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October 6, 2015

Coming soon: the Susan Boyle TV special

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 24th 2009 11:25AM
susan_boyle_faceIf you don't already know her story, get ready to hear all about it. On December 13, the TV Guide Network will present a Susan Boyle special. An hour all about the unlikely Scottish singing sensation. I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story is a one-hour documentary/interview/performance special chronicling the rise of the Britain's Got Talent performer who became a You Tube phenom and has just released her first CD.

American Idol's Simon Cowell is the mastermind behind this production, which will also be broadcast in England on the ITV1. It'll have celebrity interviews including Simon himself, footage of Susan's hometown, her TV appearances till now, and -- naturally -- Susan singing songs from I Dreamed A Dream, the new CD.

According to the press reports, "For the first time ever, fans will have an opportunity to see Susan Boyle shine on stage in her own spotlight, witness amazing musical performances in a concert setting, as well as gain insight into the challenges she overcame as she rose to an international phenomenon."

I wish we were getting something more. Imagine if a real musical special were being created for Susan Boyle. Imagine if instead of a cut and paste job that's basically a collection of snippets sandwiched with some new clips, we were to see a Susan Boyle TV special in the tradition of the classics.

I realize it's a different time and musical-variety is a virtual dinosaur among TV genres, but one of the greatest things about the legacy of iconic stars is appearing in a well-produced, carefully crafted television hour.

In 1972, Liza Minnelli starred in Liza With a Z, an Emmy-award winning TV special directed by Bob Fosse. It was a star platform in every way.

In 1965, CBS outbid NBC for exclusive rights to Barbra Streisand for a series of musical TV specials, including her debut My Name Is Barbra, which was an Emmy and Peabody award-winning one-woman-show.

In 1968, Elvis Presley had his first solo TV show which was seen on NBC by over 41 percent of the American public. He'd done guest spots and had even been in the movies, but his big-time TV special was an hour that stands out as one of the best projects he ever created.

Granted, Susan Boyle may never be a star of the magnitude of these performers, but wouldn't it be great if she could get more than what this TV Guide Network thing sounds like, a promotion for the CD? She deserves something grander.

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Having come in only 7 months from obscurity to global stardom, I think this special is outstanding. But next time, I want what you are saying, and I think Susan has the kind of talent, personality and judgement that are needed. And I do think she will easily be in the league of the all-time greats, one of the greatest.

November 30 2009 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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