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Old 04-10-2006, 04:31 PM   #1
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TV TV Trivia: MY LITTLE MARGIE

From Rick Mitz's GREAT TV SITCOM BOOK (1980): "The show premiered on June
16, 1952, as a last-minute summer replacement for I LOVE LUCY. Gale Storm--a
princess of B movies--was approached by Philip Morris [the sponsor] to star in
the show. No pilot film was ever made, and the program was slapped together in
two weeks. The critics blanched and deemed that the show was a supreme insult to the audience's intelligence. Yeah--the audience's intelligence was so
insulted that, for 128 episodes, they couldn't get enough of MY LITTLE MARGIE.
So offended were they that they helped pop the show up to third place in the
national ratings. In fact, in a switch from the normal pattern, MARGIE was made
into a radio show after it had debuted on TV; it reached the Top Ten on radio,
bypassing such standards as FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY, JACK BENNY, and BOB
HOPE; the radio program lasted two seasons.

"In the late seventies, Gale Storm publicly acknowledged that she had been an
alcoholic for years--and even took to TV again to promote an alcoholic rehabilitation center in the Northwest."
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
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Default What Rick Mitz didn't tell you...

...is that Philip Morris only sponsored the show during its original summer run (as "LUCY"'s temporary replacement in 1952) and its first season (1952-'53) on NBC {briefly in late '52** AND CBS {mid-season**. When they [and the network] dropped the show because of its so-so ratings on Thursdays at 10pm(et), Scott Paper Company picked up the series for its 8:30pm time period on NBC's Wednesday night schedule in the fall of 1953 (right after "I MARRIED JOAN")- and carried it for two years until they dropped it for "FATHER KNOWS BEST" in the late summer of '55. Philip Morris, however, DID sponsor the separate radio edition {different episodes for a listening audience, with a different supporting cast other than Storm & Farrell** on CBS [Sundays, 8:30pm(et)] until THAT ended at the same time as the TV show did.
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