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).
Open End with David Susskind was a break through talk show which literally had no time limit. 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, and prostitutes.
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.
Tonight's Topic: "Goldwater For President:" A triumph or disaster for the Republican Party? The effects of Goldwater conservatism on the outlook for the Republican Party are discussed by Senators Jacob Javits of New York, John G. Tower of Texas, and Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, Rep.Stanley Tupper of Maine and political scientist James McGregor Burns.
Host: David Susskind.
This is the second broadcast of "Open End" on WPIX-TV Channel 11 in New York City.