''NBC Sunday Showcase'' was a series of hour-long specials telecast in color on NBC during the 1959-60 season. The flexible anthology format varied weekly from comedies and science fiction to musicals and historical dramas. The recent introduction of videotape made repeats possible, and two 1959 dramas (''Murder and the Android'' and ''What Makes Sammy Run?'') had repeats in 1960.〔("Sammy Glick on Television" )〕
On the heels of his Broadway hits ''The Pajama Game'' and ''Damn Yankees'', Richard Adler composed the opening ''Sunday Showcase'' theme music, titled "Sunday Drive" (aka "Sunday Showcase Theme").
For the September 20, 1959 premiere, John Frankenheimer directed S. Lee Pogostin's ''People Kill People Sometimes'' with Zina Bethune, Geraldine Page, Jason Robards and George C. Scott.
During the next two weeks, Larry Blyden had the title role in an adaptation of Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel ''What Makes Sammy Run?''. The two-parter was directed by Delbert Mann with music by Irwin Bazelon.〔(Berger, Joseph. "Back to '59: Sammy Is Running Again." ''The New York Times'', April 6, 2005. )〕 The lost reel of this production was found in 2004:
:Originally presented on color videotape, the 1959 adaptation of ''What Makes Sammy Run?'' was rebroadcast the following year after which the tape was, presumably, reused or discarded. A black and white kinescope of the first hour has long been available for viewing at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York and Los Angeles, but the second half of the broadcast was, for many years, on the Museum's list of "lost treasures." In 2004, writer/director Robert Armin met with actress Dina Merrill to talk about the broadcast. When Ms Merrill, a Trustee of the Museum, learned that the second hour (in which she has her strongest scenes) could not be found, she contacted the Museum's curators, who then made locating the missing footage a priority. At their urging, the Library of Congress, which has a large collection of NBC footage, made a thorough search of its holdings and discovered eight film cans labeled ''Sunday Showcase'' which contained a complete kinescope of the entire two-hour broadcast. Now freshly restored, the New York branch of the Museum screened the teleplay before a packed house on April 6, 2005, with Dina Merrill and Budd Schulberg in attendance. This is the first time the film has been viewed publicly since 1960.〔
On October 11, 1959, Joan Crawford, Helen Hayes, Bob Hope, Mary Martin and Eleanor Roosevelt were seen in ''A Tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt on Her Diamond Jubilee''.
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