The Golden Age of Television: What Made the 1950s So Special for American TV
Monday, July 6 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm | add to Google Calendar
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American television was all set to launch in the late 1930s, but its progress was interrupted by the start of World War II. Finally, by the end of the 1940s, NBC and CBS began broadcasting to their east coast affiliates. They offered viewers a wide variety of programs: situation comedies, vaudeville-style revues, and most impressively, live original dramas. Within a few years, these anthology programs, like Kraft Television Theatre and Ford Television Theatre launched the careers of soon-to-be famous directors like Arthur Penn and John Frankenheimer, actors like Paul Newman and James Dean, and playwrights like Paddy Chayevsky and Rod Serling. But by the end of the 1950s, the era of live TV “theater” was over. So too was New York City as a center of TV production. This presentation will look at the forces that made this “golden age” such an intriguing chapter in TV history and why it was so short-lived.