In 1954, Louisville Loved Liberace

In the mid-1950s, Variety tracked the performance of syndicated TV shows by publishing the ratings for those shows in many markets. One of them was Louisville.

This is from July 1954, and as you can see, "Liberace," airing on WAVE on Wednesday nights, was the ratings champ by a mile, more than 24 points ahead of "Ramar of the Jungle," airing on WHAS on Tuesday nights. Noting the competition is also interesting -- "Liberace," a big favorite with women viewers, was outpacing boxing matches known as "Blue Ribbon Bouts" (sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer). "Ramar" was leading, by a wide margin, the network dancing show "Arthur Murray Party." And the hysterical historical anti-Communist drama "I Led Three Lives" led the locally-produced "Pee Wee King Show" on WAVE. Let's also note the connection of longtime WAVE announcer Bob Kay to two items on this list -- he was the announcer on "The Pee Wee King Show," doing commercials for Oertel's 92 Beer, and he was the host of "Pop the Question," a locally produced game show being beaten up by "The Cisco Kid" every Sunday afternoon. ("Question" was gone by the fall.)     

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