MJ Files : The Jacksons TV Show - CBS 1976/1977
Let's go back to 1976/1977 with the Jackson family kids for a great TV revival moment.
In summer 1976, CBS television executive Fred Silverman signed the Jackson family (including Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jackie, Randy, Rebbie, LaToya, and Janet) to appear in their own variety show, to compete with ABC's The Osmonds. The Jacksons debuted on June 16, 1976, and ran on CBS until its cancellation the following March. The show was the first variety show hosted by an African American family.
The entire Jackson family was present for the TV production except Jermaine who had a solo record contract. Even little sister Janet was in full force and Michael was a lot more open and friendly back then, too—even though he was totally against the idea of a TV show from the very start.
"We shouldn't do it," Michael argued with his siblings, to no avail. "Look at Tony Orlando. Look at Cher. It's going to really hurt our sales."
Guests for the four-week run included Ed McMahon, who played W.C. Fields to Janet Jackson's Mae West, and Sonny Bono, who appeared in a comedy sketch about the tabloids. This was one of Bono's last network guest-shots—just three years earlier he had the biggest show on television, now his career was grinding to a dead stop.
Much to Michael's chagrin, The Jacksons was brought back in January of 1977, but failed to catch on as a regular series and was cancelled due to abysmal ratings in March of that same year. Michael accepted some of the blame, saying in part; "I'm not a comedian. Is it really entertaining for me to get up there and crack a few weak jokes and force people to laugh because I'm Michael Jackson, when I know in my heart I'm not funny?"
In spite of Michael's dire predictions, mere weeks after The Jacksons left the air, the brothers were back on the charts with the hit tune, Enjoy Yourself and sister Janet Jackson, the TV show's breakout star, was well on her way establishing a solo career. She was discovered by producer Norman Lear on the variety show and, after auditioning, joined the cast of Good Times a few months later.
Source : tvparty.com
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