America (U.S. TV series)

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Starring Stuart Damon
Sarah Purcell
McLean Stevenson
Narrated by Charlie O'Donnell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Paramount Television
Original network Syndicated
Original release September 16, 1985 – January 3, 1986

America is 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.[1]


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, KMOX-TV, and KCBS-TV), ABC O&O KGO-TV, and stations belonging to Paramount's production partner for America, Post-Newsweek Stations, including their largest affiliate WDIV-TV. Paramount's major selling point was the time slots they were trying to sell America for, with the intent being to have the show air in the late afternoon as a lead in to the stations' early evening newscasts. [2]

Despite Paramount's best efforts, America met with low ratings from the start. The syndication market in 1985 was becoming increasingly crowded as programs of all types sought to make their way in the ratings battle. By December 1985, co-host Stuart Damon had departed from the show and CBS was reconsidering its decision to air America on its O&Os. After thirteen weeks, with no improvement in the ratings, CBS announced it would be dropping America from their stations and many of the other station groups followed their lead. Paramount, in the face of this decision, cancelled America shortly thereafter and dismissed McLean Stevenson from the program. Sarah Purcell hosted the remaining two weeks by herself, and America came to an end on January 3, 1986.


  1. ^ America, December 18, 1985, Paramount Television
  2. ^ Broadcasting Magazine issue from January 14, 1985, pages 68 and 69.

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