As noted on the errata page for Expense Account Item 18, in January, 2013 I was asked why I included "The Ellen Dear Matter", which aired on 1/06/1957 as an audition program in Volume III, Section 7. I had to really dig for this one, as there is no program clearly identified as an audition for Bob Bailey. After contacting my most knowledgeable sources, here is what can be determined:

First of all, I have found not ONE, but TWO copies of "The Ellen Dear Matter" script title page. Both scripts are from the KNX collection at the Thousand Oaks Library in Thousand Oaks, California. The script below on the left is the "Audition" script, on the right is the broadcast script. (Click on each image to open in a larger window)

Audition Script Broadcast Script
Audition Broadcast

As can be seen, the January 29 script is clearly labeled "Audition". But there is not a simple answer as to why. For example, just what do the following entries mean:

  • The notation "(REVISED)"
  • The addition of a carbon copy "AS BROADCAST"
  • The script date of January 29, 1957 - which is AFTER the program aired!

Also note that the two scripts list different cast members:

The script dated 01/29/1957 has the following cast members:
Virginia Gregg as "VI" and "PA"
Lawrence Dobkin as "PAT"
Harry Bartell as "ART"
Jay Novello as "JAC"
Jack Edwards as "COR"
Barney Phillips as "THOR"
John Dehner as "BURR"

The script dated 01/06/1957 has the following cast members:
Virginia Gregg as "VI" and "P.A. ANNCR"
Lawrence Dobkin as "PAT McCRACKEN"
Howard McNear as "ART"
Jay Novello as "JACQUES"
Jack Edwards as "CORRELO"
Barney Phillips as "CAPT THORSON"
Raymond Burr as "BURRMAN"

Note also that the audition script abbreviates the role name and the broadcast script does not. But the most telling difference is this:

  • The audition script only has a single date - January 29, 1957
  • The broadcast script has both a "CUT" date (December 6, 1956) and an "AIR" date (a handwritten January 6, 1957 covering the original date of December 30,1956).

The format of the broadcast script page also matches the format of all the other YTJD script pages I have (over 600).

I have also listened to the audio copies of "The Ellen Dear Matter". I have three copies from three different sources, and they are identical copies of the AFRS version of the program.
The programs I have are difference from most AFRS programs as they retain Bob Bailey's promo for the next program ("The DeSalles Matter") and they retain the rundown of the cast - the cast in the broadcast script!

There are still a number of questions as to what all this means, and the correct answer is not easy to educe, as all those concerned are no longer with us.


Thanks to the research efforts of renowned researcher and author Stewart Wright, we finally have an answer to the question! While researching another program at the Thousand Oaks Library, Stewart came across CBS correspondence which showed that "The Ellen Dear Matter" script of January 29, 1957 was (as Stewart wrote) "not a talent audition, but rather a "Commercial Audition" of commercials for potential advertisers. The products included food, cleaning agents, and cigarettes. In all probability this audition show was not broadcast, but made available to the potential advertisers and used to circulate to prospective sponsors".

So, thanks to Stewart, the mystery is solved!

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