The Motorola Television Hour

The Motorola Television Hour is an hour-long anthology series which alternated bi-weekly with The United States Steel Hour on ABC. The show premiered on November 3, 1953 and was last aired on June 1, 1954. It was produced by Herbert Brodkin and sponsored by Motorola. Writers included Neil Simon, Rod Serling, and William McCleery. Its directors were Daniel Petrie, Ralph Nelson, and Don Richardson.[1][2] The series aired live from New York City

Episode list

No. Title Directed by Teleplay by Original air date
1"Outlaw's Reckoning"Ralph NelsonHalsted WellesNovember 3, 1953
An inn near a much-used bridge becomes a tense waiting place when the bridge is closed. (Episode was originally created for Plymouth Playhouse.)
2"Westward the Sun"TBATBANovember 17, 1953
3"Brandenburg Gate"Ralph NelsonTBADecember 1, 1953
4"At Ease"TBARod SerlingDecember 15, 1953
5"The Thirteen Clocks"TBAJames ThurberDecember 29, 1953
A prince disguised as a minstrel must save a beautiful princess from her evil uncle.
6"The Last Days of Hitler"TBADavid DavidsonJanuary 12, 1954
Likely based upon the book by historian Hugh Trevor-Roper covering the last ten days of Hitler's life.
7"Side by Side"TBAWilliam McCleeryJanuary 26, 1954
8"A Dash of Bitters"TBAReginald DenhamFebruary 9, 1954
9"The Muldoon Matter"Don RichardonRod SerlingFebruary 23, 1954
10"The Family Man"TBAWilliam McCleeryMarch 9, 1954
11"Nightmare in Algiers"Daniel PetrieAlvin SapinsleyMarch 23, 1954
12"The Sins of the Fathers"TBADavid DavidsonApril 6, 1954
Based upon a 1902 short story by Silas Weir Mitchell.
13"Black Chiffon"TBAPhilip Barry, Jr.April 20, 1954
Adapted from the 1949 stage play of the same name by Lesley Storm.
14"Love Song"TBATBAMay 4, 1954
15"Atomic Attack"Ralph NelsonDavid DavidsonMay 18, 1954
A family in a New York City suburb deal with the aftermath of an H-bomb attack fifty miles away.
16"Chivalry at Howling Creek"TBATBAJune 1, 1954


Notable guest actors

Actors appearing on the series included:


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  3. ^

External links

1953–54 United States network television schedule

The 1953–54 United States network television schedule began in September of 1953 and ended in the spring of 1954.

Despite hit filmed programs such as I Love Lucy, both William S. Paley of CBS and David Sarnoff of NBC were said to be determined to keep most programming on their networks live. Filmed programs were said to be inferior to the spontaneous nature of live television. Thus, NBC and CBS continued to schedule many live programs, including two new 1953 fall NBC series The Dave Garroway Show and Bonino. According to Brooks and Marsh (2007), Garroway's show "was faced with overwhelming competition from Mama and Ozzie & Harriet, which were running opposite on CBS and ABC, and it only lasted a single season". Bonino did not even last the full season. CBS had more luck with new live programs Person to Person and My Favorite Husband (which would later make the switch to film).

ABC, perennially in third or fourth place among the four U.S. television networks, had been on the verge of bankruptcy, but the February 1953 merger of United Paramount Theaters with ABC had given ABC a $30 million cash infusion. ABC revamped its schedule for Fall 1953 with big-budget programs. New ABC programs included Make Room for Daddy, and an ABC version of NBC's popular Kraft Television Theatre; the strategy was designed to "take on CBS and NBC with a strong schedule".In contrast to ABC's revamped schedule, DuMont's Fall 1953 prime time schedule looked weak, with programs that were "doomed from the start by third-rate scripts and cheap production." The 1953–54 season would be the last year DuMont was able to schedule nearly 20 hours of programming in prime time. By the 1954–55 season, DuMont would be forced to cut back its schedule, while the other three networks continued to expand.

During the 1953 season, both DuMont and ABC "made sporadic efforts to compete for the daytime audience, but faced so many problems just filling prime time that they found it much more efficient to focus primarily on weekend sports". DuMont paid $1.3 million in 1953 for the rights to broadcast National Football League games in prime time; starting December 12, DuMont also broadcast a series of NBA basketball games, the first time pro basketball was seen regularly on network TV. Both DuMont and ABC "were especially aggressive in pursuit of sports broadcasts because they were desperately in need of special attractions to bring in viewers".Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.

Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.

Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.

Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

Anthology series

An anthology series is a radio, television or book series that presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode or season. These usually have a different cast each week, but several series in the past, such as Four Star Playhouse, employed a permanent troupe of character actors who would appear in a different drama each week. Some anthology series, such as Studio One, began on radio and then expanded to television.

Black Chiffon

Black Chiffon is a play in two acts written by Lesley Storm. Starring Flora Robson, the play premiered at the Westminster Theatre in London's West End on 3 May 1949, running for over 400 performances. The play debuted on Broadway on 27 September 1950 and ran until 13 January 1951, totalling 109 performances. That production starred Janet Barrow (Nannie), Richard Gale (Roy Christie), Patricia Hicks (Louise), Raymond Huntley (Robert Christie), Anthony Ireland (Dr. Bennett Hawkins), Patricia Marmont (Thea), and Flora Robson (Alicia Christie), and was produced by John Wildberg.

Brandenburg Gate (disambiguation)

Brandenburg Gate is a world-famous gate on the Pariser Platz in Berlin, Germany.

