Screenshot of the show with host Dennis James
|Presented by||Dennis James|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|Running time||23-24 minutes|
|Original network||WABD (1948–1949)
|Original release||November 1, 1948– July 6, 1951|
According to the book What Women Watched: Daytime Television in the 1950s (University of Texas Press, 2005) by Marsha Cassidy, the DuMont daytime schedule beginning in January 1949 was:
- 10-10:30am Johnny Olson's Rumpus Room
- 10:30-11am Welcome, Neighbors
- 11am-12noon The Stan Shaw Show
- 12noon-12:15pm Amanda
- 12:15-12:30pm Man in the Street
- 12:30-12:45pm Camera Headlines
- 12:45-1pm Fashions in Song
- 1-1:30pm Okay, Mother
- 2:30-3pm Inside Photoplay (The Wendy Barrie Show)
- 3-3:15pm The Needle Shop
- 3:15-3:30pm Vincent Lopez Speaking (The Vincent Lopez Show)
The show was a "tribute to mothers" featuring a mix of interviews, game show segments, sketch comedy, and viewer letters. Recurring games included the "Mother-Grams," a series of poems that alluded to a historical or fictional character that the mother had to guess in order to win a small prize, and "Rhyme Games," in which James would canvass the audience, get a mother to start a sentence, and James would have to finish it with a rhyme or else give the mother a prize (in the lone surviving episode, James complains that the same difficult-to-rhyme "trick words" would often come up day after day, which he would often reject if caught).
The series was an early example of demographics and dayparting: as daytime television audiences were expected to be mostly stay-at-home mothers, Dumont commissioned the series specifically to target that audience. The series was sponsored by Bayer, who advertised Phillips' Milk of Magnesia Toothpaste, Double Danderine dandruff shampoo, and Bayer Aspirin on the existing 1950 episode. James often addressed the TV audience as "Mother", a practice he had begun when discussing the finer points of wrestling during his sports broadcasts. By addressing the TV audience this way, James avoided insulting sports fans at home or elsewhere about their knowledge of sports.
One DuMont episode survives and is available on the Internet Archive, with "honor mother" Judith Doniger Lipsey (1912–2007) mentioning her upcoming New York City recital on October 12. A contemporary New York Times article dates her appearance on Okay, Mother to July 18, 1950. Many collectors mistakenly date this to 1947, despite the show debuting in 1948. The episode in question likely came from Dennis James's personal collection, which held samples of several of the shows he hosted.
Clips of this episode were shown during Pioneers of Television: Game Shows (2008), the last episode of the PBS miniseries' first season.
- List of programs broadcast by the DuMont Television Network
- List of surviving DuMont Television Network broadcasts
- 1948-1949 United States network television schedule (weekday)
- 1949-1950 United States network television schedule (weekday)
- David Weinstein, The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59213-245-6
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, Fourth edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1980) ISBN 0-14-024916-8
- Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Third edition (New York: Ballantine Books, 1964) ISBN 0-345-31864-1
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