around to show the sold-out Jewell Theatre. Attendees, often nearly 90 percent out-of-state, would cheer and hold up signs or banners with the names of their hometowns. Producers estimated 350,000 people (from as many as 30 states on some nights) attended the performances at the Jewell from 1954–1960. Visitors also came from Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and Bermuda. Tickets had to be requested as long as six weeks in advance and it was believed to be the only network TV show with paid admission ($1.00 main floor, 75 cents balcony and 50 cents standing room). Second (non-broadcast) shows were frequently added to accommodate the demand during the summers.
The Jubilee regularly noted it was carried "coast to coast," and to promote the show, "personal appearance units," often including Foley, performed at state fairs and other venues in 42 states, Alaska (then a U.S. territory) and every Canadian province.
Read more about this topic: Ozark Jubilee
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Famous quotes containing the word audience:
“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”
—Mae West (18921980)