Broadcast Log for Betty Crocker Star Matinee

This half-hour drama/interview series aired for 26 episodes on ABC during the 1951-1952 season. The series aired on Saturdays for its entire run. It premiered on November 3rd, 1951 airing from 12-12:30PM as a replacement for Two Girls Named Smith. Beginning with the March 1st, 1952 episode it moved to the 11:30AM-12PM time slot to replace Date with Judy.

General Mills was the sponsor and Adelaide Hawley the host in character as Betty Crocker. Each episode featured interviews, food demonstrations, and short dramas or drama excerpts. For example, the first episode saw Betty Crocker preparing an autumn soup and apple dumplings, actor Thomas Mitchell in a scene from the play The Late Christopher Bean, and an interview with florist Irene Hayes.

Among the famous names to appear on Betty Crocker Star Matinee were Basil Rathbone, Uta Hagen, Robert Cummings, David Niven, Veronica Lake, and Audrey Hepburn.

Episode titles are based on the drama segment of each episode and are drawn from various newspaper television listings. There is some confusion about who guest starred on the February 9th, 1952 episode. It was either Madeleine Carroll in “The Tally Method” or Celeste Holm in an unidentified drama. Or perhaps both were guests that week.

*Saturdays at 12:00PM*
Ep. # Episode Title Airdate
1. Unknown 11/03/1951
  Guests: Thomas Mitchell, Irene Hayes, John Carroll, Jonathan Harris, and Helen Shepard.
2. Unknown 11/10/1951
  Guests: June Lockhart, Albert Dekker
3. “An Inspector Calls” 11/17/1951
  Guests: Basil Rathbone, Russell Wright
4. “Mr. Pim Passes” 11/24/1951
  Guests: Roland Young, Claire McCardell
5. “Eastward in Eden” 12/01/1951
  Guest: Constance Bennett
6. “The Linden Tree” 12/08/1951
  Guests: Raymond Massey, Naomi Riordan
7. “Shining Hour” 12/15/1951
  Guests: Zachary Scott, Neva Patterson
8. Unknown 12/22/1951
  Guest: Dane Clark
9. “Farewell to Love” 12/29/1951
  Guests: Miriam Hopkins, Marla Rubenstein
10. Unknown 01/05/1952
  Guests: David Niven, Uta Hagen
11. Unknown 01/12/1952
  Guest: Terasa Wright
12. “Topper” 01/19/1952
  Guest: Roland Young
13. “Open Storage” 01/26/1952
  Guests: Melvyn Douglas, Betty Field
14. “The Weak Spot” 02/02/1952
  Guests: Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn
15. “The Tally Method” 02/09/1952
  Guest: Madeleine Carroll (and/or Celeste Holm)
16. “The Willow and I” 02/16/1952
  Guest: Brian Aherne
17. “Mr. Bell’s Creatures” 02/23/1952
  Guest: Veronica Lake
*Saturdays at 11:30AM*
Ep. # Episode Title Airdate
18. Unknown 03/01/1952
  Guest: Pat O’Brien
19. “Bridging the Years” 03/08/1952
  Guest: Thomas Mitchell
20. “Women in His Life” 03/15/1952
  Guest: Martha Scott
21. “The Stove Won’t Light” 03/22/1952
  Guests: Audrey Hepburn, Robert Sterling
22. “The Three Hats” 03/29/1952
  Guest: Diana Lynn
23. “Night School” 04/05/1952
  Guests: Ernest Truex, Josephine Hull
24. “The Confession” 04/12/1952
  Guest: Teresa Wright
25. “Sense of Humor” 04/19/1952
  Guest: Robert Cummings
26. “Split Infinitive” 04/26/1952
  Guest: Sir Cedric Hardwicke

None of the episodes are known to exist but hopefully General Mills has them tucked away safely in a vault somewhere. The March 22nd, 1953 episode (“The Stove Won’t Light”) with Audrey Hepburn and Robert Sterling is one of the TV programs on my personal most-wanted list.

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