The Julie Andrews Hour
|The Julie Andrews Hour|
|Written by||Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth
George Arthur Bloom
|Presented by||Dick Tufeld (announcer)|
The Dick Williams Singers
Choreographer: Tony Charmoli
|Theme music composer||Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II|
|Opening theme||"The Sound of Music"|
|Ending theme||"Time Is My Friend"|
|Composer(s)||Julie Andrews and Leslie Bricusse|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Executive producer(s)||Nick Vanoff
William O. Harbach
|Original network||ITV (UK)
|Original release||1972 – 1973|
In order to secure Andrews for the series, Sir Lew Grade and ABC offered her an extremely lucrative contract. In 1963, when another major star, Judy Garland, was signed to a weekly television variety series, it failed to catch on with the public. One of the main reasons for its demise was its constant change of format and the fact that critics and audiences felt that Garland was not shown off to her best advantage. In order to avoid that error, Andrews asked producer Nick Vanoff what the premise of the show would be about. Vanoff immediately answered her by saying "Julie Andrews ... without Julie Andrews there is no Julie Andrews Hour."
The show premiered on Wednesday, 13 September 1972 at 10:00 P.M. ET to rave reviews. Unfortunately, its time slot proved to be daunting because it was up against the popular CBS detective series, Cannon. Another reason for the low ratings was that the lateness of the hour was not conducive to family viewing since children were in bed by that time. On Thanksgiving Eve, 22 November 1972, The Julie Andrews Hour devoted an entire episode saluting Walt Disney. To make it more of a "family special", ABC switched the time slot of The Julie Andrews Hour that night to 8:30 P.M. and The ABC Wednesday Movie Of The Week to 9:30 P.M. The ratings improved a little, so ABC then made a decision to alternate Andrews' time period each week. (One week it would be 10:00 P.M., and the next week it would be 8:30 P.M.) This continued until January 1973, when the series was moved to Saturday nights at 9:00 P.M. The ratings went from bad to worse, as Andrews' chief competition was The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show (both highly rated series) on CBS. (Ironically, Moore had been Andrews' co-star in the 1967 hit film, Thoroughly Modern Millie.) The Julie Andrews Hour was finally canceled by ABC after its 24th episode in April 1973.
Andrews was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (for Best Actress In A Leading Role — Musical Or Comedy Series for the show); she lost out to Jean Stapleton in All in the Family. The Julie Andrews Hour went on to win seven Emmy Awards in 1973 out of ten nominations, including the Outstanding Variety Musical Series award given to the show's producers, Nick Vanoff and William O. Harbach, and the star.
In recognition of all the awards her show received, ABC offered Andrews five variety specials which were produced in England between 1973 and 1975, also under the auspices of Lew Grade. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several edited episodes of The Julie Andrews Hour were shown on syndicated stations throughout the United States as "specials".
The show opened with an excerpt of the title song from The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Andrews performed "Time Is My Friend" to close each episode. The music was written by Andrews with lyrics by her close friend Leslie Bricusse.
- Hollywood Foreign Press Association Golden Globes archives — Julie Andrews, accessed 21 January 2007
- Hollywood Foreign Press Association Golden Globes archives — Jean Stapleton, accessed 21 January 2007
- Internet Movie Database Emmy Awards: 1973, accessed 21 January 2006
- Musicforte "Time Is My Friend" sheet music