omnibus records, located in san francisco, releases 'indie rock' records on a low level distribution basis.

some of the bands on this label include henry's dress, flake music, and the shins (who are also on sub pop).
While Omnibus is all of the things mentioned in previous nodes, it was also the name of a television show that aired fifteen years before the creation of public television and is considered by many the role model for the creation of the Corporation for Public Television in 1967. Or, television as it should be? What’s so important ‘bout that? Well, the year is 1952. Color TV isn’t around yet and America tunes in their black and whites to a show hosted by Alistair Cooke. In the show opening he claims that the show will have “something for everybody.” An hour an a half later America had been treated to pieces of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, an original play by William Saroyan titled “The Bad Men, which featured a young Sidney Poitier, Witch Doctor, a Haitian dance accompanied by drums, and, “The Trial of Anne Boleyn, a play featuring Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer. Interspersed were also short pieces on x-rays and a mini film honoring Veterans Day. Quite the eclectic mix of you ask me. Omnibus ran for a total of eight seasons and had the distinction of being aired on all three of the major networks. Four years on CBS, one on ABC, and the final three years on NBC. Viewing audience ranged between 4 million at the shows inception and about 5.7 million at its finale. By the time Omnibus run had ended it garnished 65 awards, among them were included 7 Emmys. Views never knew what to expect. The show might present a single work such as an opera or a play, or might be broken down into as many as five segments. Regardless of the format, the goal of the show was to provide entertainment that educated. Inspired by a grant from the Ford Foundation, it was the first show of its kind and corporate sponsors, eager to link there names to quality broadcasting (unlike today) soon got on board. Some of the better known companies included Union Carbide, Scott Paper, Greyhound, and Remington. Here’s a short list of the various talented individuals who either appeared or made contributions to the show Actors/Actresses Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy
Helen Hayes
Burgess Meredith
Peter Ustinov
Charlton Heston
Leanord Bernstein
Jacques Cousteau
James Dean –his first TV appearance btw
Joanne Woodward
Sal Mineo
Ed Asner
Larry Hagman
Susan Strasborg
Peter Falk
Jonathon Winters
Mike Nichols
Elaine May Playwrights

William Saroyan
William Inge
Moss Hart
George Bernard Shaw
Oscar Wilde


John Steinbeck
Ernest Hemingway
Henry James
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Charles Dickens


Abraham Lincoln
William Faulkner
James Thurber
Grandma Moses
Frank Lloyd Wright
Amelia Earhardt
Pearl Buck

Unfortunately, after it fifth year, the Ford Foundation terminated its funding for the show. Omnibus managed to carry on for three more years through corporate funding but the end was drawing near. Due to the networks increasing demands for bigger audiences and higher revenues, coupled with no real underwriter for the show and the shift of television from New York City to Hollywood, sadly the end was now at hand.

Commentary – I wish I was around for that kind of network programming. For all the good shows the networks give us (at least here in the states), there’s an endless litany of “reality” based tv, game shows, quiz show, talk shows, and brainless sit- coms.

Of course Omnibus could never approach the programming genius of Fox TV’s “When Buildings Fall Down!” or “When Animals Attack!” but that’s another subject…

Om"ni*bus (?), n. [L., for all, dat. pl. from omnis all. Cf. Bus.]

1. A long four-wheeled carriage, having seats for many people; especially, one with seats running lengthwise, used in conveying passengers short distances.

2. Glass Making

A sheet-iron cover for articles in a leer or annealing arch, to protect them from drafts.

Omnibus bill, a legislative bill which provides for a number of miscellaneous enactments or appropriations. [Parliamentary Cant, U.S.] -- Omnibus box, a large box in a theater, on a level with the stage and having communication with it. [Eng.]



© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.