A&E television network update its 1998 Doris Day biography “It’s Magic”

November 5, 2009 No Comments

An updated version of ‘Doris Day: It’s Magic’ is now in the can and waiting to be premiered on A&E TV’s The Biography Channel.

The fascination about Doris Day’s life and career continues to this very day. As a result we have seen many TV biographies commissioned about the star in all corners of the world. There is however one which the most discerning DD fans will tell you is the cream of the crop and that is A&E TV’s “Doris Day: It’s Magic” (available now on DVD).

This 1998 documentary was produced by the internationally renown American television network with full cooperation of Doris Day’s late son/manager Terry Melcher and many of her friends and co-stars. What you got in a nutshell was an accurate and thoroughly DAY-lightful appraisal of the star’s life told by many of the people who know her best.

Eleven years on and understandably the bio was in need of some urgent attention to ensure it stayed relevant. An updated version was therefore completed earlier this year and is now sat waiting to be broadcast worldwide on the A&E TV network.

The revamp offers a fresh interpretation of the DD life story with all-new voiceover narrative which touches upon import events in the world of DD post 1998 e.g. Doris’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, the passing of her beloved son and the highly prestigious GRAMMY award. Don’t fret though as the 52-minute documentary does still retain a lot of the original interview footage with Terry Melcher, Les Brown, James Garner, Edie Adams, Jackie Joseph and A.E. Hotcher (DD’s official biographer) which made the previous edition so wonderful to watch. The old is also complimented by new interviews with authors Pierre Patrick (‘The Doris Day Companion‘) and Tom Santopietro (‘Considering Doris Day‘) as well as some audio segments from Doris talking about her life and career.

No North American transmission dates have yet been confirmed by the A&E TV network but fans should certainly be keeping a look out for the premier of the 2009 update over the next few months. I also have it on good authority that copies are now being sent for broadcast overseas in countries such as the United Kingdom.


  • CONS: Gone are the soothing tones of voiceover Peter Graves and instead we are short-changed with a lady whose high pitched voice is at times garbled and at worst an irritant. I was also surprised that Doris’s belief in scientology became such a prominent new thread for the whole documentary when in reality there are so many more obvious facets of her being & personality to highlight/explore. The new under-an-hour appraisal proved a little insufficient for the subject.
  • PROS: A lot of the original interview content is still present which significantly includes people who have since passed away. More DD films are discussed with a very generous helping of trailers and rare photographs shown. A very nice touch is the inclusion of the audio chit-chat from Doris recorded during the last few years. Those behind the update have very obviously taken a lot of care with this project and succeed in ensuring you leave well informed with a very warm and fussy feeling about darling Doris Day!
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