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
- 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.
- As producer on the "Ford Star Jubilee" specials, Richard Lewine's only involvement with the specials was as the Vice President of CBS Television Network, under William S. Paley from…
[show]As producer on the "Ford Star Jubilee" specials, Richard Lewine's only involvement with the specials was as the Vice President of CBS Television Network, under William S. Paley from 1952-1961.
- 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.