Afternoon Film Festival

ABC (ended 1957)


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Afternoon Film Festival

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ABC in the 1950's slowly built their daytime schedule hour by hour. After the success of the Mickey Mouse Club (which aired from 5 to 6 PM) the network decided to program the 3 to 5 PM slot with old feature films. The problem was none of the US studios was interested in selling their backlog of old features to television. After much searching ABC finally found a seller in the J. Arthur Rank studios of the UK. Afternoon Film Festival presented a package of 100 Rank features. While a few of the movies had big stars like Sir Laurence Olivier and David Niven, most were second-rate pictures starring actors who were totally unknown to U.S. audiences. As a result Afternoon Film Festival failed to get good ratings. ABC noticed that their Philadelphia affiliate was getting great ratings with a local music and dance show, and so in the fall of 1957 the network replaced the British movie package with American Bandstand. The idea of TV networks showing feature movies would survive though, as Saturday Night at the Movies...moreless