The 1967 TV special "Frank Sinatra, A Man and His...

The 1967 TV special "Frank Sinatra, A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim" featured Sinatra teamed with Ella Fitzgerald (shown) and Antonio Carlos Jobim. It's available on the "Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection" DVD set. Credit: PBS

He’s everywhere this month, but nowhere is Frank Sinatra’s birth centennial being celebrated more than on TV — his music, his movies, his television output, his continuing influence.

Which is funny, because TV is the one medium where Frank Sinatra failed.

At least at first. After conquering pop music in the 1930s and Hollywood films in the ’40s, Sinatra’s broadcast career shifted in 1950 from radio into its live video successor. “The Frank Sinatra Show” on CBS was a sing-and-chat showcase that suffered from both hit competition and the married Sinatra’s affair with actress Ava Gardner. The series stopped after two seasons. His same-named 1957 ABC second try lasted less than a year.

But as in music and movies, Sinatra would stage a spectacular TV comeback. His 1965 CBS special “A Man and His Music” dispensed with guests and glitter, simply having Sinatra sing. Produced in color, when black-and-white was still the norm, the stylish showcase won Emmy and Peabody awards, and spawned more specials with Sinatra returning to his crooning roots.

After airing “Man and His Music” last week, Turner Classic Movies also runs public TV’s 2011 compilation hour “Sinatra Sings” (Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.), his 1973 “comeback” TV special “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” (Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.), 1957 filmed half-hour “Happy Holidays With Bing and Frank” (Dec. 23 at 8 p.m.), and 1969 solo hour “Sinatra” (Dec. 30 at 8 p.m.).

They’re part of TCM’s Star of the Month salute to Sinatra’s 100th on December Wednesday nights. Sinatra became a film force for decades by expanding from musicals into comedy and drama, even winning an Oscar for 1953’s “From Here to Eternity” (airing Dec. 9 at 9:15 p.m.).

Sinatra would act on TV, too, ranging from early live productions of “Anything Goes” (1954, with Ethel Merman) and “Our Town” (1955, with Paul Newman) to the 1977 police detective movie “Contract on Cherry Street.” His final dramatic appearance came in a 1987 episode of CBS’ Tom Selleck drama “Magnum, P.I.”


“Sinatra 100 — An All-Star Grammy Concert” (CBS, Dec. 6, 9-11 p.m.). Taped last week in Las Vegas, with scheduled guests Tony Bennett, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Usher, Alicia Keys, many more.

Sinatra as TCM Star of the Month (Wednesday nights)

Dec. 9 Dramas “From Here to Eternity,” “The Devil at 4 O’Clock,” “The Detective,” “The First Deadly Sin” (1980 final starring role), “Suddenly,” “None But the Brave,” “The Pride and the Passion,” “Never So Few”

Dec. 16 Musicals “On the Town,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “It Happened in Brooklyn,” “The Kissing Bandit,” “Step Lively,” “Higher and Higher,” “Reveille With Beverly” (1943 credited film debut)

Dec. 23 “The Miracle of the Bells,” “High Society,” “Robin and the 7 Hoods,” “The Tender Trap”

Dec. 30 “The Man With the Golden Arm,” “The Joker Is Wild,” “Some Came Running,” “Sergeants 3,” “4 for Texas”

More Sinatra acting “Can-Can” (FXM, Dec. 6 at 12:45 p.m., Dec. 7 at 8:40 a.m.); “From Here to Eternity” (Dec. 9 at 8 a.m., 2 p.m., 8 p.m., 2 a.m., Decades); Sinatra’s final dramatic appearance, 1987 “Laura” episode of “Magnum, P.I.” (Encore Classic, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.)

Sinatra bios 1997’s “Frank Sinatra: A Passionate Life” (Dec. 9 at 10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 4:30 a.m., Decades); 2015’s “All or Nothing at All” (HBO, Dec. 12, noon-4:15 p.m.; also on HBOGo/HBONow, starts Dec. 12 on HBO On Demand) — DIANE WERTS


“Sinatra: All or Nothing at All” (Eagle Rock, $70 DVD/CD combo, $30 Blu-ray or DVD) HBO portrait from documentarian Alex Gibney explores Sinatra’s life as outlined by the songs of his 1971 “retirement” concert; DVD combo adds other programs (complete ’71 concert film, ’60s interview/backstage special), collectibles (photo cards, booklet) and concert CD

“Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection” (Shout, $80) Box of seven DVDs includes four “Man and His Music” hours (1965-1981), plus “Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing” (’68), “Sinatra” (’69), “In Concert at Royal Festival Hall” (’71), “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” (’73), “The Main Event” (’74), “Sinatra and Friends” (’77), “Concert for the Americas” (’82), “Live at the Budokan” (’85); plus 1957 half-hour “Happy Holidays With Bing and Frank,” 2003 special “Vintage Sinatra” with ’50s TV performances

“Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music Collection” (Shout, $25) TV specials from ’65, ’66, ’67, ’81

“Anything Goes” (eOne, $30) 1954 live TV musical with Ethel Merman, Burt Lahr, plus extras


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