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CHER TV SHOW : PART ONE HERE

Cher Show  on CBS
Bob Mackie design for Cher


Cher Show cast

Listen to a network
promo for Cher

cher TV Show  photo
Bob Mackie with Cher

cher"I attended one of Cher's tapings. It was the show where she took a big spill during the taping of her opening song. Chastity was sitting right in front of me. After a cigarette, Cher finally repeated the song and got it right.

"The spill occurred because she stepped from a fixed platform to a moving platform at a certain point in the song. The crew and Cher weren't "in synch" so when she stepped off the fixed platform, the moving platform wasn't there and down she went.

It took 3 hours to tape the opening song!!"

- Paul Stephen


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Cher's TV Show
PART TWO
/ PART ONE HERE
by Billy Ingram

Cher Bob Mackie DesignRatings were high for Cher's first weekly show (actually a special, broadcast February 16, 1975) featuring Flip Wilson, Bette Midler and Elton John (in a rare prime-time appearance). One of the early episodes featuring Cloris Leachman ('Phyllis') and Jack Albertson ('Chico and the Man') won an Emmy for each of the guest-stars.

Cher created tabloid headlines immediately with her navel-exposing Bob Mackie outfits and started talking with 'hip' slang terms like "You cats sit tight", and "Be cool".

"There were so many things that were censored - ideas and words." Cher said looking back on the show in 1980, "All I know is I got in trouble for showing my belly button, and every time I turned around after I went off the air, all you saw were Cheryl Ladd's boobs."

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Cher with David Bowie on the Cher show in 1975.

Even with strong initial ratings, the first season ended with the 'Cher' show at number 23. In contrast, 'The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour' finished 7th the year before, so it was decided that the 'Cher' show needed a minor overhaul.

cher + tabloidsThe second season saw a new orchestra and a more upbeat opening with a new theme song (based on Cher's Sixties hit "All I Really Want to Do" penned by Bob Dylan).

The second season also brought lower ratings, so the star made a bold decision. Cher would team up with Sonny again and start mid-season with an all-new series.

Whether this was entirely her decision (or an ultimatum from the network) is open for debate. After all, wasn't this the same Sonny she sued for "involuntary servitude" in violation of the 13th amendment to the Constitution (forbidding slavery) just a year before? The same Sonny that demanded $1.5 million in cash just to get out of her contract with him?

Sonny & CherThere were other difficult legal issues that had to be settled before Sonny and Cher could work together on television again. The couple's former record label was owed an album (which was hastily recorded and never released), and the couple had to embark on one last tour during the summer hiatus to fulfill another long standing contract that Sonny had made before the divorce.

With these issues settled, 'Cher' left the schedule on January 4, 1976, replaced a month later by The Sonny and Cher Show. The logo for the new show featured a hand with the fingers crossed for luck.

Ratings for the new Sonny and Cher series were high at first, the premiere episode reached the magic number seven, but then fell to the same levels as the 'Cher' show over the next few weeks.

Sonny & Cher Ratings for the second season were lower still, in spite of the fact that the opening dialogues between the couple were funnier than ever as they discussed their divorce and separately dysfunctional lives. 'The Sonny and Cher Show' was canceled after a year and a half run in August of 1977.

Cher went on to do a variety special for NBC in 1979 ('Cher - And Other Fantasies') before embarking on a very successful career as a Las Vegas entertainer and Oscar-winning motion picture actress.


YOU TUBING CHER
Lily Tomlin as Ernestine gossips with Cher from the Cher show.

Cher takes questions from the audience on The Mike Douglas Show.

 

PART THREE: After TV:
Cher's Lost Recordings


(PART ONE: The Cher Show Begins)


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