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Family Classics
Family Classics edited.jpg
The set of Family Classics and host Frazier Thomas.
Genre Classic Films
Created by Fred Silverman
Frazier Thomas
Presented by Frazier Thomas
Roy Leonard
Dean Richards
Steve Sanders
Jackie Bange
Theme music composer Dennis Berry
Opening theme "Moviescope"
Ending theme "Moviescope"
Country of origin US
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 40
No. of episodes 1001
Release
Original network WGN-TV
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV) (1962-2000)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (2017– present)
Original release First Run:
September 1962 (1962-09) – December 2000 (2000-12)
Second Run:
December 8, 2017 (2017-12-08) – present

Family Classics is a Chicago television series which began in 1962 when Frazier Thomas was added to another program at WGN-TV. Thomas not only hosted classic films, but also selected the titles and personally edited them to remove those scenes which he thought were not fit for family viewing. After Thomas' death in 1985, Roy Leonard took over the program. The series continued sporadically until its initial cancellation in 2000.

On November 10, 2017, WGN announced that Family Classics would be returning after a 17-year hiatus with a presentation of the 1951 version of Scrooge to air on Friday, December 8, 2017, and announced that its longtime entertainment reporter, Dean Richards, would be the new host. Since then, it has continued to air each holiday season.

History

In 1962, Fred Silverman, then a WGN-TV executive, conceived the idea of the show by scheduling classic family films at a prime time Friday night position rather than a late show slot where children wouldn't see them. The show was a huge ratings success and inspired the networks to schedule recently released films in prime time. When the networks began showing first-run films in prime time, the show was rescheduled to Sunday afternoons.

For the series' December 2019 airing of the 1942 film Holiday Inn, and New Year's Eve airings of the Marx Brothers' Monkey Business & Animal Crackers, WGN veteran anchor, Steve Sanders, filled in as host as current host Dean Richards was recovering from a fractured wrist and facial abrasions before the episode's taping.

For the series' December 2021 airing of the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, and New Year's Eve airings of the Bryan Spicer's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, WGN weekend evening anchor, Jackie Bange, filled in as host as current host Dean Richards was recovering from a fractured wrist and facial abrasions before the episode's taping.

The set

The theme music was a piece of library music recorded on the Berry/Conroy label, entitled Moviescope, and was written by Dennis Berry. The camera would slowly zoom in on the set designed by Thomas that resembled a study with a painting on the wall of Garfield Goose done by Roy Brown, a model sailing ship sitting on top of a shelf of books with the titles of the films to be shown that were repainted encyclopedias and dictionaries also done by Anthony M Sulla as credited in the final credits, that Frazier would introduce.

List of titles

Crystal128-tv.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
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