Hour Glass

NBC (ended 1947)


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Hour Glass

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At a time when only eleven television stations were on the air, this variety program was truly a pioneering effort. Standard Brands coughed up the unprecedented sum of $200,000 in this experiment to see what what worked (and what didn't) in the new medium. Helen Parrish was the hostess of the series which originated from a small studio at NBC's headquarters in Rockefeller Center in New York City. (Entertainer Jay Marshall, recalling his appearance on the show in an article in "Billboard" 6/14/1947 said the studio measured 40x60 feet.) Reviews of the early episodes were harsh, complaining of the program's lack of continuity to tie the acts together and of bad camera work that, for example, would show dancers only from the waist up. Those in charge learned quickly; by the end of its run, reviews were glowing. The network's stations were in New York, Philadelphia and Schenectady, though it's not clear the program was seen on the whole net at the beginning.moreless