Sunday, December 07, 2014

Red Skelton Show Season 03 1953-54 NBC

NBC cancelled the Red Skelton Show in 1953.  Ratings were low. This may have been because of low energy in the production. Skelton was under doctor's orders to take it easy. The was taped and Red was able to retake and take his time for costume changes. This was good for Red but not for the show. The sponsor Tide did not renew the contract. Red thought he was done but CBS picked up the show. Red got his timing back by performing live in Las Vegas. He wanted to do his show like his Vegas show but CBS did not want that. It still had some of the format of the old show. Announcer Bob Warren and music director David Rose went to his CBS show. The show did have a new cast and sponsor.

It fits that the sponsor was Geritol. This product was suppose to help tired blood. New blood to the cast included Jan Arvan, Ray Kellogg, Jimmy Cross and Isabel Randolph. Some of the cast stayed with him to the to the end of his series. A new character appeared. There was a hint to this type of character last season but this season he had the name George Appleby. Freddie's home was seen. First he had a shack at 422 Country Club Drive but that was removed for a highway. Then he had a place with a fireplace. He dressed up as Santa to give himself a gift.

Red had bigger guest star this season. John Wayne appeared again to get a award from Modern Screen magazine and at the end of a skit. Jackie Gleason appeared as his character Reginald Van Gleason. Ann Southern was on spoofing her TV show "Private Secretary". Ed Sullivan had a bit with McPugg.

Red Skelton last show of season 3 was three guest stars, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Vampire. Lugosi was going through hard times in 1954. This was the time he was with Ed Wood. In the 1994 film "Ed Wood" there was a scene where Lugosi appeared on a comic's TV show. Martin Landau played Bela having trouble with Red's ad libs. This did not happen in the 1954 episode.

Red did not get in the top 30s ratings. He tried something different in his next season after a special summer.

No comments: