In a surprised to many, The International Academy of Arts and Sciences recently recognized the television program "To Be Announced" as the most watched television program ever. Producers of the program came from all over the world to receive the award.
Interestingly the earliest producers of the show, "To Be Announced" were those who created the "Howdy Doody" program. On January 23, 1948, during the early days of "Howdy Doody", Doody himself was unprepared for the live broadcast. Little could be done in those days to compensate for a boozing marionette that was unable to do his own live show, nevertheless when time came for the show, the television screen read,: Howdy Doody Will Not Be Seen This Afternoon, Instead A Program "To Be Announced" Will Be Broadcast. And within 5 minutes a volunteer ensemble of production aids was put together and performed live for almost an hour doing impromptu skits, impersonations, patriotic songs and one acrobatic display that ended badly..
"To Be Announced" was a sensation though never publicly raved as the stalwart of reliability and entertainment it proved to be over the years. "To Be Announced" also had its share of movie and television stars and entertainers of all types. Personalities such as Roy Rogers (though he did have his own show), Rock Hudson, and Sammy Davis Jr. up to day's icons such as Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington have appeared on "To Be Announced".
"To Be Announced" entered into syndication early after its inception. In fact there is no history of any network claiming proprietary rights to the program. The television magazine, "T.V. Guide" is noted as giving "To Be Announced" its first formal recognition as a legitimate program with its May 19, 1956, edition showing "To Be Announced" as being broadcast on NBC at 7 pm that evening.
As independent stations began broadcasting they often found themselves heavily supplemented with the "To Be Announced" program, particularly during the 1960's-1980's. Even today "To Be Announced" is still listed as a regular program in the United States and the rest of the world. Congratulations "To Be Announced", you made television history!