Home Television Drama Greatest Show on Earth, The

Greatest Show on Earth, The

1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 4 (USA)
30 x 60 minute episodes

Johnny Slate (Jack Palance, pictured below right) is the big boss of the circus who keeps everything running smoothly as it moves from town to town. Accountant and Personal Assistant Otto King (Stu Erwin) often acts as Slate’s sounding board.

The Greatest Show On Earth was based on the 1952 Oscar-winning movie directed by the great Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston. Episodes of the full-colour ABC series dealt with Johnny’s personal and work-related problems.

The series – made with with the assistance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus – ran for one season between 17 September 1963 and 28 April 1964.

A cavalcade of guest stars included Lucille Ball (the series was a Desilu production), Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Red Buttons, Jack Lord, Larry Storch, Annette Funicello, Julie Newmar, Agnes Moorehead, Yvonne De Carlo, Ellen Burstyn, Tuesday Weld, Buster Keaton, Russ Tamblyn, Ricardo Montalban, Bradford Dillman, James Coburn, Eddie Albert, Bill Mumy and Joan Blondell.

Johnny Slate
Jack Palance
Otto King
Stu Erwin