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They refused to bail

Donna Reed and husband Tony Owen
Donna Reed and husband Tony Owen

Joseph A. Campbell (May 15, 1817 – March 27, 1900).

Joseph Albert Campbell was the founder of what would become Campbell's Soup in 1869 when he partnered with Abraham Anderson. In 1895 the first can of ready-to-eat tomato soup was available.

When The Donna Reed Show premiered, Campbell's Soup was the sponsor. Pitted against The Millionaire on CBS, it drew a Nielsen rating of 8. (The mark of success for new shows was 20 and above.) By the fourth show, everyone was prepared for the show to be canceled.

But its sponsor liked the wholesome show and didn't bail on it. Eventually, as word of mouth spread, it took off. Campbell's Soup can also be seen in the background in many grocery store scenes.


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