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
Created byDorothy Kingsley
Written byBess 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 byHerschel Daugherty
Robert Day
Charles S. Dubin
Paul Henreid
Lee Philips
Allen Reisner
Nicholas Webster
StarringEleanor Parker
Warren Stevens
Leslie Nielsen
Theme music composerDavid Rose
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes41
Executive producerDel Reisman
ProducersDorothy Kingsley
Robert Lewin
Stanley Rubin
CinematographyWilliam Cronjager
EditorBill Mosher
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company20th Century-Fox Television
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 19, 1969 (1969-09-19) –
December 25, 1970 (1970-12-25)

Bracken's World is an American drama television series that aired on NBC from September 19, 1969, to December 25, 1970. The series was created and produced by Dorothy Kingsley. The Lettermen performed the second-season theme song "Worlds".


The series centers on a powerful head of Century Studios and a group of up-and-coming starlets.[1]

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.[2] 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 Montalbán, Lois Nettleton, Lane Bradbury, Stuart Whitman, 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 pm (replacing the cancelled Star Trek), 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."[3] The last episode of Bracken's World aired on Friday, December 25, 1970.

Cast of characters[edit]

Tom Selleck was seen in the minor recurring role of Roger Haines in several season-one episodes; he made a guest appearance as a different character in season two.


Season 1 (1969–70)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Fade-In"Walter DonigerDorothy KingsleySeptember 19, 1969 (1969-09-19)
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.
22"Panic"Ted PostOliver HaileySeptember 26, 1969 (1969-09-26)
While horseback riding, Rachel accidentally runs down a boy scout (Scott Bray), but allows police to place the blame on another actress.
33"King David"Robert DaySonya RobertsOctober 3, 1969 (1969-10-03)
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.
44"Don't You Cry for Susannah"Paul HenreidRobert Presnell, Jr.October 10, 1969 (1969-10-10)
Mysterious illnesses overtake Diane on set when she befriends a girl assigned to be her understudy.
55"Options"Nicholas WebsterRobert LewinOctober 17, 1969 (1969-10-17)
Paulette fights desperately to save her career when her option is dropped by Century Pictures.
66"Closed Set"Herschel DaughertyBess BoyleOctober 24, 1969 (1969-10-24)
A director, disliked by most of his associates, is mysteriously murdered during the filming of the final scene of his greatest picture.
77"The Sweet Smell of Failure"Charles S. DubinCharles McDanielOctober 31, 1969 (1969-10-31)
Sylvia visits a drug rehabilitation center to persuade an ex-movie director to attempt a comeback.
88"The Stunt"Herschel DaughertyDorothy KingsleyNovember 7, 1969 (1969-11-07)
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.
99"All the Beautiful Young Girls"Paul HenreidLeonard KantorNovember 14, 1969 (1969-11-14)
Laura suffers heartache when her old love (Arthur Hill) re-enters her life and still displays a weakness for young girls.
1010"Package Deal"John ErmanStephen KandelNovember 28, 1969 (1969-11-28)
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.
1111"It's the Power Structure, Baby"Lee PhilipsCliff GouldDecember 5, 1969 (1969-12-05)
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.
1212"Move in for a Close-Up"Allen ReisnerOliver HaileyDecember 12, 1969 (1969-12-12)
Kevin's wife attempts to save her marriage by getting a job as an assistant script supervisor at Century Studios.
1313"Stop Date"Robert DayNorman HudisDecember 19, 1969 (1969-12-19)
Personal and professional problems plague producer Kevin Grant as he tries to avoid losing thousands of dollars.
1414"The Chase Sequence"James NeilsonCharles McDanielDecember 26, 1969 (1969-12-26)
Tragedy results when Davey permits another stuntman, suffering from a hangover, to perform a dangerous feat.
1515"Focus on a Gun"Gerald MayerStory by : Kenneth Hartman
Teleplay by : Robert Lewin
January 2, 1970 (1970-01-02)
Diane Waring falls in love with a gangster (Joe Don Baker), bringing trouble and tragedy to Century Pictures.
1616"The Money Men"Charles S. DubinSonya RobertsJanuary 9, 1970 (1970-01-09)
In the midst of a power play aimed at unseating Bracken as the head of Century Pictures, Sylvia quits.
1717"Meanwhile, Back at the Studio"Gary NelsonJoseph BonaduceJanuary 16, 1970 (1970-01-16)
Kevin is pressured to change Apache history in a movie when Paulette Douglas is kidnapped by Indians.
1818"A Perfect Piece of Casting"Paul HenreidBess BoyleJanuary 30, 1970 (1970-01-30)
When Kevin casts an unknown actor (Monte Markham) in a based-on-fact film about a strangler, real criminals turn up in the area.
1919"Superstar"Herschel DaughertyCharles McDanielFebruary 6, 1970 (1970-02-06)
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.
2020"Whatever Happened to Happy Endings?"Herschel DaughertyGerry Day & Bethel LeslieFebruary 13, 1970 (1970-02-13)
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.
2121"Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon"Allen ReisnerJerry ZiegmanFebruary 20, 1970 (1970-02-20)
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.
2222"Papa Never Spanked Me"Charles S. DubinAdrian SpiesFebruary 27, 1970 (1970-02-27)
The troubles of a father and son acting team (Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen) help slow down production of Kevin's new movie.
2323"A Beginning, a Middle, and an End"Lee PhilipsLeonard KantorMarch 6, 1970 (1970-03-06)
Kevin cannot get an author (Joseph Campanella) to change the ending of a script, even though the movie is nearly completed.
2424"Diffusion"Charles S. DubinStephen KandelMarch 13, 1970 (1970-03-13)
A film star (Anne Baxter) ruins a movie by forcing the director to use the techniques of a bygone era.
2525"Day for Night"Nicholas WebsterRobert LewinMarch 20, 1970 (1970-03-20)
Rachel's unreasonable demands result in her getting fired from Kevin Grant's picture.
2626"One, Two, Three... Cry"Paul HenreidJerry ZiegmanMarch 27, 1970 (1970-03-27)
A jealous drama coach (Barry Sullivan) manipulates Paulette into quitting the talent school.


