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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 "Best of Ed Sullivan" series was syndicated. These were 30-minute edited versions of the original shows (but often with clips from other episodes 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 with two 30-minute programs shown 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 and is currently available on DVD.

    For information about The Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town, contact:
    SOFA Entertainment
    9121 W. Sunset Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    Sofa Home Entertainment SOFA Entertainment owns the right to every Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town episode.

    And thanks to Historic Films for their on-line database. Their website has been very helpful in verifying guest lists and other information.moreless
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    Toast of the Town

    Toast of the Town

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    CBS (ended 1955)
    Welcome to the Toast of the Town guide at tv.com.
    The Toast of the Town guide covers the first 7 seasons of Ed Sullivan's long-running variety series. (Seasons 8 through 23 are on the The Ed Sullivan Show guide.)
    In 1948, the fledgling CBS television network was planning a weekly variety series. Newpaper columnist Ed Sullivan was chosen as host. The series premiered on June 20, 1948. From the very first broadcast, Mr. Sullivan was criticized for his lack of charisma. He looked stiff, awkward and uncomfortable. But Sullivan had an understanding of show business and his show gradually gained a following. On September 18, 1955, the series was given its new title The Ed Sullivan Show
    Thanks to everyone who's helped on this guide, including:
    --Jim Brent (of Burbank, CA), who provided most of the guest lists from 1952 through 1960.moreless
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    Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country

    Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country

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    CBS
    Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country is the CBS tribute concert featuring an A-list lineup of female country musicians. Each year the Academy of Country Music honors the most talented in the genre at their annual ACM Awards, which were broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena by CBS. After the ACM Awards, CBS taped their own all-star special, Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country. ACM and CBS are honoring the women of country music with an unforgettable night full of fun and performances. The girls of country get glammed up for an amazing night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with performances from The Band Perry, Sara Evans, John Fogerty, The Janedear Girls, Little Big Town, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. The two hours of rip-roaring fun includes honoring talents like The Judds, Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, and Carrie Underwood. Each presenter will perform solo, and there will be plenty of surprises like duets with honorees, featuring John Fogerty performing with The Judds, Rascal Flatts performing with Reba McEntire and much more. Tune in for a night full of inspiring ladies and unforgettable performances in Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country.moreless
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    Boston Pops

    Boston Pops

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    CBS
    Videos of Boston Pops musical performances on CBS
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    Tony Orlando And Dawn

    Tony Orlando And Dawn

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    CBS (ended 1976)
    Welcome to the Tony Orlando And Dawn guide at TV.com.
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    The Starland Vocal Band Show

    The Starland Vocal Band Show

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    CBS (ended 1977)
    Fueled by the phenomenal success of their 1976 smash hit, "Afternoon Delight," The Starland Vocal Band were given their own variety series on CBS. The group consisted of (then husband-wife team) Bill & Taffy Danoff, who co-wrote "Take Me Home, Country Roads" with John Denver, Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman (who would later marry and divorce). Winners of the Grammy© for "Best New Artist" in 1976, the group remains one of the biggest "one-hit wonders" of all time. Their short-lived show has been all but forgotten -- except that its eclectic cast featured political satirist Mark Russell, Firesign Theatre members Phil Proctor & Peter Bergman, comedian Jeff Altman and a then-unknown David Letterman.moreless
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    Liberace

    Liberace

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    CBS (ended 1988)
    TV movie about the legendary pianist (1919-1987)
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    Stage Show

    Stage Show

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    CBS (ended 1956)
    Bandleaders Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey hosted this music dominated variety series. First airing as the hour-long summer replacement for The Jackie Gleason Show, the show returned as a weekly half-hour series during the 1955-56 season, filling out the hour airing the "Classic 39" episodes of The Honeymooners. In between, it popped up as a fill-in special for the Gleason Show during 1954-55. The series, obviously, was a Jackie Gleason production, with Gleason personally booking the guests. Stage Show is now best remembered as the show where Elvis Presley made his national TV debut. Beginning on 1/28/1956, the future "King" would make a total of six appearances. Originally airing as the lead-in to The Honeymooners, the Dorsey brothers were being stomped in the ratings by the unassuming Perry Como Show. In an attempt to reverse fortunes, the two shows would flip time slots mid-season. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and Como had the viewing audience accustomed to watching him at 8 o'clock. The series' theme song was "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You."moreless
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    The Spike Jones Show

