The Jack Carter Show

NBC (ended 1951)




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The Jack Carter Show

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This series was part of NBC's big "Saturday Night Revue" with "The Jack Carter Show" being the first hour of the extravaganza. Telecast from Chicago, young comedian Jack Carter headed up this comedy/variety series. (The other part of the "Revue" was "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca from New York.) Carter opened with a comedy monologue before launching into comedy sketches and songs from guests. The series specialized in satires of other programs, giving Uncle Miltie, Arthur Godfrey and the like a working over. This program was initially telecast from Chicago as a result of protests lodged by the Dumont network with the FCC. NBC planned to beam the full 2-1/2 hours of programming from New York to its affiliates in both the East Coast and the Midwest regions. At the time, there was only one coaxial cable connecting the East networks with the Midwest networks and only one program at a time could be sent in each direction. This would prevent Dumont from airing its one Saturday night hit, "Cavalcade of Stars", any farther west than Pittsburgh. Dumont argued that NBC could effectively monopolize the network business just by spending the most money to buy the most time on the coax. The FCC's solution was for NBC to give up the east-to-west feed during the first hour of primetime. This allowed Dumont to send "Calvacade" to the Midwest. The FCC said NBC could use the west-to-east feed so they simply based "The Jack Carter Show" in Chicago and were able to send it out live to both the East and Midwest anyway. NBC invested a considerable amount of money to get the show off the ground, buying the 1,300 seat Studebaker Theater from the Shuberts and spending approximately $100,000 to renovate it for television. The network's advertising goal for "The Saturday Night Revue" was to line up 15 advertisers, each spending $76,000 for 13 weeks and receiving a 60 second weekly spot. After a strong start, the ratings began to sag, so "The Jack Carter Show" moved to New York in the fall where it finished its run. (Info sources include "The Billboard" 2/18/1950)moreless