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The Adventures of Ellery Queen                            b a c k
("A Kaiser-Frazer Adventure in Mystery")

Click on left and/or right side Dumont, 14 Oct 1950-1951
ABC, 1951- Dec,1952

Lee BowmanProducers: Norman and Irving Pincus
Directors: Donald Richardson, William Hart, Alex Cohen.
Scriptwriters: Helene Hanff, Reginald Denham,
Mary Orr,
Eugene Burr, ...
Story editor: Jerry Sackheim
Composer "Ellery Queen Theme"(the same theme that was used on the last 2 radio series): Chester ("Chet") Kingsbury.  Music Arranged by Ray Carter
Set designer: John Robert Lloyd
EQ: Richard Hart, Lee Bowman
Inspector Queen: Florenz Ames

Sergeant Velie: Elliott Sullivan
Police Sergeant: Charles F. McClelland

Being broadcast at the beginning of TV, the series were allegedly broadcast live. Although ABC made recordings Richard Hartwhich somehow seem to have survived. At first Richard Hart, big and strapping and sporting an incongruous Errol Flynn moustache, was the star The Adventures of Ellery Queen also known as A Kaiser-Frazer Adventure in Mystery or in TV-listings just as Ellery Queen Mystery or Ellery Queen. This first series was aired live and was well done for a Dumont net program. Florenz Ames played his father, Inspector Richard Queen. The show appeared on the Dumont Network beginning in 1950 and each episode took 25 minutes. It was broadcast on Thursdays from 9:00 to 9:30 PM. (Chicago 8:00 to 8:30 PM.)
The program won the TV Guide Award for best television mystery of 1950 and it lasted until 1952. They kept about five writers busy via a rotation routine, due to the shortage of good actors that quintet is often forced to rewrite a script so a character will fit one of the "dependable six."
Some episodes were announced at the end of each episode, often titles were changed by the next week...
The first season consisted of 38 episodes.


Richard Hart, big and strapping and sporting an incongruous Errol Flynn moustache, was the star of "The Adventures of Ellery Queen" also known as "a Kaiser-Frazer Adventure in Mystery".




First Season

Starring Richard Hart

1* "The Bad Boy"
"The Case of the Bad Boy" (2)
Adapted from the Queen radio play with the same name broadcast on July 30, 1939
Director: Donald Richardson
Writers: H.R. Hays, Henry Gilfond
With: Hilda Vaughn, Helen Wagner, Elliott Sullivan, Martin Brandt, Lester Mack, Sandy Kennedy (5)

Investigation by Ellery and his father of the poisoning of a hateful old matriarch in a rooming house.

Ellery Queen’s TV bow last Thursday (19) via WABD, N Y. and the DuMont net  was marked by good acting that overshadowed an unpleasant, mediocre story. For the series initialer, “The Case of the Bad Boy” emerged as a disturbing psychological study of three characters, none of whom excited audience sympathy.
Aunt Sarah, a miserly rooming house proprietor, Coveted her sister’s ill-behaved 10-year-old son. His widowed mother was a spineless woman who chose neither to train her offspring correctly nor challenge the boy’s dominating aunt. Into
this strained atmosphere came Ellery Queen and his inspector-father to probe an attempt upon the aunt’s life. In no time- at all the writer amateur criminologist perceived that the aunt earlier took some of her own arsenic by mistake and correctly traced her subsequent murder to a switch of dinner plates deftly executed by the boy. If the solution was obvious to the sleuth, it was even more obvious to viewers. Richard Hart was suave and thorough as Queen, while the bumbling inspector was competently portrayed by Florenz Ames. Thesping honors, however, were copped by Hilda Vaughn, as the aunt, who reveled in exhibiting the symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Supporting cast was also good, as was Donald Richardson’s direction. It’s fairly evident that the success of the EQ video version depends upon what original Queen story the adaptors choose for the visual medium. Plugs for Kaiser Frazer cars were relatively innocuous, with most of the pitch conveyed via film. - Gilb.
                                   (Variety, Wednesday October 25, 1950)

Add in Washington D.C.'s "The Evening Star", 10/26/1950"The Mad Tea Party"
"The Case of the Mad Tea Party" (2)

Adapted from the short story collected in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1934)
Director: Alex Siegel
Musical director: Ray Carter

With: Felicia Montealegre   (5)

At a house party a private performance of Alice in Wonderland triggers a series of mad doings.

