TV's 'Playing for Time' plays big

TV's most harrowing and controversial drama in recent years, "Playing for Time," seems to have attracted unexpectedly large audiences despite advertiser skepticism about its popular appeal.

There were reports of boycotts, picketing, and even Molotov-cocktail throwing by some Jewish organizations protesting the casting of actress Vanessa Redgrave, a Palestine Liberation Organization propagandist, as a Jewish cabaret singer in an Auschwitz orchestra. But early overnight Nielsen ratings showed that an average of around 37 percent of all homes watching TV were watching the show.

Monitor television critic Arthur Unger says that, although national figures may change the estimates a bit, probably more than 50 million people throughout the nation viewed the show (which would be more than watched "60 Minutes," the previous week's highest-rated show). Its success, and that of "Shogun," may usher in a new era of literate, "sophisticated" mass entertainment on the commercial networks.

Along those same lines, Monday's premier of the complex Alec Guinness in John le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" seems to have garnered the highest ever won by a miniseries premiere on PBS.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK