Oom Pah Pah
One regular feature of CTV program committee meetings in the 1960s and 1970s was the competition between affiliates to have their programs picked up by the network. Each year, several of the major stations would produce pilots 'on spec' in the hope that the other stations would agree to have them included in the following season's schedule as programs whose advertising time would be sold by the stations rather than by the network.
The published 1974-1975 CTV schedule saw the introduction of a time period designated as "Trilogy", with each of three programs occupying the slot for 17 weeks. The idea was that this exposure would at least allow the producers to recoup their production costs for both the pilot and the series, and of course it was hoped that one or more series would have staying power for additional seasons.
The first of the Trilogy shows was Oom Pah Pah, which was hosted by Jeff Hyslop (who later starred in Chorus Line and Phantom of the Opera) and Ruth Nicholls, backed by the Bobby Hales Band (including a tuba) and featuring a variety of music and dancing performances.
Set in an Oktoberfest-style outside beer-garden, Oom Pah Pah played on Sundays at 6:30pm for seventeen weeks starting in September 1974, but its viewing figures were not large enough to warrant a pick-up for future seasons.
Written by Pip Wedge - February, 2003