Television: Over the Rainbow

The most popular single film property in the history of U.S. television is MGM's 1939 The Wizard of Oz. When it was first presented on CBS-TV in 1956, Oz attracted 35 million viewers; last February the annual showing reached 44.6 million. Over the years, Oz has captured an average 53%~of all sets in use at the time (30% is considered high).

For such surefire fare, CBS has been paying MGM a bargain rate of $200,000 for each replay. When the network's option finally ran out this year, bidding understandably leaped somewhere over the rainbow. MGM asked for $1,000,000 per showing,...

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