CBS's monthly variety spectacular pre-empted the dramatic anthology `Climax!' William Lundigan served as host of both programs, until Jack Benny replaced him on `Shower of Stars' in 1955. A yearly holiday tradition was a live performance of Charles Dickens' `A Christmas Carol,' with Fredric March as Scrooge and Basil Rathbone as Marley's ghost. Other guests on the series included Mario Lanza, Shirley MacLaine, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx and Betty Grable.

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