Expanding on its commitment to add classic TV series to its vintage movie lineup, Sony Pictures Television Networks’ digital broadcast channel getTV has acquired all 26 episodes of 1963’s “The Judy Garland Show,” from StreamNet, bringing the entire series to television for the first time since their original airings. Additionally, the channel has reached an agreement with Reelin’ In the Years Productions to bring a selection of top episodes from “The Merv Griffin Show” back to television for the first time since they were originally broadcast.
These two series will be the cornerstones of a new weekly primetime block of variety/talk programming to air Monday nights on the network, starting at 8PM (ET) on Monday, October 12. The block will also feature a number of musical variety specials and episodes from hit classic series. Deals have been completed with Legacy Entertainment for specials featuring Andy Williams and Paul Brownstein Productions for specials and episodes featuring Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Dionne Warwick, and Jim Nabors.
Every Monday, “The Judy Garland Show” will air at 8PM (ET); various specials will air at 9PM (ET); and “The Merv Griffin Show'” will air at 10PM (ET). The block will be replayed that same night from 11PM-2AM (ET).
In 1963, “The Judy Garland Show” was a celebrated entry on CBS’ fall schedule, bringing the renowned movie star and all-around entertainer to a weekly series format after several successful variety specials. But, facing “Bonanza” across the dial, the series ultimately didn’t capture enough viewers to last beyond its first season. Nevertheless, it has remained a legendary ‘lost’ series for showcasing the iconic Garland in fine musical form in both solo performances and with guests including Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne, Bobby Darin, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, June Allyson, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, and daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft. One of the show’s many highlights features Garland delivering a show-stopping rendition of ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy-the performance, which was intended to help heal the country following the devastating loss, still inspires critics to this day.
In the spring of 1965, “The Merv Griffin Show” kicked off what would become a continuous 20-plus year run in syndication, and for a time, on CBS, helping to create the celebrity guest-based talk show genre that continues to be popular today. Early episodes feature a broad range of guests, from early comedic appearances by George Carlin, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor, to musical performances from Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., and The Everly Brothers, and candid conversations with screen legends like John Wayne, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, and Jerry Lewis. Griffin’s series also featured discussions with some of the most powerful and influential political leaders and activists of the time, including Senator Robert F. Kennedy, President Richard Nixon, and Martin Luther King Jr., talking about issues that still resonate today.
“It has been a labor of love to bring back both Judy and Merv and our whole variety slate,” said Jeff Meier, SVP of Programming for getTV. “Much of our audience grew up on the musical variety genre, yet no one is airing these fantastic shows anymore. We’re very proud to put them back in circulation, so that our viewers can rediscover these great entertainers and a new generation can enjoy them for the first time.”
“Judy Garland lovers are finally able to see the world’s greatest entertainer. This is an amazing series and I am so proud to be a part of making history,” said Darryl Payne, CEO of StreamNet, the series’ distributor.
“It’s been nearly 30 years since ‘The Merv Griffin Show’ went off the air and most people have never seen or don’t remember just how great a host and interviewer he was. His charm and intelligence brought out the best in all his guests,” said David Peck, president of Reelin’ In The Years Productions, who represents the rights to ‘The Merv Griffin Show.’ “We are honored to be able to bring this lost treasure of American television back to the airwaves.”
getTV is broadcast in 68 U.S. markets, including each of the top 25, representing over 70 percent of the television households. To find out the markets and respective channel numbers, visit http://get.tv/get-the-channel. For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.get.tv/schedule.
getTV is a digital multicast television network dedicated to showcasing Hollywood’s legendary movies and classic TV series such as The Judy Garland Show and Merv Griffin. The channel is available over the air and on local cable systems. The network, operated by Sony Pictures Television Networks, launched in February 2014. It features Academy Award winning films and other epic classic titles, TV series and specials. getTV’s distribution covers 70 percent of U.S. television households and is available across most major markets, including all of the top 25 designated market areas (DMAs). The network is broadcast by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Univision Communications Inc. and Cox Media Group owned stations and others. For information, visit get.tv and connect with the network on Facebook and Twitter @getTV.