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1967: 'The Carol Burnett Show' Debuts
September 11, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1967, CBS introduced the variety/sketch series, The Carol Burnett Show. Burnett was already an Emmy winner, thanks to her performance on The Garry Moore Show, when the network gave Burnett her own eponymous show. The show was an immediate and long-running hit, with parodies of popular TV shows and classic movies and original sketches such as "The Family," which inspired the sitcom, Mama's Family.

The Carol Burnett Show's first-season cast included Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner and Vicki Lawrence. (Tim Conway, a Burnett Show favorite, made regular guest appearances in the show's early years, but didn't become a full-fledged cast member until the show's eighth season.) Each show also featured numerous guest stars from the entertainment world.

Burnett famously began the show with a question-and-answer period, during which she interacted with the studio audience. She ended each show with a signature theme song and a quick tug on her earlobe as a silent message to her grandmother.

 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $15. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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