time on August 8, 1998. It has run ever since, often in the wee
hours of the morning, or on obscure cable stations, alongside
the get-rich schemes and the 'Three's Company' reruns.
The response to it has been such that within the next three years
total sales of the Showtime should exceed a billion dollars. Ron
Popeil didn't use a single focus group. He had no market researchers,
R. & D. teams, public-relations advisers, Madison Avenue advertising
companies, or business consultants. He did what the Morrises and
the Popeils had been doing for most of the century, and what all
the experts said couldn't be done in the modern economy. He dreamed
up something new in his kitchen and went out and pitched it himself."