This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Armstrong Circle Theatre" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Armstrong Circle Theatre
Armstrong Circle Theatre - Sound of Violence 1959.jpg
Armstrong Circle Theatre - Sound of Violence 1959.
GenreAnthology drama
Presented byNelson Case (1950–1951)
Joe Ripley
(1952–1953)
Bob Sherry
(1953–1954)
Sandy Becker (1954–1955)
John Cameron Swayze (1955–1957)
Douglas Edwards (1957–1961)
Ron Cochran (1961–1962)
Henry Hamilton (1962–1963)
ComposersHarold Levey
Will Schaefer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes370
Production
Executive producerDavid Susskind (1954–1960)
ProducersSelig Alkon
Jacqueline Babbin
Robert Costello
Hudson Faucett
George Lowther
Ralph Nelson
Henry Salomon
George Simpson
David Susskind
Running time30 mins. (1950–1955)
60 mins. (1955–1963)
Release
Original networkNBC
(1950–1957)
CBS
(1957–1963)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJune 6, 1950 (1950-06-06) –
June 5, 1963 (1963-06-05)

Armstrong Circle Theatre is an American anthology drama television series which ran from June 6, 1950, to June 25, 1957, on NBC, and from October 2, 1957, to August 28, 1963, on CBS.[1] It alternated weekly with The U.S. Steel Hour. It finished in the Nielsen ratings at #19 for the 1950-1951 season and #24 for 1951-1952.[2] The principal sponsor was Armstrong World Industries.

Between July 8 and September 16, 1959, CBS aired reruns of six documentary dramas originally broadcast during the 1958–1959 season as episodes of Armstrong Circle Theatre under the title Armstrong by Request.[3] Armstrong by Request aired during Armstrong Circle Theatre′s time slot and also alternated with The United States Steel Hour.[3]

Synopsis

The program's first season featured episodes that tried "to please every body in a mass audience, using only highly formularized plays.[4] The next season brought a different approach, with more emphasis on characters than on plot. Edward B. Roberts worked with writers from all over the United States to find scripts. By mid-November 1952, he estimated that he had talked to 3,000 writers and looked at 20,000 scripts. Authors received $750 for each accepted script.[4]

The series featured original dramas by noted writers, although sometimes comedies were shown. Its guidelines specifically called for the avoidance of violence. Originally a half-hour production, in 1955 the show expanded to an hour and began to emphasize dramatized versions of real-life contemporary events (including the sinking of the SS Andrea Doria and a documentary on the history of Communism in the Soviet Union. Upon moving to CBS, the show emphasized several Cold War topics, including espionage, Radio Free Europe and escapes from East Germany.[5]

David Susskind, producer of the program, called the new episodes "actuals", describing them as "dramatizations based on truth".[6]

Hosts and narrators

Guest stars

The series featured numerous guest stars including:

Directors

Episodes

1950-1951

Partial List of Episodes from the 1950-1951 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
June 6, 1950 "The Magnificent Gesture" Brian Aherne[7]
June 13, 1950 "The Jackpot" Stuart Erwin[9]
June 20, 1950 "The Rose and the Shamrock" Nina Foch[10]
June 27, 1950 "The Chair" Vaughn Taylor, Lucile Watson[11]
July 11, 1950 "Local Stop" Vaughn Taylor[12]
August 1, 1950 "The Big Day" Neil Hamilton, Louise Larabee, Frank McNellis, Pat Crowley, Sally Moffet, Mimi Strongin, Grace Valentine, Victor Sutherland, Tess Vinton[13]
August 15, 1950 "Ring Around My Finger" Patricia Wheel, John Harvey, Joanne Dolan, Lucille Patten, Jack Sherry, Willis Townsend, John Marley, Elaine Williams[14]
August 29, 1950 "Blaze of Glory" Judson Pratt, Mary Patton, Reed Brown Jr.[15]
September 26, 1950 "The Elopement" Robert Allen, Betty Caulfield[16]
October 3, 1950 "Roundup" Zachary Scott[17]
October 10, 1950 "Give and Take" Frank Albertson[18]
October 17, 1950 "It's Only a Game" Donald Woods[19]
November 7, 1950 "Person to Person" Lawrence Hugo, Gloria Stroock[20]
November 14, 1950 "Best Trip Ever" Eli Patterson[21]
November 21, 1950 "The Perfect Type" Richard Derr, Augusta Dabney[22]
December 5, 1950 "Happy Ending" Otto Kruger, Cathleen Cordell, Helen Gillett, Brandon Peters, Mark Roberts, Barbara Cook, Stuart Nedd[23]
April 17, 1951 "Honor Student" Donald Buka, Mona Bruns, Raymond Bramley.[24]

