With everyone’s mind on politics as Election Day nears, getTV puts the spotlight on four classic episodes of The Merv Griffin Show, with a month of episodes featuring presidential appearances on the famed talk show. The lineup includes host Merv Griffin’s in-depth and honest sit-downs with Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan with his wife, Nancy Reagan, and will air every Monday at 10pm ET, from Oct. 17 through Election Day eve on Nov. 7.
The special lineup kicks off on Oct. 17, as Merv moderates a lively discussion from Dec. 20, 1967, between Richard Nixon — shortly before he announced he was running for president — and talk show host and producer David Susskind, who openly challenges the notion that Nixon is a viable candidate. Then, on Oct. 24, Merv conducts a rare interview with retired Commander-In-Chief Gerald Ford, as Ford shares a humorous anecdote about dealing with hecklers on the campaign trail, and opens up about his wife and children, Ronald Reagan’s landslide election, Jimmy Carter’s controversial policies, and what it takes to be president. This episode originally aired Jan. 8, 1981.
The event continues on Oct. 31, as Merv welcomes Jimmy Carter to the program in a Nov. 29, 1982, episode, where the former president discusses his (then) new memoir Keeping Faith, his beloved family, the Iran hostage crisis, the Camp David Agreement, the transition from the White House to civilian life, and the deep sense of rejection he felt after not being elected to a second term. The roster comes to a close on Nov. 7, the eve of one of the biggest elections in recent memory, as Merv Griffin takes viewers into the White House for a historic interview with Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan — marking the first-ever appearance by a sitting president on a non-news talk show — as the conservative icon reflects on the effects that the attempt on his life had on him, as well as his Reaganomics policy, the ongoing troubles in the Middle East, and the legacy he would leave behind. The original airdate of this episode was Sept. 27, 1983.
“The Merv Griffin Show has been a big hit with our viewers,” says get TV’s senior vice president of programming Jeff Meier, “and we’re proud to give them even more classic episodes of the groundbreaking series, as the program leaves the ‘60s behind and puts the spotlight on some of the most influential figures of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Of particular interest are the candid sit-downs with the four U.S. Presidents, in segments that would probably play out very differently today. These episodes represent a time when our politicians were more accessible and, arguably, more real. It paints a fascinating picture of America’s recent past, as we head into Election Day.”
For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.get.tv/schedule. In addition to airing these episodes on the dates noted above, some of the shows mentioned are scheduled for further broadcasts throughout the month. (See listings for further details.)