Two of Merman's closest friends, Tony Cointreau and James Russo, will "share their warm and intimate memories of a woman who they reveal to be quite unlike the brassy characters she portrayed," according to press notes. Co-hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and producer Susan Haskins, the program will premiere at 1 AM ET Oct. 13 on Thirteen/PBS. Additional broadcasts are scheduled for CUNY TV Oct. 13 at 8:30 PM, Oct. 14 at 12:30 PM and Oct. 15 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Ethel Merman made her Broadway debut in 1930 in Girl Crazy. She became one of the biggest Broadway stars of her era, a woman whose name became synonymous with the musical theatre. Her many other theatrical credits include George White's Scandals; Take a Chance; Anything Goes; Red, Hot and Blue; Stars in Your Eyes; DuBarry Was a Lady; Panama Hattie; Something for the Boys; Annie Get Your Gun; Call Me Madam; Happy Hunting; Gypsy and Hello, Dolly! Merman was nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in Gypsy and Happy Hunting and won the Tony for her work in Call Me Madam. She also received a Special Tony Award in 1972. Merman died Feb. 15, 1984.