An anthology series is a radio, television, or film series that presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode, season, segment or short.These usually have a different cast in each episode, but several series in the past, such as Four Star Playhouse , employed a permanent troupe of character actors who would appear in a different drama each week. Some anthology series, such as Studio One , began on radio and then expanded to television.
The word comes from Ancient Greek ἀνθολογία (anthología, “flower-gathering”), from ἀνθολογέω (anthologéō, "I gather flowers"), from ἄνθος (ánthos, "flower") + λέγω (légō, "I gather, pick up, collect"), coined by Meleager of Gadara circa 60 BCE, originally as Στέφανος (στέφανος (stéphanos, "garland")) to describe a collection of poetry, later retitled anthology – see Greek Anthology. Anthologiai were collections of small Greek poems and epigrams, because in Greek culture the flower symbolized the finer sentiments that only poetry can express.
Many popular old-time radio programs were anthology series. On some series, such as Inner Sanctum Mysteries , the only constant was the host, who introduced and concluded each dramatic presentation. One of the earliest such programs was The Collier Hour , broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from 1927 to 1932.As radio's first major dramatic anthology, it adapted stories and serials from Collier's Weekly in a calculated move to increase subscriptions and compete with The Saturday Evening Post . Airing on the Wednesday prior to each week's distribution of the magazine, the program soon moved to Sundays in order to avoid spoilers with dramatizations of stories simultaneously appearing in the magazine.
Radio anthology series provided a format for science fiction, horror, suspense, and mystery genres (all produced in the US, unless noted):
The final episode of Suspense was broadcast on September 30, 1962, a date that has traditionally been seen as marking the end of the old-time radio era.However, genre series produced since 1962 include:
In the history of television, live anthology dramas were especially popular during the Golden Age of Television of the 1950s with series such as The United States Steel Hour and The Philco Television Playhouse.
Dick Powell came up with an idea for an anthology series, Four Star Playhouse , with a rotation of established stars every week, four stars in all. The stars would own the studio and the program, as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had done successfully with Desilu studio. Powell had intended for the program to feature himself, Charles Boyer, Joel McCrea, and Rosalind Russell. When Russell and McCrea backed out, David Niven came on board as the third star. The fourth star was initially a guest star. CBS liked the idea, and Four Star Playhouse made its debut in fall of 1952.It ran on alternate weeks only during the first season, alternating with Amos 'n' Andy . It was successful enough to be renewed and became a weekly program from the second season until the end of its run in 1956. Ida Lupino was brought on board as the de facto fourth star, though unlike Powell, Boyer, and Niven, she owned no stock in the company.
American television networks would sometimes run summer anthology series which consisted of unsold television pilots.Beginning in 1971, the long-run Masterpiece Theatre drama anthology series brought British productions to American television.
In 2011, American Horror Story debuted a new type of anthology format in the U.S. Each season, rather than each episode, is a standalone story. Several actors have appeared in the various seasons, but playing different roles—in an echo of the Four Star Playhouse format.
The success of American Horror Story has spawned other season-long anthologies such as American Crime Story and Feud .
|Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond||1959||1961||3||96||-|
|American Horror Story||2011||Present||8||94||-|
|Are You Afraid of the Dark?||1990||2000||7||91||-|
|Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction||1997||2002||4||45||-|
|Electric Dreams (2017 TV series)||2017||2018||1||10||-|
|Fantasy Island||1977||1984||7||152||Includes 2 Movies|
|Fear and Fancy||1953||1953||1||15||-|
|The Fearing Mind||2000||2000||1||12||-|
|Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series||1988||1990||2||44||-|
|Friday the 13th: The Series||1987||1990||3||71||-|
|Ghost Story||1972||1973||1||22||23 total includes 1 Pilot|
|Great Ghost Tales||1961||1961||1||12||-|
|A Haunting||2005||Present||10||105||Stopped in 2007 and returned in 2012|
|Historias para no dormir||1966||1982||3||29||-|
|Inside No 9||2014||Present||4||25||-|
|Into the Dark||2018||Present||1||11||-|
|Journey to the Unknown||1968||1969||1||17||-|
|Lee Martin's The Midnight Hour||2008||2015||-|
|Masters of Horror||2005||2007||2||26||-|
|Masters of Science Fiction||2007||2007||1||6||-|
|Métal Hurlant Chronicles||2012||2014||2||12||-|
|Mystery and Imagination||1966||1970||5||24||UK series|
|The Nightmare Room||2001||2002||1||13||-|
|Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King||2006||2006||1||8||-|
|Out of the Unknown||1965||1971||4||49||UK series|
|Out of This World||1962||1962||1||13||UK series|
|The Outer Limits||1963||1965||2||49||-|
|The Outer Limits||1995||2002||7||154||-|
|Perversions of Science||1997||1997||1||10||-|
|Play for Tomorrow||1981||1981||1||6||UK series||-|
|Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected||1977||1977||1||8||Not to be confused with the UK series (below)|
|The Ray Bradbury Theater||1985||1992||6||65||-|
|R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour||2010||2014||4||76||-|
|Science Fiction Theatre||1955||1957||2||78||-|
|Tales from the Darkside||1984||1988||4||89||Plus 1 Pilot|
|Tales from the Crypt||1989||1996||7||93||-|
|Tales of Mystery||1961||1963||3||29||-|
|Tales of Mystery and Imagination||1995||1995||1||13||-|
|Tales of the Unexpected||1979||1988||9||112||UK series unconnected with the Quinn Martin series (above)|
|Tales of Tomorrow||1951||1953||2||85||-|
|The Twilight Zone (original series)||1959||1964||5||156||-|
|The Twilight Zone (reboot one)||1985||1989||3||65||-|
|The Twilight Zone (reboot two)||2002||2003||1||43||-|
|The Twilight Zone (reboot three)||2019||Present||1||10||-|
|Welcome to Paradox||1998||1998||1||13||-|
|Frontier Theatre||1950||1950||-||-||No episodes are known to have survived.|
|Death Valley Days||1952||1970||18||452||-|
|Zane Grey Theater||1956||1961||5||149||-|
|Dead Man's Gun||1997||1999||2||44||-|
Anthology film series are rare compared to their TV and radio counterparts. There have been several attempts within the horror genre to have a franchise with an anthology format, such as with the Halloween franchise where the third film, Halloween: Season of the Witch , was meant to be the beginning of a series of anthology horror films, but due to negative reception that plan was shelved.
|Cities of Love||2006||N/A||5|
|Carry On...||1958||1992||31||Comedy series which used the same roster of comedic actors and comedians|
|Shinobi no Mono||1962||1970||9||Composed of five unrelated stories/characters. Story 1 (films #1-3), story 2 (films #4-5, 7), story 3 (film #6), story 4 (film #8), story 5 (film #9).|
|The Bloodthirsty Trilogy||1970||1974||3|
|The Ninja Trilogy||1981||1984||3||Composed of Enter the Ninja , Revenge of the Ninja , and Ninja III: The Domination .|
|Shake, Rattle & Roll||1984||N/A||15|
|Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10||1987||1988||10||The series of syndicated animated television films produced by Hanna-Barbera.|
|Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy||2004||2013||3|
The year 1959 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during that year.
The year 1958 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1958.
The year 1956 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1956.
The year 1955 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1955.
The year 1954 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events in 1954.
The year 1953 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1953.
Zachary Scott was an American actor who was most notable for his roles as villains and "mystery men".
Eleanor Audley was an American actress. With a distinctive voice and a diverse body of work, Audley was best known for her roles as aristocratic, somewhat villainous matrons.
Ziv Television Programs, Inc. was an American production company that specialized in productions for first-run television syndication in the 1950s.
Argentina Brunetti was an Argentine stage and film actress and writer.
Don Carlos Harvey was an American television and film actor.
Fay Roope was a Harvard graduate and a character actor who appeared in American theater in New York City from the 1920s through 1950, and in American film and television from 1949 through 1961.
Francis M. Gerstle was an American actor, well known for his performances in a series of science-fiction films.
Robert C. Foulk, was an American television and film character actor best remembered for having portrayed Sheriff H. Miller in the CBS series, Lassie, a role which he filled in eighteen episodes from 1958 to 1962.
Robert Ellis was an American child actor in the 1940s and 1950s, who was the last actor to play Henry Aldrich on the radio series The Aldrich Family.
This is the complete filmography of actress Marguerite Chapman.
This is the complete filmography of actor Audrey Totter. Originally a radio actress, she entered motion pictures in 1944 and became known for her portrayals of Femme fatales and hard-boiled dames. She is best remembered for her appearances in such features as Lady in the Lake (1947), The Unsuspected (1947), and The Set-Up (1949). She later found equal success in television with recurring roles on such syndicated sitcoms as Our Man Higgins, Cimarron City, Dr. Kildare, and Medical Center.
Chris Alcaide was the stage name of John Berger (1922–2004) a tall (1.89m) 20th century American character actor frequently cast as the "baddie" in westerns and film noir detective films. His combination of height, sharp stare and deep voice made him a menacing character.