Season 2 (1970)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
271"Love It or Leave It, Change It or Lose It"Herschel DaughertyClyde WareSeptember 18, 1970 (1970-09-18)
Two actors (Forrest Tucker and Tony Bill) who bitterly oppose each other politically, disrupt a movie they are making together.
282"Murder Off Camera"Lee PhillipsOliver HaileySeptember 25, 1970 (1970-09-25)
Kevin returns home to a shocking scene: his wife is dead and his son is missing. Stars Stuart Whitman, Lane Bradbury and Lou Antonio.
293"Jenny, Who Bombs Buildings"UnknownUnknownOctober 2, 1970 (1970-10-02)
An anti-establishment activist (Sally Field) accepts Bracken's offer to star in a documentary about herself.
304"Together Again for the Last Time"UnknownUnknownOctober 9, 1970 (1970-10-09)
John Bracken attempts to force an actor's widow to complete the movie that she and her husband had begun.
315"A Preview in Samarkand"UnknownUnknownOctober 16, 1970 (1970-10-16)
Kevin becomes enamored of a film editing student, but finds he has competition in the person of his boss, John Bracken.
326"The Mary Tree"UnknownUnknownOctober 23, 1970 (1970-10-23)
During the filming of a celebrated writer's (Edward G. Robinson) story, Kevin becomes suspicious of the man's "perfect" image.
337"Hey Gringo, Hey Poncho"UnknownUnknownOctober 30, 1970 (1970-10-30)
A Chicano leader (Ricardo Montalbán) loses the lead in Bracken's movie when his group makes demands on the studio.
348"A Team of One Legged Acrobats"UnknownUnknownNovember 6, 1970 (1970-11-06)
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.
359"The Anonymous Star"UnknownUnknownNovember 13, 1970 (1970-11-13)
A nervous actress is given a drink by Kevin, who is unaware that she is a recovering alcoholic.
3610"Infinity"UnknownUnknownNovember 20, 1970 (1970-11-20)
Diane Waring falls in love with a famous cameraman (Darren McGavin), unaware that he is slowly losing his sight.
3711"The Nude Scene"Charles S. DubinNicholas E. BaehrNovember 27, 1970 (1970-11-27)
An actress (Lois Nettleton) has second thoughts about a nude scene in a film that is almost completed.
3812"A Score Without Strings"Paul HenreidJack SherDecember 4, 1970 (1970-12-04)
Century Studios loses a music composer when the young man breaks off his romance with Paulette.
3913"Will Freddy's Real Father Please Stand Up?"UnknownUnknownDecember 11, 1970 (1970-12-11)
A young actor neglects his television commitments at Century Studios in order to run away to join his dissolute father (Rupert Crosse).
4014"The Country Boy"UnknownUnknownDecember 18, 1970 (1970-12-18)
Bracken fires Laura when her personal feelings for a country singer (Tim Matheson) interfere with her job.
4115"Miss Isabel Blue"UnknownUnknownDecember 25, 1970 (1970-12-25)
An English actress (Sally Ann Howes) causes a series of problems when she is hired to portray famous suffragist Susan B. Anthony.


In popular culture[edit]

The show was mentioned in Mad Men: "Time Zones", when Megan Draper's agent told her she had received a call back for the Bracken's World pilot.[5]

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. ^ "Bracken's World (September 19, 1969 - December 25, 1970)". TV of Your Life : Your Link to Everything Television. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "BRACKEN'S WORLD (TV) (1969 USA)". MODCINEMA. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ a b "Bracken's World - Episode Guide". TV Guide. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  5. ^ 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]