Press release: getTV brings one of television’s most beloved couples back to the forefront, as the network welcomes former husband-and-wife duo Sonny and Cher—comprised of accomplished songwriter Sonny Bono, and legendary songstress Cher—to its popular Monday Night Variety Block. The weekly lineup handpicks some of the best episodes from the hit variety series THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR, CHER, and THE SONNY & CHER SHOW, airing every Monday at 8 p.m. ET, starting on September 12. Many of these episodes have not been seen on television in over a decade.
The block kicks off with three weeks of the then-married singing duo’s debut series THE SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR, starting with the original 1971 premiere on September 12, featuring multi-talented entertainer Jimmy Durante; followed by ALL IN THE FAMILY star Jean Stapleton (September 19); and fan-favorite Andy Griffith (September 26). Other featured episodes will include guest appearances by Frankie Valli, Ricardo Montalban, Harvey Korman, Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds, Joe Namath, Chuck Berry, and Merv Griffin, among others.
Sonny and Cher were approached with the idea for the show after CBS head Fred Silverman saw them perform during a string of acclaimed nightclub appearances where they would sing, tell jokes, and poke fun at each other. Initially intended as a summer replacement series, THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR was a tremendous success with viewers, and ultimately earned a permanent spot in the CBS lineup—remaining a ratings hit for the duration of its run. In addition to Sonny and Cher, the series featured an impressive cast of recurring players that included dancer and comedian Teri Garr, GONG SHOW standout Murray Langston, voice actor Peter Cullen, and funnyman Steve Martin, who also served as a writer.
Throughout the year, THE SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR will share its timeslot with rare episodes of Cher’s 1975 solo series CHER, and the duo’s 1976 reunion series THE SONNY & CHER SHOW. CHER, which was spawned following the couple’s divorce in 1974, features the two-time Oscar-winner performing side-by-side with legendary guests such as Elton John, David Bowie, Bette Midler, Patti LaBelle’s LaBelle trio, The Jackson 5, and then-husband Gregg Allman, and puts her devastating wit on full display in skits and field reports with comedy pioneers Lily Tomlin, Flip Wilson, and Carol Burnett. Although a success with viewers, the series was brought to an end when Cher made the decision to partner up with Sonny once again.
Additionally, the lineup will feature the duo’s 1976 reunion series THE SONNY & CHER SHOW, which adopted their previous hit’s format with all-new sketches and songs, as well as performances of some of the pair’s biggest hits. getTV’s featured episodes will include guest appearances by Muhammad Ali, Betty White, Bob Hope, Farrah Fawcett, and Don Knotts, and Redd Foxx, among others. The series stands out for presenting Sonny and Cher in a way rarely seen before, as the more subdued pair frequently referenced their divorce, and Cher’s re-marriage and pregnancy, in monologues that were simultaneously candid and humorous.
“Last year, getTV brought back Judy Garland to our Monday night variety block. And this year, we believe the only entertainer who can possibly follow her is Cher,” said Jeff Meier, SVP of Programming, getTV. “Cher is a quadruple threat—an icon of music, movies, fashion and TV—relevant across six decades, and we’re thrilled to present this handpicked selection of episodes from across her three variety series, two of them showcasing her unique and endearing relationship with the beloved Sonny Bono. We’re happy to make these shows available again to the legions of fans who first fell in love with Cher while watching them, and to newer generations just now discovering the magic of Cher.”
For a complete programming schedule, visit www.get.tv/schedule. In addition to airing these series on the dates noted above, some of the programs mentioned are scheduled for further broadcasts throughout the month. (See listings for further details.)