From the time it debuted, on CBS, in the fall of 1963, “The Judy Garland Show” featured guests of which Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel could only dream: Count Basie, Lena Horne, Bobby Darin, Peggy Lee. The series was, as evidenced by Garland’s singing introduction of Barbara Streisand and The Smothers Brothers in the clip below, very much of its time, with swooning, sincere musical numbers and strained comic chatter, and it failed to measure up to NBC’s unbeatable “Bonanza.” “The Judy Garland Show” was cancelled in 1964, after just one season.
Now, the iconic performer of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “A Star Is Born” is returning to television, in getTV’s weekly block of classic variety and talk programming. On Monday nights beginning Oct. 12, the network will showcase both “The Judy Garland Show,” long considered “lost,” and “The Merv Griffin Show,” which was long-running enough for the host to tape an interview with Timothy Leary (“turn on, tune in, drop out”) and introduce musical guest Whitney Houston. Among the highlights? Garland singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (clip below) mere days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, receiving a standing ovation from the studio audience.
The revivals of “The Judy Garland Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show” premiere Mon., Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on getTV. Each week’s programming will be repeated that same night, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.