Saturday, May 18, 2013

The 1973 Emmy Awards - The Julie Andrews Hour Wins!

On April 20th, 1973, the 25th Annual Emmy Awards celebrated television’s best work for the previous season. That day The Los Angeles Times headlined the Emmy story with the fact that The Julie Andrews Hour and The Waltons were the leaders in this “Emmy Race.”

The Waltons, a wholesome series about a real family of the Depression area starring Richard Thomas, came in first with 12 nominations. The Waltons was a top rated show, so these nominations were no surprise. Meanwhile, The Julie Andrews Hour, which the LA Times referred to as a ratings “disaster,” came in second with an amazing 10 nominations.

No one involved with The Julie Andrews Hour was quite sure what to expect. The Times stated that while Julie’s show opened with “fanfare and critical favor,” it had never been able “to climb out of the bottom ratings.” As a result, the article noted, next year Julie would appear in a number of specials, rather than a weekly series.

Julie was not the country on April 20th. She and Blake Edwards were busy making a
Julie and Blake on the set of
Tamarind Seed
new film, The Tamarind Seed, which co-starred the very handsome Omar Shariff. Shariff was most famous for three unforgettable, classic films of the last decade: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Funny Girl (1968).

Once Julie left Hollywood, she was happy to be working once again with her husband, Blake Edwards. Perhaps it helped her forget the unhappy cancellation of her television series, a cancellation she had learned of  rather rudely and without warning, in a meeting with the entire crew of the show.

From the author's personal scrap-
book, clippings from Variety
The Emmy Awards of 1973 held a great many surprises for the creative team on Julie’s show. Producers Nick Vanoff and Bill Harbach were there. One by one, as each category was announced, The Julie Andrews Hour was the winner. (bold are the categories that won)

-         Best Musicial Variety Series – The Julie Andrews Hour; Julie Andrews, Star; William O. Harbach, Producer; Nick Vanoff, Producer

-         Best New Series - Julie Andrews, Star; Nick Vanoff, Producer

-         Directorial Achievement in Variety or Music (A single program of a series with continued characters or theme) Bill Davis, The Julie Andrews Hour (first of the series) (Won over Sonny and Cher and  Flip:The Flip Wilson Show)

-         Writing for Achievement in Variety or Music – This Award did went to The Carol Burnett Show over The Julie Andrews Hour (nominated for first show); John Aylesworth, Writer; George Bloom, Writer; Jay Burton,Writer; Bob Ellison, Writer; Lila Garrett, Writer; Hal Goodman,Writer; Larry Klein, Writer; Frank Peppiatt, Writer

-         Choreography (a single program of a series or special) – Bob Fosse won for Liza with a Z over The Julie Andrews Hour episode with guest stars Joel Grey and Robert Goulet

-         Art Direction or Scenic Design – Brian Bartholomew and Keaton S. Walker won the award for the first episode of The Julie Andrews Hour

-         Lighting Direction – Truck Krone won for his work on The Julie Andrews Hour Christmas Show (over Sonny and Cher and The Oscars)

-         Costume Design – Jack Bear was the winner of this Award for his work on the Ken Berry/Jack Cassidy episode

-         Technical Direction and Electronic Camera Work The Julie Andrews Hour - Jim Angel, Cameraman; James Balden, Cameraman; Ernie Buttleman, Technical Director; Dave Hilmer, Cameraman; Robert A. Kemp, Cameraman

-         Video Tape Editing The Julie Andrews Hour (apologies I do not have the name now)

That night, as the awards for The Julie Andrews Hour began to pile up, producers  Nick Vanoff and Bill Harbach were estatic. Last year, Mr. Harbach sent me a copy of a photo he and Nick had taken after the awards ceremony. 

“Did you see my note,” he asked, when I called to thank him.
“Yes, you are in the photo with eight awards!”
“We only won seven.”
“What happened,” I asked.
“They goofed,” he said, and we had a good laugh.

These two men looked so happy in this wonderful photo that I’m saving it for the book.
Producer Lew Grade presenting Julie with her
Emmy Award for The Julie Andrews Hour

Months later, when Julie Andrews was in London, she met with Sir Lew Grade and was presented her with her well-deserved Emmy. A series of wonderful photos were taken at this event.

Meanwhile, each and every person associated with The Julie Andrews Hour carries fond memories of the show. Those who earned an Emmy for their work are terribly proud. All the long nights, all the hart work and struggle to produce the best was was rewarded. These incredibly talented persons poured every ounce of creative energy they had into their art.

“I’m not sure I could have gone on another year like that,” art director Brian Bartholomew confided in me. Music Arranger, Ian Fraser seemed to agree, adding that Julie herself was not sure she could do another season at this level of commitment. Yet, lucky for us, The Julie Andrews Hour – though yet to be officially released - has preserved the best of the best:  music, art direction, choreography, costumes, lighting, camera shots, and performers.

If you would like to see this wonderful show released on DVD, please contact:

© Michelle Russell

To request that The Julie Andrews Hour be released on DVD, please contact:    at ITV and let your voices heard!
Be sure to ask for the release of the music on CD as well!

Photos appearing here are for entertainment purposes only!

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