TELEVISION: Special Plans

The word for the new season is "special." Although it will not be put to the test until the fall programs start in September, its Madison Avenue magic already echoes through the offices of network executives, clacks from the typewriters of network pressagents. Announced NBC last week: more than 200 hours will be devoted to specials, not only haphazard one-shots, but regular weekly series in prime time (total advertising tab: $57 million).

The list is rich with names—Olivier, Guinness, Bergman, Booth, Robards, Merman, Hope, Berle. The live drama, the comedies, the variety shows they will star in will be balanced by...

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