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Shirley Temple's Storybook
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TV Series
    Frankie Avalon guest-starred - as himself - in one episode.
    Its title was changed to 'The Shirley Temple Show' and, later, 'Shirley Temple Theatre' in an attempt to attract a broader audience.
    Telecasts were aired without any regular time-slot, making it difficult for a following to be attained.
    Special effects for some of the 'fairy tale' episodes were amateurish even by low-budget television standards.
    The first notes of the opening instrumental sounded like the 'I Loves Your Porgy' melody from Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess.'
    For some reason, Shirley was usually green-screened over the set of the NBC studio lot where the episode was filmed for the show's intro.
    A 'Land of Oz' episode was shot which Shirley Temple starred in (my aren't we forgiving about being passed over for the part of Dorothy in favor of Judy Garland!)
    It died a quiet death after being crushed in ratings by Lassie, a 1960 telecast of The Wizard of Oz, and an assortment of Walt Disney anthology episodes.
    Its title is misleading to current audiences, who don't realize she was an adult when television came out (sorry, folks - no curly-haired toddler dancing on tables singing 'Animal Crackers' here...)
    Shirley had a stagehand fired after he said 'shit' during a 'Mother Goose' rehearsal. She reasoned that he had to be fired because it was a kids show, even though no kids were present when he said it.
    Later episodes filmed in full-color were spectacularly beautiful.
    It is referenced in an episode of Mad Men.
    Three early episodes were performed live (each took ten days of preparation).
    It was a direct precursor to Shelley Duvall's (more popular) 'Fairy Tale Theater' series in the 1980's.
    It marked the return of Shirley Temple to the entertainment field (who held her own quite well given her years-long absence from films).
    Shirley's two children also made their screen debut in the final 'Mother Goose' episode of Season 1.
    The delightfully eccentric Agnes Moorehead was a frequent player on the show.
    Shirley's Hollywood clout also resulted in several A-List heavy-hitters doing guest spots; including Michael Rennie, Sebastian Cabot, Boris Karloff Elsa Lanchester, E.G. Marshall, Imogene Coca, Nina Foch, Fernando Lamas, and even Orangey the Cat (of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' fame).
    An ornately illustrated book of fairy tales, most of which were dramatized on the show, was released by Shirley as a promotion to coincide with the show.
    The production staff tended to have a higher regard for the original material than their Disney counterparts.
    For example, the 'Winnie the Pooh' episode depicted Rabbit conspiring with Pooh & Piglet to kidnap Roo and blackmail Kanga into leaving the Hundred Acre Wood forever, like in the original Milne story (this probably just ruined someone's childhood).
    Although a DVD box-set containing some nine episodes was released in 2006, a majority of the Season 1 shows are either lost or very difficult to find (which tend to be the more interesting ones, such as Charlton Heston, and Claire Bloom doing a 'Beauty and the Beast' episode).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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