The 20th Century

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The Twentieth Century
Harold Arlen Tony Bennett 1964.JPG
Composer Harold Arlen and singer Tony Bennett rehearsing for a 1964 program about Arlen's works
GenreDocumentary
Written byEarle Luby
Directed byPeter Poor (1961-1966)
Willard Van Dyke (1961-1965)
Nicholas Webster (1960-1965)
Wade Bingham (1961)
Robert K. Sharpe (1961-1963)
Av Westin (1961-1962)
Harry Rasky (1963)
Burton Benjamin (1964)
Earle Luby (1966)
Narrated byWalter Cronkite
Composer(s)Paul Creston
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes121
Production
Producer(s)Burton Benjamin
Isaac Kleinerman
Running time30 minutes
Release
Original networkCBS

The Twentieth Century was a documentary television program sponsored by the Prudential Insurance Company that ran on the CBS network from 20 October 1957 until 4 January 1970. It was hosted by Walter Cronkite. The opening and closing theme music was written by composer George Antheil. The program presented filmed reports on news and cultural events that were important for the development of the 20th century. The show did not just present the events, but also interpreted them. Such subjects as World War I and major assassinations were presented in context.

On 20 January 1967, the show, sponsored by Union Carbide ("The Discovery Company"), was renamed The 21st Century. The show's focus changed to the future and to what humankind could look forward to. The 21st Century was cancelled after three seasons (its final broadcast was on 4 January 1970). The reason given was that the writers had run out of things to talk about.[citation needed] However, CBS may have wished to replace it with a more commercially successful program.

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