|Also known as||Hollywood Off Beat|
Mary Beth Hughes
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original network||DuMont (Feb 1952-Jan 1953)|
CBS (June-Aug 1953)
|Original release||1952 –|
Steve Randall (also known as Hollywood Off-Beat) is an American detective television series starring Melvyn Douglas that ran on the DuMont Television Network from November 7, 1952, to January 30, 1953, and on CBS from June 16, 1953, to August 11, 1953.
Background and premise
The series' concept originated from stories written by Louis Blatz, an attorney. The initial TV adaptation was A Hollywood Affair, starring Lee J. Cobb and Adele Jergens. The pilot for that series did not sell, but the producers tried the same concept again with Steve Randall.
Steve Randall is a disbarred attorney who became a private detective in an effort to be reinstated as a lawyer. He handled cases such as blackmail and murder before he was reinstated in the series's final episode.
Cast and production
In addition to Douglas, the program featured Mary Beth Hughes.
Some episodes of the program were broadcast on local stations as Hollywood Off Beat before it began its network run. The episodes on DuMont were broadcast on Fridays from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
United Television Programs distributed the show. Marion Parsonnet was the producer and director. Sponsors included Swank men's jewelry and Dixie Cups.
"The Trial" (September 11, 1952) is available for viewing on the Internet Archive. Four episodes (June 12, July 3, August 14, and September 11, 1952) are in the J. Fred MacDonald collection at the Library of Congress.
Critic Jack Gould wrote in The New York Times in 1953 that a repeat of an episode was "just as familiar and just as tired" as it had been previously, with "the usual quota of murders, an oomphy siren and tough guys talking out of the side of the mouth."
A capsule review in the trade publication Billboard said that Douglas "is adept at lending importance where little or none is due." As a result, it added, the series "often rises above its material."
Syndicated critic John Crosby wrote, "As adventure whodunits go, this is a pretty good one."
- ^ a b "Network Sponsor Activity". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 23, 1952. p. 2. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
- ^ a b McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: the Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present (4th ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc. p. 383. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8.
- ^ Irvin, Richard (October 28, 2022). Pioneers of "B" Television: Independent Producers, Series and Pilots of the 1950s. McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4766-8996-8. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
- ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (June 24, 2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 1309. ISBN 978-0-307-48320-1. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
- ^ "Melvyn Douglas Is Star Of 'Hollywood Off-Beat' Series". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. May 10, 1953. p. TV section 6. Retrieved February 22, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ a b c d "Capsule Reviews of TV Film Shows". Billboard. September 6, 1952. p. 21. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
- ^ Gould, Jack (May 29, 1953). "Television in Review: Melvyn Douglas Works Hard, but His 'Big Moment' Hardly Rates It -- 'Opera vs. Jazz' a Pleasantry". The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
- ^ Crosby, John (July 6, 1953). "'Hollywood Off Beat' (sic) Is Pretty Good Show". The Richmond News Leader. p. 12. Retrieved February 22, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
- David Weinstein, The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59213-245-6
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