Home Television Drama Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse

1 9 5 8 – 1 9 6 0 (USA)

When Studio One‘s live weekly anthology series went off the air after almost a full decade, sponsor Westinghouse Electric kept the time period with this series of filmed dramas.

The Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse premiered on CBS on 13 October 1958 with Bernadette starring Pier Angeli. The hour-long filmed series was hosted by producer Desi Arnaz.

During the first season, Arnaz (whose production company was making the series) made no appearances as a performer, but two of his I Love Lucy gang did . . .

Lucille Ball starred with William Lundigan and Aldo Ray in K.O. Kitty and William Frawley worked with Dan Duryea in Comeback. William Bendix and Martin Balsam were featured in The Time Element, a science-fiction story written by Rod Serling (and possibly the genesis of his later series The Twilight Zone).

Desi himself starred in two plays aired during the second season, So Tender So Profane and Thunder in the Night.

Other shows included: Debut starring Susan Strasberg; My Father, The Fool with Eli Wallach; The Untouchables with Robert Stack and Neville Brand (which was spun-off into a successful tv series in its own right), and Case of Dr Mudd with Lew Ayres.

Other actors who appeared in Desilu Playhouse productions included Keenan Wynn, Buddy Ebsen, Harry Dean Stanton, Ed Wynn, Earl Holliman, Robert Loggia, Ann Sothern, Eddie Albert, Lew Ayres, Lloyd Bridges, Michael Landon, Tony Randall, Maximilian Schell, Ed Begley and Adam West.

Airing roughly once every five weeks within the series were a number of instances of the Westinghouse Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show in which the two stars re-created their roles from I Love Lucy along with Vivian Vance, William Frawley and Richard Keith.

Betty Furness, who had been the spokesperson for Studio One, continued to show off refrigerators and ranges throughout the two years that Desilu Playhouse was on.