Shower of Stars
Betty Grable rehearses for the premiere program, 1954
Also known asChrysler Shower of Stars
Presented byWilliam Lundigan
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time48 mins.
Production companyDesilu Productions
Original networkCBS
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1954 (1954-09-30) –
April 1, 1958 (1958-04-01)

Shower of Stars (also known as Chrysler Shower of Stars) is an American variety television series broadcast live in the United States from 1954 to 1958 by CBS.[1] The series was broadcast in color which was a departure from the usual CBS programming practices of the 1950s.


Shower of Stars is typically composed of musical comedy revues with an occasional straight play. It was shown on approximately a monthly basis during its run (1954-1958), and was designed to contrast with the heavy dramatic content of the program with which it shared its timeslot, Climax! Both programs were sponsored by Chrysler Corporation, and both were hosted by William Lundigan.

Famous entertainers of the era who appeared multiple times on Shower of Stars included Jack Benny, Bob Crosby, Betty Grable, Van Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Fredric March, Frankie Laine, Ethel Merman, Basil Rathbone, Red Skelton, Mario Lanza and Ed Wynn Liberace. March and Rathbone were starred as Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley, respectively, in a 1954 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, with songs by Bernard Herrmann and Maxwell Anderson. This was the first musical version of the story to be televised, and the first in color.[2] Rathbone would go on to play Scrooge himself, in another TV musical adaptation of the story, the 1956 version of The Stingiest Man in Town.[2] (Rathbone would again play Scrooge in a 1958 non-musical British half-hour television version of the story, with Fredric March as narrator.) The most frequently-appearing artist, however, was Jack Benny, who appeared in one role or another in a majority of the program's broadcasts.

Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Recipient Episode
1955 Nominated Emmy Award Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Variety Program Gordon Jenkins
Nominated Emmy Award Best Original Music Composed for TV Bernard Herrmann "A Christmas Carol"
Nominated Emmy Award Best Individual Program of the Year
"A Christmas Carol"
Nominated Emmy Award Best Art Direction of a Live Show Robert Tyler Lee
Nominated Emmy Award Best Actor in a Single Performance Fredric March "A Christmas Carol"
Won Emmy Award Best Art Direction of a Filmed Show Ralph Berger & Albert M. Pyke "A Christmas Carol"
1956 Nominated Emmy Award Best Variety Series

Episode status

The extant episodes of Shower of Stars have survived only in black-and-white kinescopes of the original color broadcasts, which have been lost. The episodes carry no copyright notice and are thus in the public domain in the United States. The Internet Archive holds seven episodes in its collection.[3]


  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 168. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ All video entries of "Shower of Stars" in the Internet Archive, retrieved December 2, 2019