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Studio One

1 9 4 8 – 1 9 5 8 (USA)

Originally a CBS radio dramatic anthology series, Studio One (aka Westinghouse Studio One) debuted as a live television broadcast from New York on CBS on 17 November 1948.

From the moment it debuted, the show was awarded the status of an instant classic.

In the early years of Studio One, three performers were seen far more often than any others – Charlton Heston, Mary Sinclair, and Maria Riva – each with lead roles in at least a dozen plays. Heston starred in adaptations of Of Human Bondage, Jane Eyre with Sinclair, The Taming of the Shrew with Phyllis Kirk, and Wuthering Heights, again with Sinclair, and many lesser-known plays.

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Many of the better plays were repeated. The premiere presentation, The Storm, was redone in 1949 with Marsha Hunt in the lead role; Jane Eyre was done again in 1952; Flowers from a Stranger starred Yul Brynner in both 1949 and 1950 and Julius Caesar was done three times.

By 1957, the series was produced in Hollywood (on film) and its title was changed to Studio One in Hollywood.

Studio One broadcast nearly five hundred shows over ten seasons – ending on 29 September 1958 – and producer Felix Jackson’s years on the show – which yielded Twelve Angry Men and 1984 – are seen as the high-water mark.

Many young directors, such as Frank Schaffner, George Roy Hill, Sidney Lumet, and Paul Nickell got their baptism under fire with this hectic live series. Authors like Rod Serling, Gore Vidal, Paul Monash, and Reginald Rose contributed teleplays for Studio One.

When the show went off the air after almost a full decade, sponsor Westinghouse Electric kept the time period with a series of filmed dramas under the title Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse.