In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox

When The Carol Burnett Show premiered in 1967, CBS had so little faith that a woman could successfully host a comedy-variety TV show that the new program was dumped into a time slot opposite NBC's award-winning I Spy and ABC's top-rated The Big Valley. Not only did it attract more viewers, but it ran for 11 seasons and won 25 Emmy Awards. Burnett's In Such Good Company looks back at her long-running series with affection and a surprisingly critical eye, offering fascinating and funny backstage anecdotes.

Burnett, who also co-produced the TV series, remembers the show running with amazing efficiency, like a brand-new live Broadway show every week. "We did very few retakes because I wanted our show to have a spontaneous feel," writes Burnett. Prior to writing In Such Good Company, Burnett re-watched all 276 episodes: "I felt like Norma Desmond watching herself on the screen in Sunset Blvd.!"

A natural storyteller (she's written three previous memoirs, including This Time Together), Burnett writes with breezy charm and upbeat assurance. She's also not shy about discussing sketches that fell flat. But her 11-year TV run was a joyous one, and she's full of pride and praise for her costars, writers and hundreds of guest stars. She writes with excitement about meeting, befriending and working with childhood idols like Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Roddy McDowall and Gloria Swanson. The chief pleasure of this photo-filled, behind-the-scenes tour of a classic TV show is the tour guide herself, who, in her eighth decade, is as star struck and enthusiastic as ever. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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