The premiere of OPEN END WITH DAVID SUSSKIND on WNEW TV, now reduced to a two hour weekly Sunday night broadcast time slot from the original open ended time concept as presented since 1958 on WNTA TV.
On this Premiere show the discussion revolves around the RAT PACK, originally devised by Humphrey Bogart and now comprised of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.
On the panel discussing this topic with great candor are Jackie Gleason, Ernie Kovacs, Toots Shore, Joe E. Lewis, Marya Mannes, Dick Gehman and Lenore Lemmon, former girlfriend of George Reeves (Superman on TV) at the time of his death in 1959.
NOTE: This Archival TV Audio Air Check began recording when this program was in progress. It contains the entire first 62 minutes of the broadcast with the exception of the original introduction of guests by moderator David Susskind.
HISTORY OF THE SERIES:
Originally scheduled to premiere on October 7, but delayed one week.
October 14, 1958 - August 13, 1961
OPEN END with David Susskind: (WNTA Channel 13 Television)
September 10, 1961-May 5, 1963
OPEN END with David Susskind (WNEW Channel 5 Television)
June 9, 1963 last show of the season broadcast on WPIX TV.
October 13, 1963-September 18, 1966
OPEN END with David Susskind (WPIX Channel 11 Television)
October 2, 1966-September, 1986
DAVID SUSSKIND SHOW (SYNDICATED, PBS, and COMMERCIAL STATIONS, including WNEW, New York).
After an association of nearly three decades with Channel 5 in New York, the former WNEW-TV, later changed to WNYW-TV, David Susskind stopped producing the program in September 1986 because of its late-night time slot, from 1:30 to 3:30 A.M. Sunday nights. His audience like his iconic talk show dwindled not only in its following but in the ratings. Susskind knew when to quit. His last David Susskind Show aired only five months from the time of his death.
Open End with David Susskind was a break through talk show which literally had no time limit.
The premiere broadcast reviewed in Variety stated:
"In the blueprint stage, OPEN END was initiated on WNTA-TV on Tuesday October 14th the same night 'The World of Suzie Wong' premiered on Broadway. When the show is going slowly, then Susskind has the right to end it as soon as he likes; when it's going well , he can stretch it the night through since "OPEN END" is the last scheduled WNTA program of the night."
The show ended when host, moderator David Susskind, felt all conversation points were discussed. Some of these marathon telecasts lasted over four hours! Jean Kennedy was the producer during the 28 year run of the series.
The series premiered and aired on WNTA Channel 13 in New York for three years, an independent broadcast station, before it would become a Public Broadcast Station in 1962. A myriad of talk show guests, famous, infamous and unknown, found a forum on OPEN END. Subjects varied focusing on usually one topic...show business, politics, the economy, sex, education, crime, etc. Typically, many guests would discuss a subject sitting around a large table with David Susskind moderating, leading his guests with baited questions. On occasion a solo guest would highlight the show.
For the first three years, of its 28 year existence as a regular series, WNTA TV was home to OPEN END which originally began its broadcasts on Tuesday nights, switching on January 18, 1959 to Sunday nights...a future Sunday evening time slot of the week where it would remain until 1986, for the rest of its run.
After broadcasting with a two hour truncated format on WNEW form September 10, 1961 to May 5, 1963 a falling out and rift occurred between Susskind and WNEW management centered on WNEW's reluctance to air discussions regarding race relations in America. WPIX reacted with interest in bringing OPEN END to their flagship New York channel. For the last OPEN END show of the 1962-1963 season WPIX TOOK LAST MINUTE EMERGENCY MEASURES TO CLEAR TWO HOURS ON SUNDAY NIGHT June 9, 1963, featuring solo guest Dr. Martin Luther KIng, pre-empting regular scheduled programming (6:30-8:30 pm).
Open End was later cut by WPIX to one hour time slot. David Susskind not satisfied with the shortened format reconnected with WNEW where he returned to a two hour format with a changed program name.
THE DAVID SUSSKIND SHOW had its return premiere on WNEW TV October 2, 1966.
The David Susskind Show also found syndication across the country and each market would run the program at different times at their own discretion.
Most all of the telecasts were recorded on video tape, 2" quadruplex. Most shows were kept for a year or two like THE MOVIE MAKERS broadcast which was re-run on August 6, 1961 almost a year after it was first telecast on October 2, 1960. By this time the show was no longer without a time limit. It ran for a finite three hours long. Thus the re-run of the MOVIE MAKERS had some footage deleted from its original run which aired for over three and half hours, including commercials.
The re-run of "THE MOVIE MAKERS" was the next to last broadcast telecast on WNTA channel 13. On September 10, 1961 the show moved to WNEW Channel 5 METROMEDIA in New York.
Sadly, most all of OPEN END broadcasts (1958-1966), later re titled THE DAVID SUSSKIND SHOW (1966-1986), were wiped erased, destroyed, discarded...whereabouts unknown, representing most shows produced and telecast during the late 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's. Only a handful of OPEN END / DAVID SUSSKIND shows are known to survive from 1958 thru 1969. Hundreds of programs survive representing the middle 1970's thru 1986.
Open End with David Susskind was a unique break through talk with no time limit, rare during any time in television broadcast history, and never to be replicated in the future of television broadcasting after 1960.
On occasion only one guest would be profiled. Mostly shows were comprised of many individuals discussing one topic which included race relations, the draft, organized crime, the Hollywood scene, the politics of the times, sex-change operations, divorce, clairvoyants, psychoanalysis, prostitution, etc.
Sadly, most all of OPEN END broadcasts, later re titled THE DAVID SUSSKIND SHOW, commencing with the Oct. 2, 1966 broadcast, were wiped (erased), destroyed, discarded...whereabouts unknown, representing most shows produced and telecast during the late 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's. Hundreds of broadcasts circa mid 1970's - 1986 have been archived and are extant.
David Susskind interviews Arthur Godfrey on the status of television. Godfrey comments on the present state of television and its future. He believes that at one time he had 40% of the TV audience when he was number one. Importance of selling a sponsor. Susskind believes that the public should be more pro active and demand what content they would prefer to view on TV.
Arthur Godfrey states how much he has enjoyed doing the show. It has given him time to think in a studio talk show atmosphere.
NOTE: This March 15, 1959 show is the second oldest known program, surviving in any broadcast form, to be extant.
The video tape of this original broadcast would be used again for a repeat TV broadcast on Sunday, September 20, 1959. Then it would be erased.
The oldest surviving archived remnant is a December 23,1958 kinescope 20 minute segment of a broadcast titled "Method or Madness?" The topic, "method acting" with guests Michael Benthal, Ben Gazarra, Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Lawrence Harvey, Jule Styne , and Patricia Neal