Producers' Showcase

Producers' Showcase

"Producers' Showcase" was an Emmy Award-winning American anthology television series that was broadcast in compatible color by NBC. Prestigious live 90-minute programs covering a wide variety of genres and featuring A-list talent were aired under the title every fourth Monday at 8:00pm ET for three seasons, beginning on October 18, 1954. The final episode, the last of 37, was broadcast on May 27, 1957.


The premiere episode was "", three one-act plays by Noel Coward directed by Otto Preminger and starring Ginger Rogers, Trevor Howard, Gig Young, Ilka Chase, and Gloria Vanderbilt.

, was so highly acclaimed by critics and well-received by viewers, drawing the largest ratings for a single television program up to that time, that the two stars repeated their performances for the series in January 1956. A 1960 NBC revival of the production was videotaped and later released on home video.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made their television debuts in a production of "The Petrified Forest" that also starred Henry Fonda, Jack Warden, and Jack Klugman. A musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" featured Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra, who scored a major chart hit with one of its tunes, "Love and Marriage."

Other notable broadcasts included:
* The ballets "The Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella", both with Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes;
* A staging of Sidney Howard's 1934 adaptation of the 1929 Sinclair Lewis novel "Dodsworth", starring Fredric March, Claire Trevor, and Geraldine Fitzgerald;
* "Mayerling" with Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer;
* "The Fourposter" with original Broadway cast members Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy;
* "The Women" with Shelley Winters, Paulette Goddard, Ruth Hussey, Mary Astor, Nancy Olson, Mary Boland, and Cathleen Nesbitt;
* "The Skin of Our Teeth" with Helen Hayes and Mary Martin;
* "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" with Anthony Quayle as Robert Browning and a slightly overaged Katharine Cornell, recreating her original stage role after twenty-three years, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning;
* "Cyrano de Bergerac", with José Ferrer (recreating his award-winning stage and film role), Claire Bloom, and Christopher Plummer (a future Cyrano himself);
* "The Letter", directed by William Wyler and starring Siobhan McKenna, Michael Rennie, John Mills, and Anna May Wong;
* Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", with Claire Bloom, John Neville, and Paul Rogers.

"Producers' Showcase" served as the springboard for the documentary series "Wide Wide World". Conceived by network head Pat Weaver and hosted by Dave Garroway, the show was introduced on "Showcase" on June 27, 1955. The premiere episode, featuring entertainment from the US, Canada, and Mexico, was the first international North American telecast in the history of the medium. It received a regular Sunday afternoon time slot the following October.

The final episode, "Festival of Magic", featured Ernie Kovacs playing host to magicians from the US, England, South Africa, Ireland, India, France and China.

Awards and nominations

*1956 Emmy Award for Best Dramatic Series (winner)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Producer - Live Series (Fred Coe, winner)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Single Program of the Year ("Peter Pan", winner)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Actress - Single Performance (Mary Martin in "Peter Pan", winner
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Art Direction - Live Series (Otis Riggs, winner)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Musical Contribution (Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen for "Love and Marriage" from "Our Town", winner)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Actor - Single Performance (José Ferrer in "Cyrano de Bergerac", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Cyril Ritchard in "Peter Pan", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Actress - Single Performance (Eva Marie Saint for "Our Town", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Actress - Single Performance (Jessica Tandy for "The Fourposter", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Director - Live Series (Clark Jones for "Peter Pan", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Director - Live Series (Delbert Mann for "Our Town", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Single Program of the Year ("The Sleeping Beauty", nominee)
*1956 Emmy Award for Best Television Adaptation (David Shaw for "Our Town", nominee)
*1957 Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actress (Claire Trevor for "Dodsworth", winner)
*1957 Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actor (Fredric March for "Dodsworth", nominee)


"The Complete Dictionary to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 - Present" by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, Ballantine Books, 1988, pp. 639-640 ISBN 0-345-35610-1

External links

*imdb title|0046637
* [ "Producers' Showcase" at]

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