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    The Ed Sullivan Show

    The Ed Sullivan Show

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    This long-running variety series premiered on June 20, 1948 with the title Toast of the Town. (The Toast of the Town link covers the first 8 seasons of Ed Sullivan.)

    The series was re-titled The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955 (the beginning of the 9th season). Although the name had changed, it remained the same variety show with "something for everyone." There continued to be a diverse guest line-up which included singers, musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, circus acts, plate spinners and acrobats.

    But now there was now a new type of guest: the rock 'n' roll performer. While Ed booked a few rock 'n' roll acts on "Toast of the Town," these performers became even more prominent on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

    One of the most famous rock 'n' roll acts was, of course, Elvis Presley. Ed had at first scoffed at the idea of booking Elvis, who had already appeared on "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show" amid much controversy. But as Elvis' popularity grew, Ed relented and booked him for three appearances.

    Then there were the famous Beatles appearances. Legend has it that Ed booked the Beatles without hearing even a note of their music. While visiting England, Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow Airport on October 31, 1963 when the Beatles' plane arrived. The British press and hundreds of fans were there to greet them. Upon seeing all the frenzy, Ed signed the band to appear on his show. Beatlemania was already in full swing when the Beatles arrived at New York's JFK airport on February 7, 1964. On February 9, the Beatles made their "Ed Sullivan" debut. The Beatles' three 1964 Sullivan appearances were among the highest rated TV programs of the 1960's.

    In 1967, Ed's NYC studio, Studio 50, was officially re-titled "The Ed Sullivan Theater." The ratings of The Ed Sullivan Show began to drop in 1968. CBS cancelled the series in 1971. The final new show aired on March 28, 1971 which was followed by several weeks of reruns. The series' network run ended on June 6, 1971 (which was a repeat of the February 7, 1971 show). At the time of the cancellation, CBS did not give The Ed Sullivan Show the sendoff that it deserved. Instead of ending with a tribute show focusing on all the great moments of the past 23 years, the show quietly went off the air. But in the 33 years since the series was cancelled, CBS has aired numerous tribute shows giving the series the recognition it deserves.

    Syndicated, cable TV and PBS repeats:

    In 1980, a "Best of Sullivan" series hosted by John Byner appeared in syndication. Each episode was an edited 30-minute version of the original 1-hour shows. This version has not been broadcast since the 1980's.

    Around 1992, a new 30-minute "Ed Sullivan" series was syndicated. These were edited versions of the original shows (but often clips from other episodes were added). This version later appeared on the TV Land cable network (1996-1998).

    From 2001 through 2004, PBS stations across the U.S. aired edited versions of The Ed Sullivan Show (usually airing two 30-minute programs back-to-back). These were produced by WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh. --The first PBS season (2001-02) consisted of the 1990s shows that were edited for commercial TV. To fill in the commercial breaks, WQED added new intros by Shirley Jones. --For the 2002-03 PBS season, WQED publicized a new package of 76 Sullivan shows. (These do not have Shirley Jones.) Ten of these shows have not been seen since their original broadcasts. The other 66 were previously shown in the 1990s but were slightly re-edited with a few "missing" performances restored. This group of Sullivan shows continued into the 2003-04 season.

    A different series, titled "Ed Sullivan's Rock 'N' Roll Classics," first appeared in the 1990's on VH1 (in the US). This version features rock and pop music clips taken from various Ed Sullivan episodes. This series is currently available on VHS and DVD.

    For information about The Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town, contact: SOFA Entertainment 9121 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069 Fax: 310-276-0242 greg.vines@sofaent.com www.sofaentertainment.com Sofa Home Entertainment SOFA Entertainment owns the right to every Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town.

