101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: CBS, 1956-1961

"One cannot imagine the joy one had as a professional viewer of this windblown medicine show called television to be able to deal every week for four years with the depth, the quality and sometimes the disaster that was the weekly Playhouse." So wrote former Los Angeles Times television critic Cecil Smith, 40 years after Playhouse 90. Has there ever been a TV series around which so much creative talent coalesced? John Frankenheimer, George Roy Hill, and Arthur Penn are on the list of directors. Rod Serling wrote the teleplay "Requiem for a Heavyweight" for Jack Palance to great acclaim, while J.P. Miller and Abby Mann wrote the teleplays for "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Judgment at Nuremberg," respectively. So-called for the 90-minute duration of the work, Playhouse 90 burned brightly, ambitiously against the grain: a live, though eventually videotaped, weekly mounting of a theatrical production.

Credited Writers

Edna Anhalt
Robert Alan Arthur
Gwen Bagni
Mel Barr
George Bellak
Edmund Beloin
Harold Jack Bloom
Alvin Boretz
Pierre Boulle
Marc Brandel
Howard Browne
George Bruce
James P. Cavanagh
James Hadley Chase
Fred Clasel
Barnaby Conrad
Whitfield Cook
David Davidson
Helen Doss
Lloyd C. Douglas
F.W. Durkee
William Faulknew
Scott Fitzgerald
Horton Foote
Pat Frank
Devery Freeman
John Gay
Steve Gethers
Berne Giler
Frank D. Gilroy
Bernard Girard
Bo Goldman
Martin M. Goldsmith
Hal Goodman
Roger Hirson
A.E. Hotchner
Helen Howe
Russel S. Hughes
Jack Jacobs
Henry James
Robert L. Joseph
Garson Kanin
David Karp
Ernest Kinoy
Larry Klein
Speed Lamkin
Joseph Landon
Ernest Lehman
Dr. Robert Lindner
Herbert Little, Jr.
Stephen Longstreet
Loring Mandel
Don Mankiewicz
Abby Mann
John P. Marquand
Robert E. McEnroe
Merle Miller
J.P. Miller
Elick Moll
Paul Monash
Lulu Morgan
Tad Mosel
Donald Murray
Irving Gaynor Neiman
Marcel Pagnol
Dean Reisner
Norman Retchin
Lynn Riggs
Meade Roberts
Stanley Roberts
Selma Robinson
Reginald Rose
A.J. Russell
William Sackheim
William Saroyan
Rod Serling
David Shaw
Aaron Spelling
Adrian Spies
Leonard Spigelgass
Ellis St. Joseph
Joseph Stefano
Stewart Stern
Leslie Stevens
David Swift
Brandon Thomas
Daniel Ullman
David Victor
Malvin Wald
Al C. Ward
Charles M. Warren
Halsted Welles
Hagar Wilde
Cornell Woolrich