Bracken's World

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Bracken's World
Dennis Cole Bracken's World.JPG
Dennis Cole as Davey Evans plans a stunt by playing with a model.
Genre Drama
Created by Dorothy Kingsley
Written by Bess Boyle
Gerry Day
Jerry de Bono
Cliff Gould
Oliver Hailey
Stephen Kandel
Dorothy Kingsley
Bethel Leslie
Robert Lewin
Charles McDaniel
Robert Presnell, Jr.
Sonya Roberts
Jerry Ziegman
Directed by Herschel Daugherty
Robert Day
Charles S. Dubin
Paul Henreid
Lee Philips
Allen Reisner
Nicholas Webster
Starring Eleanor Parker
Warren Stevens
Leslie Nielsen
Theme music composer David Rose
Composer(s) David Rose
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 41
Executive producer(s) Del Reisman
Producer(s) Dorothy Kingsley
Robert Lewin
Stanley Rubin
Cinematography William Cronjager
Editor(s) Bill Mosher
Running time 45–48 minutes
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 19, 1969 (1969-09-19) – December 25, 1970 (1970-12-25)

Bracken's World is an American drama series broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1969, to December 25, 1970. The series was created and produced by Dorothy Kingsley. The Lettermen were featured on the theme song "Worlds", singing lyrics composed for the Season 2 opening and closing credits.


The series centers on a powerful head of Century Studios and a group of up-and-coming starlets. During the first season, Eleanor Parker received top billing as Sylvia Caldwell, executive secretary to John Bracken (voice acted in the first season by Warren Stevens), who was sometimes heard but never seen, but Parker left the series after the first 16 episodes, citing the limited nature of her role. When the second season began, Leslie Nielsen joined the cast to portray Bracken.

Other cast members included Elizabeth Allen, Dennis Cole, Jeanne Cooper, Peter Haskell, Linda Harrison, Karen Jensen, Madlyn Rhue, and Laraine Stephens. Guest stars who appeared in various episodes of Bracken's World included Jack Albertson, Anne Baxter, Joseph Campanella, Gary Collins, Shelley Fabares, Sally Field, Lee Grant, Arthur Hill. Carolyn Jones, Lee Majors, Monte Markham, Tim Matheson. Darren McGavin, Ricardo Montalban, Lois Nettleton, Larry Pennell, Edward G. Robinson, Martin Sheen, Barry Sullivan, Richard Thomas, Forrest Tucker, and Raquel Welch, who appeared as herself in the pilot episode.

Bracken's World aired on Friday at 10:00 p.m., a day and time known as the "Friday night death slot", and was cancelled 15 episodes into its second season. "Had they done it like a continuing drama and focused on the regular characters", co-star Linda Harrison said in a 2001 interview, "it would have lasted longer. NBC, however, wanted a one-hour contained show, so they would stock each episode with a big guest star. After a while, you run out of story."[1] Bracken's World's last episode aired Friday, 25 December 1970.

Cast of characters[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The show was mentioned in Mad Men S7/E1: "Time Zones", when Megan Draper's agent told her she'd received a call back for the Bracken's World pilot.[2]


Season 1[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate Plot
1-1 "Fade In" September 19, 1969 Sylvia and Laura show devotion to the studio in different ways, while Kevin's shaky marriage suffers even more with attraction to Diane. Meanwhile, Grace's opposition to Paulette's relationship with Davey Evans gets dicier.
1-2 "Panic" September 26, 1969 While horseback riding, Rachel accidentally runs down a boy scout, but allows police to place the blame on another actress. Scott Brady appears as Bud Blake.
1-3 "King David" October 3, 1969 A testimonial dinner for Sylvia's father (Jay C. Flippen), a former movie executive, is marred when a fading actress (Carolyn Jones) publicly blames him for the failures of her life.
1-4 "Don't You Cry For Susannah" October 10, 1969 Mysterious illnesses overtake Diane on set when she befriends a girl assigned to be her understudy.
1-5 "Options" October 17, 1969 Paulette fights desperately to save her career when her option is dropped by Century Pictures.
1-6 "Closed Set" October 24, 1969 A director, disliked by most of his associates, is mysteriously murdered during the filming of the final scene of his greatest picture.
1-7 "The Sweet Smell of Failure" October 31, 1969 Sylvia visits a drug rehabilitation center to persuade an ex-movie director to attempt a comeback.
1-8 "The Stunt" November 7, 1969 Actor Brock Jordan (Gary Collins) loses stature in his son's eyes when the boy discovers that his father leaves the more dangerous aspects of his TV series to stuntman Davey Evans.
1-9 "All the Beautiful Young Girls" November 14, 1969 Laura suffers heartache when her old love (Arthur Hill) re-enters her life and still displays a weakness for young girls.
1-10 "A Package Deal" November 28, 1969 In order to get the big-name actor he wants for his new film, Kevin is forced to hire the man's inexperienced daughter (Shelley Fabares) for the female lead.
1-11 "It's the Power Structure, Baby" December 5, 1969 When Rachel and a new trainee at Century Studios begin dating, both learn that there are members of their respective races who resent their relationship.
1-12 "Move In For a Close-Up" December 12, 1969 Kevin's wife attempts to save her marriage by getting a job as an assistant script supervisor at Century Studios.
1-13 "Stop Date" December 19, 1969 Personal and professional problems plague producer Kevin Grant as he tries to avoid losing thousands of dollars.
1-14 "The Chase Sequence" December 26, 1969 Tragedy results when Davey permits another stuntman, suffering from a hangover, to perform a dangerous feat.
1-15 "Focus on a Gun" January 2, 1970 Diane Waring falls in love with a gangster (Joe Don Baker), bringing trouble and tragedy to Century Pictures.
1-16 "Money Men" January 9, 1970 In the midst of a power play aimed at unseating Bracken as the head of Century Pictures, Sylvia quits.
1-17 "Meanwhile, Back at the Studio" January 16, 1970 Kevin is pressured to change Apache history in a movie when Paulette Douglas is kidnapped by Indians.
1-18 "A Perfect Piece of Casting" January 30, 1970 When Kevin casts an unknown actor (Monte Markham) in a based-on-fact film about a strangler, real criminals turn up in the area.
1-19 "Superstar" February 6, 1970 Kevin walks out on production of a movie in which he was forced to star a famous football player (Lee Majors) who can't act.
1-20 "Whatever Happened to Happy Endings?" February 13, 1970 When a malicious columnist's (Lee Grant) offer to help a young actress is refused, she creates a scandal involving Kevin that brings tragedy to Century Pictures.
1-21 "Fallen, Fallen is Babylon" February 20, 1970 Rachel is kidnapped by an unbalanced, Bible-quoting young man (Richard Thomas) who believes that he has been chosen to save her from pending judgement.
1-22 "Papa Never Spanked Me" February 27, 1970 The troubles of a father and son acting team (Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen) help slow down production of Kevin's new movie.
1-23 "A Beginning, A Middle and an End" March 6, 1970 Kevin cannot get an author (Joseph Campanella) to change the ending of a script, even though the movie is nearly completed.
1-24 "Diffusion" March 13, 1970 A film star (Anne Baxter) ruins a movie by forcing the director to use the techniques of a bygone era.
1-25 "Day For Night" March 20, 1970 Rachel's unreasonable demands result in her getting fired from Kevin Grant's picture.
1-26 "One, Two, Three, Cry" March 27, 1970 A jealous drama coach (Barry Sullivan) manipulates Paulette into quitting the talent school.

