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"Omnibus" (1952) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1952-1961

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Omnibus: Season 2: Episode 3 -- Shot live for the prestigious Omnibus series, Orson Welles mastefully plays the title role in the Shakespearean classic
Omnibus: :  -- Clip: The world of jazz
Omnibus: :  -- Clip: The music of J.S. Bach


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Release Date:
9 November 1952 (USA) See more »
Starting out as a live show from New York City, "Omnibus" was hosted by Alastair Cooke and featured... See more »
Plot Keywords:
Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A bit of information about this important TV Series See more (2 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 50)
Alistair Cooke ... Himself - Host / ... (84 episodes, 1952-1961)

Series Directed by
Andrew McCullough (7 episodes, 1952-1956)
Norman Lloyd (5 episodes, 1952-1953)
Charles S. Dubin (4 episodes, 1955-1957)
Harry Horner (3 episodes, 1954)
Delbert Mann (3 episodes, 1956-1957)
Yul Brynner (2 episodes, 1953)
Richard Leacock (2 episodes, 1954-1957)
Elliot Silverstein (2 episodes, 1954-1956)
Seymour Robbie (2 episodes, 1955-1958)
Richard Dunlap (2 episodes, 1957)
William A. Graham (2 episodes, 1958-1961)
Series Writing credits
Leonard Bernstein (6 episodes, 1954-1958)
James Agee (5 episodes, 1952-1953)
William Saroyan (5 episodes, 1953-1956)
Robert Tallman (4 episodes, 1952-1953)
George Bernard Shaw (4 episodes, 1953-1956)
Arnold Schulman (4 episodes, 1953-1954)
James Lee (4 episodes, 1957-1960)
J.M. Barrie (3 episodes, 1952-1956)
John Steinbeck (3 episodes, 1954)
Ernest Hemingway (2 episodes, 1953)
Gore Vidal (2 episodes, 1954-1955)
Andy Lewis (2 episodes, 1956)

Series Produced by
William Spier .... producer (23 episodes, 1952-1953)
Robert Saudek .... producer / executive producer / ... (15 episodes, 1952-1961)
Paul Feigay .... associate producer (3 episodes, 1953-1954)
Brewster Morgan .... producer (3 episodes, 1954)
Eugene Solow .... producer (3 episodes, 1954)
Fred Rickey .... producer (2 episodes, 1953)
Series Original Music by
Virgil Thomson (2 episodes, 1953-1959)

Wladimir Selinsky (unknown episodes)
Series Cinematography by
Frederick Gately (3 episodes, 1954)
Series Film Editing by
Sherman A. Rose (3 episodes, 1954)
Arthur H. Nadel (2 episodes, 1954)
Series Casting by
Joe Scully (unknown episodes, 1952-1956)
Series Production Design by
Henry May (4 episodes, 1953-1959)
Series Art Direction by
Henry May (4 episodes, 1955-1959)
Series Set Decoration by
Gene Callahan (1 episode, 1953)
Series Costume Design by
Al Lehman (1 episode, 1956)
Saul Bolasni (1 episode, 1957)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stanley Kubrick .... second unit director (1 episode, 1952)
Series Art Department
Georges Wakhévitch .... artistic consultant (1 episode, 1953)
Series Sound Department
Morgan Smith .... sound (1 episode, 1954)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Margolies .... electrician (1 episode, 1954)

Imero Fiorentino .... lighting director (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Saul Bolasni .... costumer (1 episode, 1959)
Series Editorial Department
Mary V. Ahern .... feature editor (1 episode, 1954)
Penn Kimball .... feature editor (1 episode, 1954)
Andy Lewis .... feature editor (1 episode, 1954)
William F. Suchman .... feature editor (1 episode, 1954)
Series Music Department
Leonard Bernstein .... conductor: music lectures (6 episodes, 1954-1958)

Merrill Staton .... choral director (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Agnes de Mille .... choreographer (2 episodes, 1952-1956)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

55 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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33 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
A bit of information about this important TV Series, 22 November 2000
Author: metaphor-2 from United States

In 1952, the Ford Foundation created two funds for educational television. One was for publicly supported TV, and it evolved into the modern PBS. The other was for commercial educational TV, and its chief product was the Omnibus TV series.

Omnibus broadcast, initially, live from New York City at 4:00 PM on Sundays. It was hosted by Alistair Cooke (his first show in the US) and it featured a broad range of programming about science, the arts and the humanities. Virtually anyone of cultural interest who passed through New York might end up on the show. Film segments were integrated between live performances.

Among the show's regular contributors were William Saroyan, who offered up numerous one-act plays and a six-part autobiographical work, and Cyril Ritchard and Helen Hayes, two of the Broadway theater's brightest lights, who appeared in a series of one-act plays together.

Some of Omnibus' landmark shows include:

"King Lear" starring Orson Welles, directed by Peter Brooke

Leonard Bernstein's first TV appearance, where he explained the structure of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, with the orchestral score drawn on the studio floor so that the different instrumentalists could walk along it to visually show their contribution to the overall sound.

"The Moor's Pavanne," a rare (possibly unique?) record of Dancer/Choreographer Jose Limon in performance, featuring his ballet adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello

A Portrait of Grand Central Station, a fabulous live broadcast from the great temple of railroads, ending with Alistair Cook broadcasting via mobile transmitter from the engineer's cab of the 20th Century Limited as it headed for Chicago.

Robert Flaherty's film, "The Louisiana Story"

Omnibus was a cultural treasure trove. It is preserved on kinescope and videotape. I believe much of it can be seen at The Museum of Television and Radio (New York and Los Angeles). There is also a research collection at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

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