What's My Line?

Season 8 Episode 20


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 13, 1957 on CBS



  • Notes

    • (1) After skipping this episode in 2005, and not being part of GSN's summer 2006 airings of "WML?" episodes with people from the world of baseball as part of its month-long tribute to the Baseball Hall of Fame on its 70th anniversary (given Robin Roberts' appearance here), the cable and satellite channel aired tonight's show in regular rotation on October 18, 2008.
      (2) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH - AND WHAT ABOUT THE AWARDS? - Tonight's main sponsor was Helene Curtis. And in his opening intros, announcer Hal Simms left out the "award-winning" text of the introductory script, starting off with the words, "And now, let's meet our 'What's My Line?' panel." This truncated introductory wording would become standard on pre-taped "WML?" episodes between 1961 and 1963 and again from 1966 to the end in 1967.
      (3) Tonight's show marked both the first and last "WML?" appearances of baseball pitcher Robin Roberts and actor Robert Montgomery. Over his 19-year (1948-1966) career, Mr. Roberts won a total of 286 games. In his final year with the Philadelphia Phillies, in 1961, he started off the year with 233 career wins -- and ended it with 234 wins, in a season which saw the Phillies finish in last place with a 47-107 record. (Source: "The Baseball Hall of Shame" by Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo, published in 1985.) As for Mr. Montgomery, it was about six months after this episode, on June 24, 1957, that the dramatic anthology series "Robert Montgomery Presents" came to an end after more than seven years on the air (it premiered on January 30, 1950, only three days before "WML?"). Despite an impressive list of credits, going back to 1929, as film actor, TV anthology show host, director and producer, he is primarily known to today's generation, if at all, as the father of the late Elizabeth Montgomery, who became famous as "Samantha Stephens" on the 1964-1972 sitcom "Bewitched." Elizabeth never appeared on either the CBS or syndicated incarnations of "WML?," but did become a frequent fixture as a celebrity panelist on the 1961-1967 CBS and 1971-1975 ABC versions of another Goodson-Todman standby, "Password," as well as in the first months of the 1979-1982 NBC version, "Password Plus."
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As with last week's show, the end credits went no further than the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card after the American Airlines plug (their logo card was only shown for less than a second this time), followed by the animated "CBS eyes" identification. And as always, while this vintage CBS ident was a welcome sight, GSN's "crunching" of the end credits on its October 18, 2008 airing of this episode was clearly an unwelcome eyesore.
      (5) GSN's October 18, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the July 20, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis. This was the first of two "TNTS" editions on which actor/director/producer John Newland filled in for Gene Rayburn on the panel, the balance of which still consisted at this point of Arnold Stang, Bess Myerson and Joan Alexander. Bob Cummings was the celebrity guest. In an interesting coincidence, given Robert Montgomery's having been a mystery guest on the 1957 "WML?" episode that preceded this "TNTS" episode on GSN's "Black & White Overnight" block in 2008, Mr. Newland was one of the "summer repertory players" on "Robert Montgomery Presents" from 1952 to 1954. He would gain greater fame, however, as host and director of the dramatic supernatural anthology series "One Step Beyond" which ran from 1959 to 1961 on the same network, ABC, that originally ran "TNTS"; he would also host the ill-fated 1978 syndicated revival attempt, "The Next Step Beyond." - W-B (2008)

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