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The Ray Bradbury Theater

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The Ray Bradbury Theater
Created byRay Bradbury
StarringRay Bradbury, miscellaneous special guests
Theme music composerJohn Massari
Country of originCanada
United States
New Zealand
United Kingdom
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes65 (list of episodes)
Running time22 minutes
Original release
NetworkFirst Choice Superchannel / HBO (seasons 1)
USA Network (seasons 2–6)
ReleaseMay 21, 1985 (1985-05-21) –
October 30, 1992 (1992-10-30)

The Ray Bradbury Theatre is an anthology series that ran for three seasons on First Choice Superchannel in Canada and HBO in the United States from 1985 to 1986, and then on USA Network, running for four additional seasons from 1988 to 1992;[1] episodes aired on the Global Television Network in Canada from 1991 to 1994. It was shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel[2] and later on the Retro Television Network. It currently airs on Comet and can be streamed on IMDb TV, Peacock, Pluto TV and The Roku Channel.

All 65 episodes were written by Ray Bradbury, based on short stories or novels he wrote, including "A Sound of Thunder", "Marionettes, Inc.", "Banshee", "The Playground", "Mars is Heaven", "Usher II", "The Jar", "The Long Rain", "The Veldt", "The Small Assassin", "The Pedestrian", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", "Here There Be Tygers", "The Toynbee Convector", and "Sun and Shadow".

Many of the episodes focused on only one of Bradbury's original works. However, Bradbury occasionally included elements from his other works. "Marionettes, Inc." featured Fantoccini, a character from "I Sing the Body Electric!". "Gotcha!" included an opening sequence taken from "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair". Characters were renamed, and elements added to the original works to expand the story to 23–28 minutes or to better suit the television medium.

Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office,[3] gazing over mementos of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first season, Bradbury sometimes appeared on-screen in brief vignettes introducing the story. During the second season, Bradbury provided the opening narration with no specific embellishment concerning the episode. During the third season, a foreshortened version of the narration was used and Bradbury would add specific comments relevant to the episode presented. During the fourth and later seasons, a slightly shorter generic narration was used with no additional comments.

Famous actors appearing in the series included Richard Kiley, Shelley Duvall, Paul Le Mat, Eileen Brennan, Donald Pleasence, Denholm Elliott, Alan Bates, James Coco, William Shatner, Peter O'Toole, Patrick Macnee, Susannah York, Jeff Goldblum,[4] Drew Barrymore, Hal Linden, Michael Ironside, Robert Vaughn, Eugene Levy, Saul Rubinek, Louise Fletcher, Paul Gross, David Ogden Stiers, John Saxon, Timothy Bottoms, Harold Gould, Sally Kirkland, Kiel Martin, Bruce Weitz, Barry Morse, Eddie Albert, David Carradine, Sally Kellerman, Vincent Gardenia, Robert Culp, Shawn Ashmore, Richard Benjamin, John Vernon, Elliott Gould, Tyne Daly, Lucy Lawless, Jean Stapleton, Charles Martin Smith, Marc Singer, Michael Hurst, Magali Noël, Joanna Cassidy, John Glover, Dan O'Herlihy, Howard Hesseman, Leslie Nielsen, Helen Shaver, Ian Bannen, Megan Follows, Michael Sarrazin, Roy Kinnear, John Vernon, Kenneth Welsh, Michael J. Pollard, Pat Harrington, Jr., Carol Kane, Gordon Pinsent, Clive Swift, Len Cariou, Gregory Sierra, Nick Mancuso, Ben Cross, Janice Rule, Robert Joy, Ray Sharkey, Cyril Cusack, Stuart Margolin, Ronald Lacey, Jayne Eastwood, Wayne Robson, Grant Tilly and James Whitmore.

In the U.S., HBO originally aired the show for its first season, then it was moved to the USA Network from its second season onwards.[5]


  1. ^ "Larry’s World: The surprising mastermind behind The Ray Bradbury Theatre" WGN. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  2. ^ "Ray Bradbury's 14 Most Notable Genre Adaptations, on this, his 100th birthday" SyFy. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  3. ^ "The Ray Bradbury Theater: kitsch, macabre and gloriously schlocky TV anthology" The Guardian. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  4. ^ "The Most Underrated Sci-Fi Anthology Show Ever is Streaming for Free Right Now" Inverse. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  5. ^ By (1988-03-13). "'BRADBURY THEATER' RESCUED BY USA NETWORK". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2023-08-28.

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