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Old 03-14-2021, 12:00 AM   #1
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Default A Really Big Shew Is Coming to Me-TV

Starting next Sunday, March 21, "Mr. Sunday Night," Ed Sullivan, will be returning to Sunday nights on Me-TV at 9:30 P.M. ET

In honor of this tremendous occasion, I'd like to start a General Discussion on "The Ed Sullivan Show," which for 23 years, aired Sunday nights at 8 P.M. ET on the CBS Television Network from June 20, 1948 - March 28, 1971 for over 1,000 Sunday nights, becoming an American Institution; for 23 years, Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan was, is, and forever shall remain, "Mr. Sunday Night," born on September 28, 1901 in New York City, New York and raised in nearby Port Chester, New York, the living half of a twin whose twin, Danny, arrived stillborn.

Before and during his variety show, Ed had been a successful syndicated newspaper columnist--and like fellow future variety show host Lawrence Welk, a bandleader who, on his variety show, orchestrated the music for Ray Bloch.

A true variety show in every sense of the word, like Lawrence Welk on ABC simultaneously, "The Ed Sullivan Show" was cancelled by CBS not due to poor ratings but because, like Lawrence Welk's audience, Ed Sullivan's audience had become "too old" instead of "too small," as CBS was in its Rural Purge phase when it started advertising for Madison Avenue audiences; after 1,065 Sunday nights, Ed Sullivan signed off for the last time on March 28, 1971.

The show was originally conceived by Marlo Lewis as a vehicle for Ed under the title "Toast of the Town." At the start of its 8th season in September 1955, after initially being referred to as such, "Toast of the Town" officially became known as "The Ed Sullivan Show" for the rest of its 23 years on CBS.

3 years later, at age 73, Ed Sullivan signed off Permanently from Earth of Esophegeal Cancer, weeks after his birthday on October 23, 1974; already living with advanced Alzheimer's Disease, Ed's daughter, Betty Precht, and his son-in-law, Bob Precht (who worked on the variety show as producer), reportedly kept Ed's Cancer diagnosis secret from him, with Ed wrongfully believing he was in the Hospital for the last time due to Chronic Ulcers.

In the years since, reruns of "The Ed Sullivan Show" made their cable TV debut on Nick at Nite, airing from April 29, 1996 - April 29, 1997, with the show making its Nick at Nite debut as part of its sneak peek of sister network TV Land (then officially called Nick at Nite's TV Land until January 1997).

Afterwards, "The Ed Sullivan Show" aired regularly on Nick at Nite from May 4, 1996 - July 6, 1996 as part of a weekly Saturday-night rotation block from 10 P.M. to 12 A.M. ET called "Nick at Nite's TV Land Sampler," where the show, along with other inaugural TV Land shows e.g. "Petticoat Junction," "St. Elsewhere," "Hill Street Blues," "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" and "Mannix" rotated weekly on Nick at Nite, pulling double duty on TV Land & Nick at Nite.

2 more simulcast Nick at Nite & Nick at Nite's TV Land events featuring "Ed Sullivan Show" episodes would be included on both channels, specifically Vote for TV Land, hosted by Pat Paulsen (who died several months later in April 1997 of Cancer at age 69), featuring political-themed episodes of TV Land regulars of the era as well as political "Retromercials" (for those reading who don't know, in its early days, TV Land didn't show regular commercials, but rather Classic Commercials, officially dubbed "Retromercials," from the 1950s to the 1980s; this practice stopped around 2006 I believe, maybe earlier).

Reruns of "The Ed Sullivan Show" appeared for the final time on Nick at Nite on April 29, 1997--again as part of a simulcast block airing that night on both Nick at Nite & TV Land called "TV Land's Really Big Shows," celebrating the 1-year anniversary of TV Land with select episodes of "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour," "Saturday Night Live" and "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" among others appearing for the last time on Nick at Nite, as well as the Nick at Nite/TV Land debut of "The Flip Wilson Show" and the only airing on both channels of "The Dean Martin Show."

Presently, reruns of "The Ed Sullivan Show" are currently on the Decades channel; whether this will continue is unclear as of this writing.
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