Show Business: Perfect Boomerang

On paper the Federal Communications Commission's 1970 rule sounded, like an edict of Solon, wise beyond quibble. During the four hours of prime TV time from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (E.S.T.), the networks would be allowed only three hours, with the remaining time reserved for local stations. The local stations would be forced to come up with their own programming, the FCC reasoned, and hitherto untapped creative energies would be released. Said Commissioner Nicholas Johnson when the rule was announced: "I think television ought to be like a typewriter that's available to...

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