Being in the right place at the right time
to just by chance benefit
from someone else’s success
When the television show M*A*S*H first went on the air in 1972, it aired on CBS. Bill Paley was the chairman of CBS, and his wife was Babe.
M*A*S*H fared badly during its first season. Critics panned it. The ratings weren’t good. M*A*S*H was headed for cancellation until Babe Paley had a small success with her husband Bill. Babe told Bill she liked M*A*S*H and wanted it to stay on the air. M*A*S*H stayed on the air and eventually moved up from its 40th ranking out of 84 television shows to the top 10 with 33 million viewers a week. One hundred six million watched the series finale in 1983. The finale for M*A*S*H became the “highest-rated TV episode in primetime history.”
Babe’s success with her CBS chairman husband Bill created serendipitous success for everyone who worked on the show, for all of the fans who found the show, and for the advertisers who made money from buying commercials during the show.
Thank you, Babe. I’m one of those millions.
“‘M*A*S*H’ finale 30th anniversary : The inside story behind the most-watched TV episode of all time”
February 28, 2013
Paula M. Kramer
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