The Armstrong Circle Theatre

NBC (ended 1963)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 14 : Ep 19

    Secret Document X256

    Aired 6/5/63

  • S 14 : Ep 18

    Swindler in Paradise

    Aired 5/22/63

  • S 14 : Ep 17

    Aggressor Force

    Aired 5/8/63

  • S 14 : Ep 16

    A Square Mile of Hope

    Aired 4/24/63

  • S 14 : Ep 15

    The Embezzler

    Aired 4/10/63

  • Cast & Crew
  • John Cameron Swayze

    Host/Narrator (1955-1957)

  • Douglas Edwards

    Host/Narrator (1957-1961)

  • Sandy Becker

    Host/Narrator (1954-1955)

  • Bob Sherry

    Host/Narrator (1953-1954)

  • Henry Hamilton

    Host/Narrator (1962-1963)

  • show Description
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre was one of the major dramatic anthology series of television's "Golden Age" and one of its longest running. Sponsored by Armstrong, the flooring company, the production was handled by its ad agency Batten, Barton, Dustrine and Osborn, Inc. (Later, David Susskind's Talent Associates, Inc. would handle the production.) When the series began, its budget was a small $8,000 but had doubled by the end of a year. Even so, this was inexpensive compared to many other anthologies on the air. Armstrong Circle featured original dramas that sometimes dealt with sensitive subjects as mental illness and racial intolerance. Initially thirty-minute long, its running time was expanded to an hour beginning 9/27/1955 and it began airing on alternate weeks. At the same time, the dramas began to focus less on fiction and more on real life events and people, a which later would be termed a "docudrama". The most common topics were those related to the "Cold War" between the US and Russia. Many series moved to Los Angeles once the coaxial cable was up and running to the West Coast, but Armstrong Circle remained based in New York City for it duration. With the start of the 1957-58 season, the series changed networks from NBC to CBS. From June 1950-June 1955, the program aired Tuesday nights from 9:30-10:00PM on NBC. From September 1955-June 1957, the series expanded to an hour and aired Tuesday nights from 9:30-10:30PM on NBC. When the series moved to CBS from October 1957-August 1963, Armstrong Circle alternated weeks with The U.S. Steel Hour.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • jaynashvil

    User Score: 4457


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (70)

    • The 11/4/1950 edition of The Billboard magazine reports that Armstrong Circle Theatre is seen live on 33 stations, and on 10 other stations via kinescopes.

    • Editor's Note: One newspaper source lists the title of this week's show as Banker's Dilemma but lists the same cast.

    • The Armstrong Circle Theatre is preempted next week (6/10/52) for special coverage of the American Medical Association convention from Chicago.

    • The Armstrong Circle Theatre is prempted next week (9/23/52) by an address from Vice Presedential candidate Richard Nixon. This speech, in which Nixon attempts to clear up questions about suspicious-looking donations, would become known as his famous "Checkers speech".

    • Next week's episode of The Armstrong Circle Theatre (10/21/52) is preempted by a paid political program with Gov. Adlai Stevenson.

    • This episode had originally been scheduled by NBC to air on 9/23/52, but was preempted by what would become known as Richard Nixon's "Checkers speech".

    • Next week's episode (11/4/1952) will be preempted for live returns coverage of the 1952 presidential election.

    • The Armstrong Circle Theatre is preempted next week (12/2/52) for a report from the American Medical Association's annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.

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    Trivia (10)

    • The program opens showing the episode's sets and TV crew scurrying around. Fred Allen introduces each segment with this backdrop and is dressed and redressed for the sketches while he's talking.

    • George and Lilyanna Dooner, survivors of the sinking of the Andrea Doria, appear on the telecast to discuss their experiences of that evening.

    • In the opening credits, Eva Soreny is billed as "First Lady of the Hungarian National Theatre."

    • When returning from a commercial to Douglas Edwards for his introduction of the guest speaker, the camera catches him facing away, coughing and clearing his throat.

    • George Roeper, the director of the City and Country School of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is featured as a guest.

    • Col. Barney Oldfield, NORAD's chief of information, appears as a guest.

    • Jim Horan, one of the three reporters portrayed in this week's episode, appears following the drama.

    • Raymond LaPorte, the Consul General of France, makes comments following the drama.

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