1952-1953

Partial List of Episodes from the 1952-1953 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
October 7, 1952 "Remembrance Island" Reimonda Orselli, Jamie Smith, John Compton, Royal Beal, Floyd Buckley, Catherine Proctor[25]
November 11, 1952 "A Godmother for Amy" Bunny Lewbel, Stefan Olsen, Evelyn Davis, Dora Sayers, Walter Brooke, Edna Preston, James Reese[26]
November 18, 1952 "A Volcano Is Dancing in Here" William Prince, Barbara Baxley, Edgar Stehli, Yvette DuGay[27]
December 16, 1952 "The Nothing Kid" Robert Bernard, Bill Hayes, Jack Whiting
December 30, 1952 "Billy Adams, American" E. A. Krumachmidt, Richard Wigginton[28]
January 13, 1953 "Ski Story" Nina Foch, Robert Shackleton[29]

1954

Partial List of Episodes from the 1954 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
February 2, 1954 "Pride of Jonathan Craig" Valerie Cossart, Addison Richards, Byron Russell, Jack Whiting

1955-1956

Partial List of Episodes from the 1955-1956 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
January 10, 1956 "Ward Three: Four p.m. to Midnight" Patricia Collinge, Mary Fickett, Peg Feury, Philip Abbott[30]
September 18, 1956 "The Second Family" (repeat) Larry Gates, Harry Townes, Loretta Leversee, Parker Cormack[31]

1956-1957

Partial List of Episodes from the 1956-1957 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
February 19, 1957 "The Trial of Poznan" Peter Cookson, Hurd Hatfield, Bert Freed[32]

1957-1958

Partial List of Episodes from the 1957-1958 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
March 19, 1958 "The Meanest Crime in the World" William Prince, Nancy Wickwire, Philip Bourneuf[33]

1962-1963

Partial List of Episodes from the 1962-1963 Season of Armstrong Circle Theatre
Date Title Actor(s)
May 22, 1963 "Swindler in Paradise" William Redfield[34]

References

  1. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television (4th ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc. pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8.
  2. ^ "TV Ratings". Classictvhits.com.
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (Sixth Edition), New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 57.
  4. ^ a b Adams, Val (November 16, 1952). "An Original Approach to TV Drama". The New York Times. p. X 11. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ Gibberman, Susan. "Armstrong Circle Theatre". Museum.tv. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  6. ^ Adams, Val (August 28, 1955). "Radio-TV News and Notes: More Words". The New York Times. p. X 9. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  7. ^ a b "Two Dramas Added For Summer Airing! Satan To Make Bow". The Cincinnati Enquirer. June 6, 1950. p. 16. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Edwards of C. B. S. must drop show". The New York Times. April 11, 1961. p. 75. Retrieved April 18, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  9. ^ "Stuart Erwin Billed In Circle Theater". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 11, 1950. p. 69. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Nina Foch Heads Cast In the Circle Theater". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 18, 1950. p. 69. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Pick of the Programs". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. June 27, 1950. p. 27. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Pick of the Programs". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. July 11, 1950. p. 24. Retrieved April 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Neil Hamilton in Circle Theater Role". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 30, 1950. p. 5 G. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "(untitled brief)". The Times Dispatch. August 15, 1950. p. 14. Retrieved April 22, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Tuesday Television Programs". The Cincinnati Enquirer. August 29, 1950. p. 12. Retrieved April 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Television". The Boston Globe. September 26, 1950. p. 32. Retrieved April 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "(photo caption)". The Cincinnati Enquirer. October 3, 1950. p. 13. Retrieved April 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Air Attractions". The Boston Globe. October 10, 1950. p. 19. Retrieved April 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Television Highlights". The Central New Jersey Home News. New Jersey, New Brunswick. October 17, 1950. p. 17. Retrieved April 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Pick of the Programs". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. November 7, 1950. p. 29. Retrieved April 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Air Attractions". The Boston Globe. November 14, 1950. p. 19. Retrieved April 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Television Highlights of the Week". The Boston Globe. November 19, 1950. p. 20-A. Retrieved May 4, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Otto Kruger Starred In the Circle Theater". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 3, 1950. p. 5 G. Retrieved April 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Video Highlights". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 17, 1951. p. 13. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "Tuesday October 7 (Cont'd)". Ross Reports. October 5, 1952. p. 10. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  26. ^ "Armostrong Circle Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 9, 1952. p. 10. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  27. ^ "Armstrong Circle Theatre". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 16, 1952. p. 9. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  28. ^ "Video Highlights". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 30, 1952. p. 8. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "Television Highlights". The Central New Jersey Home News. New Jersey, New Brunswick. January 13, 1953. p. 12. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Shanley, J. P. (January 11, 1956). "TV: Drama in 'Ward 3': Hospital Story Is Seen on 'Circle Theatre'". The New York Times. p. 63. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  31. ^ "TV Key Previews". The Capital Times. Wisconsin, Madison. September 18, 1956. p. 25. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ Gould, Jack (February 20, 1957). "TV: 'Trial of Poznan': Drama by Alvin Boretz About the Polish Uprising Seen on 'Circle Theatre'". The New York Times. p. 67. Retrieved April 18, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  33. ^ Shanley, John P. (March 20, 1958). "TV: Quackery Is Exposed: ' Armstrong Circle Theatre' Presents 'The Meanest Crime in the World'". The New York Times. p. 59. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  34. ^ "TV Key Previews". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. May 22, 1963. p. 69. Retrieved April 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.