Rescued and Lovingly Restored, the Timeless TV Classic and the Popular Music Variety Series Spotlighted Top Country, Pop, and Comic Stars
(NASHVILLE, TENN. — December 29th, 2016)
Before there was “Hee Haw,” the “Muppet Show” or “Get Smart,” there was “The Jimmy Dean Show,” which featured the early beginnings of all three iconic TV series. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, RFD-TV will re-debut the popular music variety series that originally aired on ABC-TV from 1963 to 1966. The popular hour-long weekly series introduced audiences to one of the first Jim Henson Muppets, Rowlf the Dog, featured a rising young comedian named Don Adams, who’d later star in his own show as secret agent Maxwell Smart, and hosted Roy Clark, Buck Owens and employed staff writers Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth, who would go on to create “Hee Haw.”
“The Jimmy Dean Show” has been off the air for fifty years since it’s finale in 1966. The popular series spotlighted a star-studded parade of popular entertainers during its three-year reign. It featured the stars of the day in country, pop, and comedy. Season 1 included 15 Country Music Hall of Famers such as special guests Johnny Cash, George Jones, Buck Owens, Jim Reeves, Carl Smith, Eddie Arnold, Bobby Bare, and The Duke of Paducah. Among the top comedians, Dean had as his guests were Jackie Mason, Dick Shawn, Corbett Monica, Red Buttons, and Allen Sherman. Comics Don Adams and Pat McCormick began developing sketches and familiar catchphrases on the show long before their smash TV comedy hit, “Get Smart.” The series highlighted a wide array of pop stars, such as Eydie Gorme, Gene Pitney, Bobby Rydell, Patti Page, Vikki Carr, Jerry Vale, Patty Duke, Johnny Tillotson, and SSgt. Barry Sadler.
“Jimmy Dean was a self-made man, a man’s man, and kind of what you’d expect from a Texan,” said Brian Hughes, Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer, GM Network Operations. “He was an incredibly talented singer, performer, host, and actor, all of which helped in his becoming a very successful businessman. And through all of this, for nearly five decades, Jimmy Dean helped shine the light on country music to the masses of America. RFD-TV is honored to have this great series.”
Jimmy Dean embodied the American dream and was revered as a recording artist, songwriter, television/film star, and businessman after founding “The Jimmy Dean Sausage Company” with his brother Don. His million-selling 1961 hit, “Big Bad John,” soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Chart and won Dean the 1962 Grammy award for best country and western recording.
Dean was also the first guest host during Johnny Carson’s tenure at “The Tonight Show” and appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Hollywood Palace,” “Daniel Boone,” and “Fantasy Island.” As a film star, Dean is best known for his role as billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond movie classic, “Diamonds Are Forever.” Dean was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, October of 2010 after his death earlier in the year in June.
“For many years it was Jimmy's dream to bring his show back to television, so I'm sure he'd be thrilled to finally see it happen,” says Donna Dean Stevens, Dean’s widow and executive producer of the newly released show. “He brought a multitude of smiles to people’s faces with great entertainment. It's my pleasure to fulfill his wish by sharing these shows after a long and arduous restoration process. The digitally remastered shows look and sound even better. I hope folks everywhere, especially fans of the ‘Golden Age of Television,’ will enjoy Jimmy's brand of classic entertainment once again.”
Project producer Jim Della Croce refers to the three-year restoration process as “a 5,000-piece puzzle, with each piece a vital gold nugget in the mosaic of television history."
Jayson Stevens served as co-executive producer. Steve Boyle was restoration producer.
Watch a video preview HERE.
FAQ – “The Jimmy Dean Show”
Watch the press conference from January 5th here:
Download the video above HERE. (Click link to play, then right click on video and select "Save Video As. . ." to download.)
Download hi-res versions of the photos below HERE.
ABOUT RURAL MEDIA GROUP (RMG):
Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. With a mission of reconnecting “city with country,” RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, RURAL RADIO, FamilyNet, and RFD-TV The Magazine. RMG networks are distributed to more than 100 million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter Spectrum, Suddenlink, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee. rfdtv.com
RFD-TV is the flagship network for Rural Media Group. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RFD-TV produces six hours of live news each weekday in support of rural America and is a leading independent cable channel available in more than 50 million homes.
ABOUT RURAL RADIO:
Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147, this is the agribusiness and Western-lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO’s program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, Western sports, and living the country life in small towns around rural America. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including “MARKET DAY REPORT,” “RURAL EVENING NEWS,” “RURAL AMERICA LIVE,” and “WESTERN SPORTS ROUND-UP,” as well as “Outside the Barrel,” with Flint Rasmussen, “Commodity Wrap,” with Marlin Bohling, “AgPhD,” “RealAg Radio,” “AgDay,” “FFA Today,” and “Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.” RURAL RADIO also carries live broadcasts of Western sports competitions such as the PBR, PRCA rodeos, and WPCA Chuckwagon races. ruralradio147.com
FamilyNet is America’s trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today’s diverse family. familynet.com
RFD-TV The Magazine is the print programming guide for the networks. It has attracted more than 180,000 paid subscribers.