Elvira got her television break back in 1981 when Cassandra Peterson was chosen to replace Sinister Seymour as the host of the Los Angeles based weekend horror show Fright Night. Before long the show was entirely transformed and re-titled, Movie Macabre.
After just a few years Elvira had grown to the point that Hollywood was willing to take a chance on an Elvira feature film, Mistress of the Dark, which instantly became a cult classic.
Why Didn't We Ever Get The Elvira Show?
In 1993, CBS hired Cassandra Peterson to create a sitcom based around her popular horror hostess character which later became known as The Elvira Show. The series, however, never made it past the pilot. Peterson revealed in an interview with TheAVClub,
It was a pilot for CBS, and it was the happening pilot at CBS—like, No. 1 with a bullet. And then the president of CBS at the time, Jeff Saganski, on the day that they screen all the pilots and pick the ones that are going to go on, he got ill.
CBS flew out a VP from New York named Howard Stringer who rejected a full season order. He apparently stated,
We can’t have that kind of cleavage on our channel!
The pilot episode of The Elvira Show introduces its audience to a fast talking witch, Elvira, who spends her days playing psychic as she reads palms and sells potions to love stricken office workers who are on the hunt for Mr. Right. Elvira lived with her Aunt Minerva (Katherine Helmond) who lives in a creepy old two story colonial in the happening suburb of Manhattan Kansas with their talking cat Renfield. Eventually, Elvira’s long lost niece Paige (Phoebe Augustine) shows up on their door step. Paige's parents passed away when she was just a baby and she was raised by nuns on a remote island off the coast of Maine. Elvira takes Paige in and helps her with understanding and controlling her powers.
The pilot is available, thankfully, on Youtube for your viewing pleasure:
The Elvira Show might not have made it on the air back in '93 but it would most certainly be the kind of show that would attract television viewers today.
Perhaps all that is needed is a petition and fans to kickstart a new television series starring our horror favorite!