*On June 16 1976, the first episode of the variety show The Jacksons, starring eight of the nine musical Jackson siblings (no Jermaine) aired on CBS.
The series lasted just 12 episodes before it was cancelled, but the short run provided a bounty of footage that may have seemed like typical variety show fare at the time, but with time, and subsequent untold superstardom for Michael and Janet, has become a gold mine.
Like this performance of “Blame it On the Boogie” on a ski slope.
Or this skit with guest star Johnny Brown, aka Bookman from “Good Times”
At the time, The Jacksons had left Motown and signed with Epic/CBS – except for Jermaine, who stayed behind out of loyalty to Berry Gordy and a relationship with his daughter. This explains his absence from the series, which made television history on two fronts: it was the first variety show where the whole cast was made up of siblings, and the first featuring an African American family.
It aired Wednesdays for a half hour and ran from the summer of 1976 until March 9, 1977. The three Jackson sisters also took part, including a scene-stealing 10-year-old Janet, pre-Penny from “Good Times.”
Last, but not least, check out a rare occurrence of La Toya, Rebbie and Janet singing together – without their brothers – at the 6:27 mark below: