Status of Colgate Theatre (1958)

What’s the status of Colgate Theatre, an NBC summer replacement series from 1958? The series featured eight unsold pilots, including the critically acclaimed “Fountain of Youth” written by Orson Welles, adapted from a short story by John Collier. Welles served as narrator and was also responsible for the musical arrangement and the production design of the pilot, which was produced by Desi Arnaz through Desilu Productions.

Both the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Paley Center for Media have copies of “Fountain of Youth” in their collections. The Paley Center actually has three different versions of “Fountain of Youth,” including the pilot as broadcast on Colgate Theater and under the title The Orson Welles Show. “Fountain of Youth” won a 1958 Peabody Award but the Peabody Awards Collection Archives does not contain a copy of the pilot.

The Paley Center also a copy of “The Adventures of a Model” pilot starring Joanne Dru.

Read more about Colgate Theatre in my article Unsold Pilots on Television, 1956-1966.

# Title Airdate Status
1 “The Adventures of a Model” 08/19/1958 Paley
With Joanne Dru.
2 “The Last Marshal” 08/26/1958
With James Craig, Marshall Thompson and Robert J. Wilke.
3 “Night in Havana” 09/02/1958
With Ricardo Montalban.
4 “Strange Counsel” 09/09/1958
With Walter Brennan and Vera Miles.
5 “Fountain of Youth” 09/16/1958 Paley/UCLA
With Orson Welles, Ben Tobin, Joi Lansing and Rick Jason.
6 “McCreedy’s Woman” 09/23/1958
With Jane Russell and Don Durant.
7 “The Claudette Colbert Show” 09/30/1958
With Claudette Colbert.
8 “If You Knew Tomorrow” 10/07/1958
With Bruce Gordon.

Revised June 2nd, 2016

Related Posts

Become a Patron Today

Are you a fan of obscure television? Please support Television Obscurities on Patreon by becoming a patron today.

4 Replies to “Status of Colgate Theatre (1958)”

  1. “COLGATE THEATER” was an abrupt summer replacement for “DOTTO”, a game show that had been on NBC’s Tuesday night schedule (and CBS daytime) during most of 1958, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. However, one disgruntled contestant “blew the whistle” on the show’s producers in August 1958 by revealing the game had been rigged, which began the great “quiz show scandals”…and Colgate had to find a replacement program, FAST! So, they gathered a bunch of unsold pilot films, slapped a “COLGATE THEATER” title on them, and aired them until “THE GEORGE BURNS SHOW” was ready at the end of September.

  2. “ADVENTURES OF A MODEL”, starring Joanne Dru, was originally pitched to CBS for their 1957-’58 schedule, produced by Desilu and written by Sidney Sheldon (his first TV project after Paramount abruptly dismissed him as a screenwriter/director following his last theatrical film, the box office flop “The Buster Keaton Story”). But Desilu president Desi Arnaz believed in the series, and pitched it again to CBS for the 1962-’63 season. This time, according to Sheldon in his memoir “The Other Side Of Me”, Desi tentatively sold it to them for Wednesday nights at 9:30(et). It was intended to be a replacement for “THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW” when it was “officially” cancelled after its first season. But, according to Sidney, Desi called him into his office and gave him the bad news: apparently, Danny Thomas “leaned” on CBS to renew the Van Dyke show [they didn’t want to lose their #1 star on Monday nights at the time], as he was a partner in the series. Actually, Dick’s executive producer, Sheldon Leonard (also a partner in the show), went to sponsor Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters and personally pleaded with the P&G executives to give Van Dyke another chance. THEY, in turn, “leaned” on CBS president James T. {“Smiling Cobra’} Aubrey and told him either Dick Van Dyke returned in “their” time period on Wednesday nights for the fall of ’62…or they’d pull all of their advertising {AND their daytime soap operas} off the network, and move them elsewhere. Since Procter & Gamble was CBS’ #1 advertiser, Aubrey {who really didn’t care for Dick’s series} was forced to renew Dick Van Dyke for another season…and “ADVENTURES OF A MODEL” was never heard from again. Despite Desi’s assurance to Sidney Sheldon, “Maybe next season”, his share of Desilu was bought out by Lucille Ball in November of 1962…and that was that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.