Leave It to the Girls

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Leave It to the Girls
Genre Talk show
Created by Martha Rountree
Presented by Paula Stone
Maggi McNellis
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Running time 23 minutes
Original network NBC (1949–1951)
ABC (1953–1954)
Syndicated (1961–1962)
Syndicated (1981-1982)
Picture format Black-and-white
Original release April 27, 1949 (1949-04-27) – March 27, 1954 (1954-03-27)

Leave It to the Girls is an American radio and television talk show, created by Martha Rountree, and broadcast, in various forms, from the 1940s through the 1980s.

Broadcast details[edit]

Radio version[edit]

The series was originally a radio program airing on the Mutual radio network starting in 1945 with hostess Paula Stone. The show was created by Meet the Press creator Martha Rountree as a serious-minded discussion of the problems of career women, but soon became a comedic commentary on love, romance, and marriage from an almost-all female panel — one man was always on the panel to provide the male viewpoint.[1]

Television versions[edit]

The NBC television network broadcast the show April 27, 1949, to December 30, 1951; Maggi McNellis replaced radio show hostess Paula Stone.[2] Later, the series left NBC and was picked up by the ABC television network, who broadcast it from October 3, 1953, to March 27, 1954.[2]

A syndicated weekday daytime version, also hosted by Maggi McNellis, was broadcast 1961-62.[3]

Another version, called Leave it to the Women, produced by Chuck Barris, and hosted by Stephanie Edwards, aired 1981-1982 in syndication.[1]


Stage and film actress Paula Stone was one of the hostesses for the radio version of the show, along with Elissa Landi and Maggi McNellis. The NBC, ABC, and the 1960s television versions were all hosted by Maggi McNellis, a 1930s supper club singer, a 1940s radio show hostess for her own shows, and a New York City society hostess through the 1980s. All the female panelists could be characterized as "glamorous, well-dressed, showbiz types".[3] Some of the female television panelists were Eloise McElhone (1921-1974), Vanessa Brown, Florence Pritchett, Lisa Ferraday, Ann Rutherford, Harriet Van Horne, and Janet Blair. McElhone was also host of the DuMont series Quick on the Draw and Eloise Salutes the Stars.

Among the men appearing as the solitary male presence on the television panel were George Brent, Burt Lancaster, Morey Amsterdam, Henry Morgan, and George JesselJohn Henry Faulk was the permanent male panelist in the primetime television show's last year, 1954. The male seemed to be at a disadvantage against the chattering women, as the only way he could manage to break into their constant babbling was to toot a toy horn.[4]

Stephanie Edwards was the hostess for the all-female version of the show in 1981 and 1982. Producer Chuck Barris originally had filmed the pilot for sale to the NBC network, but later bought back the rights and syndicated the show. A sampling of the guests from one show [5] were TV journalist Shana Alexander, singer/actress Della Reese, and 1966 Playboy Centerfold (and wife of Dick Martin), Dolly Martin.

Episode status[edit]

The October 21, 1951, television episode survives at The Paley Center for Media. The same archive also has several of the radio episodes.


  1. ^ a b Biography of Martha Roundtree on the She Made It sub-website within the Paley Center for the Media website
  2. ^ a b McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: A Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present (4 ed.). Penguin Books. p. 474. ISBN 978-0-14-024916-3. 
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Tim and March, Earl (2007) "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946–Present", Random House, ISBN 0-345-45542-8,page 587
  4. ^ Sies, Leora M. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Women in Radio, 1920-1960. NC, USA: McFarland. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-7864-6439-5. 
  5. ^ "Leave It To The Women", a civil precursor to "The View"? weblog dated September 23, 2009, from the Buffy W's blog website

See also[edit]

External links[edit]