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Alcoa Premiere (also known as Premiere, Presented by Fred Astaire) is an American anthology drama series that aired from October 1961 to July 1963 on ABC. The series was hosted by Fred Astaire, directed by Norman Lloyd among others, and executive produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Astaire also starred in several of the episodes.

Alcoa Premiere
Also known as ''Premiere, Presented by Fred Astaire''
Genre Anthology/Drama
Directed by John Brahm
Robert Florey
John Ford
Robert Ellis Miller
George Schaefer
Alex Segal
Presented by Fred Astaire
Theme music composer John Williams
Composer(s) John Williams
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2[1]
No. of episodes 58[1]
Executive producer(s) Alfred Hitchcock
Producer(s) Frank Baur (1961-62)
Everett Freeman (1962)
Eric Ambler (1962)
John C. Champion (1962)
Joan Harrison (1962)
George Schaefer (1962)
Richard Berg (1963)
Collier Young (1963)
Editor(s) Richard Belting (1961-62)
Tony Martinelli (1962)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 60 mins.
Production company(s) Avasta Productions
Original network ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release October 10, 1961 (1961-10-10) – July 21, 1963 (1963-07-21)
Related shows The Alcoa Hour
Alcoa Theatre



Each episode presented a new drama which often offered powerful stories on painful or controversial subjects as opposed to classic drama. The program featured actors such as James Stewart, John Wayne, Charlton Heston, James Whitmore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Arthur Kennedy. The series showcased directors such as John Ford as well as writers Ray Bradbury and Peter Tewksbury.

The premiere telecast was People Need People about the rehabilitation of psychologically disturbed war veterans starring Lee Marvin and Arthur Kennedy and directed by Alex Segal.

Other notable guest stars included:

Production notesEdit

Director Alfred Hitchcock was executive producer, with Joan Harrison as producer, of 'The Jail' (aired February 6, 1962).

Award nominationsEdit

The program was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama.


  • 1962: Lee Marvin for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
  • 1963: Diana Hyland for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
  • 1963: Bradford Dillman for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
  • 1963: Robert Redford for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor.

Film editingEdit

1963: Howard Epstein, Richard Belding, Tony Martinelli for Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Television.

Original musicEdit

  • 1962 and 1963: John Williams for Outstanding Achievement in Composing Original Music.


  • 1962: Alex Segal for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama.


  • 1962: Henry F. Greenberg for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama.


Season 1 (1961–62)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Guest Stars Original air date
1 1 "People Need Help" Lee Marvin, James Gregory, Arthur Kennedy October 10, 1961 (1961-10-10)
Dr. Harry Wilmer has just 10 days to prove his radical method of treating violent war veterans will work.
2 2 "The Fugitive Eye" Charlton Heston, Leo G. Carroll October 17, 1961 (1961-10-17)
Paul Malone wakes up in a forest to find an empty limousine, a dead chauffeur and three unsavory characters staring at him.
3 3 "The Fortress" Lloyd Bridges, Philip Ahn, James Shigeta October 24, 1961 (1961-10-24)
Shot down during the Korean War, Lt. Brown is held captive in a basement where the light is never turned off. They won't treat his mangled leg unless he gives his captors a confession.
4 4 "Moment of Decision" Fred Astaire, Maureen O'Sullivan November 7, 1961 (1961-11-07)
Hugh Lozier asks for help from a mysterious man to deal with his obnoxious neighbors.
5 5 "Family Outing" Lin McCarthy, Nancy Olson, Michael Burns November 14, 1961 (1961-11-14)
Six astronauts have been trained for the first one-man space flight and the day of the final choice has arrived.
6 6 "The Witch Next Door" Susan Gordon, James Whitmore November 28, 1961 (1961-11-28)
The Collins family has a mysterious next-door neighbor and she seems to have cast a spell on young Julie Collins.
7 7 "The Breaking Point" Brian Keith, Brad Dexter, Mary Murphy December 5, 1961 (1961-12-05)
An ex-convict seems to be guilty of murder until the cop realizes that only the victim's wife profits from his death.
8 8 "Delbert, Texas" David Wayne, Florence MacMichael December 12, 1961 (1961-12-12)
Frank and Ruth Willoughby are determined to find out why their son's college grades have suddenly dropped.
9 9 "End of a World" Robert Loggia, Andrew Prine, Russell Johnson December 19, 1961 (1961-12-19)
The events leading up to the Sarajevo Assassination in 1914 of Archduke Ferdinand which triggered World War I are seen through the eyes of three men.
10 10 "The Cake Baker" Shelley Winters, Ed Nelson December 26, 1961 (1961-12-26)
A housewife is always daydreaming even on the night her young daughter runs away from home.
11 11 "Pattern of Guilt" Ray Milland, Joanna Moore January 9, 1962 (1962-01-09)
A reporter covers a series of murders all against perpetrated spinsters.
12 12 "The Hour of the Bath" Robert Fuller, Barbara Luna January 16, 1962 (1962-01-16)
American agricultural expert Henry Detweiler is a prisoner of Vietnam under sentence of death.
13 13 "The Jail" John Gavin, Bettye Ackerman, Barry Morse February 6, 1962 (1962-02-06)
In this future time a young man is charged with an offense against the state and marshaled into a huge building crammed with banks and banks of computers. These computers would absorb and assess the evidence, circumstances and facts in his case. All of them are operated by one master button-pusher.
14 14 "Mr. Easy" Fred Astaire, Joanna Barnes February 13, 1962 (1962-02-13)
Andrew Whitbeck is bored of his successful business and decides to chuck it all and "enjoy himself".
15 15 "The Man With A Shine On His Shoes" Henry Hull, Peter Helm February 20, 1962 (1962-02-20)
An elderly drifter decides to get work on the town newspaper because he thinks he is the greatest typesetter in the world.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit