Burnett Costs Have Killed Tv Variety Shows
Carol Burnett has suggested that the kind of talent who made her long-running variety show a weekly appointment for millions of viewers for 11 seasons have priced themselves out of existence. In an interview with USA Today, Burnett said, "We had a 28-piece live orchestra, no synthesizer, real live musicians. We had 12 dancers, two guest stars a week, all those sketches _ sometimes five, six, seven _ and big production numbers. And costumes by Bob Mackie, 50 a week from head-to-toe." Such costs would now be astronomical, she indicated. "You couldn't do that today. ... We did all these medleys that would last five to six minutes." The costs for each song would be prohibitive today, she said. Burnett made her remarks as she promoted her latest book, This Time Together Laughter and Reflection .