Synopsis by Julie Clark
Hosted by Dick Cavett, this series featured interviews with people from the world of art, show business, and public affairs. A provocative, amusing, and revealing show, it went through several permutations, beginning with a 90-minute-per-day, five-day-per-week run from March 1968 through January 1969, then running in prime time as a summer series from May 1969 through September 1969 (when episodes were one hour each), then running from December 1969 through December 1972 (when episodes reverted to the original 90-minute length). Guests included actors Fred Astaire, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, and Anthony Quinn; musicians John Lennon and Yoko Ono; artist Salvador Dali; philosopher Paul Weiss; actor and comedian Groucho Marx; writer/director Woody Allen; and many, many others. The program, despite outstanding critical reviews, received consistently low Nielsen ratings, and for this reason, it eventually folded amid enormous controversy that included 15,000 letters being sent in protest to ABC and advertisements run on network affiliates pleading with viewers to "Save the Dick Cavett Show." Unfortunately, the efforts to save the show from cancellation failed, and the program ended its regular appearances with the December 29, 1972, episode. It aired irregularly, as part of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment, starting in January 1973, then left the network altogether in 1975.