On Friday, November 16th, TVLAND Television Network will be airing a two hour special; also featured in Entertainment Weekly Magazine, Counting the 50 Greatest TV Icons. Johnny Carson is rated as number one. Once again, I am perplexed of something I could easily predict and that is that a forgotten giant in television history was left out. Does it mean that younger writers have no sense of history and cannot remember anybody who existed before their time on earth? That is about the only excuse I can give the omission of Arthur Godfrey. At one time he was called “Mr. CBS.”
In the 1950’s he was the biggest performing asset of CBS radio and television and accounted for twelve percent of the network’s annual revenue. Time Magazine called him “The Greatest Salesman Who Ever Stood Before a Microphone.”
Not to see him listed amongst the top five TV people in television history is sad but also suggests the quality of the survey.
I have only one fact to mention and then leave to you who is reading this, the judgment.
In 1953, on one of the three shows that Arthur Godfrey had on radio and television, he walked out before a television camera and received one of, if not the biggest share audience in television history. 91.4% of all those watching television that evening were tuned in to see him!
I think this Friday evening, I’ll be spending my time reading one or two books.