CBS (ended 1976)


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Show Summary

Following their divorce in 1974, pop singers Sonny & Cher Bono, who had formerly starred together on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, each hosted a variety series of their own. Sonny's, entitled The Sonny Comedy Revue, debuted on ABC in the fall of 1974. The show featured the same regulars as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, except for Cher. Each episode starred a female guest star that ribbed Sonny about how short and untalented he was. The show's lack of originality and Cher, lead to the shows cancellation after 13 episodes. However, six weeks later, On February 12, 1975 Cher debuted on CBS at 7:30, with guest stars Elton John, Bette Midler, and Flip Wilson. The pilot episode (billed as a special) served as Cher's return to television. The special garnered high ratings, and rave reviews. "I'm scared to death" Cher said at the time. "I'm so afraid of that first walk-out. Here I am- alone, naked to the world. What do you think world? Do you forgive me?" The series was produced by Laugh-In vet George Schlatter, and always started with Cher draped in the dark, singing low over a lone piano slowly beginning the opening song. Then, throwing off the covering as the music picks up tempo, Cher struts to the front of the stage, revealing her latest navel-exposing Bob Mackie outfit. A lot of press was generated by Cher's exposed belly-button, it had never been done on television before. Even 'Jeannie' obscured hers with scarves.

After a spectacular premiere, the show settled into a respectable number 22 in the ratings. Despite not being being on par with CBS' original expectations Cher was renewed for another season, but ratings continued to fall, so in January of 1976, Cher called it quits and announced that she and Sonny Bono were re-teaming for a brand new Sonny and Cher Show. "I made the decision after I'd done four Cher shows last Fall. Nothing to do with the ratings." Cher said later, "Doing a show alone was more than I could handle. I had to be into everything, from helping on scripts to picking the music. And they had me doing a monologue. That's not like me, to be out there alone making with the jokes."moreless