Sally (1983 TV series)

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Also known as The Sally Jessy Raphael Show
Genre Talk show
Presented by Sally Jessy Raphael
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 19
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 45–48 minutes
Original channel Syndication
Audio format Monaural Stereo
Original release October 17, 1983 (1983-10-17) – May 24, 2002 (2002-05-24)

Sally (originally titled The Sally Jessy Raphael Show) is an American syndicated tabloid talk show that was hosted by radio talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael. It originally was a half-hour local St. Louis television program, debuting October 17, 1983, and ran in syndication until May 24, 2002, with repeats running until September 6.


Sally was the first audience-participation, issue-driven talk show to have a female host, predating Oprah by 3 years.[1] The program was an iconic part of the tabloid talk show genre that pervaded daytime television throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s.[2]

When the show started out it covered topics such as people with extreme religious beliefs, but in the later shows Sally and her after specialist Pat Ferrari moved on to more personal family matters such as pregnant and/or out-of-control teens.[3] Topics of the show varied wildly, from the controversial and hard-hitting stories to more lighthearted fare such as hypnotists getting guests to do funny gags. As a result, the content ratings for Sally varied widely from TV-G to TV-14, depending on the episode.[4] Drag queens were frequently featured on the show, usually in fun, and some even dressed as Sally impersonators. The show that garnered her largest ratings was dedicated to women with large breasts.[5]

In the early years of the nationally syndicated run, Sally Jessy Raphael remained a half hour show, but in 1986, Raphael expanded production of each episode to an hour's length. However, broadcast markets were allowed to retain a half-hour packaging of her show, which most opted for, especially since stations already had successful half-hour entries, no matter local or national, scheduled before or after Sally. The 30-minute edits resorted to running the closing credit crawls before segments wrapped up, often as guests still had the floor. While only a select few markets picked up the full-hour Sally shows in the 1986-87 season, an increasing number of stations made the option over the next few years, especially as networks started to free up their daytime slots. For example, in January 1989, WCVB-TV in Boston, which had aired the 30-minute Sally broadcasts weekdays at 11 a.m. since October 1984, finally opted to go with the hour-long version when the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope, which WCVB aired (out of network pattern) at 11:30, was canceled. By 1990, all stations that carried Sally were airing her shows for 60 minutes.

From the summer of 1987 through August of 1989, the show originated from the studios of New Haven, Connecticut's WTNH (Channel 8), where one large studio of the ABC affiliate's facility was divided to house both the talk show and WTNH's news set. In August of 1989, The Sally Show moved into the Unitel facilities in Manhattan, also home to MTV, and, later, "The Rush Limbaugh Show". In 1998 the show moved to production facilities in the Hotel Pennsylvania, also in New York City, where it remained until its cancellation in 2002. The Hotel Pennsylvania also provided facilities to The Maury Povich Show, which was owned by the same company as The Sally Show.[6]


The show was canceled due to low ratings, as well as the fading popularity of the genre as a whole, in 2002.[7] The rights to the show are retained by NBCUniversal.


The show was distributed by the following companies during the show's run:

In popular culture[edit]

The famous children's show, Sesame Street parodied this talk show and its host as Sally Messy Yuckyael, a Grouch character.[8][9][10]


External links[edit]