Westinghouse Studio One
On April 29, 1947, Markle launched the 60-minute CBS radio series with an adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. Broadcast on Tuesdays, opposite Fibber McGee and Molly and The Bob Hope Show at 9:30 P.M., EST, the radio series continued until July 27, 1948, showcasing such adaptations as Dodsworth, Pride and Prejudice, The Red Badge of Courage and Ah, Wilderness. Top performers were heard on this series, including John Garfield, Walter Huston, Mercedes McCambridge, Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum.
Move to television
In 1948, Markle made a leap from radio to television. Sponsored by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the television series was seen on CBS (which Westinghouse later owned between 1995 and 2000), from 1948 through 1958, under several variant titles: Studio One Summer Theatre, Studio One in Hollywood, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One and Westinghouse Summer Theatre. It was telecast in black-and-white only.
Offering a wide range of dramas, Studio One received Emmy nominations every year from 1950 to 1958. The series staged some notable and memorable teleplays among its 467 episodes. Some created such an impact they were adapted into theatrical films. William Templeton's 1953 adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring Eddie Albert as Winston Smith, led to the 1956 feature film version with Edmond O'Brien in the principal role. Reginald Rose's drama Twelve Angry Men, about the conflicts of jurors deciding a murder case, originated on Studio One on September 20, 1954; and the 1957 motion picture remake with Henry Fonda was nominated for three Academy Awards. Sal Mineo had the title role in the January 2, 1956 episode of Reginald Rose's Dino, and he reprised the role for the movie Dino (1957).
In 1954, "Crime at Blossoms", scripted by Jerome Ross, was given an Edgar Award for Best Episode in a TV Series. Nathaniel Hawthorne's granddaughter received a plaque in recognition of her grandfather's writing achievements, during the April 3, 1950 telecast of The Scarlet Letter.
The Night America Trembled was Studio One's September 9, 1957 top-rated television recreation of Orson Welles' radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938. The cast included Alexander Scourby, Ed Asner and Warren Oates. James Coburn made his television debut, and John Astin appeared uncredited as a reporter. In one of his earliest acting roles, Warren Beatty appeared in the bit part of a card-playing college student.
Another notable presentation was an adaptation in 1952 of a medieval mystery play about the birth of Christ, The Nativity, based on the Chester and York Mystery Plays of the 14th and 15th centuries, reworked into Elizabethan English. With musical accompaniment by the Robert Shaw Chorale, and presented during the Christmas season of 1952, this was one of the few medieval mystery plays telecast on commercial network television. The cast included Thomas Hardie Chalmers, Miriam Wolfe, Hurd Hatfield, and Paul Tripp.
During the 1953 presentation Dry Run, whole sections of a submarine were built inside the studio and the entire cast was nearly electrocuted when water that was being used for special effects got very close to power cables.
Worthington Miner, Martin Manulis and others produced. As spokeswoman for Westinghouse, Betty Furness became strongly identified with Westinghouse products, and she also was seen in eight Studio One dramas. The show's musical directors were Milton C. Anderson, who also created music for Playhouse 90, and Eugene Cines. The show's run ended when Westinghouse switched its sponsorship to the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, which premiered in 1958. The series finished at #24 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1950-1951 season.
For years, the second half of the original TV production of Twelve Angry Men was considered lost. However, in 2003, Joseph Consentino, a researcher-producer for The History Channel, discovered a complete kinescope of the Studio One production in the home of the late New York defense attorney (and later judge) Samuel Leibowitz. Consentino was researching a History Channel documentary about Leibowitz, and the discovery was announced by the Museum of Television & Radio (now The Paley Center for Media).
A third season episode of the ABC legal drama Boston Legal, "Son of the Defender", used clips from the two-part Studio One episode "The Defender" [February 25-March 4, 1957], featuring William Shatner as an attorney joining his lawyer father, played by Ralph Bellamy, in the defense of a 19-year-old, played by Steve McQueen, who is accused of murder. Utilizing clips of the older show for flashbacks, the Boston Legal episode portrayed Shatner's Studio One character as a young Denny Crane trying his first case alongside his father.
Awards and nominations
|Year||Result||Emmy Award Category||Recipient|
|1950||Nominated||Best Kinescope Show|| |
|1951||Best Dramatic Show|| |
|1955||Best Individual Program of the Year|| |
|Best Dramatic Show|| |
|Won||Best Written Dramatic Material||Reginald Rose (For "Twelve Angry Men")|
|Best Direction||Franklin J. Schaffner (For "Twelve Angry Men")|
|Best Actor in a Single Performance||Robert Cummings (For "Twelve Angry Men")|
|1956||Nominated||Best Dramatic Series|| |
|Won||Best Camerawork - Live Show||T. Miller|
|1957||Nominated||Best Single Performance by an Actress||Nancy Kelly (For "The Pilot")|
|Best Single Performance by an Actor||Sal Mineo (For "Dino")|
|1958||Best Teleplay Writing - One Hour or More||Arthur Hailey (For "No Deadly Medicine")|
|Best Dramatic Anthology Series|| |
|Actress - Best Single Performance - Lead or Support||Piper Laurie (For "The Deaf Heart")|
|Actor - Best Single Performance - Lead or Support||Lee J. Cobb (For "No Deadly Medicine")|
In 2008, Koch Vision released the Studio One Anthology. Episodes include "1984", "The Arena", "Confessions of a Nervous Man", "Dark Possession", "The Death and Life of Larry Benson", "Dino", "Julius Caesar", "June Moon", "The Medium", "Pontius Pilate", "The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners", "The Storm", "The Strike", "Summer Pavilion", "Twelve Angry Men" and "Wuthering Heights." The episodes contain the original Westinghouse commercials. Bonus features include the "Studio One Seminar" from the Paley Center for Media; an interview with director Paul Nickell, footage from the Archive of American Television and a featurette on the series.
The episode "Twelve Angry Men" is also included as a bonus on the Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray releases of the 1957 film.
Amazon.com is also issuing several made-to-order DVDs of episodes not included in the Koch Vision Anthology.
- Westinghouse Studio One's "The Night America Trembled" at archive.org
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1144. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- "Westinghouse-Desilu Playhouse". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- Cynthia Littleton (16 April 2003). "Mt&r Finds '54 'Angry Men'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- "Shatner, Age 26, To Appear With Shatner, Age 76". Studio Briefing. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- Wisconsin Public Radio; Studio One: Babbitt
- Studio One in The Internet Archive's Old-Time Radio Collection
- Studio One (September 29, 1952): Westinghouse spokeswoman Betty Furness explains UHF and demonstrates the UHF adapter
- Studio One (May 18, 1953): Opening scenes of "The Laughmaker" with Jackie Gleason and Art Carney
- Studio One at the Internet Movie Database
- Studio One production files, 1948-1955, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
- Thousand Oaks Library: Fletcher Markle Collection
- Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs: Studio One
- 'Writing for Television" by Rod Serling
- Studio One at CVTA with episode lists
- Studio One at TV.com
- Actress, Mary Sinclair