Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1960s Judy Garland Show, The

Judy Garland Show, The

1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 4 (USA)

CBS had high hopes for The Judy Garland Show which ran from 19 September 1963 to 29 March 1964, but they never materialised – perhaps because it was running opposite the phenomenally successful Bonanza (the #1 rated show that year) on NBC.

The show featured big glossy production numbers and guest stars were everywhere – Mel Torme, Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Danny Kaye and Mickey Rooney amongst them. But nothing seemed to work.

Judy’s show was originally modelled after a very popular special in which she appeared in the spring of 1962. The format was changed to be more folksy, with Judy chatting with guest stars and singing a little, but this didn’t work either.

By the time the show left the air after only six months, The Judy Garland Show had been through three producers as it attempted to find a format and an audience.

Several of the shows during the last two months were simple ones – a plain set with Judy and her guests just singing. That was the best format, but by then it was too late.

There was one magical moment during the run, however. In 1964 she had two sensational guests; her 18-year-old daughter, Liza Minnelli, and another unknown, 22-year-old Barbra Streisand.

All that the three of them did was sing – solos, duets and trios, but the audience knew it was truly a magical moment.

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