Rights to Judy Garland's TV series to be auctioned

Rights to Judy Garland's TV series to be auctioned

POSTED: Monday, December 24, 2012 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Monday, December 24, 2012 - 6:04am

Looking for that special Christmas gift for the Judy Garland fan who has everything? Consider giving them the U.S. rights to the legendary actress-singer's television variety series.

"This would be a great Christmas gift for somebody," said Darryl Payne, a music producer who bought the rights in 1998 from Sam Luft, Garland's former husband.

"The Judy Garland Show," which cost CBS $24 million in 1963, is being auctioned this weekend with a starting bid of $1 million. The bidding, conducted online by The Royalty Exchange, is set to end Sunday afternoon.

"You get Judy Garland," Payne said. "She's singing, she's dancing. You get all the biggest stars of that era."

Then-rising star Barbra Streisand sang a memorable duet with Garland in one episode, before the singer filmed "Funny Girl," her breakout movie. The appearance earned Streisand her first Emmy nomination.

Garland's daughter Liza Minelli, then 17, was a guest, along with many other entertainment legends: Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Count Basie, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Bob Newhart, Donald O'Connor, Steve Allen, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Vic Damone and Jack Jones.

While clips of the series have been licensed over the years, the episodes have not been shown on television since the series was canceled in March 1964, Payne said.

The buyer can sell DVDs or rebroadcast in the United States the 26 star-filled episodes hosted by Garland for a season on CBS starting in 1963. The new owner could also license the series for streaming online or downloading, Payne said.

The remastered digitized video also includes never-before-seen outtakes from the show, Payne said.

Garland died of a drug overdose at age 47, five years after the series was taken off the air. 

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