The Music Scene (TV series)
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|The Music Scene|
James Brown performing on the program, 1969
|Written by||Carl Gottlieb
|Directed by||Stan Harris|
Paul Reid Roman
|Theme music composer||Patrick Williams|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Location(s)||ABC Television Center in Hollywood|
|Running time||45 min.|
|Production company(s)||Harris/Fritz Productions, in association with ABC|
|Original release||September 22, 1969 – January 12, 1970|
The show had many hosts, with comedian David Steinberg the most frequently-appearing one (Lily Tomlin as well.) Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows.
Existing promos initially used to sell this show to ABC affiliates featured the improvisational group The Committee, which featured actor Howard Hesseman (then using the name Don Sturdy), as well as the Rolling Stones. The promos implied that the Stones would be appearing with some regularity on the program. However by the time The Music Scene went on the air, the Committee was nowhere to be seen and the Stones never appeared on the show.
Surprisingly, despite the level of talent presented, this show did not fare well in Nielsen ratings. Advertisers of the era were more interested in shows achieving a "mass audience" than they were one whose audience was primarily younger people who were deemed as having less disposable income than the then-coveted middle aged, middle income viewers most network programming then targeted, and the program was cancelled mid-season. Two DVDs of highlights from the show have been released.
This program and the show that followed it, The New People, are extremely rare examples of U.S. network television programming designed to run for 45 minutes. Indeed, the peculiar length of these programs may have been a key reason for their failure, not just in the ratings, but with advertisers as well; to many an advertiser, there was no such thing as a 45-minute show.
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