The Best of Broadway
Created byMartin Manulis
Directed byDavid Alexander
Sidney Lumet
Paul Nickell
Franklin J. Schaffner
Herbert B. Swope Jr.
Country of originUSA
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9
ProducersMartin Manulis[1]
Felix Jackson
Running time60 mins
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 15, 1954 (1954-09-15) –
May 4, 1955 (1955-05-04)

The Best of Broadway is a 60-minute live television anthology series that aired on CBS Television on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from September 15, 1954, to May 4, 1955, for a total of nine episodes. Each show was broadcast live in color from New York City, was an adaptation of a famous Broadway play, and included commercials for Westinghouse featuring Betty Furness.[2] Using a "giant new studio,"[3] plays were presented in front of a studio audience, which contributed a Broadway-like element.[1]

This series ran every fourth week, with Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts being aired the other three weeks.[3]

The series originated from CBS Television Studio 72 at WCBS-TV. Martin Manulis was the initial producer, and Paul Nickell was the director. David Brookman was in charge of the music.[2] In February 1955, Felix Jackson became the producer when Manulis began producing Climax!.[4]


Play Author(s) Broadcast Date Stars
1 The Royal Family George S. Kaufman, Edna Ferber September 15, 1954 Charles Coburn, Claudette Colbert, Helen Hayes, Fredric March, Nancy Olson[5]
2 The Man Who Came to Dinner George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart October 13, 1954 Joan Bennett, Margaret Hamilton, Buster Keaton, Bert Lahr, Merle Oberon, ZaSu Pitts, Monty Woolley
3 Panama Hattie Cole Porter, Herbert Fields, B. G. DeSylva November 10, 1954 Art Carney, Ethel Merman
4 The Philadelphia Story Philip Barry December 8, 1954 Mary Astor, Herbert Marshall, Dorothy McGuire
5 Arsenic and Old Lace Joseph Kesselring January 5, 1955 Billie Burke, Helen Hayes, Edward Everett Horton, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre
6 The Show-Off George Kelly February 2, 1955 Carleton Carpenter, Jackie Gleason, Thelma Ritter
7 The Guardsman Ferenc Molnár March 2, 1955 Claudette Colbert, Margaret Hamilton, Franchot Tone
8 Stage Door George S. Kaufman, Edna Ferber (adapted by Gore Vidal) April 6, 1955 Rhonda Fleming, Elsa Lanchester, Diana Lynn, Victor Moore[6]
9 Broadway George Abbott, Philip Dunning May 4, 1955 Joseph Cotten, Piper Laurie, Gene Nelson, Akim Tamiroff, Keenan Wynn

See also


  1. ^ a b Hawes, William (2001). Filmed Television Drama, 1952–1958. McFarland. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9780786411320. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Wednesday (15)" (PDF). Ross Reports on Television. September 12, 1954. p. 152. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1999). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (7th ed.). New York: The Ballentine Publishing Group. p. 89. ISBN 0-345-42923-0.
  4. ^ "Other Network Changes & Additions" (PDF). Ross Reports on Television. February 6, 1955. p. 17. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Television in Review: Color Drama," The New York Times 17 Sept. 1954.
  6. ^ Shanley, J. P. "Television: 'Stage Door,'" The New York Times 8 Apr. 1955.