This Is Show Business

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This Is Show Business
Genre Talk show
Directed by Byron Paul
Starring Clifton Fadiman
Sam Levenson
Abe Burrows
George S. Kaufman
Walter Slezak
Jacqueline Susann
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
Producer(s) Irving Mansfield (1956)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 24–26 minutes
Original network CBS (1949–1954)
NBC (1956)
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release July 15, 1949 (1949-07-15) – September 11, 1956 (1956-09-11)

This Is Show Business is an American panel discussion program about the entertainment industry, hosted by Clifton Fadiman, which aired on CBS Television from July 15, 1949 to March 9, 1954, and then again as a summer series on NBC Television from June 26 to September 11, 1956.[1]


Guest celebrities, such as Billie Burke, Merv Griffin, or Dave Garroway[2] dropped by to visit the panel of intellectuals and humorists, including Sam Levenson, Abe Burrows, and playwright George S. Kaufman. In September 1951, This Is Show Business entered television history as the first CBS program to have been televised live from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. Kaufman, who was Jewish, was suspended due to viewer complaints after the December 21, 1952, Christmas broadcast in which he said, "Let's make this one program on which no one sings "Silent Night"!"[1]

On September 29, 1953, Jackie Gleason, Phil Foster, and John Raitt were This Is Show Business guest stars.[3]

After its five-year run on CBS, the series resumed for the summer of 1956 on NBC. This time the panel consisted of Burrows, Walter Slezak, and actress Jacqueline Susann,[1] future author of the novel Valley of the Dolls. Susann's husband, Irving Mansfield, was the producer of the later episodes. Byron Paul was the director.[1]


In its first season, This Is Show Business preceded Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, on the CBS Sunday lineup. In the 1950-1952 seasons, This Is Show Business alternated with The Jack Benny Program preceding Ed Sullivan.

In the last full season on CBS, the series followed The Red Skelton Show on Tuesday evenings and faced competition from Danny Thomas, then on ABC with his Make Room for Daddy and Fireside Theater, an anthology series on NBC.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television:The comprehensive guide to programming from 1948 to the present. Penguin Books. p. 832. ISBN 0-14-024916-8. 
  2. ^ "This Is Show Business (1956)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ "This Is Show Business (September 29, 1953)". IMDB. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ McNeil, Total Television, appendix, national television schedule

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