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THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS RETURN TO TELEVISION ON E!

 THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS RETURN TO TELEVISION ON E!
 Star-Studded "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"
 To Debut on E! Monday, Jan. 4, 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT)
 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The television classic "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," updated with new wrap-around segments with the Smothers Brothers commenting on the original shows, will be cablecast as a 60-minute, nightly series on E! Entertainment Television, it was announced today by Fran Shea, E!'s senior vice president, programming.
 Premiering Monday, Jan. 4, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" will air Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on E!. The original "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" is distributed by Paul Brownstein Productions. The deal calls for 71 episodes of the original show to air in the context of new material, and marks the first time E! will showcase entertainment footage from Hollywood's past. The Jan. 4 premiere on E! also marks the first viewing of this Emmy Award-winning series since its controversial ending in April of 1969.
 "I've waited 25 years to see the first re-runs," quips straightman Dick Smothers, "but it was worth the wait. Tom and I will take a first look at the shows and we will place them in the right historical and social context."
 "I think this combination will make terrific television viewing," says Tom Smothers. "We are happy to be with E! Entertainment Television, and this will give the audience a chance to see the entire 'Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' in a new light."
 E! Entertainment Television has a programming lineup comprised of E!-produced series and specials. Beginning fall 1992, the network is expanding to include more original programming, to add known celebrities to its on-air talent pool, and to feature select acquired programming.
 "This marriage of an historical library of shows with newly produced commentaries is a first for E!," noted Shea. "'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' is part of the network's evolution into an expanded programming slate of both original and acquired programming, including past, present and future entertainment."
 The Smothers Brothers' series was known for its irreverent humor, its political overtones and for running afoul of the CBS censors. "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on E! will combine the classic comedy sketches and musical performances of the original series, with added commentary by the Smothers Brothers today, discussing the show in light of the social, cultural and political atmosphere of the volatile 1960s. The Smothers Brothers-hosted segments will be taped at E!'s Los Angeles studios, with production to commence in November.
 In addition, guests who took part in the original series will return to offer their anecdotes and insight on the times. "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" attracted top actors and comedians and featured them in comedy skits, including Bette Davis, Jack Benny, Bob Newhart, Carl Reiner, Janet Leigh, George Carlin and a young Steve Martin, who also wrote for the series. They also spotlighted many of the biggest musical performers of the era, including The Who, The Doors, Sonny & Cher, The Jefferson Airplane, Ike & Tina Turner, The Temptations and Simon & Garfunkel.
 "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" debuted on CBS in September 1967. Its cutting-edge humor made it a fast favorite, but CBS abruptly ended their series by firing the Smothers Brothers in a celebrated battle over creative control and censorship. They have since starred in several series and specials, including the highly rated "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 20th Reunion Show" in 1988. The duo now headlines in Las Vegas and travels the country performing 150-200 concerts a year.
 E! Entertainment Television is a 24-hour, basic cable network, which presents popular entertainment news and features, centered on today's top celebrities and events in movies, television, music and more. The network is currently offered to 20 million subscribers on more than 860 cable systems.
 -0- 10/15/92
 /CONTACT: Sarah Lesch, 213-954-2513, or Gillian Rees, 213-954-2436, both of E! Entertainment Television/ CO: E! Entertainment Television ST: California IN: ENT SU:


KJ-JL -- LA010 -- 0410 10/15/92 12:15 EDT
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Date:Oct 15, 1992
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