The Greatest Show on Earth (TV series)

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The Greatest Show on Earth
Jack Palance Greatest Show on Earth.jpg
Jack Palance as Johnny Slate
Genre Drama
Written by Neil Bernstein
Calvin Clements
Meyer Dolinski
Fenton Hobart, Jr.
Paul Mason
Bob Rafelson
Jason Wingreen
William Wood
Directed by Arthur Hiller
Leslie H. Martinson
Vincent McEveety
Jack Palance
Starring Jack Palance
Stuart Erwin
Theme music composer Richard Rodgers
Opening theme "March of the Clowns"
Composer(s) Jeff Alexander
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 30
Producer(s) Stanley Colbert
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 48 mins.
Production company(s) Cody Productions
Desilu Productions
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Television
Distributor Desilu Sales, Inc.
CBS Films
Paramount Television
CBS Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution (current as of 2007)
Original network ABC
Picture format Color
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 17, 1963 (1963-09-17) – April 28, 1964 (1964-04-28)

The Greatest Show on Earth is an American drama series starring Jack Palance about the American circus, which aired on ABC from September 17, 1963, to April 28, 1964. It was produced by Desilu, the production company founded by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Sr..


Palance portrayed Johnny Slate, the circus manager, who became involved in the personal lives of the circus performers.[1]

Guest stars[edit]


Guest star Lucille Ball and Jack Palance in the episode "Lady in Limbo"
Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "Lion on Fire" September 17, 1963
1-2 "Silent Love, Secret Love" September 24, 1963
1-3 "No Middle Ground For Harry Kyle" October 1, 1963
1-4 "Don't Look Down, Don't Look Back" October 8, 1963
1-5 "Garve" October 15, 1963
1-6 "The Loser" October 22, 1963
1-7 "Uncaged" October 29, 1963
1-8 "The Circus Never Came To Town" November 5, 1963
1-9 "An Echo of Faded Velvet" November 12, 1963
1-10 "The Hanging Man" November 19, 1963
1-11 "Leaves In the Wind" November 26, 1963
1-12 "The Wrecker" December 3, 1963
1-13 "Lady in Limbo" December 10, 1963
1-14 "A Black Dress for Gina" December 17, 1963
1-15 "Where the Wire Ends" January 7, 1964
1-16 "Corsicans Don't Cry" January 14, 1964
1-17 "Big Man From Nairobi" January 21, 1964
1-18 "The Show Must Go On - to Orange City" January 28, 1964
1-19 "A Place to Belong" February 11, 1964
1-20 "Man In a Hole" February 18, 1964
1-21 "Clancy" February 25, 1964
1-22 "The Last of the Strongmen" March 3, 1964
1-23 "The Night the Monkey Died" March 10, 1964
1-24 "Of Blood, Sawdust, and a Bucket of Tears" March 17, 1964
1-25 "Rosetta" March 24, 1964
1-26 "The Glorious Days of the Used to Be" March 31, 1964
1-27 "Love the Giver" April 7, 1964
1-28 "This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There" April 14, 1964
1-29 "There Are No Problems, Only Opportunities" April 21, 1964
1-30 "You're All Right, Ivy" April 28, 1964


The Greatest Show on Earth faced competition from two comedy programs on CBS: Petticoat Junction, Edgar Buchanan's burgeoning spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies, and the long-running The Jack Benny Program. NBC aired The Richard Boone Show at the same 9 p.m. Tuesday slot.[2] The series was canceled after one season.


  1. ^ Oliver, Myrna via the Los Angeles Times. "Jack Palance—bad guy of Westerns also poet, painter", San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2006. Accessed October 29, 2008. "He had lead roles in "The Greatest Show on Earth" (ABC, 1963–64), in which he played hard-driving circus boss Johnny Slate..."
  2. ^ 1963–1964 American network television schedule

External links[edit]