This live anthology drama series was the first weekly commercial network program. From May to December 1947, NBC aired the show on Wednesday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; for the rest of its run, it was broadcast on Wednesday, 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. From 1953 to 1955, another series of the same name was shown on ABC concurrently with the one on NBC. For a short time in 1958, the series abandoned its anthology format and ran with recurring characters and situations. From April to September 1958, the show was known as "Kraft Mystery Theatre."
This program was a prestigious showcase for its sponsor, Kraft, winning many awards and becoming a Wednesday night institution. By the end of its run, more than 650 plays, drama and comedy productions, both original and adaptations for TV, had been presented. One of the most awarded episodes was "Patterns" written by Rod Serling and directed by Fielder Cook with performances from Ed Begley, Everett Sloane, and Richard Kiley.