Lillian Gish, Jack Lemmon, and Raymond
Massey on episode #6, "The Day Lincoln was Shot".
The Ford Star Jubilee was a variety anthology series that aired live and was comprised of 90 minute comedy, drama and musical episodes and one of the few television offerings of its day presented in color.
Ford Star Jubilee Cast
Varied from week to week
Ford Star Jubilee Trivia
Every single episode of the Ford Star Jubilee survives to this day on 16mm film kinescopes which are unfortunately in black and white.
The final episode was extended to two hours in length in order to show the 1939 family classic film, "The Wizard of Oz". It was the first time that CBS had ever broadcast and was the very first time that the film was seen on television. That broadcast was hosted by actor Bert Lahr who played the cowardly lion in the film and by a very young Liza Minnelli whose mother "Judy Garland" had the lead role in the film.
The quality of talent both in front of and behind the camera on the Ford Star Jubilee was strictly top of the line. A small sample of the best known includes Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Dandridge, Lillian Gish, Betty Grable, Shirley Jones, Charles Laughton, Jack Lemmon, Raymond Massey, Roger Moore, Cole Porter, Debbie Reynolds, Red Skelton, Orson Welles and Keenan Wynn.
Almost unbelievably, despite the great talent involved in the production of the Ford Star Jubilee, its ratings never were good enough to satisfy the sponsor, "Ford Motor Company" or CBS executives.
The Ford Star Jubilee was nominated for an Emmy in 1956 as "Best Variety Series" but it lost the award to the "Ed Sullivan Show". The series was nominated for six other miscellaneous Emmys that year and won three of them! It also got one nomination in 1957.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First And Only Season
- The Judy Garland Show (9/24/1955)
- Together With Music (10/22/1955)
- The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (11/19/1955)
- I Hear America Singing (12/17/1955)
- Blithe Spirit (1/14/1956)
- The Day Lincoln Was Shot (2/11/1956)
- High Tor (3/10/1956)
- Twentieth Century (4/7/1956)
- This Happy Breed (5/5/1956)
- A Bell For Adano (6/2/1956)
- You're The Top (10/6/1956)
- The Wizard of Oz (11/3/1956)
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