24 November 2005 | Moax429
A forgotten but well-done family series that SHOULD be unearthed from the vaults!
When "The Ice Palace" first aired in the summer of 1971, I was only 9 years old, and my family and I was in the process of moving to Lansing, Michigan from the Detroit suburb of Warren.
I've never seen the first seven episodes (the station in Detroit which was the CBS affiliate at that time didn't bother showing "The Ice Palace," opting to show a package of old Paramount movies instead), but I do remember seeing the final episode on Sunday, July 25, 1971 (by that time we had settled into our new Lansing, Michigan home, and WJIM-TV (now known as WLNS-TV), the Lansing CBS affiliate, did show "The Ice Palace").
My Father (may he rest in peace) asked me and my younger Sister, after perusing the TV listings, "How'd you kids like to stay up tonight and watch the ice show?," to which my Sister and I enthusiastically agreed (it was still summer vacation). So for the occasion my Dad bought some Lay's Potato Chips, dip, and an eight-pack of Royal Crown (RC) Cola.
This final episode of "The Ice Palace" did ring a bell; John Davidson was the guest host. In the final segment of that episode, the ladies of the ice-dancing chorus, clad in gold-lame Vegas-style outfits, did a lavish production number, after which Davidson, donning a tuxedo and ice skates(!), pulled up a seat which looked like an ice block and sang Three Dog Night's then-recent hit "Joy to the World," as the chorines sat around him with big smiles on their faces. (I also remember singer Jack Jones was a guest on that same episode of "The Ice Palace;" I don't recall the song he sang, but I do remember Jones didn't skate.)
As I said in my plot summary, this was indeed a perfect way to end a warm summer night, especially when it has many nice memories attached! Unlike the recent glut of ice-skating specials, the performers on "The Ice Palace" were very well-rehearsed, and seemed to enjoy performing without showing any egotistical airs. And the production numbers were also well-done without being too overly glitzy.
So, how many shows are there today like "The Ice Palace" the whole family can enjoy, and you'd let your kids stay up for? None, right?
Now that both CBS and Paramount are Viacom companies, if Paramount was smart they should dig into CBS' vaults and put the entire eight episodes of "The Ice Palace" on DVD (that would easily comprise a box set). So what if some of the songs are dated and some of the guests now forgotten? It'd still be great to see this show again, especially when it has some pleasant memories encoded in it and today's parents can enjoy with their children something they used to watch when they were their kids' ages!
("The Ice Palace" is now on the list at TV Shows on DVD.com. I strongly urge anyone else who remembers the show and would like to see it again on DVD, please go to that website and vote for it!)
So PLEASE, Paramount - see what you can do to put "The Ice Palace" on DVD (assuming CBS still has the show in their vaults and didn't let the copyrights lapse)!