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Queen For A Day Total Television calls Queen For A Day, '...possibly the most maudlin game show ever broadcast'--and for good reason. Considered a forerunner of modern-day reality TV, QFAD was a successful radio program beginning in 1945 before airing on daytime television from 1956 through 1964. At the peak of the show's popularity in the late 1950s, NBC expanded it from 30 to 45 minutes to sell more commercials, at a then-premium rate of $4,000 per minute. QFAD opened with host Jack Bailey asking the largely female studio audience, 'Would YOU like to be queen for a day?' After this, the contestants were introduced and interviewed. Each contestant talked about recent financial and emotional hard times she had been through. The sob stories were rated on an applause meter. Bailey began each interview gently, asking the contestant first about her life and family, and maintaining a positive and upbeat response no matter what she told him. The interview climaxed with Bailey asking the contestant what she needed most and why she wanted to win the title of Queen for a Day. Often the request was for medical care or therapeutic equipment to help a chronically ill child, but sometimes it was as simple as the need for a hearing aid, a new washing machine, or a refrigerator. Many women broke down sobbing as they described their plights, and Bailey was always quick to comfort them and offer a clean white handkerchief to dry their eyes. The more pitiful the story a contestant had, the likelier the studio audience was to reach the applause meter's highest level. The winner, to the musical accompaniment of Pomp and Circumstance, would be draped in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe, given a glittering jeweled crown to wear, placed on a velvet-upholstered throne, and handed a dozen long-stemmed roses to hold as she wept, often uncontrollably, while her list of prizes was announced. The prizes began with the necessary help the woman had requested, but might include a vacation, a night on the town with her husband or escort, silver-plated flatware, an array of kitchen appliances, and a selection of fashion clothing. The losing contestants were each given smaller prizes; no one went away from the show without a meaningful gift. Bailey's trademark sign-off was 'This is Jack Bailey, wishing we could make every woman a queen--for every single day!' A 1970 short-lived syndicated revival of QFAD quickly fell into disfavor with viewers when it was revealed the 'contestants' were actually actresses.
Tags: Queen  For  A  Day  reality  TV  game  show 
Added: 24th February 2011
Views: 2149
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-02-24 
Today, I'd hope, this type of program would be denounced as tasteless exploitation of the downtrodden.
Posted by: Nanook on 2011-02-27 
Although I completely agree with Lava, appears to me the 21st century version of Queen for a Day has been transformed into just about every television offering not involving a fictional, scripted story. Seemingly every cooking and how-to show are merely background excuses allowing the producers to carry-out their real intent: making someone a winner, another a loser, etc. It's just that now the maudlin aspect has been shuffled-off into the background, so as not to cause any undo depression of those who still find these shows either entertaining, informative or inexplicably - both.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-02-27 
Only a handful of Queen For A Day episodes survive on kinescopes.

One exists in segements on YouTube. I couldn't take more than five minutes of it. I felt like I was a peeping Tom eavesdropping on someone's private life.
Posted by: Carl1957 on 2011-02-28 
I understand what you're saying Lava19664; however, if they willingly went in front of the TV camera, then they lost all rights to privacy.
Posted by: Cliffy on 2011-03-01 
Sounds like Oprah crossed with Maury Pouvich show!
Posted by: eric1957 on 2011-03-02 
Did you know that Jack Bailey was the original host of Truth or Consequences before Bob Barker took over?
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