Years ago, Mike Douglas and his production team created a daytime variety show that consistently drew huge audiences. It lasted about 20 years and at its peak was syndicated in about 200 markets.
The budget was small - especially at first - but the show did the most it could it could with what it had.
The guest list was a complete who's-who of American pop culture and politics. It was the kind of program you could tune into as a kid, an adult or a senior citizen and enjoy the experience. Douglas was a devout family man and his style, approach and character pervaded the program.
The music was first rate and the interviews were well-done. People didn't shout and talk over one another like they do on the THE VIEW.
Although it was called "The MIKE DOUGLAS Show", it wasn't all about Mike. It was about entertainment and information - unlike OPRAH which after all is all about Oprah. Every week, Douglas graciously shared the spotlight with a co-host who was there with him for 5 full days and they were prominently featured.
The only current daytime show that comes close to what Mike Douglas and company did is LIVE with REGIS and KELLY. Unfortunately, although Regis and Kelly are great, the producer is driving that show into the ground.
Sadly, the great Mike Douglas passed away today - Friday August 11, 2006 on his 81st birthday. He will be remembered as a good singer, a true gentleman and a great entertainer.