The Carol Burnett Show Seasons 1-5 On MeTV

3 Stars

Starting April 14 MeTV is showing episodes from the first five years of The Carol Burnett Show. From the way the show is scheduled these are not edited down to half-hour versions but are the hour long versions. Now how much has been edited to make room for more commercials I could not say. I do not have a way to view MeTV to check them out. The shows are running six times a week. Sundays at 10:30 pm and M-F at 11:00 pm. The episode guide on the MeTV website does not correspond to any known episode guide for the series. Plus there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the order the episodes are being aired. Tonight’s episode has Gloria Loring, Tim Conway and Lucille Ball as guests. The MeTV episode guide has this listed and the 3rd episode but with an original air date as 11/20/67. The episode guide that I have listed the 11/20/67 episode as the 10th episode and the guests were not Tim Conway, Lucille Ball and Gloria Loring but Juliet Prowse and Martha Raye. The Tim Conway, Lucille Ball and Gloria Loring episode was the 4th episode and aired 10/2/67. I don’t know where MeTV got this episode guide but it looks to be all messed up.

Anyway, I just thought that anyone who can tape these episodes might want to do so since this is the first time these have been broadcast since their original airing. I don’t know exactly how many of the first five seasons of shows will ultimately be aired but get them while you can. There may be several shown that have not been released on DVD.

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Kevin Collins

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38 Comments

  1. darkrock17

    Perry Mason is on right now, so these NEW Carol Burnett Show episodes aren't the original hour long shows after all.

    Hmmm. That's odd. When I checked it showed Carol on from 11:00-12:00. Ok, so never mind. These are cut down to half hour shows. That's a bummer. Still, it would be worth getting the stuff that hasn't been released on DVD from those seasons. Maybe they will show the half-hour versions of season 11 that haven't been syndicated in years as well. That way we could finally get the last 2 or 3 Family sketches that are not in circulation at the moment.

  2. These are very interesting from an historical aspect. Carol is so much less sure of herself and seems girlish during her monologues. Contrast that with her commanding, reassuring presence in the monologues of the later years.

    VIcki is used very sparingly in the episodes so far. Apparently, they weren’t sure of her talents at that point.

    Even though these episodes are edited down, we get to see the original openings, full monologues (I believe), and closings. For the Carol Burnett & Friends package, the intros and closings were standardized, and the monologues often edited down or out completely. But showing the original closing credits can also be jarring; last night they showed Carol is some elaborate old-fashioned costume singing her closing theme song, but we didn’t get to see the obviously elaborate production number that preceded it.

    Carol previously syndicated the reruns through her own production company, but has now turned the show over the CBS Television Distribution. This is a smart way to ensure the show will be seen for years to come.

  3. sjbradford

    These are very interesting from an historical aspect. Carol is so much less sure of herself and seems girlish during her monologues. Contrast that with her commanding, reassuring presence in the monologues of the later years.

    VIcki is used very sparingly in the episodes so far. Apparently, they weren’t sure of her talents at that point.

    Even though these episodes are edited down, we get to see the original openings, full monologues (I believe), and closings. For the Carol Burnett & Friends package, the intros and closings were standardized, and the monologues often edited down or out completely. But showing the original closing credits can also be jarring; last night they showed Carol is some elaborate old-fashioned costume singing her closing theme song, but we didn’t get to see the obviously elaborate production number that preceded it.

    Carol previously syndicated the reruns through her own production company, but has now turned the show over the CBS Television Distribution. This is a smart way to ensure the show will be seen for years to come.

    Carol was nervous as was Vicki in the beginning, being the first woman to have her own variety series is a lot of pressure. Also Vicki was originally only used for Carol & Sis sketches since they looked like twins when the series started.

    Good to know that these half hour CBS episodes included the complete Bump Up Lights opening. We'd all love to see the Broadway musical numbers, but that would cost way too much to clear those songs these days. Also Carol and the gang along with their guests sang solo or duet together and those again would cost a lot to clear.

  4. sjbradford

    Carol previously syndicated the reruns through her own production company, but has now turned the show over the CBS Television Distribution. This is a smart way to ensure the show will be seen for years to come.

    This might be because Carol no longer owns the episodes from seasons 1-5. I know she still retains rights to seasons 6-11.

