The Alcoa Hour
|The Alcoa Hour|
|Directed by||Kirk Browning
|Composer(s)||Gian Carlo Menotti|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||51|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Original run||October 16, 1955– September 22, 1957|
|Related shows||Alcoa Theatre|
Like the Philco Television Playhouse and Goodyear Television Playhouse that had preceded it, The Alcoa Hour was a one-hour live dramatic anthology series presenting both original stories and adaptations of popular works. The three series were essentially the same, with the only real difference being the name of the sponsor.
The series alternated weeks in the same time slot with the Goodyear Television Playhouse until both series ended in 1957.
One of the series' memorable episodes was the December 23, 1956, telecast of The Stingiest Man in Town, a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, starring Basil Rathbone as Scrooge and Martyn Green as Bob Cratchit. It was the only Alcoa Hour production to be granted an original cast album recording. The Stingiest Man in Town was remade in 1978 as a Rankin-Bass animated cartoon, featuring the voice of Walter Matthau as Scrooge.
The show garnered press in February 1956 for actor Lloyd Bridges' emotional performance in an episode titled "Tragedy in a Temporary Town", directed by Sidney Lumet. During the performance, Bridges inadvertently slipped some profanity in while ad-libbing. Although the slip of the lip generated hundreds of complaints, the episode won a Robert E. Sherwood Television Award, with Bridges' slip being defended even by some members of the clergy. The episode, during which an innocent Puerto Rican man is targeted by a mob for a sexual crime, was cited by the Anti-Defamation League as "the best dramatic program of the year dealing with interethnic group relations."
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 27. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- "Actor's Slip Of Tongue Keeps TV Viewers Arguing". The Hartford Courant. 9 March 1956. p. 9. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Profanity Ad-libbed by Emotional Actor". The Leader-Post. Associated Press. 20 February 1956. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- Newcomb, Horace (2004). Encyclopedia of Television. CRC Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-57958-411-5.
- Hyatt, Wesley (10 March 2004). A Critical History of Television's The Red Skelton Show, 1951-1971. McFarland. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7864-1732-2.