PBS is about to launch a whopping $2.5-million promotional campaign for its upcoming 8-week, $1.75-million series, "Television," says PBS sources. MCI, the long-distance phone folks who are underwriting the media blitz and $1 million of the production costs, wanted "a very aggressive, feisty, flamboyant (selling) job," one source told us.
An ensemble of old-time TV stars has been recruited to make appearances around the land in advance of the Jan. 25 premiere of the weekly docu series. Originally a 1982 program by Britain's Granada Television, it's been revised to emphasize the history of American TV.
Among the touring spokestars: Audrey Meadows ("Honeymooners"), Eve Arden ("Our Miss Brooks"), Peter Graves ("Mission: Impossible"), Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") and Leigh Taylor-Young ("Peyton Place"). It all kicks off here Monday with a press event at KCET/Ch. 28.
They'll get "a very minimum honorarium," said a PBS insider, "and a lot more visibility than most have had in some time."