CBS Playhouse

CBS Playhouse is an American anthology drama series that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1970. Airing twelve plays over the course of its run, the series was nominated for a number of awards and featured many noteworthy actors and playwrights.

CBS Playhouse
Arthur Hill and Barbara Bel Geddes in Secrets, 1968
GenreAnthology drama
Written byRon Cowen
Robert J. Crean
Earl Hamner
Loring Mandel
J.P. Miller
Tad Mosel
Ronald Ribman
Reginald Rose
Ellen M. Violet
Directed byPaul Bogart
Robert Butler (director)
William A. Graham (director)
David Greene (director)
Delbert Mann
George Schaefer (director)
Theme music composerAaron Copland
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes12
Executive producer(s)Barbara Schultz
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time90 mins.
Original networkCBS
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 29, 1967 (1967-01-29) 
February 10, 1970 (1970-02-10)


The CBS Playhouse series was announced in 1966, with CBS announcing a $500,000 outlay for new scripts to film. CBS was specifically looking to "encourage authors to write original and significant dramas for television," and offered $25,000 per optioned script.[1] This occurred shortly after ABC announced its dramatic arts program ABC Stage 67,[2] along with many CBS dramas.

Playhouse ultimately commissioned thirteen playwrights to write scripts for the series.[3] The first program aired in 1967, called The Final War of Olly Winter starring Ivan Dixon and written by noted playwright Ronald Ribman. According to CBS, over 30 million people watched the broadcast, making it a popular hit for the time.[4]

Twelve broadcasts ultimately occurred before production stopped due to lack of sponsorship funding.[5] CBS would later revive the genre in CBS Playhouse 90, which would refer back to both CBS Playhouse and the early drama series Playhouse 90 that broadcast in the late 1950s.


CBS broadcast twelve teleplays over the three television seasons between 1967 and 1970.[6]

1967-68 Season

1968-69 Season

1969-70 Season

Episode status

The broadcasts have been preserved in a variety of archives, with all twelve broadcasts archived between the Paley Center for Media, the UCLA film archive, and the Peabody Awards Collection.[7]


The CBS Playhouse series of broadcasts were nominated for a number of awards over the course of its run. In total, the dramatic series was nominated for twenty-eight Primetime Emmy Awards, including ten wins, and seven Directors Guild of America awards, including three wins.[8][9] CBS Playhouse was also honored with a Peabody Award in 1967.[10]


  1. New York Times: C.B.S. SEEKS OUT ORIGINAL DRAMAS. June 22, 1966.
  2. ABC Stage 67
  3. New York Times: Where's CBS Playhouse? October 23, 1966.
  4. Advertisement from early 1967 as seen in many national newspapers.
  5. New York Times: TV Drama Faces Cutback in Fall. May 22, 1970
  6. CBS Playhouse
  7. Television Obscurities: Status Guide: CBS Playhouse
  8. IMDb: Awards for CBS playhouse
  9. CBS Playhouse
  10. Profile for CBS Playhouse from (accessed 11/8/2014)
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