STUDIO ONE was originally broadcast live across The US from 1948 to 1958. To this day, this series of one-act specials is the pinnacle example of what is now known as the Golden Era of Television.
Studio One was an unequaled platform for launching legendary acting careers including Charlton Heston, Jessica Tandy, Grace Kelly, James Dean, Jackie Gleason, Jack Palance, Joanne Woodward, Natalie Wood, Jack Warden, Art Carney, Lloyd Bridges, Elizabeth Montgomery, Richard Kiley, Sal Mineo, Tony Randall, John Forsythe, Lee Remick, Cloris Leachman, Leslie Nielsen, Jack Klugman, James Daly and Everett Sloane.
Writers, including Rod Serling, Gore Vidal, Paul Monash and Reginald Rose, were free to experiment in this entertainment medium still in its infancy.
Meanwhile, producers, creative staff and stage hands overcame knotted stomachs and insane schedules to deliver innovative one-hour “live” dramas each week. The early producer, Worthington Minor emphasized the visual impact of the original and classic drama, developing new camera techniques and other innovations.
Directors like Sidney Lumet, John Frankenheimer, George Roy Hill, Franklin Schaffer and Herbert Brodkin, too young to be scared by “live” national television, tried anything and everything – smash cuts, dissolves, rank focus and experimental close-ups that cut to mob scenes.
STUDIO ONE rekindles fond memories of an industry taking its first baby steps, without a hint of self-doubt, as the entire nation watched. As John Forsythe remembers, “You were always running somewhere, tripping over cables, people tearing your clothes off. That kind of chaos and nervousness brought about exciting performances,” and director Herbert Brodkin recalled, “It was like being in the theatre with…the excitement of an opening night.”