|Television in 1958
The total number of television sets in use by
Americans exceeded 46 million in 1958.
CBS executives operate
television cameras during a strike of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in April.
National News -- ABC, John Daly and staff, Prologue
Local News -- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts), Louis M.
Musical Entertainment -- NBC, Dinah Shore Show
Non-Musical Entertainment -- NBC, Hallmark Hall of
Education -- WQED (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Heritage
National Youth and Children's Program -- CBS, Captain
Local Youth and Children's Program -- KING-TV (Seattle,
Washington), Wunda Wunda
National Public Service -- CBS, The Last Word
Local Public Service -- KLZ-TV (Denver, Colorado), Panorama
Contribution to International Understanding -- NBC, Bob Hope
(presented April 15, 1958)
Single Program -- "The Comedian," Playhouse
Single Performance by an Actress -- Polly Bergen,
"The Helen Morgan Story," Playhouse 90
Single Performance by an Actor -- Peter Ustinov,
"Life of Samuel Johnson," Omnibus, ABC
Comedy Series -- Phil Silvers Show, CBS
Dramatic Series With Continuing Characters -- Gunsmoke,
Dramatic Anthology Series -- Playhouse 90
Continuing Performance -- Dinah Shore, The Dinah
Shore Show, NBC
Variety Show -- The Dinah Shore Show
Teleplay Writing (Hour or More) -- Rod Serling, "The
Teleplay Writing (Half-Hour or Less) -- Paul Monash,
"The Lonely Wizard," Schlitz Playhouse,
Direction (Hour or More) -- Bob Banner, The Dinah
Direction (Half-Hour or Less) -- Robert Stevens, The
Glass Eye, CBS
Public Service Program or Series -- Omnibus
News Commentary -- Edward R. Murrow, CBS
Winners of Emmy Awards included Peter Ustinov
(left) and Polly Bergen for Best Acting and Phil Silvers
for Comedy Series.
Alfred I. du Pont Awards
KRON-TV, San Francisco, California
KARD-TV, Wichita, Kansas
Clifton Utley, NBC
Robert E. Sherwood TV Awards
"The Open Mind," WRCA-TV, New York, New York
"Let Freedom Ring," WBZ-TV, Boston,
"The Lady from Philadelphia" on See It Now,
"The Trophy," ABC in co-operation with the
American Jewish Committee
"Light in the Southern Sky" on Frontiers of
"Freedom," WCBS-TV, New York, New York,
presented by Metropolitan Educational TV Association
"Migrants in Chicago" on Outlook, NBC
Westerns occupied four out of the top five places in
the Nielsen ratings in 1958, with a total of 23 being
shown by the three networks between 7:30 and 11:00 p.m. Gunsmoke
was the most popular of all programs on television. Zorro
replaced Davy Crockett as the children's
favorite. Variety shows also enjoyed great popularity.
TV western stars of
1957-1958 included, from left, Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot),
Jim Garner (Maverick), Wayde Preston (Colt .45), and
Clint Walker (Cheyenne).
The Emmy-winning Gunsmoke
featured (left to right) Milburn
Stone, Dennis Weaver, Amanda Blake, and
Maverick, with Jack Kelly
(left) and James Garner, continued as one of the most
popular of the westerns.
The biggest television story of 1958 was the
cancellation of most of the big-money quiz shows
following charges that many of them were fixed. At the
height of their popularity in the summer of 1958 there
were 78 half-hours of quiz show each week on television.
That number was drastically reduced after it was revealed
that contestants on some of the most popular quiz shows
had been supplied answers in advance and coached on how
to give them.
Master of ceremonies Ralph
Storey of the $64,000 Challenge indicates the record
winnings of contestant Teddy Nader.
Elfrida von Nardroff
ponders a question on Twenty One, a quiz show on which
she won $220,500 in 1958. The program went off the air
later in the year.
"Spectaculars" -- specially scheduled
large-budget shows -- were popular in 1958. Among the
most noteworthy shown in the fall were The Plot to
Kill Stalin, Harvey, The Winslow Boy,
Wonderful Town, Gift of the Magi, and An
Evening with Fred Astaire.
A scene from "The Plot
to Kill Stalin," a dramatic production of the
Playhouse 90 series. The program drew a protest by the
U.S.S.R. after it aired on September 25.
George Burns and Gracie Allen
make their farewell appearance as a team in May. Allen
retired after 36 years with Burns in vaudeville, radio,
and television. Burns planned on continuing his career,
Birthday party for Jack Benny
(seated), who "admitted" to being 40 after many
years of using his age as 39 as a running gag in his
radio and television shows. His wife, Mary Livingston, is
standing to his left.
Singing, dancing, comedy
sketches, and commercials on The Dinah Shore Show were
colorcast each week, but most people watched the show on
Clement Attlee and Harry
Truman joined Edward R. Murrow in an
intercontinental televised chat on Small World, November
Shirley Temple rehearses with
Jules Munshin for her first appearance in "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow" on her Storybook television
series, which premiered on January 12.
Following a rehearsal for the
NBC-TV Tonight show, host Jack Paar rests his cheek on
the forehead of regular guest singer Geneviève, as
pianist José Melis smiles.
Ella Maxwell's visits to Jack
Paar's Tonight were one of the program's most popular --
and controversial -- features.
the Year 1958
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