LOCAL NEWS CONNECTIONS: As noted below, at the time of her guest panelist appearance tonight, Pia Lindstrom was a reporter for San Francisco television station KGO-TV (Channel 7). At that time, the station's news director and main anchor was Roger Grimsby (1928-1995). In 1968, one year after tonight's "WML?" edition, Grimsby would be hired by KGO's New York sister station, WABC-TV (also Channel 7), initially to anchor its 11:00 P.M. newscast. Within a few months of Grimsby's arrival in New York, WABC hired Al Primo to overhaul its newscasts which had long lagged in the ratings, way behind WCBS-TV (Channel 2) and WNBC-TV (Channel 4). Primo, who at the time of tonight's "WML?" show was news director of Philadelphia station KYW-TV (Channel 3), renamed WABC's newscasts "Eyewitness News." He also tried different pairings of Grimsby and other anchors, including Tom Dunn, who would go on to work at WOR-TV (Channel 9, now WWOR) from 1971 to 1987, but it wasn't until Primo first paired Grimsby with Bill Beutel (1930-2006) that WABC's "Eyewitness News" really took off. The Grimsby/Beutel pairing spanned nearly 16 years, from September 28, 1970 until Grimsby's firing on April 16, 1986. One year later, in 1987, Grimsby went to WNBC, where he would stay until 1989, to do two-minute commentaries on their "Live at Five" newscasts. At that time, Miss Lindstrom was the station's arts and entertainment critic, thus for that two-year period, she and Grimsby were under the same roof for the first time since their days at KGO. - W-B (2006)
(1) "LIVE" WATCH: This is the 48th surviving kinescope of a post-Kilgallen live telecast to maintain the original "live" wording on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(2) Tonight's show was the second and final appearance of Pia Lindstrom on the "WML?" panel for what was left of its soon-to-end CBS run. She will make one more set of appearances on "WML?," during Week #13 of the syndicated, Wally Bruner-hosted version which was taped on October 1, 1968. During that week, Miss Lindstrom sat on the panel alongside Soupy Sales, Gawn Granger and Arlene Francis. During all her "WML?" appearances, Pia was based out of the West Coast, working as a reporter for the San Francisco ABC owned-and-operated station, KGO-TV (Channel 7). Ironically, after Miss Lindstrom moved to New York to live and work in 1971, she never made any appearances of any kind on "WML?" Even more ironic, in the syndicated program's last two years (1973-1975) on the air, Pia was beginning a nearly quarter-century-long run as a reporter, occasional anchor, and later arts and entertainment critic, for WNBC-TV (Channel 4), at whose parent network NBC's Rockefeller Center studios the syndicated "WML?" was recorded from 1971 onwards.
(3) During the intros, a bespectacled Henry Morgan unfortunately misidentified the call letters of the station where Pia Lindstrom worked at the time as KABC - which was, and is, the call sign for the Los Angeles, California ABC flagship station, also on Channel 7. However, he did correctly mention which city she worked in. And during Pia's introduction of Bennett, she starts off with the words, "If I had to choose a man at random..." -- a play on, and somewhat subtle reference to, Mr. Cerf's publishing concern Random House.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST: Around the time of his final CBS "WML?" appearance tonight, Jack Jones left Kapp Records, where he had recorded since 1961, and signed with RCA Victor Records, staying there until the late 1970's. His first album for his new label was "Without Her" (LPM/LSP-3911), the title track of which was written by Harry Nilsson who would go on to have two big hits -- none of which, ironically, were written by him -- "Everybody's Talkin'" in 1969, and "Without You" in 1972. As his run with RCA progressed, Jack's look evolved from the clean-cut appearance of the 1960's to the longer-haired entertainer of the 1970's. As the years went on, he added more contemporary compositions such as the Randy Newman-penned "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" and The Doors' big hit "Light My Fire" to his repertoire. It was ten years from tonight's show, in 1977, that Mr. Jones became famous as the singer of the theme song of the popular 1977-1986 TV series "The Love Boat." He would also remain a popular entertainer in Las Vegas throughout the 1980's and into the 1990's.
(5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: For the second week in a row, Rowland Vance is credited as associate director. And once again, on the February 16, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN ran the end credits in full screen mode, much to the delight of Black and White Overnight fans.
(6) A DOUBLE-DOSE OF HENRY MORGAN: Following the February 16, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was originally broadcast "live from New York" on March 25, 1963. It was the first episode in a month to originate from its usual base of New York, after three straight shows "on the road." And the regular panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson was back together again. The celebrity guest this week was songwriter Meredith Willson of "The Music Man" fame. - W-B (2008)