The Beulah Show
(1951): Academy Award and Emmy nominee Ethel Waters stars as the down-to-earth housekeeper with a twinkle in her eye. The radio show Beulah was so popular with listeners that a TV version was inevitable, but trouble dogged the project from the start. Waters quit after the first season, reportedly because she disliked the stereotypical, subservient nature of the character. She was replaced by Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel, who fell ill after completing only a few episodes. Louise Beavers then assumed the role until the series' conclusion. This episode features guest appearances by Dooley Wilson (Casablanca) as Beulah's boyfriend Bill and Butterfly McQueen (Gone With the Wind) as her chum Oriole.
The Ruggles (1952): Popular entertainer and screen favorite Charlie Ruggles played a fictionalized version of himself in this classic sitcom, as an entertainer trying to balance career and family. Irene Tedrow originated the role of Charlie's wife Margaret in the first season, then was replaced by Erin O'Brien-Moore for the remainder of the series.
Behind the Scenes (1959): "In Hollywood, stars make movies and movies make stars." Aspiring actress Sally Smith decides she's going to turn her attention to screenwriting, but when her script is accidentally switched with the one being written by the screenwriter next door, she and her roommate Jill Butler suddenly find themselves taking meetings with Hollywood agents and studio heads ? and making demands that will turn Tinseltown upside-down! Starring Sally Fraser, Jil Jarmyn and Jesse White.
Peck's Bad Girl (1959): Patty McCormack, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in the film version The Bad Seed (1956), plays Torey Peck, an all-American teenager - who sometimes puts her at odds with her bewildered parents and her bratty little brother. This sitcom, which ran only 14 episodes, was one of the first which broke down the fourth wall, as Torey speaks directly to the audience throughout. The series' music was provided by Jerry Goldsmith, among the most esteemed composers in Hollywood history.