The Cowsill family is a recording phenomenon that does not translate too well to televisions tape. In occasional guest shots they have attracted attention, and they seem to have sold acres of platters in the folk-rock field.
As the center of interest and virtually the entire cast of a TV special, they leave something to be desired – even with the considerable talents of Buddy Ebsen to introduce them and sing along , and with four mini-skirted girl friends to decorate the premises in a final number.
The only one who seems able to really let herself go before a camera is Susan, 9, the youngest. She put pep into the proceedings and did a cute soft shoe number with Buddy, but her voice is so uncertain at this stage as to be a constant hazard.
The other six Cowsills, mom, who looks young enough to be one of the kids, Bill, Bob, Paul, Barry and Johnny, plus a huge St. Bernard and with Pop making an occasional appearance in the framed group, went through their familiar paces, for “Consider Yourself” to “What the World Needs Now,” in earnest but undistinguished fashion Saturday night.
Togetherness is nice, but you need more for a TV triumph.