The Alcoa Hour

The Alcoa Hour is an American anthology television series that was aired live on NBC from 1955 to 1957. The series was sponsored by Alcoa.

Like the Philco Television Playhouse and Goodyear Television Playhouse that had preceded it, The Alcoa Hour was a one-hour live dramatic anthology series presenting both original stories and adaptations of popular works.  The three series were essentially the same, with the only real difference being the name of the sponsor.

The series alternated weeks in the same time slot with the Goodyear Television Playhouse until both series ended in 1957.

One of the series’ memorable episodes was the December 23rd, 1956, telecast of The Stingiest Man in Town, a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, starring Basil Rathbone as Scrooge and Martyn Green as Bob Cratchit.
The show garnered press in February 1956 for actor Lloyd Bridges’ emotional performance in an episode titled “Tragedy in a Temporary Town”, directed by Sidney Lumet. During the performance, Bridges inadvertently slipped some profanity in while ad-libbing.  Although the slip of the lip generated hundreds of complaints, the episode won a Robert E. Sherwood Television Award, with Bridges’ slip being defended even by some members of the clergy. The episode, during which an innocent Latino man is targeted by a mob for a sexual crime, was cited by the Anti-Defamation League as “the best dramatic program of the year dealing with inter-ethnic group relations.”


Tragedy in a Temporary Town news clip