Variety reported on May 3, 1950 that Norman and Irving Pincus were having a kinescope made that week of the "Adventures of Ellery Queen". The title of the kine show was "The Mad Tea Party".

3* "The Invisible Lover"
"The Case of the Invisible Lover" (2) (7) (9)
Script: Ethel Frank 
Adapted from the short story collected in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1934)
With: Felicia Montealegre  (2) (9)

In a boarding house an artist who was romancing his landlord's daughter gets murdered.

"Mind over Matter"   (6)
 Is a boxing story so possibly alternative title for 4*

Adapted from the short story collected in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1934)

A prizefighter is beaten by a challenger, and found dead in his car, parked next to Ellery's. Ellery's missing coat provides the vital clue.
4* "The Long Count (3) (7)
"The Last Count  (2)
Is a boxing story so possibly had "Mind over Matter" as other title see 3*

Script: Richard Morrison
With: Rex Marshall as announcer   (3)

Apparently this was a boxing story, but no description or cast names are available.
5* "The Three Lame Men (2)  (7)
Script: Richard Morrison
Adapted from the short story collected in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1934)
With: Elliott Sullivan  (2)

At first glance the case of the three cripples who kidnapped a banker an left the girlfriend to suffocate to death. Ellery and his dad look further...

"The Human Weapon  (7)
Script: Alvin Sapinsley 
Director: Walter Hart  (3)
Likely adapted from the Queen radio play with the same name broadcast on April 1 and 3, 1943
With: Joan Wetmore, Richard Purday

Mr. Sykes has been placed in an insane asylum by his wife. He must be released today so that he can kill his wife...and he asks Ellery for help! Abel Sykes escapes from the asylum and does in fact murder his wife...or does he? 

Add from "TV Forecast" 1950Too often in those TV crime dramas these days, the producers are content to allow a name star to carry much too much of the acting burden. The supporting people are invariably strictly from the bottom of the files. With the scripts what they are, it doesn't add up to much. An exception last Thursday night (23),however, was "Ellery Queen" (DuMont), in which Richard Hart and Florenz Ames are the weekly regulars. Outstanding among the support were such performers as Joan Wetmore and Richard Purdy, especially the latter in a part that easily could have become a scenery-chewer. Purdy played a madman who escaped from an asylum and was on the loose to murder. The script was not all it might have been, nor for that matter did it call for Hart, as the titular detective character, to give forth the vitality that one associates with Ellery Queen; but it generally added up to interesting crime dramatics because of the casting. Norman and Irving Pincus are the producers, with Worthington Miner as production supervisor.
                             (Variety, Wednesday November 29, 1950) 

7* "The Crooked Man"   (2) (7)
Script: Ethel Frank   (7)
Likely adapted from the Queen radio play with the same name broadcast on 03-12-47
With: Joseph Buloff
  (2),  Elliott Sullivan (Velie) (6)

A private eye is blackmailing culprits of crimes, many of them have committed suicide. Ellery sets a trap by framing himself for Nikki's  murder.
8* "The Blind Bullet"   (2)
"The adventure of the blind bullet"  (7)
Script: Blanche Gaines and Henry Misrock   (7)
Likely adapted from the Queen radio play with the same name broadcast on 06-30-40

A ruthless tycoon feels threatened as he received a precise minute and day of his death. The magnate turns to Ellery to protect him from this anonymous enemy
9* "Two Pieces of Silver"      (2)  (7)
Script: Ethel Frank  (7)
With: Hope Miller (2) , Roger DeKoven  (2)
10* "The Hanging Acrobat"   (2) (3) (7) (9)
"Carnival Acrobat" (?)
"Carnival Killer" (?)
"Murder at the Carnival" (?)