  5. When originally produced, Carol was part owner of seasons 1-5, along with Bob Banner, and full owner of the remaining seasons. I suspect that CBS made a deal with both to distribute seasons 1-5. I don’t think she gave up ownership.

  6. AndyMcKinney

    So, are they airing episodes that aren't in the DVD collection(s)? I'd have figured it would just be the same episodes as the DVDs, given all the music clearances, etc.

    Last night's episode featured Diahann Caroll.

  7. It's funny how so many false ideas never die.

    Carol Burnett was not the first woman to have a variety show. In the mid-1950s, Martha Raye (also known as a "rubber faced comedienne") had her own show. Dinah Shore had one for years, although geared more to music than comedy. Judy Garland came before Carol Burnett, too.

  8. AndyMcKinney

    I don't have the "Lost Episodes" DVDs, so is that an episode that wasn't on the DVDs?

    I have one of the Lost Episodes collections and of the 18 included, this wasn't on it.

    These are the episodes on my set.

    Disc 1
    ———-
    Nov. 4 1968 – Lucille Ball, Eddie Albert, and Nancy Wilson
    Feb. 22 1971 – Chita Rivera and Bob Newhart
    Nov. 11 1968 – Don Rickles, Mel Torme, and Nanette Fabray

    Disc 2
    ———
    Sep. 11 1967 – Jim Nabors (The very first episode)
    Nov. 3 1971 – Bing Crosby and Paul Lynde
    Mar. 1 1972 Tim Conway and Eydie Gorme

    Disc 3
    ———
    Feb. 23 1972 – Nanette Fabray and Burt Reynolds
    Nov. 27 1967 – Lesley Ann Warren and Don Adams

    Disc 4
    ———
    Oct. 2 1967 – Lucille Ball, Tim Conway, and Gloria King
    Jan. 6 1969 – Tim Conway

    Disc 5
    ———
    Oct. 16 1967 -Bobbie Gentry, Phyllis Diller, and Gwen Verdon
    Nov. 17 1969 – Andy Griffith
    Nov. 10 1971 – Bernadette Peters, and Mama Cass Elliot

    Disc 6
    ———
    Jan. 19 1970 – Flip Wilson and Vikki Carr
    Oct. 6 1971 – Carol Channing and Steve Lawrence
    Mar. 18 1968 – Tim Conway, Jack Jones, and Ruth Buzzi

    Disc 7
    ———
    Jan. 26 1972 – Tim Conway and Ray Charles
    Nov. 24 1969 – Lucille Ball and George Carlin

  9. Pmprod7

    I can't get over how new looking the tape prints look for a 52 year old series. They really took good care of these shows in their vaults.

    Tape back then must of been really good to still be around today, how did they remaster these episodes; is tape easier or harder to restore than film?

  10. darkrock17

    Tape back then must of been really good to still be around today, how did they remaster these episodes; is tape easier or harder to restore than film?

    I know they can go to the original prints of a filmed television show to make new copies but I don't think they can do the same with video masters (but maybe clean them up). They kept these video prints in really good shape from the start for all these years they weren't airing them.

  11. Pmprod7

    I know they can go to the original prints of a filmed television show to make new copies but I don't think they can do the same with video masters (but maybe clean them up). They kept these video prints in really good shape from the start for all these years they weren't airing them.

    From what I've seen these last couple of nights of CBS, all of the colors pop out nicely with only a few moments here and there of some wear and tear and when anything present on screen with the color white looks a bit fuzzy/shaky.

  12. AndyMcKinney

    So, are they airing episodes that aren't in the DVD collection(s)? I'd have figured it would just be the same episodes as the DVDs, given all the music clearances, etc.

    Yes, they are showing episodes from seasons 1-5 that have not been released on DVD but these have been cut down to a half-hour. They are not showing all episodes from seasons 1-5. They skipped the very first episode of the series. I don't know why. Also, they are not showing these in any kind of logical order. They are not following original air dates or production order. It's kind of all over the place. From what I've read on MeTV's site, they are jumping around within the seasons. For example, first they'll show a season 1 episode from 1967 then the next night they'll show one that is half way through the season like a 1968 episode. I'm not sure if MeTV came up with their own episode guide or if this was provided by whomever is distributing the series. Either way it is a mess.

