Ford Star Jubilee was a live, ninety minute, colour spectacular that aired once a month on Saturday nights on CBS for, basically, one season. Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company the shows featured top of the line talent in front of, and behind, the camera.
Series Fun Facts
- Between December 1954 through March 1955, William S. Paley, founder of Columbia Broadcasting System Radio and Television Network, negotiated to inaugurate a new CBS series, a spectacular…
[show]Between December 1954 through March 1955, William S. Paley, founder of Columbia Broadcasting System Radio and Television Network, negotiated to inaugurate a new CBS series, a spectacular color television live special program to counter National Broadcasting Company Color Television network's live "Producers' Showcase" series. The new age of exploration dramatically transformed network television programming and viewing. NBC had inaugurated their live televised-color-program-series on 18 October 1954, a dramatic color broadcast production of Noël Coward's play "Tonight at 8:30" starring Ginger Rogers, electronically transmitted from NBC Television's New York City studio. Both the NBC and CBS networks scheduled their 90 minute color specials once a month. During the early 1950's not all of NBC's television product was broadcast in color, NBC becoming a full color network in the late 1950s. Noël Coward's New York agent Joe Glaser met with William "Bill" Paley during the winter and spring 1955; Paley was in early preparations and scheduling programs for the CBS anthology series "Ford Star Jubilee" monthly specials. Noël Coward was offered to both star and direct three of these ninety minute CBS Spectacular Specials. Noël Coward's managers Lance Hamilton and Charles Russell negotiated with Bill Paley and CBS-TV - New York, to pay Noël's TV production company $450,000.00 to produce the three specials. Noël's American television appearance was scheduled after Noël's Las Vegas Desert Inn (3 June-4 July, 1955) cabaret concert appearance. Noël's first CBS commitment would coincide with the CBS inaugural new "Ford Star Jubilee" special live color television series. The premiere "Ford Star Jubilee" special featured first: (#1.#1) "The Judy Garland Show" broadcast in color Saturday night 24 September from CBS' Hollywood Television City - Studio 43, in California. The second: (#1.ep#2) "Together with Music" starring Noël Coward and Mary Martin was a color broadcast the next month on Saturday night 22 October, from CBS' New York City - Studio 72, Broadway and 81st Street. Only one special was filmed in Hollywood with film star Bing Crosby. He would not perform "live" in front of a television audience. The musical adaptation of the stage play "High Tor" (10 March 1956 - #1.ep#7) was filmed at Desilu Studios-Hollywood, broadcast as a series special. At its core, broadcast network quality entertainment is an essential part of the communications job to continue to produce the best content the networks possibly deliver at the end of every day. Television wise, it simply comes down to the best content.
- Ford Star Jubilee was a "live", ninety minute, color spectacular that aired once a month on Saturday nights at 9:00 p.m., on CBS for, basically, one season. Sponsored by the Ford Motor…
[show]Ford Star Jubilee was a "live", ninety minute, color spectacular that aired once a month on Saturday nights at 9:00 p.m., on CBS for, basically, one season. Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company the shows featured top of the line talent in front of, and behind, the camera. The shows were done "live" from CBS' New York studio #72 located at Broadway and 81st street, or at the CBS Television City Color Studios stage 43 in Hollywood, CA. The "Ford Star Jubilee" program-series was nominated for a 1956 EMMY as Best Variety Series. Noël Coward and Mary Martin were nominated in the performer EMMY category for "Together with Music". In spite of the talent and cost involved the specials did not receive high enough ratings to satisfy Ford and CBS-especially CBS who had to preempt Gunsmoke every time it aired. The series did not have reruns during the 1956 summer since the format was actually live and unrecorded (on video-tape) except as a kine-scope B&W film archive copy; the Ford Star Jubilee monthly specials shut down until resuming two show specials in the fall of 1956; CBS pulled the plug. The last of the "Ford Star Jubilee" series show was the first TV broadcast airing of the classic 1939 MGM musical film 'The Wizard of Oz' with Bert Lahr (age 61, 1895-1967), an original cast member, Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli (age 10, born 12 March 1946) as the program hosts with a child Oz book collector Justin Schiller. This marked the only time on television that an actor who played a leading role in the original film, as well as one of the off spring of an actor who starred in it, hosted this type of television series presentation. The "Ford Star Jubilee" television SPECIAL series format was canceled by Bill Paley, the Ford Motor Company and CBS. This type of special became the 1957 anthology series CBS' Playhouse 90.
- For its final broadcast, on November 3, 1956, Ford Star Jubilee abandoned its usual format of presenting live shows, and lengthened its time slot to two hours in order to broadcast The Wizard…
[show]For its final broadcast, on November 3, 1956, Ford Star Jubilee abandoned its usual format of presenting live shows, and lengthened its time slot to two hours in order to broadcast The Wizard of Oz - the first-ever television showing of that film, and the first theatrical film to be broadcast in its entirety on the CBS-TV network. This was not a special TV adaptation of the movie, but the movie itself. The broadcast was hosted by Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in the film, by Justin Schiller, a 13-year old Oz book collector, and by a very young Liza Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland.