The Jane Wyman Show

NBC (ended 1958)




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The Jane Wyman Show

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This filmed drama anthology featured Academy Award winner Jane Wyman as the series hostess introducing each weekly installment, as well as starring in 42 of the 94 episodes. This series was a complete revamping of Fireside Theatre, with Wyman taking over as the producer from Frank Wisbar; it was produced by Jane Wyman's Lewman Productions in conjunction with Music Corporation of America's Revue Productions. The initial title was Jane Wyman's Fireside Theatre, but would soon lose any reference to Fireside in its title. The sponsor was Procter and Gamble (Duz, Ivory Soap, and Crisco) which reportedly paid almost $5,000,000 for the show's first season. Wyman's series differed from The Loretta Young Show, the standard bearer of the filmed star anthologies of the period, which also aired on NBC. Unlike Young, Wyman did not make a dramatic entrance at the top of the show, favoring the more subdued for which she was known. Of her years as a groundbreaking female television producer, Jane Wyman once commented, "I learned one thing - you can always get quality if you are quality." Scripts came from many top-notch writers, including Quinn Martin (The Untouchables, 1959-63), Aaron Spelling (The Mod Squad, 1968-73), Rod Serling (Twilight Zone, 1959-64) and Gene Rodenberry (Star Trek, 1966-69). At the end of its three seasons on NBC, The Jane Wyman Show was successfully sold into off-network syndication beginning with the 1958-59 season. Rerun into the 1960s, the series had its widest exposure as a weekday afternoon offering on ABC from 01/02/62 to 09/06/63. Episodes also re-aired in primetime as episodes of Studio 57 (Synd., 1956-57) and as part of the summer replacement series Summer Playhouse (NBC, 1957), Buick Adventure Theatre (ABC, 1958), Spotlight Playhouse (CBS, 1959) and Jane Wyman Presents (ABC, 1963).moreless