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.
This show was telecast live in color from a CBS studio in Los Angeles. Only the East Coast saw it in color. Other time zones saw a black and white kinescope, most of which survives today.
This special won its time slot with over 40 million viewers, justifying the whopping $300,000 cost of the show. Judy Garland's salary was $100,000.
Although the special was telecast live, some of the songs were pre-recorded and Judy lip-synced them on the air.
This was the first TV special to have what amounted to a "soundtrack album", since most of the songs on the Capitol recording "Miss Show Business", released two days after the broadcast, were what Judy had sung on this special.
Judy was also to sing "The Man That Got Away" but it was cut from the rundown before airtime.
Originally broadcast live, and in color, but only a B&W kinescope survives.
The next-to-last acting performance of Betty Grable. She appeared on the Broadway stage in 1967 as one of the replacements for Carol Channing in the original production of "Hello, Dolly!".
The Kansas sequences were shown in black-and-white on this telecast of The Wizard of Oz. They would not be restored to their original sepia tone until the 1989 50th anniversary videocassette release of the film, and they would not be seen on television in sepia until the 1990 telecast of the film.
The only two-hour episode of the series. This was because it was a full-length telecast of MGM's 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz", which runs 101 minutes, and CBS did not wish to cut it down to fit the usually 90-minute running time of "Ford Star Jubilee".