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Action In The Afternoon

Action in the Afternoon is an western television series that aired live on CBS from February 2, 1953 to January 29, 1954.

The series originated from the studios and back lot of WCAU-TV, Channel 10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was broadcast Monday through Friday regardless of the weather. The half-hour series aired variously at 3:30 pm or 4:00 pm, throughout its run.

While ad-libbing his pitch for the series to the executives at CBS, Charles Vanda set the story in the fictional town of Huberle, Montana, a name derived from CBS executives Hubbell Robinson and Harry Omerle.

Action in the Afternoon is the only live outdoor western ever to appear on network television in the United States. Other live westerns existed, however Action in the Afternoon was the only one that did not include prerecorded film segments in the program. If things moved along too fast, or actors needed time to move between the indoor and outdoor sets, the time would be filled by Jack Valentine singing with The Tommy Ferguson Trio playing along.

Because the program was live and outdoors, music director Richard Lester made every effort to hide the sounds of the world beyond the back lot. The sounds of airplanes overhead and trucks backfiring as they drove past the studio were covered with appropriate music.

However, during one particular broadcast a very loud unscripted sound was heard, and was soon discovered to be a horse biting one of the many microphones hidden around the outdoor set.

Only a few video episodes of Action in the Afternoon remain. They can be viewed at The Paley Center for Media in New York City. The show can also be seen on TVS Western.Com.

Barry Cassell ... Sheriff Ace Bancroft
Harriss Forrest ... Ozzie Matthews
Jack Valentine ... Himself
John Zacherle ... The Coroner
Mary Elaine Watts ... Kate
Blake Ritter ... Narrator
Chris Keegan
Sam Kressen
Creighton Stewart
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tommy Ferguson ... Himself (leader, Tommy Ferguson Trio)
Tommy Ferguson Trio ... Themselves

Created by
Charles Vanda

Written by
Leslie Urbach
William Cox
Dean Owens
John Fleming
Don Prindle
Clair Roskam
Richard Strome

Directed by
Bill Bode
John Ullrich

More History

History of Western Films & TV
Western Stars
TV Westerns

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