The Mike Douglas Show was first broadcast live in 1961 from the studios of KYW-TV (owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting Company) in Cleveland, Ohio as a local program (Mike Douglas's salary was $400 per week). The show offered a wide variety of guests, ranging from Richard Nixon to the Rolling Stones. Most of the guests, though, were entertainers (singers and/or musicians) along with a fair share of comics.
The show is probably MOST noted for its exposure and introduction of (now) famous musical acts and singers, including Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin. Regretfully, Westinghouse taped over the Streisand shows to produce editorials. (These yet-to-be-famous performers were given a package deal that, after appearing on the show, would perform at a now-defunct night club in suburban Lakewood called The Chateau.)
The show also showcased all of the latest rock groups of the 1960s. These groups ranged from "The Box-Tops" (1968), "Herman's Hermits" (1965 and 1967), the "Strawberry Alarm Clock" (1967), "The Turtles" (1968 and 1969) to John Lennon and "The Plastic Ono Band" (1972). A true example of the amazing cross section of guests who appeared on any particular show was when "The Turtles" appeared on the same show with comedic actor Ted Knight, and author, Truman Capote. In the words of Howard Kaylan (of the Turtles), "Not too shabby."
In August, 1963, The Mike Douglas Show went into national syndication with a total of 5 local markets (Westinghouse owned local TV stations in Baltimore, San Francisco, Boston and Pittsburgh) airing the program.
Following Westinghouse's victory in a lawsuit against NBC in June of 1965, The Mike Douglas Show moved to a basement studio (142 seats) at 1619 Walnut St. in Philadelphia. (This was the new home of KYW, owned and operated by Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, Group W Productions). The show discontinued live broadcasts in early 1965 following some "off-color" language verbalized by guest Zsa Zsa Gabor. At this time the show's popularity grew extensively and by 1967 the show reached 171 markets, had over 6,000,000 daily viewers (mostly housewives), and was bringing in over $10.5 million annually in sponsors' fees. At this time Mike Douglas's salary was over $500,000 annually. Also in 1967, the program received an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Daytime Television, the first such award ever given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The show remained at the Walnut St....