Medicine Hat News
December 6, 1974
Initially, Cher was contracted for specials by CBS, the first of which is scheduled for Feb. 9. That announcement also was made after Sonny’s show was dropped. Upon further consideration, CBS decided on the Sunday night series, which now will officially premiere the following week, Feb. 16, replacing the canceled “Apple’s Way.”
Her Feb. 9 special is headed with big-name guests – Flip Wilson, Bette Midler and rock superstar Elton John.
While Sonny took everyone with him except Cher to ABC after the pair split last spring, Cher is starting with a completely new staff.
Her new producer will be George Schlatter, a controversial figure whose tenure on the old Laugh-In series, which he created, was a stormy association with Rowan and Martin, the co-stars. In Laugh-In final season, Schlatter was out, and he shifted his interests
to Bill Cosby in a disastrous half season of variety at CBS.
One thing in Cher’s favor as she goes it alone in a variety hour is the fact that the show will start head-to head with her competition at 7:30 on Sunday nights.
Sonny’s ill-fated venture this season started at 8 o’clock, giving the competition a half-hour jump on his show in the battle for viewers.
Ironically, after canceling Sonny’s show, ABC announced that it will go back to the 7:30 p.m. start on Sunday nights, leading off with a new half-hour comedy-drama called “Barney Miller ‘ starring Hal Linden as a New York policeman.