Fireside Theater

Fireside Theater is an American anthology drama series that ran on NBC from 1949 to 1958, and was the first successful filmed series on American television. Stories were low budget and often based on public domain stories or written by freelance writers such as Rod Serling. While it was panned by critics, it remained in the top ten most popular shows for most of its run. It predated the other major pioneer of filmed TV in America, I Love Lucy, by two years.

From 1952 to 1958, the program was presented by a host. This role was first filled by Frank Wisbar (1952–1953), then by Gene Raymond (1953–1955), and finally by the person most associated with the series in the public mind, Jane Wyman (1955–1958). When episodes of this program were rerun on ABC during the summer of 1963, it was under the title Jane Wyman Presents; during the period first-run episodes were hosted by Wyman it was sometimes known as The Jane Wyman Show.

One of Fireside Theatre's most notable offerings was a 1951 condensed version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, featuring Ralph Richardson as Ebenezer Scrooge for the first and only time on American television. He later recreated the role on a spoken word Caedmon Records LP album, with Paul Scofield as narrator. It has since been released on CD.

The otherwise-unrelated comedy troupe The Firesign Theatre based their name on this series. The Doubleday Book Club also ran a playscripts club called The Fireside Theatre.

Read more about Fireside Theater:  U.S. Television Ratings

Other articles related to "fireside theater":

Fireside Theater - U.S. Television Ratings
... Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Fireside Theater on NBC ... #9 9.464 6th 1954–1955 #20 9.547 7th 1955–1956 #24 10.121 Fireside Theater became a hit for NBC, always in the Top 30 shows at the end of each TV season ...

Famous quotes containing the words theater and/or fireside:

    All I can tell you with certainty is that I, for one, have no self, and that I am unwilling or unable to perpetrate upon myself the joke of a self.... What I have instead is a variety of impersonations I can do, and not only of myself—a troupe of players that I have internalised, a permanent company of actors that I can call upon when a self is required.... I am a theater and nothing more than a theater.
    Philip Roth (b. 1933)

    And yet what good were yesterday’s devotions?
    I affirm and then at midnight the great cat
    Leaps quickly from the fireside and is gone.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)