Letter to Loretta

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Letter to Loretta
Letter to Loretta video cover.jpg
Also known as The Loretta Young Show
Genre Anthology drama
Presented by Loretta Young
Theme music composer Harry Lubin
Opening theme "Loretta"
Composer(s) Harry Lubin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 165
Production
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 25 mins.
Production company(s) Lewislor Films (1953-1958)
Toreto Enterprises (1958-1961)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 2, 1953 (1953-09-02) – June 4, 1961 (1961-06-04)

Letter to Loretta (also known as The Loretta Young Show) is an American anthology drama series telecast on NBC from September 1953 to June 1961 for a total of 165 episodes. The filmed show was hosted by Loretta Young who also played the lead in various episodes.

Letter to Loretta was sponsored by Procter & Gamble from 1953 through 1960. The final season's sponsor was Warner-Lambert's Listerine.

Overview[edit]

The program began with the premise that each drama was an answer to a question asked in her fan mail; the program's original title was Letter to Loretta. The title was changed to The Loretta Young Show during the first season (as of February 14, 1954), and the "letter" concept was dropped altogether at the end of the second season. At this time, Young's health, which had deteriorated due to a heavy production schedule during the second season, required that there be a number of guest hosts and guest stars; her first appearance in the 1955-56 season was for the Christmas show.

From this point on, Young appeared in only about half of each season's shows as an actress and merely functioned as the program hostess for the remainder. She became known for swirling around in her gowns during her entrance through a door at the start of the show, a convention parodied by many comedians including Ernie Kovacs.[1] This program, minus Young's introductions and summarized conclusions (Young insisted on their deletion due to her concern that the dresses she wore in those segments would "date" the program), was rerun in daytime by NBC as The Loretta Young Theatre from October 1960 to December 1964, and then appeared, again without the introductions and conclusions, in syndication through the 1970s. In 1992, selected episodes of the original series (with Young's opening and closing segments intact), authorized by Young herself and chosen from her personal collection of 16mm film prints, were released on home video, and eventually shown on cable television.

During the series' eight-year run, it generally won its time slot, with its highest finish in the ratings of #28 in the 1954-1955 season.[2] It finished its last season far behind its competition, Candid Camera on CBS.[3]

Guest stars[edit]

Awards[edit]

In 1959, the series won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Show. Loretta Young earned three Best Actress Primetime Emmy Awards in 1955, 1957 and 1959. Norbert Brodine claimed an Emmy for Best Cinematography in 1957. Young also earned Emmy nominations in 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960 and 1961, while Brodine was nominated in 1955, 1956 and 1958 as well. Other Emmy nominations were for Best New Program in 1954, Best Dramatic Series - Less Than One Hour in 1959, Best Direction for Robert Florey in 1955, Best Teleplay Writing - Half Hour or Less for Richard Morris in 1957 and Best Art Direction in a Television Film for Frank Paul Sylos in 1959.

The Directors Guild of America nominated Robert Florey in 1955 and Norman Foster in 1957 for their work on the series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,618235,00.html
  2. ^ http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1954.htm
  3. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960-1961_United_States_network_television_schedule

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
no award
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series
1955, 1957, 1959
Succeeded by
no award
Preceded by
unknown
Golden Globe Award for Best TV Show
1959
Succeeded by
unknown