American television was all set to launch in the late 1930s, but its progress was interrupted by the start of World War II. Finally, by the end of the 1940s, NBC and CBS began broadcasting to their east coast affiliates. They offered viewers a wide variety of programs: situation comedies, vaudeville-style revues, and most impressively, live original dramas. Within a few years, these anthology programs, like Kraft Television Theatre and Ford Television Theatre launched the careers of soon-to-be famous directors like Arthur Penn and John Frankenheimer, actors like Paul Newman and James Dean, and playwrights like Paddy Chayevsky and Rod Serling. But by the end of the 1950s, the era of live TV “theater” was over.