Television: Decline of the Comedians

"Personally, I think Sid Caesar is the greatest, but ..." The line has been echoing all season in Radio City and on Madison Avenue, in the top-level shoptalk about NBC's Saturday night Caesar's Hour, TV's best comedy show. TV bigwigs have not let their tribute to Caesar keep them from rendering unto the sponsor what is the sponsor's: the right to expect that so costly a show ($223,000 a week, including time charges) will pay off in a far bigger audience than its sagging ratings have reflected. Last week Caesar and NBC announced that...

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