The Continental

CBS (ended 1953)


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The Continental

Show Summary

The Continental (TV program of romantic readings, starring Renzo Cesana)

Networks: CBS Primetime, 1952; ABC Primetime, 1952 - 1953

Length: 15 minutes.

Frequency: The show aired two nights a week, moving to ABC before being canceled in 1953.

First aired on a local station (KTLA in Los Angeles) before making its CBS network debut on Tuesday, January 22, 1952, following the 11:00 PM local news.

A suave Italian-born actor Renzo Cesana sat in a living room set, wearing his dinner jacket, reading romantic poetry to the camera. He wooed his viewers, who presumably were love-starved housewives, with lines like, "Do not be afraid, darling, you are in a gentleman's apartment."

The Continental was parodied a number of times. Besides Red Skelton in 1952 and Christopher Walken starting in 1990, others took shots at it, from Ernie Kovacs to Billy Crystal to the AMC series about an old radio station, Remember WENN.

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