Person to Person

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Person to Person
Person to Person (logo).jpg
Logo for the 2012 version
Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner (1953–1959)
Bob Daily (1959–1960)
Presented byEdward R. Murrow (1953–1959)
Charles Collingwood (1959–1961)
Charlie Rose (2012)
Lara Logan (2012)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
Executive producerSusan Zirinsky (2012)
ProducersJohn Aaron
Jesse Zousmer
Charles Hill
Robert Sammon
Edward R. Murrow
Running time30 minutes (original run)
60 minutes (revival)
Original networkCBS (1953-1961, 2012), CBS News (2022-)
Picture formatBlack-and-white (1953-1961)
1080i (HDTV) (2012, 2022-)
Original release
  • Original:
    October 2, 1953 (1953-10-02) – September 8, 1961 (1961-09-08)
  • Revival:
    February 8, 2012 (2012-02-08) – November 23, 2012 (2012-11-23)

Person to Person is a popular television program in the United States that originally ran from 1953 to 1961, with two episodes of an attempted revival airing in 2012. Edward R. Murrow hosted the original series from its inception in 1953 until 1959, interviewing celebrities in their homes from a comfortable chair in his New York studio (his opening: "Good evening, I'm Ed Murrow. And the name of the program is 'Person to Person'. It's all live – there's no film"). In the last two years of its original run, Charles Collingwood was the host.

Although Murrow is best remembered as a reporter on programs such as Hear It Now and See It Now and for publicly confronting Senator Joseph McCarthy, on Person to Person he was a pioneer of the celebrity interview.

The program was well planned but not strictly scripted, with as many as six cameras and TV lighting installed to cover the guest's moves through his home, and a microwave link to transmit the signals back to the network. The guests wore wireless microphones to pick up their voices as they moved around the home or its grounds. The interviews were done live.[1] The two 15-minute interviews in each program were typically with very different types of people, such as a movie star and a scientist. Guests often used the appearance to promote their latest project or book.[2]


The first guest was Roy Campanella who had just hit a Home run to win Game 3 for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees in the 1953 World Series. He later appeared in a wheelchair in 1959 following his automobile accident.[3]

The long list of guests included then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Williams (1960), Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Mae West, Jerry Lewis, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Liberace, Ethel Waters,[4] Sammy Davis Jr., Groucho and Harpo Marx, Margaret Mead, Harry Truman, Marilyn Monroe, W.C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Tallulah Bankhead, Noël Coward, Ethel Merman, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Fidel Castro, Bing Crosby, Julie Newmar, Leopold Stokowski, Kirk Douglas and John Steinbeck.[5]

The show featuring Bing Crosby and Mary Margaret McBride in December 1954 was the first time the show appeared in the Top 10 TV shows as measured by Trendex.[3] The highest-rated featured Elizabeth Taylor, Mike Todd and Mark Van Doren with a 35 Trendex.[3]


On December 15, 2011, CBS News announced they would bring back the news series with Charlie Rose and Lara Logan as hosts.[6] The network announced plans for two separately-scheduled episodes, based on pre-taped rather than live interviews.[7] According to Susan Zirinsky, an executive producer of the new show and of 48 Hours, they "tried to stay true to Edward R. Murrow's concept. The two reporters remain in New York, and we are taken in by the artist or the newsmaker into a special place. There's an intimacy when someone allows you into their home."[7]

The first episode, airing on February 8, 2012, featured interviews with George Clooney, Jon Bon Jovi, and Warren Buffett.[8] The premiere attracted 5.9 million viewers, less than a third of the viewers watching American Idol and fewer than the 8.44 million who watched The Middle; it outrated One Tree Hill and Whitney, though the latter attracted a larger share of the 18–49 audience.[9]

Had the two specially-scheduled episodes been well-received, Person to Person could have become a regularly scheduled series.[7] The second episode aired on November 23, 2012 (Black Friday), featuring Sean Penn, Alicia Keys and Drew Brees.

In the rebranding of CBSN into CBS News in 2022, a second revival was announced to run on the service and be hosted by Norah O'Donnell.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McMahon, Ed; David Fisher (2007). When television was Young. Thomas Nelson Inc. pp. 146–149. ISBN 9781401603274. Retrieved 25 January 2009. murrow person to person.
  2. ^ Newcomb, Horace (2004). Encyclopedia of Television (2 ed.). CRC Press. pp. 1747–1748. ISBN 9781579584115. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Traube, Leonard (June 24, 1959). "Murrow's 'Good Night & Good Luck'". Variety. p. 97. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via
  4. ^ Bogle, Donald (2011). Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters. HarperCollins. pp. 476–477. ISBN 9780062041722.
  5. ^ "Thank You from "Person to Person"". Variety. June 24, 1959. p. 97. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via
  6. ^ "CBS News Brings Back 'Person to Person'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c Stelter, Brian (February 2, 2012). "Clooney, Buffett and Bon Jovi Featured on First Person to Person". Media Decoder (blog). The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  8. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (February 2, 2012). "'Person to Person' announces lineup: George Clooney, Jon Bon Jovi, Warren Buffett - The TV Column". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 9, 2012). "Wednesday Final Ratings: American Idol, Suburgatory Adjusted Up; Happy Endings, CSI, SVU, Among Many Downward Adjustments". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  10. ^ Steinberg, Brian (January 24, 2022). "CBS Raises Stakes in TV's Broadband News Battle: Top Anchors Will Tackle New Streaming Shows". Variety. Retrieved January 24, 2022.

External links[edit]