12/21/50   (3) (7)
Repeated on 10/12/51 (9)
Donald Richardson (director), Gilbert Braun (7) (adaptation),  Eugene Burr (script editor), Trew Hocker (settings), Ray Carter (music), Rex Marshall (announcer: uncredited).
With: Sono Osato  (9) (10) (Louise), Kurt Katch  (10) (Hugo), Frank Tweddell (Sheriff), Ray Bramley (
Colonel Day), Don Kennedy (Tex), Maurice Manson (10), Richard Robbins (10)

Amy Muller, a carnival acrobat with too many boyfriends, is found strangled to death. The prime suspect is "Tex," but Ellery Queen soon discovers who really did it.
("The Hanging Acrobat" - YouTube ComicWeb)
11* "The Star of India"   (2) (7)
Script: Ethel Frank  (7)
With: George Reeves (2) (4),  Margaret Hayes Swope (2) (4)
Later adapted for an episode of (TPA) the Adventures of Ellery Queen   "The Star of Kashmir" broadcast on 04/29/56

Ellery tries to solve the theft of a valuable jewel and a connected murder.

The Adventures of Ellery Queen
required 25 hours of going through lines and setting scenes.
After only four months, less than a third of the way through the season, in January of 1951, Hart died of a heart attack during a rehearsal (January 2, 1951) and was replaced on 24 hours notice by Lee Bowman, older, suaver, and slimmer. Lee recalled "Hart died on a Tuesday and I did the show on Thursday. I had no idea of getting into a live series, but they offered it to me, and I stayed."

OPENING Announcer: "Your local Kaiser-Frazer dealers, the men who bring you outstanding cars—the beautiful Kaiser and the thrifty new Henry J., present The Adventures of Ellery Queen starring Lee Bowman as that gentleman detective and writer, Ellery Queen. A Norman and Irving Pincus production."

detail of a Henry J. add with Lee Bowman





Starring Lee Bowman

12* "The Survivors' Club"
"The Last Survivor's Club" (sic)   (2)
"The adventure of the survivors' club"
   (3) (7)  
Script: Ethel Frank
With: Jean Carson
13* "Prescription for Treason"  (2)  (7)
Script: Robert Tallman 
14* "The House of Terror"  (2)  (7)
Script: Nancy Moore   (7)
With: Monica Boyar
(2), Rex Marshall as announcer (3)

"The Hollywood Murder Story"  (2) (5)
"Murder in Hollywood"  (1) (3) (7)
With: Judith Evelyn (Alice Blythe), Dennis Hoey (Ronny Sinclair), Ronald Telfer (Coil Wagner),  Neil Harrison (Mrs.Jordan), Peter Chan (Mox)
adaptation: Ethel Frank (7), script editor: Eugene Burr, music: Ray Carter

Ellery goes to Hollywood to write a script for a  picture. "I had no idea  how to write a picture but the salary was excellent" Suffering from writers block he finds it easiest to solve a 20-year-old crime. An actor  was shot in his Malibu beach house. His wife actrice Alice Blythe and his mother-in-law and co-actor Ronny Sinclair are the suspects...

Survives on Kinescope (1) 

Kaiser-Frazer Dealers' "Adventures of Ellery Queen" via the DuMont net Thursday (25) had a fine cast which came up with equally fine performances.
But unfortunately the players' work in "Hollywood Murder Story" failed to off-set a clichéd script that was replete with telegraphed situations.  Adapted from one of the Queen originals by Ethel Frank, "Hollywood Murder" erred in letting the audience know the identity of the murderer midway in the script. Drama, from then on, gained its suspense from attempts of Queen himself, to find the culprit.
It's far more interesting to keep the viewer or reader guessing as to "whodunit" rather than have 'em speculate as to how the law will catch up to the villain.
Dialog was also sprinkled with such gems as "enough poison to kill a regiment..." etc.
Lee Bowman, who replaced the late Richard Hart as Queen several weeks ago, was suave and resourceful in the gumshoe role. Judith Evelyn was diabolically cunning as the killer, while Dennis Hoey turned in a masterful portrayal of a character actor whom Miss Evelyn blackmailed. Don Richardson's direction was good in this Norman and Irving Pincus production.
                             (Variety, Wednesday, January 31. 1951)

  Peter Chan (R) holding Lee Bowman in a head lock while Judith Evelyn (L) looks on. 
Above: Peter Chan (R) holding Lee Bowman in a head lock while Judith Evelyn (L) looks on.
16* "The Man who Killed Cops"   (2)
"The adventure of the man who killed cops"

Script: Henry Misrock
With:  Harry Bellaver, Jean Carson,  Matt Briggs, (...)

