Welcome to The Hollywood Palace guide at tv.com.
The Hollywood Palace was an hour-long variety show that ran on the ABC-TV network from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970. Instead of a permanent host, guest hosts were used. Bing Crosby, a frequent guest host, hosted the first and last Hollywood Palace shows. Four of Bing's Christmas specials, featuring his wife Kathryn and their 3 children, were actually Hollywood Palace shows.
The Hollywood Palace was a mid-season replacement for "The Jerry Lewis Show." ABC originally had high hopes for Lewis' live, two-hour variety series. They signed the comedian to a 5-year contract for a reported $35 million. The network also purchased the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles and re-christened it "The Jerry Lewis Theater." "The Jerry Lewis Show" premiered on September 21, 1963, but by Thanksgiving 1963 it was apparent that the show was a failure. ABC decided to replace it with a variety show. The network hired Nick Vanoff to produce the new show. Vanoff, in turn, hired William O. Harbach and Otto Harback to help him develop the series. They hurriedly came up with the concept of Hollywood Palace.
The final "Jerry Lewis Show" aired on December 21, 1963, and The Hollywood Palace premiered on January 4, 1964. (ABC aired a special on 12/28/63.) The Hollywood Palace took over the first hour of Lewis' old time slot. The second hour was given to the local affiliates for their own local and syndicated programming. The old "El Capitan Theater" was once again re-named, this time as "The Hollywood Palace."
The Hollywood Palace resembled a Vaudeville show. Raquel Welch, who was just a few years away from international stardom, was a regular on the 1964 shows. Welch appeared as the "billboard girl," who changed the large cards that introduced the guests. The first 2 seasons of The Hollywood Palace were in black and white.
The Hollywood Palace switched to color at the start of its third season. The first color episode was broadcast on September 18, 1965. The "Hollywood Palace" theater became ABC's first color videotape studio. It was also the home of "The Lawrence Welk Show," which switched to color in the same month.
Collectors of this series may notice that black and white copies of the color episodes are available on VHS. These copies were mastered from B&W 16mm kinescopes. (Kinescopes were a videotape-to-film transfer produced by aiming a 16mm film camera at a TV monitor.) The original color videotapes do exist but they are not as accessible as the b/w kinescopes. These 16mm kinescopes were originally used by local U.S. stations and by the AFRTS. In the 1960's, many local stations in smaller markets carried more than one network. And often it was the ABC programs that were bumped to other time slots. Instead of purchasing the then-expensive video tape recorders for time-shifting purposes, the stations opted to use 16mm kinescopes provided by the network. Kinescopes were also used by the AFRTS which operates TV stations on overseas military bases. The AFRTS prints usually do not have the original network commercials.
Thanks to everyone who's helped on this guide, including:
-- Gary Belich - firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Ben Chaput - editor of the RVSP (Rock Video 60s Project) website and the RVSP Message Board
The Hollywood Palace Broadcast days/times Seasons 1 through 4 - Saturdays 9:30pm Eastern Season 5 (1967-68) Tuesdays 10:00pm Eastern (through 2-Jan-68) Season 5 - Saturdays 9:30pm Eastern (13-Jan-68 through end of season) Seasons 6 & 7 - Saturdays 9:30pm Easternmoreless