    The episodes that have been released on DVD as The Lost Episodes are also being shown (at least some of them), but again as half-hour versions.

  13. This isn't quite related to the first 5 seasons of Carol Burnett, but has there ever been the possibility of Time/Life releasing a set of all the "Family" sketches? I have most of them that are available, but it would be great to have all of them, and to have them gathered together in the same set.

  14. GMBurns

    This isn't quite related to the first 5 seasons of Carol Burnett, but has there ever been the possibility of Time/Life releasing a set of all the "Family" sketches? I have most of them that are available, but it would be great to have all of them, and to have them gathered together in the same set.

    Up to now Time-Life has not gone the "compiling sketches" route, but I suppose anything is possible, depending on what their contract says. The last releases were a few years ago, related to the show's 50th anniversary.

    That's a bummer about the Me-TV shows being half-hour cut-downs. But at least they are being shown in some form.

    I note even though shows from the first five years weren't released on video for a long time, they didn't seem to have a problem showing clips of them on various specials over the years.

  15. While I was thinking about it, I checked all the Carol Burnett stuff I have and it looks like I am only missing two of the "Family" sketches that have been released, and it sounds like they are both on the 50th anniversary set released two years ago. It looks like there is a 6-disc version and an 11 disc version. Would someone who's purchased those be able to tell me which set i'd have to buy in order to get the two remaining sketches. They are September 13, 1975 episode 901, and December 11, 1977 episode 1112. Thanks a lot!

  16. GMBurns

    While I was thinking about it, I checked all the Carol Burnett stuff I have and it looks like I am only missing two of the "Family" sketches that have been released, and it sounds like they are both on the 50th anniversary set released two years ago. It looks like there is a 6-disc version and an 11 disc version. Would someone who's purchased those be able to tell me which set i'd have to buy in order to get the two remaining sketches. They are September 13, 1975 episode 901, and December 11, 1977 episode 1112. Thanks a lot!

    Both of those episodes are on The Best Of The Carol Burnett Show Vol. 1 and they seem to be included on both the 10 disc and 21 disc sets. Here's the link to Time Life were you can get it.

    https://timelife.com/products/the-best-of-the-carol-burnett-show

  17. Yeah, sadly there are still 3 Family sketches that have not been released and only one of those is on Youtube. Well, 2 on Youtube if you count the September 8, 1979 Carol & Company sketch where Eunice and Mama visit Carl's grave. The 2 that have yet to tun up anywhere are September 24, 1977 and October 15, 1977. Both are from season 11. I have a feeling that the half hour versions of season 11 that haven't been shown in years might have these two sketches. I don't know why but there are supposed to be 175 episodes of Carol Burnett & Friends. The first 150 covered seasons 6-10 and then in 1987 25 more were released and these covered season 11 and any episodes from seasons 6-10 that got missed. MeTV only shows 148 episodes from seasons 6-10 and now they've added the 115 from seasons 1-5 bringing the total episodes to 263. So, there are 27 episodes missing from MeTV's syndication package. I'd like for them to get those missing 27 episodes.

  18. Brian Himes

    Yeah, sadly there are still 3 Family sketches that have not been released and only one of those is on Youtube. Well, 2 on Youtube if you count the September 8, 1979 Carol & Company sketch where Eunice and Mama visit Carl's grave. The 2 that have yet to tun up anywhere are September 24, 1977 and October 15, 1977. Both are from season 11. I have a feeling that the half hour versions of season 11 that haven't been shown in years might have these two sketches. I don't know why but there are supposed to be 175 episodes of Carol Burnett & Friends. The first 150 covered seasons 6-10 and then in 1987 25 more were released and these covered season 11 and any episodes from seasons 6-10 that got missed. MeTV only shows 148 episodes from seasons 6-10 and now they've added the 115 from seasons 1-5 bringing the total episodes to 263. So, there are 27 episodes missing from MeTV's syndication package. I'd like for them to get those missing 27 episodes.

    Brian, I found a list at sitcomsonline that made it seem there were 6 Family sketches not available anywhere on dvd, thus I thought I was missing only two. But if there are only three missing, then I am 5 short. Do you know of a different list somewhere? Thanks a lot.

  19. GMBurns

    Brian, I found a list at sitcomsonline that made it seem there were 6 Family sketches not available anywhere on dvd, thus I thought I was missing only two. But if there are only three missing, then I am 5 short. Do you know of a different list somewhere? Thanks a lot.

