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Carol Burnett's New Book Adds Variety

Carol Burnett has been making audiences laugh for decades with her raw talent and ability to master the many facets it takes to run a variety show.

In her new book, "This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection," (released Tuesday, April 6) she shares some insight on her Emmy-winning, 11-year run on CBS' "The Carol Burnett Show."

Burnett told USA Today, "We had a 28-piece live orchestra, no synthesizer, real live musicians. We had 12 dancers, two guest stars a week, all those sketches - sometimes five, six, seven - and big production numbers. And costumes by Bob Mackie, 50 a week from head-to-toe," she says. "You couldn't do that today."

Times have changed since 1967 - the inception of Burnett's sketch-comedy/musical variety series. Now there is a hefty price tag to run a variety show, which Burnett tells USA Today is why her show ended.

"We did all these medleys that would last five to six minutes. To pay for each song (today), the medleys would be out," she said.

"The Carol Burnett Show," which included cast members Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, won 22 Emmys and remained one of the highest-rated shows on the air until its final broadcast in 1978.

Burnett's career was honored at the "American Masters" Public Broadcasting System television series premiere screening for "Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character," in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007.