The Golden Age of Television

This week, I thought I’d share a few links a friend, John, shared with me from an online course for adults he’s been teaching at a suburban Philadelphia university. The course is on “The Golden Age of Television,” with each session covering a TV play from the early 1950s. Here are the three plays in chronological order of when they aired, with a few notes from John:

Marty; broadcast May 23, 1953 on NBC’s Philco Television Playhouse

The Strike, broadcast on Studio One, June 7, 1954, on CBS:

This was Rod Serling’s first major teleplay about war, based on his personal experiences and observations in World War II.

Twelve Angry Men Restored Kinescope. Originally Broadcast live on Westinghouse Studio One, September 20, 1954:

It was written by Reginald Rose, produced by Felix Jackson, and directed by Franklin Schaffner. The cast was Robert Cummings, Franchot Tone, Norman Fell, Edward Arnold, John Beal, George Voskovec, Joseph Sweeney, Lee Philips, Walter Abel, Bart Burns, Vincent Gardenia and Larkin Ford. Fell, you might remember, as the landlord from Three’s Company: Gardenia, the father in Moonstruck. For those older folks among my reader, Furness was the long-time spokesperson for Westinghouse who said at the end of the commercials “Remember, you can be sure if it’s Westinghouse.”

John also shared this interview with Delbert Mann who directed Marty talking about the television production and Paddy Chayefsky:

9 thoughts on “The Golden Age of Television

  1. I have only seen the movie version of Twelve Angry Men (one of the producers, Paul Radin, was a good friend ours), but it was so good! In fact, my 20-year old daughter watched it recently and loved it. I was surprised the appeal was still there for someone who is young. She is headed to her first jury duty in July so perhaps she wanted a taste of what’s to come. 🙂


  2. This post is so neat, thanks for sharing! The only one I remember seeing is Twelve Angry Men, which was very good. I hope you have a great week!


  3. I was born in ’56, so I’m almost old enough for the Golden Age of Television. There was something so hopeful about the early years of television—thoughtful work could be widely available to a receptive public along with educational content that could assist the schools.


  4. Those are definitely legendary TV broadcasts, which I’ve always heard of but I can’t remember ever actually watching. I almost feel that it’s too late now.

    best… mae at


  5. I’ve seen Marty but it has been decades. The mention of Westinghouse reminds me of my father who worked there for 42 years. Not Westinghouse Studio One….the plant on Tinacum Island.

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