FIRST FIFTY YEARS, THE (TV)

Summary

This four-and-a-half-hour special program commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of NBC. First is a compilation of clips from radio and television programs, including James Dean, Grace Kelly, Barbra Streisand, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Martin introduces a section on singers of popular songs, including Rudy Vallee, Patti Page, Perry Como, Pearl Bailey, Dinah Shore in a split-screen, Bing Crosby, and Kate Smith. The program continues with coverage of the Rose Bowl in 1927, 1929, and 1976, an all-star revue in 1950, popular dancers, and the space program, then segues to skits with Jack Benny, Kay Kyser, Al Jolson, and Will Rogers.

The second hour begins with a split-screen with George C. Scott, and then Jimmy Stewart. Dean Martin presents a section on comedians, including Burns and Allen, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, and Lewis and Martin. Other highlights include coverage of boxing matches; dancers, including Rudolf Nureyev and Fred Astaire; war coverage by NBC News; Sid Caesar's spoof of "This Is Your Life"; coverage of World Series Games in 1947 and 1975; a split-screen with Bob Hope; children's shows; the fight for civil rights; and David Sarnoff's opening of regular television service.

The third hour begins with clips from various Milton Berle shows, and includes "Molly Goldberg" talking about Berle. Other highlights include football coverage and the Pimlico racetrack; a review of the portrayal of blacks by the industry, including a word-association sketch with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor; Hopalong Cassidy; coverage of Charles Lindbergh in 1927; the Hindenburg disaster; the quiz show scandals; the NBC Opera Company; westerns; and women in broadcasting.

The fourth hour opens with a tour of Universal Studios and a quiz about old sitcoms with Jack Albertson and Freddie Prinze of the television series "Chico and the Man." Other highlights include the Bob Hope Desert Golf Classic; Hank Aaron breaking the home run record; dancing sequences with George Burns, Gregory Peck, and Jack Benny; a clip of comedian Marty Feldman; the late shows; and President Richard Nixon's resignation. In other highlights, John Chancellor reviews news coverage, from the Dewey "election" to President Jimmy Carter, and Gregory Peck introduces a segment on television drama, including a clip from the 1953 television presentation of "Marty."

The final portion begins with excerpts from soap operas and continues with production numbers and the Miss America contest. Other highlights include "The Good Guys"; David Brinkley on news reporting; and a look at musicals, including "My Fair Lady," "Camelot," "Hair," "Oklahoma!," and "Applause," with performances by Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Lauren Bacall, Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza in "South Pacific," and Yul Brynner in "The King and I," among others. The program concludes with Gen. David Sarnoff's address and a tribute to the communications industry. Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: November 21, 1976 Sunday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 4:22:31
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T77:0058
  • GENRE: Specials
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV, 1976
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Greg Garrison … Executive Producer
    • Lee Hale … Producer
    • Chet Hagan … Producer
    • Abby Mann … Writer
    • Jack Elliott … Music by
    • John Chancellor … Host
    • Angie Dickinson … Host
    • Bob Hope … Host
    • Jerry Lewis … Host
    • Dean Martin … Host
    • Gregory Peck … Host
    • Orson Welles … Host
    • David Brinkley … Host
    • Johnny Carson … Host
    • Hank Aaron
    • Jack Albertson
    • Gracie Allen
    • Julie Andrews
    • Fred Astaire
    • Lauren Bacall
    • Pearl Bailey
    • Jack Benny
    • Milton Berle
    • Mel Brooks
    • Yul Brynner
    • George Burns
    • Richard Burton
    • Sid Caesar
    • Chevy Chase
    • Perry Como
    • Bing Crosby
    • James Dean
    • Marty Feldman
    • Al Jolson
    • Grace Kelly (See also: Grace, Princess of Monaco)
    • Kay Kyser
    • Mary Martin
    • Richard M. Nixon
    • Rudolf Nureyev
    • Patti Page
    • Ezio Pinza
    • Freddie Prinze
    • Richard Pryor
    • Carl Reiner
    • Will Rogers
    • David Sarnoff
    • George C. Scott
    • Dinah Shore
    • Kate Smith
    • Jimmy Stewart
    • Barbra Streisand
    • Rudy Vallee