The DuMont Television Network (also known as the DuMont Network, simply DuMont/Du Mont, or (incorrectly) Dumont /duːmɒnt/) was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC and CBS for the distinction of being first overall in the USA. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont Laboratories, a television equipment and set manufacturer. The network was hindered by the prohibitive cost of broadcasting, by regulations imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which restricted the company's growth, and even by the company's partner, Paramount Pictures. Despite several innovations in broadcasting and the creation of one of television's biggest stars of the 1950s (Jackie Gleason), the network never found itself on solid financial ground. Forced to expand on UHF channels during an era when UHF was not yet a standard feature on television sets, DuMont fought an uphill battle for program clearances outside of their three owned-and-operated stations in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh, finally ending network operations in 1956.
DuMont's latter-day obscurity, caused mainly by the destruction of its extensive program archive by the 1970s, has prompted TV historian David Weinstein to refer to it as the "Forgotten Network" or "Network Is Long Gone". A few popular DuMont programs, such as Cavalcade of Stars and Emmy Award winner Life Is Worth Living, appear in television retrospectives or are mentioned briefly in books about U.S. television history.
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