CBS Playhouse is an American anthology drama series that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1970. Airing twelve plays over the course of its run, the series was nominated for a number of awards and featured many noteworthy actors and playwrights.
The specter of rural American poverty forms the backdrop for the third-season premiere of CBS Playhouse. The play is set in the Appalachian town of Harper's Gap, West Virginia. The mines are closed; the community is on welfare. But not Rome Harper and his family. Rome steals coal from the closed, dangerous mines rather than take charity. Into this dying town comes Joe Borden, a VISTA worker who sees hope in Rome's son Hugh, a potter. From Hugh's talent, Joe envisions a way to bring industry back to Harper's Gap.
An engrossing drama by TV veteran George Bellak pictures the coming of age of Alex Miller, a man perilously close to 30, and the kind of square respectability he's always shunned. Because an underground-art scheme fizzled, Alex is in debt to a loan shark to the tune of 4000 dollars. To pay it off, he is forced to enter the 9 to 5 world, taking a job at the Ajax Toy Company. Alex means to quit when the debt is paid, but finds he can't; his particular genius is well suited to the toy game, a fact that the firm's owner is quick to acknowledge with handsome rewards. Then, too, there's Carol Brandt, a unique creature totally unlike the girls Alex usually gets involved with.
Robert Crean's perceptive script focuses on Annamae Whiteley, a brash and fortyish department-store executive from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The unmarried lady is flying East to her niece's prep school graduation and a reunion with her family. On the plane, she meets Jesse Rothenberg, a divorced gentleman she finds vastly attractive. Jesse is also going to the graduation, but any developments in their relationship must be deferred: Annamae faces family problems that only she can cope with.