Genre: Live Western
Debut: February 2, 1953
Seasons: (1) 1953-1954
Stars: Jack Valentine, Barry Cassell, Jean Corbett, Harriss Forrest, Blake Ritter,
Mary Elaine Watts and Sam Kressen
“Lots has happened here in Huberle in the past few days, that’s for sure. The bank was robbed. We almost had a lynching. Jack Valentine finally brought in the two outlaws…” Yes, that’s how the episode in the YouTube clip below begins. This live daily western broadcast on Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV Channel 10 beginning in 1953 is filled with what some TV viewers today would label as bad script writing, bad acting, bad production values. But one can’t take 21st century values and judge the earliest ever live TV western. But even judging by today’s standards, Action in the Afternoon had some very good singing by singer/actor Jack Valentine whose idols were the Sons of the Pioneers. Live TV was not an easy endeavor and young children in 1950s Philly have nothing but the fondest memories of this TV western which was produced entirely on the back lot of the WCAU.
For more information on Action in the Afternoon, please read an amazingly detailed article on this western written by the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia website.