1 9 5 7 – 1 9 5 8 (USA)
15 minute episodes
Hotel Cosmopolitan, the last 15-minute network daily series to debut in the 1950s, was to have premiered in July 1957, but early production problems forced it back a few weeks.
Also lost in the delay was actor Chester Morris, who was to be the host and narrator.
Taking his place was old-time movie star Donald Woods, who played himself (as a Variety reading ham actor) and commented about the goings-on during the day’s show from his armchair in the lobby of the Cosmopolitan, a (fictional) plush New York City hotel.
More often than not, Woods would find himself personally concerned with the outcome of a particular situation.
Eventually premiering on Monday 19 August 1957, the series replaced Valiant Lady, which had run since 1953.
One critic described the debut episode as “a random, flailing, inexpert opus,” adding, “Donald Woods, reading his lines off a cue card, seemed a past master at emoting visually in a completely different mood than the words seemed to say”.
After eight months of unremarkable stories, CBS condemned this show to expand Love of Life, which followed it at 12:15 pm, to 30 minutes.