What It Looked Like Wednesday: Locally produced dramatic television

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Television wasn’t even 3 years old in Buffalo when this photo was snapped inside WBEN-TV’s “Studio D” on the 18th floor of the Hotel Statler in 1951.

Buffalo News archives

Buffalo News archives

Channel 4 was still Buffalo’s only television station, and its offerings of live, locally produced dramas were among the most popular shows that The News-owned station broadcast.

This one in particular, “The Clue,” is perhaps the best remembered. It was written and directed by Buffalo theater icon Fred A. Keller, and it starred Evening News Radio-TV columnist Jim Trantor as Private Eye Steve Malice. He can be seen in the scene wearing a hat.

wben04April101

It wasn’t long before local dramas were pushed off local stations around the country as networks began creating more high quality content for those stations to use.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.