Playwrights '56, a.k.a. The Playwright Hour, is a 60-minute live American dramatic anthology series produced by Fred Coe for Showtime Productions. Twenty episodes aired on the National Broadcasting Company from 1955 to 1956.
Stars included Mary Astor, Ralph Bellamy, Joan Blondell, George Chandler, Robert Culp, Paul Douglas, Tom Ewell, Norman Fell, Nina Foch, John Forsythe, Lillian Gish, Alice Ghostley, Lee Grant, James Gregory, Louis Jean Heydt, Steven Hill, Vivi Janiss, Henry Jones, E. G. Marshall, John McGiver, Steve McQueen, Dina Merrill, Jack Mullaney, Paul Newman, Phyllis Kirk, Edmond O'Brien, J. Pat O'Malley, Nehemiah Persoff, Tom Poston, Peter Mark Richman, Janice Rule, Kim Stanley, Warren Stevens, Karl Swenson, Franchot Tone, Ethel Waters, James Whitmore, Estelle Winwood, Jane Wyatt, and Dick York.
Among its notable writers were Horton Foote, Gore Vidal, Tad Mosel, Arnold Schulman, and A. E. Hotchner. Directors included Arthur Penn, later renowned for Bonnie and Clyde, and Delbert Mann, the 1955 Academy Award winner for directing Marty.
It won one prime-time Emmy.