    The Spike Jones Show

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    CBS (ended 1961)
    Bandleader Spike Jones, and and his group the City Slickers bring variety music and great skits together for this weekly series that aired in the 50's and 60's.
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    The Leslie Uggams Show

    The Leslie Uggams Show

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    CBS (ended 1969)
    The Leslie Uggams Show took over the time slot of the controversial--and cancelled--Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. This was the first variety show headed by an African-American since The Nat "King" Cole Show in the 1950s. The series boasted an integrated cast and crew which was, and still is, a rarity in network television.
    A memorable feature of the series was a recurring sketch called "Sugar Hill" about a blue-collar family. Uggams and her construction worker husband lived with her mom, brother and hippie sister.
    Tossed against Bonanza, the show didn't stand much of a ratings chance. It aired for half of a season, before being replaced by The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.moreless
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    Top of the Pops (US)

    Top of the Pops (US)

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    CBS (ended 1988)
    In 1987, the US decided to air its own version of the popular UK music show, "Top of the Pops." Unfortunately, it didn't last long.
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    Viva Laughlin

    Viva Laughlin

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    CBS (ended 2007)
    Viva Laughlin is a re-make of the Golden Globe nominated mini-series Viva Blackpool. The story is about an ambitious small entrepreneur Ripley Holden (Lloyd Owen), who dreams of opening up a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. Meanwhile, he is having marital problems and is struggling to keep his family together. The show has been produced by BBC Worldwide, CBS Paramount Network Television, Seed Productions and Sony Television.moreless
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    Talent Scouts

    Talent Scouts

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    Talent Scouts was a summer replacement series and a revival of Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts which ran for ten years ending from 1948-1958. First hosted by Jim Backus for the summer of 1962 as a replacement for The Garry Moore Show, the program had celebrity guests that introduced and mentored young hopeful talent. In it's second season it was a summer replacement for The Red Skelton Show and was now hosted by Merv Griffin. Some of the newcomers that appeared were George Carlin, Jackie Vernon, John Byner, Charles Nelson Reilly, Louise Lasser, Lily Tomlin, Vic Dana and the Herb Hancock Trio.moreless
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    Of All Things

    Of All Things

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    CBS (ended 1956)
    Off All Things was a 30-minute weekly variety-show that was hosted by Faye Emerson, and ran from July 23, 1956 to August 24, 1956 on CBS. It also featured singers Ilene Woods and Jack Haskell.

    TRIVIA: Was a summer-replacement series for The Garry Moore Show.moreless
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    The Robert Q. Lewis Show

    The Robert Q. Lewis Show

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    CBS (ended 1951)
    Welcome to The Robert Q. Lewis Show guide at TV.com. Robert Q. Lewis hosted two different shows under his name. The first Robert Q. Lewis Show was broadcast on CBS from 1950-1951. The second Robert Q. Lewis Show was broadcast on CBS from 1954-1956. moreless
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    Live on Letterman

    Live on Letterman

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    CBS
    CBS Interactive Music Group's flagship music webcast series, Live on Letterman, continues hosting the biggest names in music. Featured acts have included Brad Paisley, Bon Jovi, Rascal Flatts, and Gorillaz. Live on Letterman concerts broadcast live from the famed Ed Sullivan Theater, home of the Late Show with David Letterman, and engage with fans and audiences nationwide streaming live online and on-demand at http://www.cbs.com/late_night/liveonletterman/ . The artists' webcasts will follow the taping of their performances on the Late Show with David Letterman, which will be broadcast later the same evening from 11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT, on the CBS Television Network.moreless
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    One Shining Moment

    One Shining Moment

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    CBS
    David Barrett has been writing songs about sport as well as life for 20 years or so. The work has found its way from the lofty heights of the Olympics to the more tranquil valleys of PBS specials...from motion pictures all the way to that yearly anthem that all basketball lovers know by heart..."One Shining Moment".moreless
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