TV Series | | Comedy, Drama, Music
Ford Star Jubilee was a live, ninety-minute, color spectacular, that aired once a month on Saturday nights at 9:00 p.m., on CBS for, basically, one season. Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, the shows featured top of the line talent in front of, and behind, the camera. The shows were done live from CBS' New York studio #72, located at Broadway and 81st street, or at the CBS Television City Color Studios stage 43 in Hollywood, California. The "Ford Star Jubilee" program-series was nominated for a 1956 EMMY for Best Variety Series. Noël Coward and Mary Martin were nominated in the performer EMMY category for "Together with Music". In spite of the talent, and cost involved, the specials did not receive high enough ratings to satisfy Ford and CBS, especially CBS, who had to pre-empt Gunsmoke (1955) every time it aired. The series did not have reruns during the 1956 summer, since the format was live and unrecorded (on videotape) except as a kinescope black and white film archive copy. The Ford Star Jubilee monthly specials shut down, until resuming two show specials in the fall of 1956. CBS pulled the plug. The last of the "Ford Star Jubilee" series show was the first television airing of the classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939), with Bert Lahr (age sixty-one, 1895-1967), an original cast member, Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli (age ten, born March 12, 1946) as the program hosts with a child Oz book collector Justin Schiller. This marked the only time on television that an actor or actress, who played a leading role in the original film, as well as one of the children of an actor or actress, who starred in it, hosted this type of television series presentation. The "Ford Star Jubilee" television Special series format was cancelled by Bill Paley, the Ford Motor Company, and CBS. This type of special became the anthology series Playhouse 90 (1956).