In 1954, NBC President Pat Weaver introduced ""spectaculars"" - lavish entertainment shows designed to bring a new dimension to television. Though special programs had been around since 1939, Weaver's effort heralded a new age, with programs ranging from variety shows with big name hosts (Judy Garland, Cher, Perry Como, Bob Hope, for instance) through animated holiday specials and outstanding dramas to acclaimed children's programming. This is the guide to 3,197 entertainment specials, 1939 to 1993, that were broadcast on network, cable or syndicated television. For each show the cast, including guest stars and announcer, is provided. Also included are comprehensive production credits (director, producer, writer and music), dates aired, networks and running times, and program synopses.
New Yorker Vincent Terrace has worked as a research contributor for ABC television and has written more than 30 books, including Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (2008), Encyclopedia of Television Subjects, Themes and Settings (2007), Radio Program Openings and Closings, 1931-1972 (2003), Crime Fighting Heroes of Television (2002), Sitcom Fact Finder, 1948-1984 (2001), and Television Sitcom Factbook, 1985-2000 (2000), all from McFarland.