America (U.S. TV series)
America was an American lifestyle and variety talk show that aired weekday afternoons in syndication during the 1985-86 television season. The program premiered on September 16, 1985 and was initially hosted by Stuart Damon, Sarah Purcell, and McLean Stevenson with Charlie O'Donnell announcing. America was recorded before a live studio audience.
America was a production of Paramount Domestic Television, who also distributed the series.
Each show began with O'Donnell saying "good afternoon and welcome to America," then giving the date and a rundown of the topics covered by the show in the sixty minutes to come. After that, the hosts were introduced and the show began. Feature stories included focuses on people, places, and trends, as well as an interview segment with a celebrity. Some stories were presented by reporters working for the affiliate stations; for example, the December 18, 1985 episode featured a story about a Little Rock, Arkansas girl in need of a liver transplant that was presented by then-KATV reporter Greg Hurst.
Paramount sold America to stations from various ownership groups. This included all five of CBS' owned and operated stations (WCBS-TV, WCAU-TV, WBBM-TV, KMOV-TV, and KCBS-TV), ABC O&O KGO-TV, and stations belonging to Post-Newsweek Stations including their largest affiliate, WDIV-TV.
From the beginning, America could not find an audience in what was already a crowded daytime television market. Co-host Stuart Damon left the series early on, and in December 1985 the show was cancelled after many of its affiliates, led by CBS' O&Os, dropped it due to the continued ratings slide. McLean Stevenson was dismissed from America by Paramount shortly after the announcement was made, and the December 20, 1985 show was his last. Sarah Purcell hosted for two additional weeks to wrap up the series, which ended on January 3, 1986 after fifteen weeks.
- America, December 18, 1985, Paramount Television
- Broadcasting Magazine issue from January 14, 1985, pages 68 and 69.