CBS Scores Rare ‘Carol Burnett Show’ Episodes Decades After Their First And Only Air Date

Long lost episodes of the comedian's iconic series could soon be seen for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Carol Burnett Show Episodes
CBS Television Network

Long lost episodes of the comedian's iconic series could soon be seen for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Carol Burnett is back where she belongs—at CBS. The network has acquired digital multicast rights to the entire run of Burnett’s iconic sketch comedy series, The Carol Burnett Show. CBS negotiated the deal directly with Burnett, according to Variety. The long-running variety show aired on CBS from 1967 to 1978, logging 279 episodes over 11 seasons. During its run, The Carol Burnett Show won three Emmy Awards for best variety series.

CBS Television Distribution will shop more than 276 hours of The Carol Burnett Show— some episodes that have not been seen since they were originally broadcast nearly 50 years ago — to digital multicast channels that specialize in classic TV. Popular classic TV networks Antenna TV and Me TV could be possible contenders for The Carol Burnett Show.

In a statement about the new CBS deal, Burnett revealed that she is thrilled to be “back home at CBS.”

“I’m so happy that future generations will be able to see and enjoy the fun we had in those 11 wonderful years,” Burnett said, according to Deadline.

For 11 seasons, Carol Burnett and her comedy troupe Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner ruled the variety TV landscape. The Carol Burnett Show premiered on September 11, 1967, and was consistently at the top of the ratings during its original run. In December, The Carol Burnett Show was honored with a high-rated 50th-anniversary special that aired on CBS.

Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special
  CBS Television Network

But some of The Carol Burnett Show’s earliest episodes have not seen the light of day since they first aired in the 1960s and early 1970s. Burnett said as much upon the release of a Time Life “Lost Episode” DVD box set just ahead of the show’s 50th anniversary last year when, according to Time Life’s YouTube channel, she revealed that ahead of the DVD collection, “No one has seen the first five seasons of The Carol Burnett Show since they were first aired – no re-runs, no web streaming, no DVDs, nothing.”

Carol Burnett Family sketch
  CBS Television Network

While she was a regular on The Garry Moore Show and won her first Emmy in 1962, The Carol Burnett Show established Burnett as a TV superstar. Carol and her troupe delivered parodies of soap operas, movies, and even commercials. The Carol Burnett Show was also known for its closing song, in which Burnett sang, “I’m so glad we had this time together…”

Carol Burnett also famously tugged her ear at the end of each episode of The Carol Burnett Show, which was an unspoken message to her grandmother to let her know she was thinking of her.

Stay tuned to find out where the long-lost episodes of The Carol Burnett Show land in the aftermath of the CBS deal.