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The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection - Designer Ada Duckett (1979)

Tyrrell Historical Library

Sound | 1979

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  •  Miss America 1980, Cheryl Prewitt 
  •  Duckett’s impressions of Prewitt 
  •  Prewitt models the supersuit. Duckett invented the supersuit in 1979, when whe altered a swimsuit she bought off the rack. Debra Maffett, Miss Beaumont 1979 and future Miss America 1983, was the first contestant to wear it. The original supersuit and another Duckett altered made their way around the pageant circuit for five years. In 1985, Duckett began producing new supersuits. All five wearers in the 1986 Miss America pageant made it to the top ten, with one—Susan Akin—taking home the crown.  
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In this 1979 segment for PM Magazine, co-host Leeza Gibbons profiles Beaumont-based designer Ada Duckett. Duckett designed evening and swim wear for a number of Miss America contestants, including the 1980 winner, Cheryl Prewitt. Duckett became best known in the pageant world for her invention of the “supersuit,” a one-piece, Lycra and cotton swimsuit with a V-neck and rounded low back. Prewitt was the first Miss America winner to wear Duckett’s supersuit. PM Magazine was a local news and entertainment television program broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV in from late 1970s to the mid-1980s. This segment aired on October 24, 1979.
PM Magazine, also known as Evening Magazine, was a local weeknight news and entertainment television series broadcast on multiple stations across the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The program combined both local and syndicated segments, with common subjects including local people and events, lifestyle and consumer tips, and human-interest pieces. KPIX in San Francisco premiered the first iteration of Evening Magazine on August 9, 1976. Station owner Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting subsequently introduced local versions at its other stations, before syndicating the format to other television markets as PM Magazine. 
The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection encompasses hundreds of PM Magazine segments broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV between 1979 and 1985. Leeza Gibbons and John Walls were the program’s original co-hosts. Gibbons went on to become a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight from 1984 to 2000. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. 
At least ten other Texas stations produced versions of PM Magazine, including KFDA in Amarillo, KTBC in Austin, WFAA and KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, KVIA in El Paso, KHOU and KHTV in Houston, KCBD in Lubbock, KSAT in San Antonio, and KAUZ in Wichita Falls. Group W canceled the format in 1990, with final episodes airing on August 30, 1991.