CBS Playhouse was an umbrella title for a series of original dramas that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1970. A direct descendant of Playhouse 90, many of the writers and directors from the golden age of original TV drama participated in the series. The programs were very well received and won many awards, including a Peabody in 1967. After 1970 CBS reverted back to the title Playhouse 90 for their, now less frequent, forays into prestige drama. The show opened with avant-garde animated titles and theme music specially composed for the series by Aaron Copland. The theme garnered Copland an Emmy nomination. Pictured is director George Schaefer on the set of "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" with Lois Smith, Warren Stevens, Melvyn Douglas and Shirley Booth.
The specter of rural American poverty forms the backdrop for the third-season premiere of CBS Playhouse. The play is set in the Appalachian town of Harper's Gap, West Virginia. The mines are closed; the community is on welfare. But not Rome Harper and his family. Rome steals coal from the closed, dangerous mines rather than take charity. Into this dying town comes Joe Borden, a VISTA worker who sees hope in Rome's son Hugh, a potter. From Hugh's talent, Joe envisions a way to bring industry back to Harper's Gap.
An engrossing drama by TV veteran George Bellak pictures the coming of age of Alex Miller, a man perilously close to 30, and the kind of square respectability he's always shunned. Because an underground-art scheme fizzled, Alex is in debt to a loan shark to the tune of 4000 dollars. To pay it off, he is forced to enter the 9 to 5 world, taking a job at the Ajax Toy Company. Alex means to quit when the debt is paid, but finds he can't; his particular genius is well suited to the toy game, a fact that the firm's owner is quick to acknowledge with handsome rewards. Then, too, there's Carol Brandt, a unique creature totally unlike the girls Alex usually gets involved with.
Robert Crean's perceptive script focuses on Annamae Whiteley, a brash and fortyish department-store executive from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The unmarried lady is flying East to her niece's prep school graduation and a reunion with her family. On the plane, she meets Jesse Rothenberg, a divorced gentleman she finds vastly attractive. Jesse is also going to the graduation, but any developments in their relationship must be deferred: Annamae faces family problems that only she can cope with.