Honestly, Celeste! is an eight-episode 1954 CBS sitcom starring Celeste Holm as Celeste Anders, a 37-year-old college journalism professor from Minnesota who accepts a reporter’s position on the staff of the fictitious New York Express newspaper.
Scott McKay and Celeste Holm.
|Written by||Norman Lear|
|Music by||Jerry Fielding|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||Black and white|
|Original release||October 10 –|
December 5, 1954
In the series premiere, Celeste arrives at Grand Central Station in New York City, where she meets the recently released convict, Marty, as well as the staff members of the New York Express. In later episodes, Celeste finds an apartment in Greenwich Village, writes a feature story on modern art, and becomes concerned about an underprivileged family.
Holm’s co-stars were Scott McKay (1915–1987) as Bob Wallace, the son of the newspaper editor; Mike Kellin (1922–1983) as Marty Gordon, an ex-convict cab driver trying to become rehabilitated (Kellin had appeared in the preceding season on the NBC sitcom Bonino in the role of Rusty), Geoffrey Lumb (1905–1990), as Mr. Wallace, the editor, and Mary Finney (last acting role: 1962) as Mr. Wallace’s secretary. Among the guest stars was Ross Martin, later a co-star of CBS’s Mr. Lucky and The Wild Wild West
The show was highly publicized  but soon plunged into ratings failure. Young Norman Lear, later a major television producer, and Larry Gelbart, who subsequently developed M*A*S*H for CBS television, joined the writing staff of Honestly, Celeste! but could not change the ratings. Jerry Fielding was the music director.
Honestly, Celeste! aired at 9:30 p.m. Sunday after the premiere season of Ronald Reagan's anthology series, General Electric Theater, and before the first season of Robert Young’s sitcom, Father Knows Best. Its principal competition was the alternating NBC series, The Philco Television Playhouse and Goodyear Television Playhouse
The program ran for only eight episodes from October 10 to December 5, 1954, before being canceled because of low ratings. In the United States at the time, it was uncommon for a show to end this quickly, with the exception of summer series.
- Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, 1946-Present, New York: Ballantine Press, 1992, pp. 407-408
- "Honestly, Celeste!". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
- "Honestly, Celeste!, November 28, 1954". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
- Tucker, David C. (January 17, 2007). The Women Who Made Television Funny: Ten Stars of 1950s Sitcoms. McFarland & Company. p. 184. ISBN 0-7864-2900-3.
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, appendix