WHAT'S MY LINE? by Gil Fates


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Fates was the producer of the popular game show (30 million viewers a week) during its 17 years on CBS and seven in syndication; hence this book is awash with nostalgia, only one or two bitter incidents interrupting the flow of sweet anecdotage. The pantheon of panelists--Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, and Dorothy Kilgallen--and elegant host John Daly are given suitable recognition, complete with brief bios and salaries. It is Fates' notion that Kilgallen was the sine qua non of ""Line,"" the network canceling it two years after her death, and that Daly's resistance to change was the final nail. The general reader (and viewer) may be titillated by Fates' stories of the endless search for bizarre occupations (6,500 in all) and the frenzy that ensued when mystery guests or panelists failed to appear for the live telecasts. Long segments on the nuts and bolts of program syndication are less compelling. Fates has a beguiling way with a showbiz tale, and while his pride in the old quizzer is everywhere evident, he doesn't make it sound more important than it was. For TV buffs.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1978
Publisher: Prentice-Hall