Recaps1x1: Pilot (aka The Girl Who Saved Our America) (1) recap
: The boss, Harry Brooks (John Colicos), unaffectionately known as "King" by his staff, is a
tyrant; the chief programmer, Jack Kiley (Alex Cord), a sadist; Dan Costello (Andrew Prine), head of network sales, a drunk; and Gus Dunlap (Richard Basehart), head of news, a has-been with a drinking problem and a schizophrenic wife.
Let loose among that unattractive lot is Ellen
Cunningham, the tough but vulnerable, ambitious but romantic, young producer. She's played by Pamela Bellwood who, her voice breaking hysterically every so often, copes as best she can with her co-workers.
With 10 unrewarding years slogging away in daytime programming behind her, Ellen at last gets her big chance under highly improbable circumstances.
After spending $30 million on a 30-hour Centennial-type series called Our America, Brooks rejects it because it's un-American. It's not any America he or any American audience would recognise, he tells his trembling executives. What's more, it doesn't even mention Thanksgiving.
With only 24 hours to come up with something new, Kiley, who's never bothered to view Our America at any stage of its production, passes the buck to its petulant producer, David Howell (Zalman King).
If he doesn't come up with the goods, Kiley threatens to call in some boyhood pals, now Las Vegas hoodlums, to "bust his legs in eight places and cut off his ears."
Ellen, who just happens to be Howell's girlfriend, comes to the rescue, suggesting she re-scripts and edits the original series to please the boss.
After telling Kiley not to call her "kid," she gets the job, Kiley goes off to ride his exercise bicycle
and the producer, unaware of how much his brainchild is to be butchered, spends the rest of the episode sleeping or having tantrums.
He discovers the truth, of course. It's me or your job, he tells Ellen. She protests she's only doing it for him. "No," he storms, "you're doing it because it makes you feel more like a man."
Ellen, who's been remaking the program aided only by an army of students, is either too stunned or exhausted to reply. Exit Howell.
Will Ellen choose romance or her career? If it's her career, will she succeed in making the series as American as apple pie?
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