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Landing of Flying Circus::Monty Python's Flying Circus

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Landing of Flying Circus John Cleese left the show after the third series. Apart from a brief voice-over for one of Gilliam's animations in episode 41 ("Michael Ellis") and a walk-on role in drag, he did not appear in the final six episodes that comprised series four. (However, he did receive writing credits for sketches derived from the writing sessions for the film of Holy Grail). Neil Innes and Douglas Adams are the only two non-Pythons to get writing credits in the show – Innes for songs in episodes 40, 42 and 45 (and for contributing to a sketch in episode 45), and Adams for contributing to a sketch about a doctor whose patients are stabbed by his nurse, in episode 45. (He also had walk-on acting parts in episodes 42 and 44.) Innes frequently appeared in the Pythons' stage shows and can also be seen as Sir Robin's lead minstrel in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and (briefly) in Life of Brian. Adams had become friends with Graham Chapman, and they later went on to write the failed sketch show pilot Out of the Trees.

Although Cleese stayed for the third series, he claimed that he and Chapman only wrote two original sketches ("Dennis Moore" and "Cheese Shop"), whereas he felt everything else was derivative of previous material. Either the third series, or the fourth series, made without Cleese, are often seen as the weakest and most uneven of the four series, by both fans and the Pythons themselves.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} However, with the fourth series, the Pythons started making episodes into more coherent stories that would be a precursor to their films, and featured Terry Gilliam onscreen more.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

The final episode of Series 4 was recorded on 16 November and broadcast on 5 December 1974. That year NBC's summer replacement series, Dean Martin's Comedyworld aired several segments from the Python shows. This paid enough to the BBC-TV distributors, Time-Life Films, to finally pay for the conversion of the Flying Circus programmes from PAL to the American NTSC system, and meant the PBS stations could afford the series at last.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} It was an instant hit, rapidly garnering an enormous loyal cult following nationwide that surprised even the Pythons themselves, who did not believe that their humour was exportable without being tailored specifically, even without a language barrier.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

In 1974, the PBS station KERA in Dallas was the first television station in the United States to broadcast episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and is often credited with introducing the programme to American audiences.<ref name="dallas_news">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> When several episodes were broadcast by ABC in their Wide World of Entertainment showcase in 1975, the episodes were re-edited, thus losing the continuity and flow intended in the originals. When ABC refused to stop treating the series in this way, the Pythons took them to court. Initially the court ruled that their artistic rights had indeed been violated, but it refused to stop the ABC broadcasts. However, on appeal the team gained control over all subsequent US broadcasts of its programmes.<ref>Monty Python, v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., 538 F.2d 14 (2d Cir 1976)</ref> The case also led to their gaining the rights from the BBC, once their original contracts ended at the end of 1980.

The show also aired on MTV during the network's infancy;<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1 | citation |CitationClass=audio-visual }}</ref> Monty Python was part of a two-hour comedy block on Sunday nights that also included another BBC series, The Young Ones.

In April 2006, Monty Python's Flying Circus returned to non-cable American television on PBS. In connection with this, PBS commissioned Monty Python's Personal Best, a six-episode series featuring each Python’s favourite sketches, plus a tribute to Chapman, who died in 1989. BBC America has aired the series on a sporadic basis since the mid-2000s, in an extended 40-minute time slot in order to include commercials. Independent Film Channel acquired the rights to the show in 2009, though not exclusive, as BBC America still airs occasional episodes of the show. IFC also presented a six-part documentary Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers Cut), produced by Terry Jones' son Bill.


Monty Python's Flying Circus sections
Intro   Title    Recurring characters    Popular character traits    Lost sketches    Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus    Stage incarnations    Landing of Flying Circus    Awards and honours    Legacy    Production    Transnational themes    See also    References    External links   

Landing of Flying Circus
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