Television: On with the Show

For five years the Ford Foundation has stood like a rock of gold behind TV's Omnibus. "We were operating," says Omnibus' Executive Producer Robert Saudek, "with what Justice Holmes called 'the fighting significance of guarantees.' " What Saudek meant was that Omnibus, with Ford's "venture capital" behind it, could fight the mediocrity of TV and "raise the level of American taste." Saudek and Omnibus made such a good start at both objectives that last week the foundation decided to abandon its "experiment" and sent Omnibus into the cold world of commercial TV —with its blessings.

The show's full property rights fell to...