In New York's Lower East Side a Cop is killed and a man is beaten-up. A man called Joe Huckleberry is selling protection to storekeepers. One coffee shop is a frontend for a card room in the back. A lot of gambling is going on. When Louie takes Joe "to the cleaners" he gets murdered.

Lee Bowman and Jean Carson in "The Man Who Killed Cops" (1951)"The Man who killed Cops" - Jan 2021 shortly available on YouTube
Above left: Lee Bowman and Jean Carson in "The Man Who Killed Cops"
Above right: Screen capture from "The Man who killed Cops" - Jan 2021 (shortly) available on YouTube.
17* "The Hanging Patient"     (2)  (7)
Script: Ethel Frank  

Lee Bowman was ill most of the rehearsal week, and almost missed the performance of the title role in “Ellery Queen” last week on DuMont. Up to performance night there was uncertainty as to whether Bowman could appear, though he had studied and knew the role before he became ill. Norman and Irving Pincus, who produce the show, had considered the possibility of his not being able to show, and hired John Newland to learn the role and rehearse in it, just in case.
(Variety, Wednesday, February 14, 1951)

18* "The Jewel-Handled Knife"  (6)
"Jewel-Handled Knife" (2)
"The Adventure of the jewel-handled knife"   (7)
Script: Henry Misrock  (7)
With: Felicia Montealegre (2), Ted Hecht (2), Kurt Katch
(2), Morton L. Stevens (5)
19* "The Falling Corpse" (2)
"The case of the falling corpse"

Script: Ben Radin

With: Ruth Ford
(2), Felicia Montealegre (see below)

The ending of the Ellery Queen telecast of last week was faltered from a death-leap to arrest by police, because Felicia Montealegre's "death-leap" onto a pile of mattresses, during the rehearsal, knocked her unconscious. (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky - Feb 25. 1951)

"The Strange Voyage"  (2)
"The adventure of the strange voyage" (7)
Script: Henry Misrock (7)
With: Jean Carter  (Carole Brighton), Jean Carson (2)

Story is about the search for some missing jewels, and a murder that takes place on a ship.

Lee Bowman with Jean Carter (as Carole Brighton) in "The Adventure of the Strange Voyage". Jean Carter became one of the future Andy Griffith Fun Girls.

  Above right: Lee Bowman with Jean Carson/Carter (as Carole Brighton) in "The Adventure of the Strange Voyage". Jean Carter became one of the future "Andy Griffith Fun Girls".
21 "The Madcap Robbery" (1)  (7)
 Script: Robert Tallman

"The Chapeau Murder Mystery" (2)
With: Ferdi Hoffman   (2)
22 "The Manhunt"   (2)
 "The adventure of the manhunt" (7)

 Script: Bob Patterson  (7) 
 With: Joan Wetmore  (2)
23 "Murder in the Museum"    (2) (9)
 "Murder at the museum" (3)  (7)
 Script: Russell Beggs  
 With: Ruth Matteson
24*  "The Man who Enjoyed Death"   (2) (9)
The adventure of the man who enjoyed death" (7)
Script: Henry Misrock  (7)
Director: Donald Richardson

With: Rex Marshall (Announcer) and John Newland (Boone) (2) (9)

Charles Boone, district attorney, who's career ended when EQ proved that the accused couldn't have committed the crime, returns six months later  to take his revenge.
("The Man Who Enjoyed Death" - YouTube ComicWeb Classic TV.) 
25*  "The Frightened Lady"  (2) (6) (9)
"The case of the frightened lady"  (7)  (9)
Script: Ben Radin   (7)
With: Jerome Cowan
26*  "The Baseball Murder Story" (2)
The Baseball Murder Case" (1) (3) (7)
 Script: Ben Radin  (7)

4/19/51 "Murder for 12c" (7) by Norman Lessing (7) "Murder for Twelve Cents" (2) 
apparently this pre-empted episode was rescheduled to the following week (2)

27*  "Murder for Twelve Cents" (2)
"Murder for 12c" (7)
 4/26/51  (2)
 Script: Norman Lessing

"The Key to Murder"
4/26/51  (7)
Script: Henry Misrock    (7)
With: Donald Briggs, Don Ameche, Constance Dowling

