Status of Kraft Television Theatre, Season 3

Kraft Television Theatre broadcast some 585 episodes on NBC from May 1947 to October 1958. The series ran year-round with no summer breaks, meaning it didn’t have traditional seasons. I’ve aligned this status guide with episode lists and guides available online, like those found at TV.com, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), and the Classic TV Archive (CTVA).

Season 3 of Kraft Television Theatre premiered on September 1949 and ended in September 1950. There were no pre-emptions this season. A total of 53 episodes were broadcast, of which 14 are known to exist in their entirety.

The Library of Congress has 14 episodes in its collection, five from 1949 and nine from 1950. One of these episodes, “January Thaw,” was earlier presented in October 1947 during Season 1. This restaged version can also be found at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

(Another episode from Season 3, “Kelly,” was restaged in January 1951 during Season 4. Although the Library of Congress, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications all have copies of the 1951 version, no copies of the original 1950 version are known to exist. The entry in UCLA’s online catalog is dated incorrectly.)

The Library of Congress also has a short reel of 16 mm film containing “outtakes” from “The Wind is Ninety,” which aired in June 1950. This is like rehearsal footage.

Keep in mind that just because the big TV archives/museums only have certain episodes doesn’t mean there aren’t additional episodes of Kraft Television Theatre from the 1949-1950 season out there somewhere.

Season 3: 1949-1950
# Episode Title Airdate Status
124 “The Man in Half Moon Street” 09/21/1949 LOC
125 “Climax” 09/28/1949 LOC
126 “Apple of His Eye” 10/05/1949 LOC
127 “Your Friendly Nabors” 10/12/1949  
128 “Accidentally Yours” 10/19/1949  
129 “To Dream Again” 10/26/1949  
130 “Whistling in the Dark” 11/02/1949  
131 “Happy Ending” 11/09/1949  
132 “The Happiest Year” 11/16/1949  
133 “In Love with Love” 11/23/1949  
134 “Seen But Not Heard” 11/30/1949  
135 “Comedy of Errors” 12/07/1949 LOC
136 “Nantucket Legend” 12/14/1949 LOC
137 “The Glove” 12/21/1949  
138 “New Brooms” 12/28/1949  
139 “That Naborly Feeling” 01/04/1950  
140 “As Husbands Go” 01/11/1950  
141 “The Vinegar Tree” 01/18/1950  
142 “Kelly” 01/25/1950  
143 “The Old Ladies” 02/01/1950  
144 “The Dark Tower” 02/08/1950  
145 “The Silent Room” 02/15/1950  
146 “Valley Forge” 02/22/1950  
147 “Mrs. Moonlight” 03/01/1950  
148 “Nineteenth Hole” 03/08/1950  
149 “Ladies in Retirement” 03/15/1950  
150 “The Queen’s Husband” 03/22/1950  
151 “The Copperhead” 03/29/1950  
152 “A Doll’s House” 04/05/1950 LOC
153 “The Lucky Finger” 04/12/1950 LOC
154 “Make Way for Lunch” 04/19/1950  
155 “Black Sheep” 04/26/1950  
156 “The Fourth Step” 05/03/1950  
157 “Macbeth” 05/10/1950 LOC
158 “Storm in a Teacup” 05/17/1950  
159 “The House Beautiful” 05/24/1950  
160 “The Luck of Guldeford” 05/31/1950  
161 “The Doctor in Spite of Himself” 06/07/1950  
162 “Good Housekeeping” 06/14/1950  
163 “Noah” 06/21/1950  
164 “The Wind is Ninety” 06/28/1950 LOC
165 “Jeannie” 07/05/1950  
166 “Murder on the Nile” 07/12/1950 LOC
167 “Accent on Youth” 07/19/1950  
168 “Mr. Barry’s Etchings” 07/26/1950  
169 “January Thaw” 08/02/1950 LOC/UCLA
170 “Feathers in a Gale” 08/09/1950  
171 “September Tide” 08/16/1950 LOC
172 “The First Mrs. Fraser” 08/23/1950 LOC
173 “The Detour” 08/30/1950  
174 “Last Trump” 09/06/1950  
175 “The Great Big Doorstep” 09/13/1950  
176 “Last Stop” 09/20/1950  

Revised June 6th, 2016

2 Comments

  • Jim Beaver says:

    The “Kelly” confusion is due to the fact that the January 25, 1950 production was so successful that it was done again, in a separate live performance, on January 10, 1951, nearly a year later. I have this straight from E.G. Marshall who starred in both productions. Is it possible that the two holdings are of the different performances?

    • RGJ says:

      Jim, thanks for raising this issue. After doing some additional research it looks like there are no copies of the original January 25th, 1950 version of “Kelly” in any of the big television archives. The Library of Congress, the Museum of Broadcast Communications and UCLA’s Film & Television Archive all have copies of the January 10th, 1951 version, although only the Library of Congress correctly identifies it as a re-staging.

      The Museum of Broadcast Communications identifies its version as airing on January 10th, 1950. This date is doubly inaccurate. You can watch the episode online and at the beginning, the announcer notes that it is the 192nd presentation. At the end, the announcer promotes the following week’s play as “Best Years,” which was broadcast on January 17th, 1951. Clearly, this is the 1951 version.

      UCLA notes that its copy is the 192nd play broadcast by Kraft Television Theatre, which identifies it as the 1951 version, but gives the 1950 date.

      As further confirmation that the Museum of Broadcast Communications and UCLA have the 1951 version, television listings in The New York Times state that Anne Francis appeared in the 1950 version alongside E.G. Marshall and Mark Roberts while Olive Deering appeared alongside Marshall and Roberts in the 1951 version. The end credits to the version available for viewing at the Museum of Broadcast Communications include Deering as does the cast list at UCLA.

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