Radio: Big Beanstalk

Jack scampered up a tottering prefabricated beanstalk on NBC's Producer's Showcase and came home with the highest audience rating of any 90-minute show in TV history. The musical spectacle of Jack and the Beanstalk topped the two-hour reissue of Peter Pan with a 33.9 rating, attracted an estimated 55 million viewers —a 75% bigger audience than the average of all three competing CBS shows.

Jack's pull, however, was not always in proportion to its charm, which was sporadic. Top-heavy with talent (Celeste Holm, Cyril Ritchard, Dennis King, Leora Dana, Billy Gilbert) and electronic gimmickry, the big beanstalk was often heavy on its...

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