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Golden in Eyes of Beholder

August 26, 1995

Re "Remember the '55 Season? Pure Gold" (Calendar, Aug. 19): Its widely diverse selection of classic top-quality programming--now usually referred to as television's Golden Age--failed to note that certain headline-seeking government zealots preferred to think of this incredible wealth of entertainment as a "vast wasteland," and that it was this government tinkering that gave us today's network fare of carbon-copy sitcoms flowing seamlessly into one another, interrupted only by an occasional cop/lawyer/doctor melodrama. And now Robert Dole is at it again! Just think--in another 40 years, today's programming may look like a Golden Age!

MARVIN JONES

Panorama City

I read with great interest and nostalgia Roger E. Miller's story on the '55 fall TV season. However he completely forgot one of the all-time classics: the innovative, highly rated and long-running "This Is Your Life."

"This Is Your Life" started on radio in 1947, switched to television in 1952 and ran on NBC through 1961 and in syndication and as an NBC special to this date. "This Is Your Life" was the first of the "reality" shows. It honored real people and was the forerunner for "Biography," "South Bank" and today's profile shows.

The show was so highly rated that churches across the nation changed the time of their Wednesday night prayer meetings so that the congregations could watch the show.

"This Is Your Life" was launched by its creator, Ralph Edwards, on BBC London in 1955 where it is still a highly rated weekly show 40 years later.

SUE CLARK CHADWICK

Hollywood

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