Status of Night Beat

Night Beat (also known as Mike Wallace’s Night Beat and sometimes spelled Nightbeat) was an hour-long interview series on WABD Channel 5 in New York City. Broadcast Tuesday through Friday from 11PM-12AM, each episode of Night Beat typically included two guests. Mike Wallace served as host from October 1956 to May 1957.

Following Wallace’s departure as host, Night Beat continued with four rotating hosts: John Wingate, Al Morgan, Mary Margaret McBride and Art Ford. By November 1957, Wingate was sole interviewer. In order to cut back on his workload, Howard Whitman of WABD’s Probe was brought in occasionally.

On Monday nights, Probe and Night Beat filled the 11PM-12AM time slot, each running for thirty minutes. Night Beat was last seen on Friday, June 6th, 1958.

NOTE: At the moment this status guide only covers Night Beat broadcasts during Mike Wallace’s tenure as host. The Paley Center for Media has in its collection audio recordings of four episodes of Night Beat from February and March 1957. It also has video of half the January 9th, 1957 episode featuring an interview with Hugh Hefner not the other half in which Wallace interviewed Dorothy Field.

As always, just because specific archives/museums don’t have every episode of Night Beat, that doesn’t mean the episodes are lost.

# Episode Title Airdate Status
1 Mayor Wagner, Victor Riesel 10/09/1956  
2 ASCAP-B.M.I 10/10/1956  
3 Kitty Carlisle, Moss Hart, Harry Bellafonte 10/11/1956  
4 Unknown 10/12/1956  
5 Maura Lympany 10/16/1956  
6 Unknown 10/17/1956  
7 Jacob K. Javits, Arch Obeler 10/18/1956  
8 Betsy von Furstenberg 10/19/1956  
9 Finlay Currie 10/23/1956  
10 Sloan Simpson and Danton Walker 10/24/1956  
11 Katy Jurado, Carol Heiss 10/25/1956  
12 Fashionorama Preview 10/26/1956  
13 Attorney General Jacob K. Javits 10/30/1956  
14 Drew Pearson 10/31/1956  
15 Joshua Logan 11/01/1956  
16 Sol Hurok 11/02/1956  
17 William Keating, Billie Holiday 11/07/1956  
18 Bennett Cerf, Dr. I.M. Levitt 11/08/1956  
19 William Zeckendorf, Letetia Baldridge 11/09/1956  
20 John Cameron Swayze, Eddie Condon 11/13/1956  
21 Marion Marlowe 11/14/1956  
22 Unknown 11/15/1956  
23 Herman Shumlin 11/16/1956  
24 Eli Wallach, George Axelrod 11/20/1956  
25 Louis Nizer, Bonnie Trudden 11/21/1956  
26 Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dr. Lester Coleman 11/22/1956  
27 Shawnee Smith 11/23/1956  
28 Joe E. Brown 11/27/1956  
29 Orson Bean and George Zaharias 11/28/1956  
30 Toots Shor, Harry Harshfield 11/29/1956  
31 Judge Samuel Leibowitz, Robert Harrison 11/30/1956  
32 Phillippe of the Waldorf 12/04/1956  
33 Chester Bowles, Anna Kross 12/05/1956  
34 Mr. John, Harry Dube 12/06/1956  
35 Salvador Dali 12/07/1956  
36 Don Newcombe, Siobhan McKenna 12/11/1956  
37 H.V. Kaltenborn, Leslie Bain 12/12/1956  
38 James A. Wechsler, Harry Dube 12/13/1956  
39 David Wayne, Judge Hyman Barshay 12/14/1956  
40 Flloyd Patterson, Dr. Franz Polgar 12/18/1956  
41 Edward Ford 12/19/1956  
42 Fielding Eliot 12/20/1956  
43 Elsa Maxwell, Rex Stout 12/21/1956  
44 Dr. Smiley Blanton 12/25/1956  
45 Congressman Adam Clayton Powell 12/26/1956  
46 Donald J. McNamara, Ed Williams 12/27/1956  
47 Fanny Hurst, Walter Slezak 12/28/1956  
48 Chief Magistrate John M. Murtagh, Walt Kelly 01/01/1957  
49 Menasha Skulnik, Elaine Malbin 01/02/1957  
50 Don Budge, Al Morgan 01/03/1957  
51 General Pat Hurley, Lisa Ferraday 01/04/1957  
52 Mordecai Kidron, Peter Freuchen 01/08/1957  
53 Dorothy Fields, Hugh Hefner (Hugh Hefner Excerpt) 01/09/1957 Paley
54 Fayez Sayegh, William S. White 01/10/1957  
55 Lowell Thomas Jr., Nils Thor Grandlund 01/11/1957  
56 Andrew Eglevsky, Rev. James H. Robinson 01/15/1957  
57 William Bradford Huie, Marty Snyder 01/15/1957  
58 Ilka Chase, Rabbi Elmer Berger 01/17/1957  
59 Julius Helfand, Lillian Roth 01/18/1957  
60 Joseph Schildkraut, Melvin Belli 01/22/1957  
61 Huntington Hartford, Gerard B. Lambert 01/23/1957  
62 Dr. Sigmund Spaeth, Joey Adams 01/24/1957  
63 Norman Thomas, Sam Levenson 01/25/1957  
64 T.T. Wiley, Actress Elaine Stritch 01/29/1957  
65 Marjorie Winter, Sidney Poitier 01/30/1957  
66 Clarence Kaskel, Prof. Pitirim Sorokin 01/31/1957  
67 Mahalia Jackson, Willie Pep 02/01/1957  
68 Jimmy Cannon, Rabbi Irving Miller 02/05/1957  
69 Emile Zola Berman, Richard Maney 02/06/1957  
70 Nina Foch, Meyer Levin 02/07/1957  
