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Multiple Years / Whats My Line - Syndicated Years
After a prime time run on CBS of more than 17 years (1950 to 1967), the popular panel show What's My Line? was resurrected by its creators as a syndicated program from 1968 to 1975. Beloved host John Daly was not interested in the hectic schedule of five shows per week (all done in one day), so Washington political reporter Wally Bruner was brought in as the new moderator. Classy Arlene Francis returned as a regular panelist. Bennett Cerf apppeared occasionally until his death in 1971. Soupy Sales became the regular male panelist. He proved to be an amusing and excellent game player who seemed to know every mystery guest no matter what field he/she happened to be in. The syndicated version was less refined than the CBS version. Games were deliberately shortened to allow the contestants to display their unusual occupations--something that almost never happened on the old version. Therefore if a contestant was a fire eater or a wine taster, there was invariably a demonstration of his/her talent. Bruner hosted WML for four years but admittedly was not fond of New York City nor the showbiz scene and was happy to bow out gracefully. Larry Blyden, best known as a Broadway actor, took over as moderator in 1972 for the show's last three seasons, and was much more comfortable hobnobbing with celebrities than Bruner was. Providing halfway decent mystery guests five shows per week proved to be a huge challenge. Executive producer Gil Fates charitably referred to some of the so-called celebrities as "owls" because often the studio audience and some of the panelists would quietly say "who?" when the mystery guest was not particularly famous. The final shows were taped just before Christmas in 1974 and aired throughout the spring of 1975. Towards the end, declining ratings and aging audience demographics made WML a tough sell to local TV stations. Blyden was slated to host Showoffs, another game show, when he was tragically killed in an auto accident while vacationing in Morocco in June 1975--which absolutely sealed the finish of WML. The syndicated WML simply faded away with none of the sentimental fanfare the CBS version had in its 1967 finale. In his book on the history of WML, Fates ruefully admits the last episode of the syndicated show was "a bomb." There have been no serious attempts to revive WML since 1975, although a retrospective program was made later that year--co-hosted by John Daly and Arlene Francis--to mark WML's 25 years on the air.






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Posted By: Lava1964
Runtime: N/A
File Size: 70.58KB
When?: 14th June 2012
Tags: TV syndicated Whats My Line
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