Kraft Television Theatre (1947-1958)
Kraft Television Theatre was an American drama/anthology television series that originated on the NBC network. A second show was added on ABC for 16 months in October 1953. Kraft Television Theatre was initially produced by the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and, yes, did concentrate on advertising Kraft products. Each hour-long episode (of which there were 525 productions) featured new stories and new characters each week. The show was broadcast live from Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, which is now the home of Saturday Night Live. In January 1955, after the cancellation of ABC’s second show by Kraft, the show changed sponsors (and its name) to become Pond’s Theatre while the original Kraft Television Theatre continued on on NBC.
In April 1958, Kraft sold the rights to the program to David Susskin’s Talent Associates who turned the series into the Kraft Mystery Theatre. It lasted until September of that same year. Eventually the show morphed into the 1963 series Kraft Suspense Theatre. This incarnation was unique as they presented original dramas not adapted stories.