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What do "Philco Playhouse," "Supper Club," "Amateur Hour," "Suspicion," "Dragnet," "Pete Kelly's Blues," "Music on Ice," the "Tab Hunter Show," "National Velvet," "Car 54, Where Are You?" "Sir Francis Drake," "Arrest & Trial," "Empire," "The Bill Dana Show," "Branded," "Buckskin," "Colgate Comedy Hour," " Wagon Train," " The Steve Allen Show," " Maverick" and other shows all have in common?

They all were pitted against TV ranking longevity phenomenon--CBS-TV's unsinkable Ed Sullivan. And, Mr. Sullivan, celebrating his 20th anniversary this month in 1968 in the same Sunday night period, shows no sign of slowing down.

When the gossip-columnist first bumbled into the TV spotlight in June 1948 as emcee of Emerson-sponsored "Toast of the Town," few people expected him to make it past his first renewal date.

From the beginning advertisers have not been among the skeptics. A succession of blue-chip advertisers have vied to pick up escalating talent bills. Most faithful backer: Lincoln-Mercury Co. Among the continuing sponsors in 1968 are Nabisco, American Tobacco Co. and Dodge.

Editor's Note: The then-longest running TV show was to go off the air three

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