ABC's early-70s bid to raise its sagging late-night fortunes. The Dick Cavett Show wasn't a ratings hit, despite being cooler than Goliath, Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. WWoE was an attempt to extend the Wide World of Sports brand name, and a chance to give Cavett a much-needed rest. His show would appear twice a week, with other nights filled by Geraldo Rivera and Jack Paar. Fridays had In Concert and specials, like The Monty Python Show.

ABC's "Wide World of Entertainment" version of Monty Python consisted of the six episodes of the fourth series edited into two 90-minute programs, actually much shorter than that to allow for commercials, of course.

ABC bleeped the last two words in this excerpt from the Golden Age of Ballooning sketch: "Joseph Michael Montgolfier went on to scrub his torso, his legs and his naughty bits." The Book of Lists, published in the late 1970s, included that on their list of "Outrageous Examples of TV Censorship."

Terry Gilliam sued ABC over the editing, with the court finding that deletion constitutes infringement on copyright, and ABC was prevented from broadcasting their version of "Monty Python" again. However, by the time the court ruling came down, ABC had decided it was cheaper to show reruns of "Starsky and Hutch" in the late night time slot and changed the name of the programming block to "ABC Late Night."

Many local PBS stations broadcast unedited "Monty Python" episodes to American viewers soon afterward.

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