Schlitz Playhouse of Stars is a weekly anthology television series telecast Friday nights on CBS from 1951 until 1959. The series presented both comedies and drama. The series was sponsored by Schlitz beer. The series name was shortened to Schlitz Playhouse, beginning with the fall 1957 season.
Initially, the show was broadcast live, but starting in the summer of 1953, some of the episodes were filmed in advance. Beginning with the 1956-57 season, all of the shows were filmed.
Between October 1951 and March 1952, the hour-long show was shown at 9pm. In April 1952, the running time was reduced from an hour to 30 minutes. The series moved to 9:30pm in the 1955 fall season.
Two episodes served as pilots for later NBC series: The Restless Gun with John Payne (March 29, 1957 pilot) and Tales of Wells Fargo with Dale Robertson. The Restless Gun pilot was based on the radio series The Six Shooter, and Payne's character had the same name, Britt Ponset, as the radio character; that name was changed to Vint Bonner when the actual series began.
For the 1958-59 season, the series alternated weeks with the Lux Playhouse.
Guest stars included the child actress Beverly Washburn, who appeared in episodes entitled "The Closed Door" (1953) and "One Left Over" (1957). Dayton Lummis appeared as editor Cartwright in "The Last Pilot Schooner" and as Arthur Healy in "Ambitious Cop" (both 1955). Tyler MacDuff made his television debut in the 1954 episode "At the Natchez Inn".
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
Executive producer(s) Nat Holt
Producer(s) William Self
Frank P. Rosenberg
Robert B. Warwick, Jr.
Location(s) Revue Studios
Cinematography George T. Clemens
Running time 60 minutes
Distributor CBS Television
Mill Creek Entertainment
Studios USA Television
Original channel CBS Television
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run October 5, 1951 – July 31, 1959