Crusade in the Pacific (appearing locally in 53 cities) crowds a broad canvas with vivid and exciting detail. More ambitious than its TV companion piece, Crusade in Europe, the new MARCH OF TIME series sets out to tell the history of the Pacific world from 1931 to the present day. It deals with the awakening continent of Asia and the fighting in Korea as well as with Japan's meteoric rise & fall. Included in the welter of history are such memorable vignettes as the chaos of Pearl Harbor, the raising of the U.S. flag on the summit of Iwo Jima, the cloud of smoke & fire above Hiroshima. To keep abreast of the news, MOT will not shoot until the last minute some of the footage for the last of the 26 installments.
Sound-Off Time (Sun. 7 p.m., NBCTV) alternates three comics (Bob Hope, Jerry Lester, Fred Allen) and one dramatic show (Dragnet) each month. So far, Hope has been noisily funny; Lester, noisily unfunny; and Fred Allen still baffled by the new medium. Allen made his usual acid jokes about admen and television, presided over three skits that didn't quite come off, gloomily croaked a singing commercial for Sponsor Chesterfield, but was unable to approach the comedy highs he reached on radio.
Will Rogers (Tues. &Thurs., 5:55p.m., ABC) is a five-minute, recorded echo of the homespun comic who died in 1935. The opening show, timed to the new tax rise, featured Rogers on taxes. Sample: "There's no income tax in Russiabut there's no income, either."
World News (weekdays, 7 p.m., ABCTV) has one considerable asset in Newsman John Daly. The newsreel clips and illustrated charts are better-timed and briefer than on most TV news shows, and the commercials, for Sponsor Pontiac, make only one interruption in the middle of the newscast.
I Love Lucy (Mon. 9 p.m., CBS-TV) is a triumph of bounce over bumbling material. Comedienne Lucille Ball romps engagingly through a series of vaudeville routines, gets adequate assistance from her husband, Desi Arnaz, and raucous support from veteran Actors William Frawley and Vivian Vance.