Studio One Collection
Wednesday March 28th 2007, 10:57 am
Filed under: Collection Announcements

Imagine turning on your television and finding Lorne Greene and Eddie Albert starring in an adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984? Or the usually comedic Walter Matthau portraying a World War II submarine commander? Or a young William Shatner playing an upstart hospital pathologist?

For regular viewers of Studio One, a live dramatic anthology sponsored by Westinghouse that aired on CBS-TV from 1948 to 1958, these were only a few of the familiar faces that turned up each week and that can now be seen on videotape at the Browne Library, Bowling Green State University.

The Browne Library acquired the original films for 36 episodes of Studio One, as well as some 450 outlines, synopses, and scripts relating to television production and broadcasting from 1949 to 1960, from Bowling Green State University alumni Richard C., Robert N., and John D. Garand in 1989. The brothers inherited the collection from a fourth brother, Father Fred Garand, who had acquired it from a former Westinghouse executive.

Studio One was noted for its experimentation with camera techniques and other innovations employed by producer Worthington Miner. Miner took advantage of the visual impact of television by concerning himself more with what the viewer saw than what the viewer heard.

In its decade on the air, Studio One presented nearly 500 plays. In addition to the actors mentioned above, the series featured the work of actors and actresses such as Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Joanne Woodward, Boris Karloff, and Dennis Hopper; authors such as Rod Serling and Gore Vidal; and then-unknown directors such as George Roy Hill and Sidney Lumet.

Studio One is also remembered for Westinghouse commercials starring an actress named Betty Furness, who went on to become one of the most recognized television spokespersons of the era. The commercials, which aired during the show’s time slot, featured Furness demonstrating a Westinghouse appliance and assuring the audience, “You Can Be Sure If It’s Westinghouse.”

In addition to the Studio One films and related materials, the collection also includes materials relating to Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Summer Theatre, and Studio One Summer Theatre, which aired in Studio One‘s place during the summers; The Best of Broadway, a series of classic Broadway plays and musical comedies sponsored by Westinghouse which aired every fourth Wednesday during the 1954-55 television season; and the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, a dramatic anthology hosted by Desi Arnaz, which assumed Studio One‘s time slot once that program went off the air.

The Studio One collection is fully cataloged and details regarding specific programs are available through the BGSU Libraries Catalog; videotape copies of the original films are available for on-site research use, as are the program scripts. Although the primary mission of the Browne Library is to support teaching and research, it is also open to the general public. People wishing to visit the Browne Library to view the Studio One videotapes or to read materials from the collection are encouraged to contact the Library in advance.