"The Locked Door" (6)

Ellery matches wits with an old style detective.
28*  "The Key to Murder"  (9) (10)
Script: Henry Misrock   (7)
Donald Briggs (10), Don Ameche, Constance Dowling (9) (10), Viola Roache (10) and Byron Russell (10)

"The Locked Door"

Ellery matches wits with an old style detective.
29*  "Death Spins the Wheel" (2) (9)
"Death takes a Spin" (11)
Death Spins a Wheel
" (6) (7)
Adaptation: Ethel Frank (7), script editor: Eugene Burr, music Ray Carter
With: Robert Harris (Phil Artel), Evelyn Ward (Janine Carr), James Vender (Leo) Howard Erskine (Bob Dawson), Lew (Lou) Herbert (Longio), John Armstrong (Scott)

Last Summer a piano player in a gambling joint called "the Springs"
 was about to be killed. Bob supposedly committed suicide and was found clutching a counterfeit bill  in his hand. His fiancé doesn't seem to think Bob killed himself. Ellery goes undercover as  Eddie Quinto, piano player...
("Death Spins The Wheel" - YouTube ComicWeb.) 
30*  "The Frame-up" (2) (6) (10)
Script: Norman Lessing
With (10): Bernard Lenrow, John Boruff and Jean Barnes

Mr. Queen is unjustly involved in an investigation and Ellery attempts to clear him.

"Dissolve to Death" (1) (7)
Script: Henry Misrock
31*  "The Frame-up" (7)
Script: Norman Lessing

Mr. Queen is unjustly involved in an investigation and Ellery attempts to clear him.

"Murder in Close-up" (6)

A famous ex-movie actor dies during a TV show. Ellery investigates and finds murder.

"Dissolve To Death" (2) (10)
Script: Henry Misrock 
With (10): Rene Paul, Mary Alice Moore, Lewis Charles, Harriet MacGibbon and Brandon Peters
32*  "The Happiness Club"  (2)  (7) (10)
Script: Henry Misrock based on a story by Evelyn Goodman (7)
(10): Mary Beth Hughes, Lea Penman and Bruce Gordon
33*  "The Chinese Mummer Mystery" (2) (7) (9) (10)
Script: Norman Lessing (7)
With: Anne Marno and
(10) : James Lamphier, Sono Osato, Boris Marshalov and Ted Hecht

Ellery must find out if it is murder when an actor is found hanged in a Chinese theater.  (6)
34*  "Murder in the Zoo"   (2) (7) (10)
"The Burglar in the Zoo" (9)
Script: Ethel Frank  (7)
With  (10): Joan Wetmore  (2) , Kurt Katch  (2), Arthur Kohl and Maurice Burke.
35*  "Death in a Capsule" (2) (6) (7) (9)
Script: Henry Misrock  (7)
With: Jimmy Mooney (?)

Ellery sets out to uncover a narcotics dealing ring. 
36*  "The Upright Man"  (6)
"The Case of the Upright Man"   (2) (7)
Script: Betty Loring   (7)
With: John Carradine

Ellery goes to a séance and finds a new type of murder committed.
37*  "The Frightened Child"    (2)
"Frightened Child
"The Case of the Frightened Child" (11)
"The Adventure of the Frightened Child" (7)
7/05/51 (11)
Script: Henry Misrock  (7)

Murder stalks the ballet world. (6)
38*  "The Ballet Murder"   (2) (9)
"The adventure of the ballet murder" (7)
Script: Helene Hanff based on story by Irving Pincus and Eugene Burr  (7)
With: Dancers Bill Callahan & Tamara Geva  (9), Robert H. Harris.

Second Season...

Click if you think you can help out...!


1) The Live Television of Ellery Queen  by Francis M. Nevins Jr in
The Armchair Detective volume 17, 1984

(2) Brooklyn NY Daily Television and Radio Programs Newspaper, 1951
(3) IMDb
(4) Wikipedia
(5) Variety
(6) Chicago TV Forecast
(7) Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series. Periodicals January-June
     1951 (confirming titles and dates)
(8) UCLA Library
(9) The Evening Star, Washington D.C.
(10) Ross Reports on Television Programming
(11) TV Guide
(12) TV Digest

Last updated October 31. 2022

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