Newhart and Burnett with a photo of Valente, 1964.
|Written by||Vincent Bogert
|Starring||Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, and Caterina Valente|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer(s)||Bob Banner|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Bob Banner Associates, in association with the CBS Television Network|
|Picture format||black and white videotape|
|Original release||September 25, 1964 – March 27, 1965|
The Entertainers is a one-hour American variety show that aired on CBS from September 25, 1964 through March 27, 1965 on the 1964–1965 United States network television schedule. The series, produced by Joe Hamilton, featured three stars, Hamilton's wife Carol Burnett, Caterina Valente, and Bob Newhart. Burnett left her role in the Broadway musical Fade Out - Fade In to star in the series and later was sued by the show's producers for doing so.
Each week, the series, originating from New York, presented comedy sketches and musical numbers performed by a regular repertory company and one or two guest stars (such as Boris Karloff, Phil Silvers, and Chita Rivera). Initially it aired on Friday night at 8:30pm ET/PT. In January 1965 it moved to Saturday night at 9:00pm ET/PT. Newhart and a few of the regular performers left the cast, and Burnett and Valente appeared as co-stars in every remaining episode. The show was taped Friday evenings at CBS Studio 50 (now the Ed Sullivan Theater).
The repertory company included:
- Art Buchwald
- Ruth Buzzi (joined in 1965)
- Don Crichton
- John Davidson
- Dom DeLuise
- Tessie O'Shea
- The Ernie Flatt Dancers
- The Peter Gennaro Dancers
- The Harry Zimmerman Orchestra
- September 25, 1964: The show premiered on CBS the same week The Cara Williams Show, The Munsters, The Baileys of Balboa, Gomer Pyle-U.S.M.C., The Reporter, Gilligan's Island, Mr. Broadway, and My Living Doll debuted on the network.
- November 13, 1964: The show abandoned its usual format to present a full-hour documentary about the Beatles' American tour. The Entertainers had premiered the same week the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night began its theatrical run.
- December 11, 1964: Thelma Ritter joined show regulars Newhart, Valente, and Dom DeLuise.
- December 25, 1964: Burnett, Valente, Buchwald and Newhart performed in a Christmas special.
- January 16, 1965: Burnett and Valente are co-hosts, with Boris Karloff and Chita Rivera as their guest stars. The kinescope copy of this episode, widely circulated among video collectors, is the most viewed outside of its original broadcast.
- Television, Records, Cinema, and Books (Friday, September 25, 1964) from Time magazine
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1988). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 - Present. Ballantine Books. p. 238. ISBN 0-345-35610-1.
- Fade Out - Fade In from the Internet Broadway Database
- Carol Burnett from All Movie Guide via The New York Times
- Ruth Buzzi from All Movie Guide via The New York Times
- Song-&-Glance Man (Friday, July 9, 1965) from Time magazine
- Theater, Television, Records, Cinema, and Books (Friday, December 11, 1964) from Time magazine
- Theater, Television, Records, Cinema, and Books (Friday, December 25, 1964) from Time magazine