Donny & Marie was a variety show which aired on ABC from January 1976 to May 1979.
The show starred brother and sister pop duo Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond. Donny had first become popular singing in a music group with his brothers, The Osmonds, and Marie was one of the youngest singers to reach #1 on the Billboard Country Music charts (with "Paper Roses", in 1973). The siblings were given the show by ABC-TV President Fred Silverman after he saw the duo co-host a week on The Mike Douglas Show which followed their series of popular remakes of oldies, such as "I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You", "Morning Side Of The Mountain", "Deep Purple" and "Make The World Go Away". Donny and Marie (18 and 16 years old, respectively, when the program premiered) were the youngest entertainers in TV history to host their own variety show. A year later, The Keane Brothers would break this record.
Donny & Marie consisted mainly of an ice skating number intro, comedy skits, followed by songs performed by the duo. The most famous song performed on the show was "I'm A Little Bit Country, I'm a Little Bit Rock and Roll", which formed the basis of a weekly segment (the "Concert Spot") in which Marie ("a little bit country") would trade off singing a country music song with Donny ("I'm a little bit rock and roll") singing a rock and roll song. Each episode concluded with a musical finale and a cascade of balloons from the ceiling, matched to the colors of the sets and costumes. Donny and Marie would then sing their trademark closing song which was written by Alan Osmond, "May Tomorrow Be a Perfect Day".
Originally, the show was created by Sid & Marty Krofft and videotaped in Los Angeles at KTLA Studios, but creative control of the show was given to the Osmonds after a long battle, and Donny & Marie was moved to the Osmond Studios in Orem, Utah in November 1977. The first episode produced in Utah was the 1977 Christmas Show.
The show's popularity declined after it was revealed that teen heartthrob Donny was dating (and eventually married) fellow Utahn Debbie Glenn, therefore taking him 'off the market' of eligible bachelors. According to an edition of the VH1 series Behind the Music, many female viewers started to tune out at this point. The series also underwent a format change in the final season, eliminating segments such as the ice skaters and country/rock-n-roll segments in favor of more concert-style disco numbers. The show was also retitled The Osmond Family Show near the end, as the program increasingly featured members of Donny and Marie's family.
The 1980–1981 TV season featured Marie with a Bob Mackie fashion make-over and starring in her own solo variety series on NBC called Marie. Soon after, she became co-host of the reality TV program, Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Donny and Marie joined together again in 1998 to co-host Donny & Marie (also known as The Donny and Marie Hour and The Donny and Marie Show), a talk show that ran for two seasons.
Created by Sid & Marty Krofft
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 78
Running time 46 minutes
Original channel ABC
Original run January 23, 1976 – January 12, 1979