Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 19:41:41 EDT
From: Bapopik
Subject: Must-See TV (a Japanese phrase?)

LITTLE-KNOWN PLOT LEAK OF FINAL "SEINFELD"--Jerry declares he's king of the
world, then takes a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan island. The boat hits
an iceberg and sinks. Everybody dies, except Celine Dion.

I haven't got Nexis in front of me, but "must-see tv" was the promotional
phrase thought up by NBC honchos to promote its Thursday night lineup. I
think the phrase is now ten years old. It's worth recording, because it's
popping up in non-NBC settings.
Film and the theatre have long had "must-sees." Sports--notably
baseball--has "must-win situations." RHHDAS doesn't have this--perhaps it's
not a slang "must."
Christine Ammer's IDIOMS book has "A MUST A necessity; a requirement.
For example, _The Louvre is a must for visitors to Paris_, or _This book is a
must for serious students of English_. (Late 1800s)."
But answer me this, Danny Long: Did NBC steal "must-see" from Japan?
These two titles show up in the Library of Congress, and both (I think)
pre-date NBC:

MUST-SEE IN KYOTO (1985), Japan Travel Bureau.
MUST-SEE IN NIKKO (1985), Japan Travel Bureau.