    And thanks to Historic Films for their on-line database. Their website has been very helpful in verifing guest lists and other information.moreless
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    Today Show

    Today Show

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    NBC
    On January 14 1952, The Today Show, a long running morning news program on NBC, went on the air. It aired at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Time) as a 2-hour news and information show. For many years it was a 2-hour program from 7:00 to 9:00 ET, until NBC expanded it to 3 hours (7-10 A.M. Eastern Time) on October 2, 2000. On September 10, 2007 a fourth hour was added to the show. Today was the first of its genre when it first signed on with host Dave Garroway. The show successfully blends national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's The Early Show, and the Canadian series, Canada AM. The show is filmed and produced at studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, New York, just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather or other events from outside. Today was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Later, he became president of the company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as chairman of the board for another year. The show is currently hosted by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and Ann Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, and Flyod Kalber. Popular former weathercaster Willard Scott still appears on the show daily doing the 100th birthday announcements he first became famous for in the 1980s.moreless
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    Meet the Press

    Meet the Press

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    NBC
    Meet the Press debuted on November 6, 1947, and has become the longest-running television show in the history of broadcasting. Watch as the current moderator interviews some of the most influential people in Washington.moreless
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    Face the Nation

    Face the Nation

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    CBS
    Face The Nation is a news interview program which airs every Sunday morning, live from the CBS studio in Washington D.C. It is dedicated to interviewing newsmakers on the latest issues. Guests include government leaders, politicians, and international figures in the news. CBS News correspondents engage the guests in a lively roundtable discussion focusing on current topics. The show started on November 7th, 1954, and was originally broadcast on both CBS Television and Radio Networks. After close to two decades, the program was taken off CBS radio.moreless
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    amc

    amc

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    (ended 1952)
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    Miss America Pageant

    Miss America Pageant

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    ABC
    The most beautiful women in America face-off in this famous contest that rewards one outstanding woman for her overall beauty.
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    The Jack Paar Show

    The Jack Paar Show

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    NBC (ended 1962)
    Tonight Starring Jack Paar began when Jack replaced Steve Allen as the show's host. The title changed to The Jack Paar Tonight Show, then the name was later changed to The Jack Paar Show. Jack's announcer at first was Franklin Pangborn but was replaced with Hugh Downs who remained with Paar for the rest of his tenure. Jack's old army buddy Jose Melis conducted the band and comedienne Dody Goodman became Jack's sidekick. Jack said of himself. "I'm complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent, generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split, it's shredded." He brought a fresh approach and a wonderful interactive manner to his program involving all his guests.

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    State Trooper

    State Trooper

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    NBC (ended 1959)
    Investigator Rod Blake of the Nevada State police works with the county sheriffs to catch the bad guys.
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    The Frank Sinatra Show: High Hopes

    The Frank Sinatra Show: High Hopes

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    Old Blue Eyes pairs up with fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin and crooner Bing Crosby in this television variety show that aired on ABC in 1958. The show features 14 classic songs including "Dancing Cheek to Cheek," "Old Man River," "It Was Just One of Those Things," "High Hopes" and the Sinatra standard "The Lady is a Tramp." Beloved actor Jimmy Durante pops by for a cameo, and singer Mitzi Gaynor accompanies the gentlemen on four songs.moreless
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    ABC News Specials

    ABC News Specials

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    ABC
    ABC delves deep into news stories in this gripping program. Take a peek behind the scenes of your favorite shows or look at life in the LAPD. Satisfy your curiosity for the inside story with this library of shows.moreless
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    The Arlene Francis Show

    The Arlene Francis Show

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    NBC (ended 1958)
    The Arlene Francis Show hosted by Arlene Francis was a 30-minute mid-morning daytime talk show and was a mixture of friendly chat with celebrities with features centering around the home and family life. Arlene Francis and co-host Hugh Downs worked perfect side-by-side, their intellect and charm was a perfect match. Arlene had a successful run with her previous daytime series Home from 1954 to 1957.moreless
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    The Joe Franklin Show

