Open main menu

Celanese Theatre is an anthology television series which aired from October 3, 1951, to June 25, 1952, on ABC.[1]

Celanese Theatre
Directed byAlex Segal
Composer(s)Bernard Green
Country of origin United States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes20
Executive producer(s)Alex Segal
A. Burke Crotty
Running time60 minutes (Oct-Dec 1951)/30 minutes (Jan-Jun 1952)
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 3, 1951 –
June 25, 1952



The series arose from the Playwrights' Repertory Theater of Television with its focus on adapting stage plays to television.[2]

Produced by the Celanese Corporation and the William Morris Agency, it featured plays by Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, Rachel Crothers, Eugene O'Neill, S. N. Behrman, Elmer Rice, John Van Druten, Sidney Howard, Paul Osborn, and Robert E. Sherwood. The program's first production was O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness!.[1]


Celanese Theatre aired as a 60-minute program on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET. Beginning on January 9, 1952, the show aired in a 30-minute version which ran from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET. The show alternated with Pulitzer Prize Playhouse.

For two months beginning in October, Celanese Theatre alternated with King's Crossroads, which was a "movie series".[3]


Celanese Theatre was nominated for Primetime Emmy awards as Outstanding Drama Series in 1952 and 1953.[4] It won the Peabody Award in 1951, with the comment "For the first time, Celanese Theatre fused the realism and vitality of the theatre at its best with inventive camera and production techniques, revealing the limitless potentialities of television to project great drama into the American home."[5]


The program ended when officials at the Celanese company concluded that it cost too much, despite positive recognition by critics and awards organizations. On August 12, 1952, Milton R. Bass wrote in The Berkshire Eagle: "It has been impossible for the network to sell the program because no other sponsor wants to pay for a program called Celanese Theatre. Any other name would mean nothing to the public and all those awards and huzzahs are absolutely down the drain."[6]

Notable Guest StarsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 228. ISBN 9780307483201. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  2. ^ Hawes, William (2001). Live Television Drama, 1946–1951. McFarland. p. 127. ISBN 9781476608495. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  3. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (2006). Emmy Award Winning Nighttime Television Shows, 1948-2004. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 9780786423293. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  4. ^ "("Celanese Theatre" search results)". Emmys. Television Academy. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Celanese Theatre". Peabody. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  6. ^ Bass, Milton R. (August 12, 1952). "The Lively Arts". The Berkshire Evening Eagle. Massachusetts, Pittsfield. p. 8. Retrieved December 1, 2017 – via  

External linksEdit