Television Anthology Series
Hosted by crooner-turned-amiable-tough-guy Dick Powell, the aptly titled THE DICK POWELL SHOW (aka “The Dick Powell Theatre,” “The Dick Powell Reynolds Aluminum Show”) was the actor/host/producer’s his last anthology show, but it was a good one, a quality production garnering Emmy nominations for Outstanding Dramatic Achievement for both seasons it was on the air, as well as several other nominations, mostly for acting.
Like his previous stabs at anthology series (Four Star Theatre, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre), it featured a star-studded mix of dramas and comedies, and many of them—particularly in the earlier episodes, starred Powell himself. In fact, one episode, “The Court-Martial of Captain Wycliff” (December 11, 1962), was his last filmed performance.
It’s probably no surprise many of the episodes were crime or detective dramas, some of which as pilots for possible series. Although Blake Edwards’ private eye drama, “The Boston Terrier,” never caught on, “Who Killed Julie Greer?,” which starred Powell as police captain Amos Burke, went on to become Burke’s Law, which ran for a couple of seasons (and later begat Honey West). What was more surprising was the number of episodes featuring men somehow reuniting with their estranged sons.
After his death from lung cancer on January 2, 1963, the show ploughed on to finish the season, calling on an assortment of guest hosts that ranged from Ronald Reagan and John Wayne to Gregory Peck and Powell’s widow, June Allyson.
The show’s primary sponsor was the Reynolds Metals Company, and in England it aired as The Dick Powell Reynolds Aluminum Show.
- THE DICK POWELL SHOW
(aka “The Dick Powell Theatre,” “The Dick Powell Reynolds Aluminum Show”)
60 60-minute episodes
Black & white
Created by Richard Alan Simmons
Host: Dick Powell
Other hosts included: Milton Berle, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Pat Boone, Jackie Cooper, June Allyson
Writers: Blake Edwards, Ralph Nelson, Richard Carr, Robert L. Jacks, Richard Alan Simmons, Helen Nielsen, Tom Waldman, Lester Pine, Steve Fisher, Sam Peckinpah, Bruce Geller, Aaron Spelling
Directors: Blake Edwards, Sam Peckinpah, Ralph Nelson, William Friedkin, Bruce Geller, Aaron Spelling, Arthur Hiller, Robert Ellis Miller, Lewis Allen, Ray Milland, Buzz Kulik, Don Medford
Starring Dick Powell, Peter Falk, Milton Berle, Charles Boyer, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Rock Hudson, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Steve McQueen, Robert Mitchum, David Niven, Ralph Bellamy, Edgar Bergen, Lloyd Bridges, Jack Carson, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Rooney, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Robert Taylor, Danny Thomas, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, John Wayne, Theodore Bikel, Carroll O’Connor, Lee Marvin
Theme: “More Than Love”
Music: Herschel Burke Gilbert
“Nervous” by Richard Shores, used during the highlight sequence that began every episode
Sponsor: The Reynolds Metals Company
Powell served as host and occasional star in this anthology show..
- “John J. Diggs” (October 17, 1961)
Written by Albert Beich and William H. Wright
Directed by Ralph Nelson
Starring Dick Powell as JOHN J. DIGGS
Also starring Rhonda Fleming, Jack Kruschen, True Ellison, Laurie Mitchell, Michael Parks, Anthony D. Call, Wilton Graff, Alejandro Rey, Roberto Contreras, Jose Gonzales-Gonzales, Joe Higgins, Richard Boyer, Harold Fong, Henry Darrow
John J. Diggs appears to be a derelict, scrounging from tourists in a Mexican town. But Margo Haley thinks there’s more to him than that.
- “The Boston Terrier” (April 10, 1962) | Watch it now!
Teleplay by Lester Pine
Directed by Blake Edwards
Music by Ernest Gold
Starring Robert Vaughn as A. DUNSTER LOWELL
with Robert J. Wilke as Lt. Duffy Cardoza
Also starring John McGiver , Bennye Gatteys, John Marley, Russell Collins, Douglas M. Dick, Richard Deacon, Ian Wolfe, Charles Seel, Charles Horvath, Dick Crockett, Hal K. Dawson, Diana Millay
- “No Strings Atteched” (April 24, 1962)
Written by Ben Starr and Bob O’Brien
Directed by Hy Averback
Starring Dick Powell as MIKE SCOTT
Also starring Angie Dickinson, Mamie Van Doren, Barbara Nichols, John Litel, Robert Strauss, Leo Gorcey
An idealistic lawyer (Powell) risks his job with a snooty conservative law firm–and his fiancée—when he agrees to defend a stripper in court.
- “Special Assignment” (September 25, 1962)
Written by Bob O’Brien and Ben Starr
Directed by Don Taylor
Starring Dick Powell as PAUL MARTIN
Also starring June Allyson, Edgar Bergen, Frances Bergen, Jackie Cooper, Lloyd Nolan, Mickey Rooney, Barbara Stanwyck
An aging millionaire hires attorney Paul Martin to investigate potential beneficiaries.
- “Last of the Private Eyes” (April 30, 1963)
Written by Richard Carr and Robert L. Jacks
Directed by Marc Daniels
Hosted by Ronald Reagan
Starring Bob Cummings as J.F. KELLY
Perhaps appropriately, given that playing a private eye changed Dick Powell’s life, this light-hearted spoof of the genre was the last episode of the show. Powell himself had passed away several months earlier.
- “John J. Diggs” (October 17, 1961)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.