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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!