Watch Westinghouse Studio One
- 5 Seasons
Westinghouse Studio One was a television anthology series that aired on CBS from 1948 to 1958. The show was named after its sponsor, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and was one of the most successful and critically acclaimed shows of its time. The show featured live performances of one-hour adaptations of popular plays, novels, and short stories.
The series was distinguished by its high production values and the involvement of some of the most prestigious artists of the day. Each episode was a standalone story, featuring a different cast and crew. Some of the most prominent writers of the time, such as Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Gore Vidal, wrote episodes for the series. The directors who worked on the show included such legendary figures as Sidney Lumet, John Frankenheimer, and William A. Wellman.
Despite the fact that Westinghouse Studio One was a live show, it was shot on film, which allowed it to be broadcast in other time zones and to be repeated at a later date. This made it one of the first TV shows to be syndicated. The series went through several changes over its decade-long run, with different hosts and formats that reflected the changing times.
The show's first host was the actor and playwright Norman Rose, who introduced each episode and provided commentary on the themes and issues explored in the story. The show's format changed in 1955, when it was renamed Studio One in Hollywood and moved from New York to Los Angeles. The show began to focus more on adapting stories from Hollywood and featuring established stars in leading roles. Betty Furness replaced Norman Rose as the show's host, but her role was limited to introducing the network's sponsors.
The most famous episode of Westinghouse Studio One is undoubtedly "The Lonely Place," which starred James Dean in one of his last performances before his death in 1955. The episode was a noirish crime drama about a Hollywood screenwriter accused of murder. Dean's performance was widely praised, and the episode has gone on to become a classic of early television.
Westinghouse Studio One was a groundbreaking show that paved the way for modern television drama. Before this time, most TV shows were either live variety shows or prerecorded sitcoms. Studio One was the first show to take dramatic storytelling seriously, and it set a precedent for subsequent shows like Playhouse 90 and The Twilight Zone.
In addition to its cultural impact, Westinghouse Studio One was also significant for its technological innovations. The show was one of the first to use multiple cameras during live broadcasts, which allowed for more dynamic and cinematic storytelling. The show also made use of a teleprompter, which helped the actors read their lines during the live broadcast.
Despite its many accomplishments, Westinghouse Studio One was not without controversy. Because it was a live show, mistakes were common, and there were occasional technical mishaps that made it onto the air. The show's producers also took some risks in terms of subject matter, tackling controversial topics like racism, anti-Semitism, and McCarthyism. In one episode, titled "The Strike," the protagonist was a labor organizer who was portrayed in a sympathetic light, which angered some conservative viewers.
In conclusion, Westinghouse Studio One was a groundbreaking show that pushed the boundaries of early television. Its high production values, celebrated guest stars, and commitment to dramatic storytelling set a precedent for subsequent TV shows. Despite its relatively short run, it remains an important cultural artifact that continues to be studied and admired today.