Kraft Television Theatre

NBC (ended 1958)




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Kraft Television Theatre

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This live anthology drama series was the first weekly commercial network program. From May to December 1947, NBC aired the show on Wednesday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; for the rest of its run, it was broadcast on Wednesday, 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. From 1953 to 1955, another series of the same name was shown on ABC concurrently with the one on NBC. For a short time in 1958, the series abandoned its anthology format and ran with recurring characters and situations. From April to September 1958, the show was known as "Kraft Mystery Theatre." This program was a prestigious showcase for its sponsor, Kraft, winning many awards and becoming a Wednesday night institution. By the end of its run, more than 650 plays, drama and comedy productions, both original and adaptations for TV, had been presented. One of the most awarded episodes was "Patterns" written by Rod Serling and directed by Fielder Cook with performances from Ed Begley, Richard Kiley, Everett Sloane, Elizabeth Montgomery, and many others. To see any of these episodes is a virtual delight, with such performers as James Dean, Rod Steiger, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Jack Lemmon, Grace Kelly, Lee Remick, Anthony Perkins, Helen Hayes, Cloris Leachman, John Newland, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Colleen Dewhurst, Jack Klugman, George C. Scott, Lee Grant, to name a few. A must see for everyone.moreless