    Here is a list of all of the Family sketches, air dates and brief synopsis.

    Sketches in bold have been released on DVD.
    Sketches in italics are part of Carol Burnett & Friends episodes taped off TV or downloaded from YouTube.

    Season 7 March 16, 1974
    Philip comes home for a visit (Roddy McDowall as Philip).

    Season 8 September 14, 1974
    Eunice and Ed take Mama to church. Forgive your enemies.

    Season 8 October 12, 1974
    The family visits Jack in the hospital (Tom Smothers as Jack).

    Season 8 November 9, 1974
    The family plays Sorry!

    Season 8 December 21, 1974
    Larry visits for Christmas (Alan Alda as Larry)

    Season 8 January 25, 1975
    Mama has a new beau (William Conrad as Willie).

    Season 8 February 22, 1975
    Mama has an accident and moves in with Eunice and Ed.

    Season 8 March 15, 1975
    The family visits Philip in California (Roddy McDowell as Philip).

    Season 8 April 5, 1975
    Eunice and Mama visit Ed at the hardware store.

    Season 9 September 13, 1975
    Ed visits a massage parlor (Jim Nabors as cab driver).

    Season 9 October 4, 1975
    Flashback to Eunice and Ed dating.

    Season 9 October 25, 1975
    Mickey has dinner with the family and everyone plays charades.

    Season 9 November 15, 1975
    The family has a conference with Bubba's teacher (Maggie Smith as Mrs. Collins).

    Season 9 November 22, 1975
    Ellen visits for Mama's birthday (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 9 December 13, 1975 (Carol Burnett & Friends)
    Mama's sister Mae's funeral.

    Season 9 February 7, 1976 (Carol Burnett & Friends)
    The family goes to an expensive restaurant.

    Season 9 February 14, 1976
    Eunice's friend Midge visits (Joanne Woodward as Midge Gibson).

    Season 9 March 13, 1976
    Eunice is jealous when Ed and Mickey go to a hardware convention.

    Season 10 September 25, 1976
    The family plays Monopoly.

    Season 10 October 16, 1976
    Eunice rehearses with her friend for a play (Madeline Kahn as Mavis Danton).

    Season 10 November 6, 1976
    The family visits Mickey's apartment for dinner.

    Season 10 December 11, 1976
    Eunice and Ellen help Mama clean the attic (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 10 February 12, 1977
    Eunice appears on The Gong Show.

    Season 11 September 24, 1977 (Unavailable anywhere at this time)
    Dan comes to dinner. Ed has left Eunice (Dick Van Dyke as Dan Fogarty).

    Season 11 October 15, 1977 (Unavailable anywhere at this time)
    Mama drops in unannounced.

    Season 11 November 5, 1977 (YouTube)
    The family plays Password.

    Season 11 December 11, 1977
    Eunice and Mickey try to coax Mama into a retirement home.

    Season 11 January 8, 1978
    Philip visits again (Roddy McDowell as Philip).

    Season 11 March 5, 1978
    Eunice and Mama visit Ellen before her anniversary party (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 11 March 29, 1978
    Eunice and Mama visit a psychiatrist.

    Carol & Company September 8, 1979 (YouTube)
    Eunice and Mama visit Carl's grave.

  20. Brian Himes

    Here is a list of all of the Family sketches, air dates and brief synopsis.

    Sketches in bold have been released on DVD.
    Sketches in italics are part of Carol Burnett & Friends episodes taped off TV or downloaded from YouTube.

    Season 7 March 16, 1974
    Philip comes home for a visit (Roddy McDowall as Philip).

    Season 8 September 14, 1974
    Eunice and Ed take Mama to church. Forgive your enemies.

    Season 8 October 12, 1974
    The family visits Jack in the hospital (Tom Smothers as Jack).

    Season 8 November 9, 1974
    The family plays Sorry!

    Season 8 December 21, 1974
    Larry visits for Christmas (Alan Alda as Larry)

    Season 8 January 25, 1975
    Mama has a new beau (William Conrad as Willie).

    Season 8 February 22, 1975
    Mama has an accident and moves in with Eunice and Ed.