    The Joe Franklin Show

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    (ended 1993)
    This is the talk show that started it all. Joe Franklin hosted the first ever talk show in TV history. He had a wide variety of guests ranging from actors and singer to sports stars and politicians. The show ran an amazing 43 years before Joe called it quits in 1993.moreless
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    The Nat King Cole Show

    The Nat King Cole Show

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    In 1956, The Nat King Cole Show was a Variety Show starring African-American Nat King Cole. The show originally started as a fifteen minute show and went to become a thirty minute show. The show had no sponsors that were interested in a permanent relationship with the series. The show was sponsored by NBC. Broadcast History November 1956 - June 1957: Monday 7:30-7:45p July 1957 - September 1957: Tuesday 10:00-10:30p September 1957 - December 1957: Tuesday 7:30-8:00pmoreless
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    The Flatt & Scruggs TV Show

    The Flatt & Scruggs TV Show

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    The Flatt & Scruggs TV Show was an awesome show filmed from 1955 to 1969. The show depicts Lester Flatt (Lester Flatt) and Earl Scruggs (Earl Scruggs) and their notorious skills in the bluegrass music scene. The show featured their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys, and who were enjoyed the presence of many guest stars famous at the time. The talented duo, Scruggs with his banjo and Flatts with his guitar, created an awesome vibe full of fun, music and joy. The show was an awesome experience for both music lovers (specially bluegrass) and those who enjoy live shows. This golden classic of American TV should not be missed by those interested in American music. Another qualities of the show was the use of comedy to engage the viewer into the whole experience. Segments such as the Martha White cooking part of the show add to the comedic element of the show. This show filled the hearts of those who remember the era or those who feel bluegrass music as an important part of their life with sweet nostalgic feelings, warm memories and one good laugh or two.moreless
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    The Johnny Carson Show

    The Johnny Carson Show

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    CBS (ended 1956)
    Before his late night talk show; Johnny Carson hosted this summer replacement series.
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    Meet the Presidents

    Meet the Presidents

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    MSNBC
    Meet the Presidents is a revealing history series from NBC's long-running news and interview series Meet the Press that takes viewers on a comprehensive tour through time that introduces the former Presidents of the United States of America, revealing both the personal lives of these powerful men as well as the issues they faced while in office. While the country's myriad dilemmas change year-by-year, no President has ever had an easy job as leader of the free world. Each episode of this series focuses on a different era in United States history, beginning with George Washington and the early development of the country and taking viewers through every President that ever tackled the demanding position. While the title and job responsibilities are always the same, no two Presidents have ever faced the same obstacles. Developments in technology, foreign affairs, social movements, and countless other issues have confronted each of these men with an entirely unique set of problems. Meet the Presidents is an illuminating series, perfect for history buffs everywhere.moreless
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    The Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald

    The Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald

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    Two legends -- Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra and First Lady of Song Ella Fitzgerald -- come together in one unforgettable episode (broadcast on December 10, 1959) of the show headlined by Ol' Blue Eyes. From start to finish, it's a jaw-dropping display of talent and ingenuity, with the pair performing together ("Puttin' on the Ritz" and "Love Is Sweeping the Country") and alone ("I've Got the World on a String" and "Just You, Just Me").moreless
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    Abe Burrows' Almanac

    Abe Burrows' Almanac

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    CBS (ended 1950)
    Abe Burrows' Almanac was a live variety series featuring bald headed comedian Abe Burrows.
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    Life With Linkletter

    Life With Linkletter

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    ABC (ended 1952)
    The prime-time version of House Party.
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    Frank Sinatra Show: Welcome Home Elvis

    Frank Sinatra Show: Welcome Home Elvis

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    Two of entertainment history's biggest stars were united in this special 1960 television broadcast. Signaling the end of a string of shows hosted by Frank Sinatra, ABC pulled out all the stops when it booked the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Presley, to be the final guest. Presley's versions of "Fame and Fortune" and "Stuck on You" are terrific, but the duets between Sinatra and Presley, "Witchcraft" and "Love Me Tender," truly steal the show.moreless
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