1 9 4 8 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
This live dramatic series debuted on the NBC network on 3 October 1948 and featured original stories and adaptations of novels and plays. It was one of the most distinguished of the many live anthology dramas that aired during the so-called Golden Age of television.
The show was sponsored in its first year by the Actor’s Equity Association and featured adaptations of Broadway plays and musicals. Bert Lytell, the former president of the Association, acted as host. The first broadcast was a television version of Dinner at Eight, a play by George S Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Directed by Coe, the production starred Peggy Wood, Dennis King, Judson Laire, Mary Boland, and Vicki Cummings.
During the second season, an agreement was made with the Book-of-the-Month Club and the plays were adapted from current novels.
Starting in the third season, the TV plays were adapted from plays and novels by both known and unknown authors.
The series aired under its own title (with sponsorship from the Equity-Philco Company) from October 1948 to October 1951.
On 21 October 1951, it began alternating with the Goodyear TV Playhouse (until August 1955). The Philco Television Playhouse had its last showing on 2 October 1955.
Performers included Jane Seymour, Joyce Van Patten, Ralph Bellamy, Walter Abel, Bing Crosby, Cameron Mitchell, Peggy Wood, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Kirkland, William Redfield, Jose Ferrer, Phyllis Kirk, Frances Reid, Patricia Breslin, Janet Blake, Mary McCord, Anthony Quinn, Jean Carson, Claire Luce, E.G. Marshall, John Newland, Alfred Ryder, Eli Wallach, Leora Dana, Lili Palmer, Cara Williams, Burgess Meredith, Margaret Hayes, Leslie Nielsen, Barbara Joyce, John Ireland, Cloris Leachman, Walter Matthau, Audra Lindley, Rod Steiger, Nancy Marchand, Constance Ford, John Forsythe and Eva Marie Saint.