Singer Presents…ELVIS (commonly referred to as the 68 Comeback Special) is a television special starring singer Elvis Presley, aired by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on December 3, 1968. It marked Presley’s return to live performance after seven years during which his career was centered in the movie business. Presley was unhappy with his distance from musical trends of the time, and the low-quality movie productions he was involved in.
Initially planned as a Christmas special by the network, and Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, producer Bob Finkel transformed the idea. He hired director Steve Binder to update Presley’s sound, and to create a special that would be current and appeal to a younger audience. The special garnered good reviews when it aired, topped the Nielsen television ratings for the week, and was the most watched show of the season. Later known as the “Comeback Special”, it re-launched Presley’s singing career and his return to live performance.
A fascinating insight into the Colonel’s negotiations! The report details the meeting with Singer Sewing Machines (Mr Katz) and NBC (Mr Iaricci and Mr Gilbert) and covers the following key points:
1. Show Content
3. Producer – Director
4. Time Period
5. Price ($400,000 net plus $1800 networking for first run!)
6. World Wide Rights
9. Title (agreed “Singer Presents” with “Elvis Presley” in balance of mutually agreeable title)
10. Name and Likeness
12. Product Protection
13. Station Line-up
14. Station Break
16. Morality, Death and Taxes (interesting!)
Elvis Presley 1968 NBC Comeback Special Four Page Call Report.