Season 2[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate Plot
2-1 "Love it or Leave it, Change it or Lose it" September 18, 1970 Two actors (Forrest Tucker and Tony Bill) who bitterly oppose each other politically, disrupt a movie they are making together.
2-2 "Murder, Off Camera" September 25, 1970 Kevin returns home to a shocking scene: his wife is dead and his son is missing.
2-3 "Jenny, Who Bombs Buildings" October 2, 1970 An anti-establishment activist (Sally Field) accepts Bracken's offer to star in a documentary about herself.
2-4 "Together Again, For the Last Time" October 9, 1970 John Bracken attempts to force an actor's widow to complete the movie that she and her husband had begun.
2-5 "A Preview in Samarkand" October 16, 1970 Kevin becomes enamored of a film editing student, but finds he has competition in the person of his boss, John Bracken.
2-6 "The Mary Tree" October 23, 1970 During the filming of a celebrated writer's (Edward G. Robinson) story, Kevin becomes suspicious of the man's "perfect" image.
2-7 "Hey Gringo, Hey Poncho" October 30, 1970 A Chicano leader (Ricardo Montalban) loses the lead in Bracken's movie when his group makes demands on the studio.
2-8 "A Team of One Legged Acrobats" November 6, 1970 Rachel breaks up both a marriage and a director-writer team (Tom Skerritt and Kim Hunter) when Bracken reluctantly gives her a bit part in their film.
2-9 "Anonymous Star" November 13, 1970 A nervous actress is given a drink by Kevin, who is unaware that she is a recovering alcoholic.
2-10 "Infinity" November 20, 1970 Diane Waring falls in love with a famous cameraman (Darren McGavin), unaware that he is slowly losing his sight.
2-11 "The Nude Scene" November 27, 1970 An actress (Lois Nettleton) has second thoughts about a nude scene in a film that is almost completed.
2-12 "A Score Without Strings" December 4, 1970 Century Studios loses a music composer when the young man breaks off his romance with Paulette.
2-13 "Will Freddy's Real Father Please Stand Up?" December 11, 1970 A young actor neglects his television commitments at Century Studios in order to run away to join his dissolute father (Rupert Crosse).
2-14 "The Country Boy" December 18, 1970 Bracken fires Laura when her personal feelings for a country singer (Tim Matheson) interfere with her job.
2-15 "Miss Isabel Blue" December 25, 1970 An English actress (Sally Ann Howes) causes a series of problems when she is hired to portray famous suffragist Susan B. Anthony.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1970 Emmy Awards Won Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming - For a Series or a Single Program of a Series Bill Mosher
(For episode "Sweet Smell of Failure")
Golden Globe Award Nominated Best TV Show - Drama
Best TV Actress - Drama Eleanor Parker


  1. ^ Lisanti, Tom. Fantasy Femmes of 60's Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies McFarland & Company, Inc. (2001) ISBN 0786408685, p 267
  2. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (Apr 13, 2014). "Season premiere review: 'Mad Men' - 'Time Zones': Sliding doors (Big changes hit both coasts as Don, Peggy and company begin their final season". HitFix. 

External links[edit]