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Armstrong Circle Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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
Bob Sherry
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
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)
Original networkNBC
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]


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:




Partial List of Episodes from the 1950-1951 Season
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]


Partial List of Episodes from the 1955-1956 Season
Date Title Actor(s)
January 10, 1956 "Ward Three: Four p.m. to Midnight" Patricia Collinge, Mary Fickett, Peg Feury, Philip Abbott[12]


Partial List of Episodes from the 1955-1956 Season
Date Title Actor(s)
February 19, 1957 "The Trial of Poznan" Peter Cookson, Hurd Hatfield, Bert Freed[13]


Partial List of Episodes from the 1957-1958 Season
Date Title Actor(s)
March 19, 1958 "The Meanest Crime in the World" William Prince, Nancy Wickwire, Philip Bourneuf[14]


  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".
  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". 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
  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
  10. ^ "Nina Foch Heads Cast In the Circle Theater". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 18, 1950. p. 69. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  11. ^ "Pick of the Programs". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. June 27, 1950. p. 27. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 April 2021, at 00:34
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