Status Guide – “You’re in the Picture/The Jackie Gleason Show”

Game show You’re in the Picture premiered on Friday, January 20th, 1961. The following week, host Jackie Gleason spent a half-hour apologizing for the previous week’s broadcast. You’re in the Picture was never aired again and instead, Gleason hosted a talk show (called The Jackie Gleason show) for the next eight weeks. A second episode of You’re in the Picture was reportedly filmed but shelved after the first episode bombed.

The Paley Center for Media has the first and only aired episode of You’re in the Picture (broadcast January 20th, 1961) as well as Gleason’s apology shown the following week (January 27th, 1961). Archival Television Audio, Inc. (ATA) has in its collection the audio from six of the eight episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show. There is some confusion over how many episodes Jayne Mansfield appeared on. The Paley Center states that Mansfield was a guest on the March 3rd and March 10th episodes and has a copy of those episodes.

According to Archival Television Audio, Inc., however, Mansfield was only a guest on the March 3rd broadcast. Television listings in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times suggest that Mansfield appeared on both the February 24th and March 3rd episodes while Archival Television Audio, Inc. states that Gordon and Sheila MacRae were the guests for the February 24th episode.

It is possible that guests were either changed at the last minute or booked late making newspaper listings inaccurate. To the best of my knowledge, what follows is an accurate broadcast history of You’re in the Picture and The Jackie Gleason Show.

Season One: 1961
Ep. #Episode TitleAirdateStatus
1.Panelists: Pat Carroll, Jan Sterling, Arthur Treacher, Keenan Wynn01/20/1961Paley
N/A2nd Episode of You’re in the PictureN/A
2.Jackie Gleason’s on-air apology.01/27/1961Paley
3.Jackie Gleason Monologue; Chimpanzee Guest02/03/1961
4.With Jack Haley02/10/1961
5.With Art Carney (Audio Only)02/17/1961ATA
6.With Gordon and Sheila MacRae (Audio Only)02/24/1961ATA
7.With Jayne Mansfield (Audio Only at ATA)03/03/1961ATA, Paley
8.With Floyd Patterson, Ingemar Johansson (Audio Only)03/10/1961ATA
9.With Bobby Darin (Audio Only)03/17/1961ATA
10.With George Jessel, Rudy Vallee (Audio Only)03/24/1961ATA

2 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I believe all the episodes of the “THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW” are on deposit in Jackie’s air-conditioned vault in Florida, as he always insisted on receiving a kinescope or videotape copy of virtually everything he did from the network. Whether they’ll ever be seen by the general public again, I don’t know.

  • Phil Gries says:

    I have never found confirmation from any public or confidential resource that the “Jackie Gleason Show” (Jan. 27- March 24, 1961) survives. I constanly hear stories about a definitive Gleason estate archive. For once I would love to get definitive confirmation on what he was able to retain and what eluded him.

    Having personally audio taped a number of “The Jackie Gleason Shows” in question, at the time they originally aired 48 years ago, I have been motivated to further research the broadcast history of this short interim series, and set the record straight.

    After the aborted “You’r In The Picture” flopped, before it even left the air, Gleason insisted on coming on CBS the following Friday night with an apology show which aired on Jan. 27, 1961.

    For the record ATA also has an audio air check of this show.

    The following week (Feb. 3, 1961), still without a defined concept for a filler program in mind, Gleason returned to the air with only a chimpanzee as his guest. The official title for this program was “Jackie Gleason and Friend.”

    Gleason then recommended that for the remaining run of shows he do an informal interview program. Beginning the following week (Feb. 10, 1961) the title of the show was changed to”The Jackie Gleason Show.” Norman Leyden was named as Musical Director. Mickey Rooney was scheduled to be Gleason’s first guest but dropped out at the last minute…replaced by Jack Haley.

    It is interesting to note that on January 24, 1961, just four days after the airing of “Your In The Picture,” and three days before Gleason’s apology broadcast, Jackie Gleason and Arthur Godfrey were substitute guests, on the “The Red Skelton Show.” Skelton was ill (he was away from TV for nine weeks…Jan and Feb). The format of the show was an informal unrehearsed conversation between Godfrey and Gleason. The tables were turned, however, for it was Arthur Godfrey who was asking the questions, and Jackie Gleason who was ad-libbing his responses. I persoanlly recorded an audio air check of this program which is containted in the ATA collection (not yet included on the ATA website).

    This interview concept broadcast seemed to generate an idea to Gleason to use the same format for his interim series, “The Jackie Gleason Show” which required a format immediately.

    Jayne Mansfield was scheduled to appear with Gleason on the Feb. 24, 1961 show. At the last minute she dropped out (a scenario similar to Rooney dropping out at the last minute). Sheila and Gordon MacRae were guests in her place. Mansfield returned the following week to guest with Gleason (March 3, 1961). This was her only appearance, and she did not return for another show.

    The remaining air dates and guest information are correct as compiled above.

    Since newspaper accounts are seemingly accurate only for the day they are published and sparce and no infomation exists in TV Guide, and most all other salient reference resources related to the series in question, it is understandable how different conflicting and ambiguous information came to be.

    I trust an accurate account of the broadcast history of “The Jackie Gleason Show” as broadcast on CBS television, January 27, 1961 thru March 24, 1961 is now realized with some additional enlightenment.

    Phil Gries
    ARCHIVAL TELEVISION AUDIO, INC.

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