James Sheldon was directing the radio show We, The People when it became the first commercial CBS network program to telecast nationally on June 1, 1948. Since then he has experienced the technological changes from live to electronic tape to film, from black and white to color, and from a few hundred thousand to the multimillions of television sets in use today. His early live credits include dramatic series like Robert Montgomery Presents and Studio One, comedies like Mister Peepers and musicals like Don Ameche's Holiday Hotel. He was part of the move from New York to Los Angeles as television production shifted west in the mid 50's.
Credits during that period: The Johnny Carson Show, West Point Story, Harbor Command, and Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater. In the '60s, he directed many episodes of 87th Precinct, Naked City, Route 66, The Millionaire, My Three Sons, The Twilight Zone, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and Gunsmoke. In the '70s, M*A*S*H, The Virginian, Sanford & Son, Rock Hudson's McMillan & Wife and Raymond Burr's Ironside. In the ‘80s, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cagney & Lacey, and The Equalizer. Included in the list of the many actors whose careers he helped start are James Dean, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Carroll O'Connor, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Lee Remick, Tony Randall, and Tyne Daly.
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Unforgettable History of TV
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