What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

We're Getting Close To The Color What's My Lines

  • Avatar of BradHarris

    BradHarris

    [1]Jan 2, 2008
    • member since: 02/06/06
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    Does anyone know the exact date when What's My Line moved in David Letterman's studio (Ed Sullivan) and did their first color broadcast? This would be a lot of fun to watch hoping they comment on the colors and the new studio. Wonder if they ever mention Sullivan. I know the actual color versions of these shows don't exist and we can only imagine. But we can still feel want most Americans felt when watching on their black and white TVs...."Wonder what this looks like in color." Some things never change. Here we are in 2008 hearing them mention color and thinking, "I wish I could see his tie in color." The same sentence was uttered some where in the United States by someone watching WML back in 1966.

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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [2]Jan 2, 2008
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    The first color episode was EPISODE #830 of September 11, 1966. Unfortunately, none of the color videotape masters of those final 47 episodes exist today – and Goodson/Todman preserved all surviving episodes from that final season - as indeed, they had done with the entire series itself, from 1952 onwards (with less than a dozen from its 1950 premiere up to that point still in existence) - only in the form of black-and-white kinescopes. I can give some hint, however, in terms of attire, especially the men with their tuxedos: Whereas their shirts, in the B&W era, were sky blue, with the switch to color (I.I.N.M.) they started wearing light grey ( = TV white) shirts. The only unknown is what color the textured background was. Beige? Greyish blue? (As on To Tell the Truth, per the two surviving color videotapes from the final 1966-67 nighttime season, as well as the surviving episodes from the daytime edition.) Another way to imagine how the panelists and Mr. Daly would've looked in color (at least in the skin tone department) is to see those G-T shows that were preserved in color - the 1966-67 season of the CBS Password, for example, as well as the aforementioned TTTT.

    If any color videotape of that final CBS WML? season existed, they likely would've been in the hands of a private collector. This is most possibly why we have the lone surviving episode of the ABC version of Password (from 1973) to show on occasion on GSN-low audio quality (with "telco"-generated 50 Hz-5 kHz frequency response), a very pronounced color tracking problem at one point in that episode (where the reddish-orange background turns blue very briefly), and all. Suggesting that this particular tape came from one of that network's affiliates.

    Edited on 01/02/2008 1:24am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [3]Jan 2, 2008
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    My guess is if a color episode of WML does exisit in private hands it would be one of the "video taped" as opposed to "live" broadcasts from that season. Quite a few WML in 1966-67 were taped for later viewing (Most of the summer shows were taped) so its possible one of those tapes could have survived. By the way one segment of the color WML's still exisit. The opening creidts cartoon is the same one used for the later syndicated WML shows.
    Edited on 01/02/2008 12:22pm
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  • Avatar of BradHarris

    BradHarris

    [4]Jan 2, 2008
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    Great points. I guess the thing I was really wondering about the most is what was said on the air about the new studio and about the program being in color. Finally going color was such a big deal and I would enjoy just hearing their comments on the subject. Back in those days, since there were so few color TV sets, the on air personalities ususally did the best advertising that money could buy with lines like, "She is wearing a deep blue gown...I hope you are watching in color." It was a nice way for them to describe to the majority of the auidence what they were missing. Well, since we are still missing the color on WML even in 2008, we still welcome those kind of descrriptions. Are you listening Jon, Arlene, and Bennet? Your audience in 2008 wants to hear the details. And there had to be some excitement moving into David Letterman's studio. I wonder if that was mentioned. Of course they had been in several studios before.
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [5]Jan 2, 2008
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    ymike673 wrote:
    My guess is if a color episode of WML does exisit in private hands it would be one of the "video taped" as opposed to "live" broadcasts from that season. Quite a few WML in 1966-67 were taped for later viewing (Most of the summer shows were taped) so its possible one of those tapes could have survived. By the way one segment of the color WML's still exisit. The opening creidts cartoon is the same one used for the later sybdicated WML shows.

    That's not all; on a tribute website, they had the closing WML? title card as seen during the final season. As a hint, the background color on all the closing credit card/slides was light cerulean blue. Perhaps this was used for a bumper in at least the early years of the syndicated run?
    Edited on 01/02/2008 10:54am
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [6]Jan 2, 2008
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    Of course the first WML color episode aired in 1954 as a one shot event. While this episode is completely lost we do know how the panel looked for that broadcast. The front cover of the WML LP record pictures the panel in color from that show.
    Edited on 01/02/2008 9:49pm
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [7]Jan 2, 2008
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    Fascinating. Does anyone know where I can see the cover art of that record?
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [8]Jan 8, 2008
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    agent_0042 wrote:
    Fascinating. Does anyone know where I can see the cover art of that record?


    I'll email a copy to you now.
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [9]Jan 9, 2008
    • member since: 06/16/05
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    BradHarris wrote:
    Great points. I guess the thing I was really wondering about the most is what was said on the air about the new studio and about the program being in color. Finally going color was such a big deal and I would enjoy just hearing their comments on the subject. Back in those days, since there were so few color TV sets, the on air personalities ususally did the best advertising that money could buy with lines like, "She is wearing a deep blue gown...I hope you are watching in color." It was a nice way for them to describe to the majority of the auidence what they were missing. Well, since we are still missing the color on WML even in 2008, we still welcome those kind of descrriptions. Are you listening Jon, Arlene, and Bennet? Your audience in 2008 wants to hear the details. And there had to be some excitement moving into David Letterman's studio. I wonder if that was mentioned. Of course they had been in several studios before.

    Of course in 1967 that would have been Ed Sullivan's studio. Since the Sullivan show aired live from 8-9 PM it must have been interesting to see how the producers were able to clear Ed's audiance out of the studio while the WML audiance waited outside. Also the sets would have to be changed although the WML set was pretty sparse. I actually attended an Ed Sullivan show back in the late 1960's but I believe it was after WML left the air.

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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [10]Jan 17, 2008
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    Given we're in the final (1966-67) season of WML? in terms of airing, I have an important question - and a possible memory jog. I seem to remember that Gil Fates, besides being WML?'s exec producer, also was in that position on I've Got a Secret and the nighttime edition of To Tell the Truth. And not coincidentally, on all these shows he stipulated that the episodes be preserved as black-and-white kinescopes. However, two final season nighttime TTTT episodes (originally aired Dec. 26, 1966 and April 24, 1967) exist on color videotape (whether they're masters or dubs, I can't say). But here's where the memory jogging comes in. I seem to recall seeing, in the end credits, Bruno Zirato, Jr. credited as executive producer of the daytime CBS TTTT. Might that explain partly why those surviving daytime TTTT episodes, whether black-and-white prior to 1966 or color afterward, exist in videotape form? And of course, the other G/T show to survive on videotape (both pre-1966 B&W and post-1966 color), Password, was exec produced in the last half of its 1961-67 CBS run by Frank Wayne.
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