    Season 8 March 15, 1975
    The family visits Philip in California (Roddy McDowell as Philip).

    Season 8 April 5, 1975
    Eunice and Mama visit Ed at the hardware store.

    Season 9 September 13, 1975
    Ed visits a massage parlor (Jim Nabors as cab driver).

    Season 9 October 4, 1975
    Flashback to Eunice and Ed dating.

    Season 9 October 25, 1975
    Mickey has dinner with the family and everyone plays charades.

    Season 9 November 15, 1975
    The family has a conference with Bubba's teacher (Maggie Smith as Mrs. Collins).

    Season 9 November 22, 1975
    Ellen visits for Mama's birthday (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 9 December 13, 1975 (Carol Burnett & Friends)
    Mama's sister Mae's funeral.

    Season 9 February 7, 1976 (Carol Burnett & Friends)
    The family goes to an expensive restaurant.

    Season 9 February 14, 1976
    Eunice's friend Midge visits (Joanne Woodward as Midge Gibson).

    Season 9 March 13, 1976
    Eunice is jealous when Ed and Mickey go to a hardware convention.

    Season 10 September 25, 1976
    The family plays Monopoly.

    Season 10 October 16, 1976
    Eunice rehearses with her friend for a play (Madeline Kahn as Mavis Danton).

    Season 10 November 6, 1976
    The family visits Mickey's apartment for dinner.

    Season 10 December 11, 1976
    Eunice and Ellen help Mama clean the attic (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 10 February 12, 1977
    Eunice appears on The Gong Show.

    Season 11 September 24, 1977 (Unavailable anywhere at this time)
    Dan comes to dinner. Ed has left Eunice (Dick Van Dyke as Dan Fogarty).

    Season 11 October 15, 1977 (Unavailable anywhere at this time)
    Mama drops in unannounced.

    Season 11 November 5, 1977 (YouTube)
    The family plays Password.

    Season 11 December 11, 1977
    Eunice and Mickey try to coax Mama into a retirement home.

    Season 11 January 8, 1978
    Philip visits again (Roddy McDowell as Philip).

    Season 11 March 5, 1978
    Eunice and Mama visit Ellen before her anniversary party (Betty White as Ellen).

    Season 11 March 29, 1978
    Eunice and Mama visit a psychiatrist.

    Carol & Company September 8, 1979 (YouTube)
    Eunice and Mama visit Carl's grave.

    Thanks for providing this handy-dandy list. I saw every single one of these when they were first broadcast, and many of them emerged as comic gems with enormous rerun appeal. I especially love the Maggie Smith episode and the family cleaning the attic with Betty White taking everything worth anything. I videotaped those and can't tell you have many dozens of times I rewatched them while a VCR was still my primary video device.

  21. Yeah those family sketches were great. I haven’t seen the sketches or the shows in years, but I remember a few of them (the Gong Show, Alan Alda guest stars, they go to the expensive restaurant).
    A little off topic, but does anybody remember the Jowls sketch (when the film Jaws took over the country)? Korman played the grizzled old captain who tried to fish the monster out of a toilet drain.
    Those shows were great when Conway would get Korman to crack up during a sketch.

  22. Jeffrey D

    Yeah those family sketches were great. I haven’t seen the sketches or the shows in years, but I remember a few of them (the Gong Show, Alan Alda guest stars, they go to the expensive restaurant).
    A little off topic, but does anybody remember the Jowls sketch (when the film Jaws took over the country)? Korman played the grizzled old captain who tried to fish the monster out of a toilet drain.
    Those shows were great when Conway would get Korman to crack up during a sketch.

    Here you go.

  23. Neil Brock

    Are they running it as it should be, in beautiful 2-inch tape look or did they re-encode it to give that stupid fake film look?

    ME-TV (at least on both stations in Los Angeles) blows up the picture to make it more widescreen friendly. For me it makes it almost unwatchable.

  24. Larry.P

    ME-TV (at least on both stations in Los Angeles) blows up the picture to make it more widescreen friendly. For me it makes it almost unwatchable.

    Which isn't a huge problem with shows that originated on film (if their compromised-widescreen masters come from film sources), but for shot-on-NTSC-tape shows like Burnett, this is an absolute travesty. No matter what one thinks of cropping the image, there is also the loss of picture quality, which is already low-resolution to start with…

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