The George Sanders Mystery Theater

(1957, NBC)
(aka “Mystery Writers Theater” in syndication)

THE GEORGE SANDERS MYSTERY THEATER was a thirty-minute mystery drama series, aired as a summer replacement series. It was hosted by Sanders (The Falcon!), who would introduce stories adapted from the works of members of the Mystery Writers of America–while wandering around the MWA’s “club.”

Or at least that was the intention.

Unfortunately, by the fourth episode (“You Don’t Live Here”),  the title card for the MWA was missing in action, along with any mention of the organization. Still, during its brief run, the show did air a few episodes worth investigating, most notably, perhaps,

TELEVISION

  • THE GEORGE SANDERS MYSTERY THEATER
    (1957, NBC)
    (aka “Mystery Writers Theatre”)
    13 30-minute episodes 
    Writers: Leonard Lee, Steve Fisher, Gene Wang
    Works adapted: Charlotte Armstrong, Octavus Roy Cohen, Stanley Ellin, Cornell Woolrich, Frederick Nebel, Craig Rice
    Directors: Fletcher Markle, Gerd Oswald
    Host: George Sanders

      • “BROKER’S SPECIAL (June 29, 1957)
        Based on a story by Stanley Ellin
        Writers: Jack Jacobs, Malvin Wald
        Directed by Fletcher Markle
        Starring Diana Darrin, Mary Lawrence, Grant Richards, George Sanders

        Notable because Sanders’s character was bumped off at the episode’s conclusion, but then showed up to introduce the closing commercial–which, if nothing else–shows why they call it “commericial television.”

      • “AND THE BIRDS STILL SING” (August 3, 1957)
        Based on a story by Craig Rice
        Teleplay by Gene Wang
        Directed by Gerd Oswald
        Starring John Archer as FRANCIS PARNELL (John J. Malone in story)
        Also starring Mae Clark, Tristram Coffin, John Beradino
      • “TRY IT MY WAY” (August 10, 1957)
        Based on a story by Frederick Nebel
        Teleplay by Whitfield Cook
        Directed by Fletcher Markle
        Starring Howard Wendell, Phil Arnold, and Gilbert Frye
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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