Brandenburg Gate may also refer to:

Brandenburg Gate (Kaliningrad), a gate on Bagration street in Kaliningrad, Russia (formerly known as Königsberg)

Brandenburg Gate (Potsdam), a gate on the Brandenburger Straße in Potsdam, Germany

"Brandenburg Gate", the third episode of The Motorola Television Hour, a 1953 US drama anthology television series

Brandenburger Tor (song), a song for the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 by Ketil Stokkan

Brenda Bruce

Brenda Bruce OBE (7 July 1919 – 19 February 1996) was a British actress. She had a long and successful career in the theatre, radio, film and television.

Center Stage (TV series)

Center Stage is an American television anthology series that aired in 1954 on the American Broadcasting Company as a summer replacement for The Motorola Television Hour. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on alternate weeks from June 1, 1954 to September 21, 1954, swapping airings with the U.S. Steel Hour. The series was produced by Herbert Brodkin. There were nine episodes, one of which was written by Rod Serling. Among its stars were Walter Matthau, Charles Coburn, Lee Marvin, and Vivian Blaine.

Don Richardson (director)

Don Richardson (born April 30, 1918 – January 10, 1996) was an American actor, director, acting teacher, as well as an author.

Herbert Brodkin

Herbert Brodkin (November 9, 1912 – October 29, 1990) was an American producer and director of film and television.

Brodkin was best known as the producer of the television shows Playhouse 90, The Defenders, and the short-lived series Coronet Blue.Brodkin was also the founder and president of Plautus Productions and also the co-founder of Titus Productions with Robert Berger in 1965.

John Baragrey

John Baragrey (15 April 1918 – 4 August 1975) was an American film, television, and stage actor who appeared in virtually every dramatic television series of the 1950s and early 1960s. On stage, in films, and especially on television, he teamed up with many of the leading ladies of the era, including Rita Hayworth, Jane Wyman, Jane Powell, Anne Bancroft, Judith Anderson, Tallulah Bankhead, Delores del Rio, and Bette Davis. Yet today he is virtually forgotten, partly because so much of his work was in early television, and many of the tapes of these shows have been lost or were never even recorded.Baragrey was married to American actress Louise Larabee. After a prolific career, Baragrey died suddenly at the age of 57 of a stroke.

John Charles Daly

John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (February 20, 1914 – February 24, 1991), generally known as John Charles Daly or simply John Daly, was an American radio and television personality, CBS News broadcast journalist, ABC News executive and TV anchor and a game show host, best known as the host and moderator of the CBS television panel show What's My Line?

In World War II, he was the first national correspondent to report the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as covering much of the front-line news from Europe and North Africa.

Leora Dana

Leora Dana (April 1, 1923 – December 13, 1983) was an American film, stage and television actress.

Mark Bucci

Mark Bucci (26 February 1924, New York City – 22 August 2002, Camp Verde, Arizona) was an American composer, lyricist, and dramatist. Influenced by Giacomo Puccini, his work is composed in a contemporary yet lyrical style which frequently employs marked rhythms and memorable harmonies and melodies.

Martin Kosleck

Martin Kosleck (born Nicolaie Yoshkin, March 24, 1904 – January 15, 1994) was a German film actor. Like many other German actors, he fled when the Nazis came to power. Inspired by his deep hatred of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, Kosleck made a career in Hollywood playing villainous Nazis in films. While in the United States, he appeared in more than 80 films and television shows in a 46-year span. His icy demeanor and piercing stare on screen made him a popular choice to play Nazi villains. He portrayed Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister, five times, and also appeared as an SS trooper and a concentration camp officer.

Reginald Denham

Reginald Denham (10 January 1894 – 4 February 1983) was an English writer, theater and film director, actor and film producer.

Rita Gam

Rita Gam (born Rita Eleanore MacKay, April 2, 1927 – March 22, 2016) was an American film and television actress and documentary filmmaker. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

Sins of the Father

Sins of the Father or Sins of the Fathers derives from Biblical references (primarily in the books Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers) to the sins (or iniquities) of one generation passing to another. The idea has been conveyed paraphrastically into popular culture.

The 13 Clocks

The 13 Clocks is a fantasy tale written by James Thurber and illustrator Marc Simont in 1950, while he was completing one of his other novels. It is written in a unique cadenced style, in which a mysterious prince must complete a seemingly impossible task to free a maiden from the clutches of an evil duke. It invokes many fairy tale motifs.The story is noted for Thurber's constant, complex wordplay, and his use of an almost continuous internal meter, with occasional hidden rhymes — akin to blank verse, but with no line breaks to advertise the structure. Other fantasy books by Thurber, such as Many Moons, The Wonderful O (published 1958), and particularly The White Deer, also contained hints of this unusual prose form, but here it becomes a universal feature of the text, to the point where it is possible to predict the word order for a given phrase (for example, "the Golux said" vs. "said the Golux") by looking at the pattern of emphasis in the preceding phrase.

By the time he wrote this book, Thurber was blind, so he could not draw cartoons for the book, as he had done with The White Deer five years earlier. He enlisted his friend Marc Simont to illustrate the original edition. The Golux is said to wear an "indescribable hat". Thurber made Simont describe all his illustrations, and was satisfied when Simont was unable to describe the hat. When it was reissued by Puffin Books, it was illustrated by Ronald Searle. The book has been reprinted by The New York Review Children's Collection, with original illustrations by Marc Simont and an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

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