Watching “Have Gun, Will Travel” on H&I this afternoon it hit me that it is a 30 min drama (though there was a two parter). I’m thinking these are pretty rare. The other one I thought of is the animated Star Trek.
Speaking of Star Trek, the actress playing the princess Paladin had to bring back to San Francisco also played T’Pring (Arlene Sax/Martel)
Any others half hour dramas? Anything contemporary?
In Treatment was fairly recent, and did fine in the “drama” category of the Emmys and the Golden Globes – and since the Globes classified “The Martian” as a comedy (indeed, as the best of comedies), seems it’d have to be pretty dramatic.
United States was a half hour drama that ran on NBC; 7 of 13 shows aired before it was cancelled.
I though it was a bold idea but it was far too maudlin and introspective for audiences at the time (or even today, really; it was interesting but also boring at times and a downer nearly all the time).
Note that although The Twilight Zone certainly qualifies as a half-hour drama it was also an anthology (no recurring characters) as was Alfred Hitchcock. Also note that Twilight Zone’s clones, Outer Limits and One Step Beyond, were both hour-long (as was TZ for one season) and also anthologies.
Nurse Jackie and the other shows in that article are more dark ‘dramadies’ rather than straight dramas, and they’re all on premium cable (no commercial breaks). Demonstrates how in the past half-hour dramas had to be ‘self-contained’, and how today they still don’t seem to work on network TV.
Night Gallery ran for an hour per episode (50 minutes without commercials):
Twilight Zone ran for a half hour for every season except the fourth, where the episodes ran an hour. (Consequently, they didn’t get seen very often in syndication, which alotted a half hour for the show).
Soap operas like General Hospital originally ran for a half hour. I think that back in the 1950s some of them ran for a mere fifteen minutes. The Guiding Light was 15 minutes long until 1968!
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, of League of Gentlemen and Psychoville fame, have been doing Inside No. 9 for the BBC in recent years. Each episode is a standalone half-hour story, each with - themselves apart - a fresh cast. Invariably a macabre black comedy.
Inevitably somewhat variable. But the essentially silent A Quiet Night In was an instant classic.