71 Ernest Christie, Anna May Wong 02/08/1957  
72 Dick Adler, Dr. Daniel Poling 02/12/1957  
73 Senator William Benton, Gretchen Wyler 02/13/1957  
74 Seymour Berkson, Michael J. Quill** 02/14/1957 Paley
75 Steve Allen, Dame Sybil Thorndike 02/15/1957  
76 Ben Gazzara, Robert Foreman** 02/19/1957 Paley
77 Dr. Samuel Z. Freedman, Dr. Joseph Janse 02/20/1957  
78 Pete Taranova 02/21/1957  
79 Don Ameche, Prof. Kenneth Galbraith 02/26/1957  
80 Earl Browder, Admiral William F. Halsey 02/26/1957  
81 Morton Gould 02/27/1957  
82 Cyril Ritchard, Elaine Carrington 02/28/1957  
83 John Lardner 03/01/1957  
84 Norman Mailer, Judge Hubert T. Delany 03/05/1957  
85 Dr. Donald R. Wilson, “Tiger” Joe Marsh 03/06/1957  
86 Gerald M. Loeb, Hilda Chester 03/07/1957  
87 Dr. Corliss Lamont, Unidentified Ex-Convict 03/08/1957  
88 Dean Margaret Kiley, William Buckley 03/12/1957  
89 Garry David, Non-Fiction Winner of National Book Awards 03/13/1957  
90 Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, Bill Talbert 03/14/1957  
91 Judge Walter Hart, Walter Sullivan 03/15/1957  
92 Ge. Patrick Ryan, Rosie Dolly** 03/19/1957 Paley
93 Tony Galento, Don Rogers 03/20/1957  
94 Butterfly McQueen, William Buckley, Jr.** 03/21/1957 Paley
95 Clevaland Amory, Dr. T.F. Tsiang 03/22/1957  
96 O. John Rogge, Carolyn Jones 03/26/1957  
97 Sylvia Porter, Dan Dale Alexander 03/27/1957  
98 Stan Getz 03/28/1957  
99 Sir Pierson Dixon, India Edwards 04/02/1957  
100 John W. Aldridge, Charlotte Adams 04/03/1957  
101 Will Rogers Jr., John R. Beale 04/04/1957  
102 Bosley Crowther, Robert Weede 04/05/1957  
103 Erskine Caldwell, Gerard Phillipe 04/09/1957  
104 George Hamid, Micheline Presie 04/10/1957  
105 Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, Gussie Moran 04/11/1957  
106 Bertram D. Wolfe, Eileen Ford 04/12/1957  
107 Thurdoog Marshall, Jean Dalrymple 04/16/1957  
108 Mrs. Joe Louis, Dr. Israel Goldstein 04/17/1957  
109 Maureen Stapleton, Joey Adams 04/18/1957  
110 David Schoenbrun, Barney Ross 04/19/1957  
111 Sammy Davis Jr., Felix Adler 04/23/1957  
112 Carl Rowan, Ray Salyer 04/24/1957  
113 Hermione Gingold and Eugene Castle 04/25/1957  
114 Rev. John La Farge, S.J., Gilbert Seldes 04/26/1957  
115 Judge John M. Murtagh, Edouard L. Cournard 04/30/1957  
116 Felix Adler, Dr. ernest Dichter 05/01/1957  
117 Sherry Britton, Calvin Hoffman 05/02/1957  
118 Ethel Colby, Dr. Billy Hargis 05/03/1957  
119 Elmo Roper, P.J. Kelly 05/07/1957  
120 Richard Willis, Herbert L. Matthews 05/08/1957  
121 Joseph Ragen, Langston Hughes 05/09/1957  
122 Art Ford, Walter Lord 05/10/1957  
123 Lawrence Dennis, Preston Sturges 05/14/1957  
124 Jim Bishop, Rose Russell 05/15/1957  
125 Alexander Kahn, Alice Ghostly 05/16/1957  
126 Eddie Bracken, Otto Preminger 05/17/1957  
127 Minnie Guggenheimer, Charles R. Sligh 05/21/1957  
128 Alexander Cohen, Joseph Lewis 05/22/1957  
129 Dr. Irving C. Fischer, Sylvia Sims 05/23/1957  
130 Sir Ronald Howe, Laura Z. Hobson 05/24/1957  
131 Patrick Murphy Malin, Sherry Britton 05/28/1957  
132 John Masters, John Fitch 05/29/1957  
133 Charles Recht, Maya Deren 05/30/1957  
134 William Worthy, Judd L. Teller 05/31/1957  

*The Paley Center for Media only has half of this episode, the portion featuring Hugh Hefner.

**The Paley Center for Media has audio recordings of these episodes.

References:
Adams, Val. “John Crosby Off Wallace TV Show.” New York Times. 19 Nov. 1957: 67
Adams, Val. “Leader of Soviet to Face U.S. on TV.” New York Times. 22 May 1957: 49
Shepard, Richard F. “C.B.S. Upheld in Lighting Rift.” New York Times. 30 Nov. 1957: 24

4 Replies to “Status of Night Beat”

  1. Night Beat was also the name of a radio show that ran on radio from 1950-1952 and starred Frank Lovejoy about a reporter working overnight at a newspaper, maybe that’s why the TV show was called Mike Wallace’s Night Beat

  2. A complete November 7, 1957 edition, anchored by John Wingate, is currently available for viewing on “tvdays”‘s channel on YouTube.

  3. And after Mike Wallace left, the program’s title became “WABD’s Night Beat.” Alas, its demise preceded by three months the station’s call letter change to WNEW-TV, thus there were no “WNEW-TV’s Night Beat” editions. Its replacement was a movie showcase, “Five Star Movie,” which ran at varying time slots into the 1980’s.

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