Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Millions of American television viewers cherished their Friday's with Frank on ABC-TV in 1957 and 1958.
THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW also offered hope to ABC's management.
After all it was moderate hit on a third place network.
In a traditional, music/comedy/variety show, the Chairman of the Board convened a large and loving audience with a strategy of hip comedy, glittering guest stars and lush musical numbers.
Originating LIVE and in monochrome from The El Capitan theater in Hollywood , Young Blue Eyes sang the best of the Sinatra songbook and the audience swooned.
But, the weekly effort was designed to showcase more than Sinatra's stage presence and musical talents.
The versatile, if inconsistent, series format allowed Sinatra to alternate between performing in LIVE, variety episodes and filmed drama or comedy. William Self, produced the show and conductor Nelson Riddle, a long time, musical collaborator of Francis Albert, was EMMY nominated.
Fresh from PAL JOEY on film and only a few months away from taking the stage of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas with showbiz pals and fellow rat pack-ers, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop,life on THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW was ring-a-ding-ding.
That was until rival CBS-TV moved beloved Top Banana,Phil Silvers, and his hit Army sitcom about a non-com,bunco artist named Sgt. Ernie Bilko into the same time slot.
Under heavy fire from THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW ( originally titled, YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH ) , THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW was a battlefield casualty in the network ratings war.
But a year later, America deserted Sgt. Bilko and his show also went off the air.
In the end, I don't think it hurt Sinatra's career. You realize, of course, that understatement is our strong suit at KINESCOPEHD!
Here from the MRSHARRYSTREET You Tube Site, is Frank Sinatra swingin' COME FLY WITH ME.Enjoy!!!!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
THANKS FOR THE EARLIEST MEMORY OF BOB HOPE ON TV - HOPE'S DEBUT SPECIAL - NBC-TV - CIRCA APRIL 9, 1950
On Easter Sunday, April 9th , 1950, early television viewers received a holiday basket of video cheer from the nascent NBC television network, when it brought Bob Hope from silver screen to small screen in his TV debut, THE STAR SPANGLED REVUE.Airing LIVE along the Eastern Seaboard from 5:30PM to 7:00pm, the show reportedly reached almost 50 percent of the available television audience.
A resounding success, Hope's maiden,NBC effort was produced by the video visionary behind Sid Caesar's YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, the venerable Max Leibman. Guest stars included respected comedienne ,Beatrice Lillie and movie, matinee-idol, Douglas Fairbanks Junior. The smart and sardonic scribe,Larry Gelbart, was among Hope's cadre of comedy writers.
The Frigidaire appliances division of General Motors sponsored the vibrant offering.
Hope was among the last of the great radio and film comedians, like Jack Benny and Red Skelton, to make the transition to television.Legend says he thought it was too hard to do a weekly television offering, while maintaining his top-rated radio show and starring in films.It is said that when NBC asked what it would take to move him into TV , he and agent Jimmy Saphier asked for $50,000. In 1950, that was an exorbitant fee, but it didn't give NBC pause. They wrote the check.
Here, posted below from THEFILMARCHIVE You Tube site,is a complete recording of Bob Hope , starring in THE STAR SPANGLED REVUE. Enjoy!!!!
Monday, June 13, 2011
In the turbulent sixties, a strident, satirical voice rose above the din of violent protest and acrid accusation that filled the streets of global capitals on both sides of Atlantic. As the norms and mores of western culture were tested by pacifists and anarchists, alike, in New York, Washington DC , London and Paris, a comedic revolution was being plotted in the spartan corridors of the venerable BBC.
Broadcaster David Frost , producer Ned Sherrin,a cadre of comedy writers that boasted future Python, John Cleese and future Knight, Clement Freud, plus a cast of multi-talented performers including Millicent Martin and Roy Kinnear were creating a volatile, voluble new genre for television: weekly satire.
If you worked in the laughter laboratory and choose to map the comic genome for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE DAILY SHOW, THE COLBERT REPORT, ROWAN AND MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN, THE SMOTHERS BROS. COMEDY HOUR and more,you would find THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS provides the Double Helix of articulate, acerbic satire from which those shows have evolved.
Funny and efficient,TW3 took less than one hour to spoof the absurd events of the previous seven days.
The LIVE, monochrome revue of politically and socially relevant sketches, songs and monologues ran for just two seasons in the UK, in 1962 and 1963, but it was an instant hit and a Saturday night television event on the BBC.
In 1964, the BBC passed on the show, concerned about the upcoming elections and the impact of,what it perceived to be, the show's provocative material.The production team thought that the series was over.
But across the Atlantic, in New York City a reprieve was in the making.Impressed with the show's topical humor and innovative production values, American Broadway impresario, Leland Hayward, brought the daring show, along with host David Frost, to NBC prime time.
While all involved in the program and approving critics saw great promise in the Amercian version of THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS,it just didn't translate to large ratings.Even with a cast that included regulars Nancy Ames,Woody Allen and Alan Alda, plus major guest stars, the landmark show lasted only two seasons on the Peacock Network in 1964 and 1965.
Here from the UTUBESHERLOCK1111 You Tune site are six clips that constitute one, stinging episode of THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS from the BBC in 1963.Enjoy!!!!
BONUS - IN 1963, Millicent Martin and David Frost released a novelty recording of the theme from THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS in the UK. It was a hit. Here it is from the RAVES0FROM0THE0GRAVE0 You Tube site.Enjoy!!!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
On Sunday night ( 6/12/11 ), the American Theater Wing will bestow it's coveted Antoinette Perry Awards to Broadway's Best. It is the 65th time that the Tony Awards will recognize excellence in theater. For most of those years television has brought this elegant event to homes that are thousands of miles off-Broadway.
This year, CBS-TV will carry the dazzling, 2011 TONY AWARDS SHOW, LIVE from NYC's Beacon Theater.
Television and Broadway have always, it seems to me, enjoyed a friendly partnership, since the dawn of video in the 1950's.That's when stage-trained, New York actors brought their protean skills to primitive television studios. These daring performers brought life to characters in the great , LIVE dramas, like CBS'S STUDIO ONE and NBC'S PHILCO PLAYHOUSE.
One of television' first and most celebrated variety revues, THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW on CBS-TV , brought Broadway excitement to American living rooms, by elaborately re-staging dramatic scenes and musical numbers from hit Broadway shows. The theatrical producers got incredible publicity for their offerings and Sullivan got to showcase the most respected talent on New York's Great White Way.
A few weeks ago, on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, now home to THE LATE SHOW STARRING DAVID LETTERMAN, the tradition was rekindled as the accomplished and agile cast of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING performed the energetic
BROTHERHOOD OF MAN number for Letterman viewers.
As you'll see, the audience offered frenzied applause.
The vibrant revival of Abe Burrow's hit, 1960's satire of corporate culture is playing critical raves at NYC's Al Hirschfeld Theater and is Tony-nominated.
On a personal note, my wife and I saw the production and were blown away by the perfomances, the music and the staging, which offered a colorful take on the MAD MEN motif.
Posted below, from the SOPHIABPUENTES YOU TUBE site is that energetic, engaging performance , starring Daniel Radcliffe, John Larroquette and the cast.Enjoy this excerpt & THE TONY AWARDS, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, this Sunday night on CBS-TV!!!!
As a bonus, from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW YOU TUBE site, here are Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert from the Broadway cast of WEST SIDE STORY performing TONIGHT, on Sunday,November 2, 1958. Enjoy!!!!