TV US TV

A Christmas Carol on American TV

Charles Dickens’ Victorian tale of the miserly Ebeneezer scrooge undergoing a change of heart after being visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve has been produced many times for television, USA productions include:-

1943: The Dumont Network / 1×60 minute episode / 22 December 1943 / Director: George Lowry / With:- William Podmore as Scrooge / Roger De Koven, Ralph Locke. This production dates back to the days before a proper networked TV structure.

1947: The Dumont Network / 25 December 1947 / With:- John Carradine as Scrooge / Eva Marie Saint

1953: ABC / 24 December 1953 / With:- Noel Leslie as Scrooge / Harry Townes as Bob Crachit / Valerie Cossart as Mrs Cratchit / Melville Cooper as Ghost of Christmas Present

1954: CBS-Desilu / 24 December 1954 / 1×60 minute episode / Producer/Director: Ralph Levy / Writer: Maxwell Anderson / Music: Bernard Herrmann / Costume Design: Kate Drain Lawson / Hosted by William Lundigan and Mary Costa with:- Frederic March as Scrooge / Basil Rathbone as Marley’s Ghost / Ray Middleton as Fred and Ghost of Christmas Present / Bob Sweeney as Bob Cratchit / Christopher Cook as Tiny Tim / Queenie Leonard as Mrs Cratchit / Peter Miles as Peter Cratchit / The Roger Wagner Chorale / A lavish big budget production this one.

1979: PBS / 15 December 1979 / 1×120 minute episode / writers: Rae Allen, Timothy Near / Ron Bishop as Scrooge / This production was a musical that came from the Ford’s Theatre in Washington.

1981: ABC / 21 December 1981 / 1×110 minute episode / Writer: Joshua White / Director: Laird Williamson / With:- William Paterson as Scrooge / Raye Birk as Marley’s Ghost / Lawrence Hecht as Ghost of Christmas Present / Another stage production.

1984: Entertainment Partners / November 1984 / Writer: Roger O’Hirson / Music: Nick Bicat / Director: Clive Donner / With:- George C. Scott as Scrooge / Frank Finlay as Marley’s Ghost / Angela Pleasence as Ghost of Christmas Past / Edward Woodward as Ghost of Christmas Present / David Warner as Bob Cratchit / Susannah York as Mrs Cratchit / Roger Rees as Fred Holywell/Narrator / Caroline Langrishe as Janet Holywell / Lucy Gutteridge as Belle / Nigel Davenport as Silas Scrooge / Mark Strickson as Young Scrooge / Joanne Whalley as Fan / Timothy Bateson as Mr Fezziwig / Michael Gough as Mr Poole / Peter Woodthorpe as Old Joe / Liz Smith as Mrs Dilber / Brian Pettifer as Ben / Cathryn Harrison as Kate / Spencer Banks as Dick Wilkins

2000: A Diva’s Christmas Carol / VH1-Viacom / 1×120 minute episode / 13 December 2000 / Writer/Director: Richard Schenkman / Music: Christopher Lennertz / With:- Vanessa L Williams as Ebony Scrooge / Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas as Marli Jacob / Brian McNamara as Bob Cratchett / Brian McKnight as himself / Nile Rodgers as Record Label boss / A modern day role reversal version.

2003: Larry Levinson Productions / 7 December 2003 / 1×120 minute episode / Writer: Tom Amundsen / Director: Matthew Irmas / With:- Tori Spelling as Carol Cartman / Dinah Manoff as Marla / Nina Siemaszko as Roberta / Michael Landes as Jimmy / Gary Coleman as Ghost of Christmas Past / Ethan Sandler as Jerry / William Shatner as Doctor Bob/Ghost of Christmas Present / Another modern day take with Tori Spelling as a grumpy talk show host.





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