“I’m a little bit country, and I’m a little bit rock and roll'”
Though they were only in their late teens, Donny and Marie Osmond were already seasoned show-business veterans by the time they began their self-titled weekly variety series in 1976. Both had successful solo careers, had scored a few chart hits together as duet partners, and had toured the world with their brothers as part of The Osmonds. But it was The Donny and Marie Show that made the two performers household names.
Donny and Marie were singled out for television success by ABC executive Fred Silverman in 1975. He saw the two co-hosting an episode of The Mike Douglas Show and noticed that they had a natural chemistry that the audiences responded to. He brought the duo to ABC to do a variety special for the network in November of 1975. This special earned high ratings and prompted ABC to order a weekly variety series to showcase the two young stars for 1976.
Donny and Marie was produced by children’s-television legends Sid and Marty Krofft and designed as an all-purpose showcase for the showbiz skills of Donny and Marie. The show moved at a blitzkrieg pace as the two stars performed a variety of other artists’ songs’ranging from current hits to classic oldies’as well as their own hits. In between, there was plenty of comedy in the form of skits and Donny and Marie’s trademark banter before and after each of the show’s musical setpieces. The two were also accomplished ice-skaters and would open each of the first two seasons’ shows with an elaborate ice-skating musical number. During these numbers, they were bolstered by the show’s resident group of skaters, the Ice Vanities.
Weekly guest stars would appear in both the musical and comedy sequences. The many guests who appeared throughout the show’s four-year run included Andy Williams, Dirk Benedict, Andy Gibb, Cheryl Ladd, Kris Kristofferson, and Redd Foxx. The Osmond Brothers showed up on a regular basis to lend a hand on the musical numbers and trade a few well-timed one liners with the hosts. Paul Lynde also frequently appeared as an uncredited regular.
The format of the show never changed, but certain cosmetic alterations were instituted in its second season. The Osmonds moved the production of their show to a newly-built $2.5 million production complex in their hometown of Orem, Utah, and Bob Mackie was brought into to develop a new, more mature line of outfits for Marie. Mackie had previously done similar honors for Cher on The Sonny and Cher Show. The show continued successfully into its fourth season, when it was retitled The Osmond Family Hour and its scope was broadened to include the entire Osmond clan on a regular basis.
The show was cancelled after its fourth season. In many ways, Donny and Marie represented the end of an era for the televised variety show. Just the same, it managed to close this era with a bang. The costumes and sets were always dazzling and colorful, the leads were unfailingly charming and multi-talented, and everything moved at a consistently lighting-fast pace. In short, Donny and Marie will always be remembered for maintaining an over-the-top yet endearingly old-fashioned vision of what family entertainment should be.
USA / ABC – Sid and Marty Krofft Prods. – Osmond Prods. / x50 minutes / Broadcast 23 January 1976 – 19 January 1979
Johnny Dark (1978-79)
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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