A Brief History of the Donny and Marie Show

Posted by Mark Hedengren on

A brief history of the Donny and Marie Show
Two shows that had a huge influence on filmmaking in Utah are The Donny and Marie Show and Touched by an Angel. I realize that if you are 42 years old, you were born when Donny and Marie started broadcasting and if you are 25 years old you were born when Touched by an Angel was started.  There might be value in a brief history of these two shows. With this email I’m going to start with Donny and Marie and in the next email I’ll tell a brief history of Touched by an Angel.
You can’t talk about the Donny and Marie show without talking about Donny Osmond. It is difficult to overstate how famous Donny Osmond was in the 70s. He was sort of like Justin Bieber times 4. You have to remember that in the 70s, there was no YouTube, no cable TV, and for music there was only FM radio and records. They had mega stars like we can’t comprehend.  Here is a link to fans of Donny in England, the photos taken by the excellent photographer Martin Parr.
When I was living in the UK, people over the age of 50 would always say, “The Osmond’s, right!” Donny tells of a letter being addressed only “To: Donny Osmond” being sent from France and making it all the way to his house in Utah.
The Osmond's father thought it would be good to have a show for the Osmond brothers (who had aged out of their boy band days) to work on and to feature Marie’s talents. So, they pitched the show and it was accepted. In a massive credit to the Osmond’s, they decided to build a studio in Utah and film the show here. This is a decision that would ultimately bankrupt the family, but it was the event that got the ball rolling for filmmaking in Utah.  Osmond Studios are located five minutes from Red Finch Rental-Orem on 777 N Palisade Drive in Orem. That’s right down 800 North road toward Provo Canyon on the right. Here is a link to a promotion video made in the 70’s for Osmond Studios

The Donny and Marie show was a variety show that broadcast 78 episodes. We don’t really have shows like it on the air anymore. The closest thing would maybe be the Tonight Show with Jimmy Kimmel or The Ellen Show. It featured singing dancing, comedy sketches and celebrity guests and here is a link to watch the first episode of the Donny and Marie Osmond show when it was broadcast in 1976.
Again, having a prime time TV show film here in Utah during a time when there were only three TV stations was a tremendous boost to Utah. So if you see an Osmond, thank them for helping our field so much.  Best of luck!


We have added a lot of top notch gear at Red Finch Rental including a Ronin 2 that can stabilize 30 LB and a top of the line easyrig with a spring to make the steadiest shots possible.  We also added a Ford F-250 V8 Truck rated to pull 10,0000 LB so you can pull our 18-foot and 10-foot trailers with ease. We also have added the Sigma Cine Prime Kit that has a consistent aperture of 1.4 across all five lenses, which makes it a super speedy option in our growing lens selection.
Qty New Equipment Price
Ford F-250 Superduty Truck V8 $100
DJI Ronin 2 $195
DJI Ronin-M $60
1 Easyrig V5 w/ Flow Serene $150
Sigma Cine Lens Set $200
Arm and Vest for GlideCam $20
Bright Tangerine Matte Box $25
Sigma Art 14mm Lens $30
Sigma Art 18-35, 50-100mm $60
Rokinon Extended Lens Set $75
Sony 24-70mm Lens $30
Sigma Art 135mm Lens $30

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