The Continental was a 1952 CBS television series starring Renzo Cesana in the title role. The 15-minute program was shown on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:15pm, at the end of the night’s prime time schedule.
The series used a subjective camera, as Cesana spoke directly to women in the viewing audience in a suave manner, with each episode a different romantic rendezvous, accompanied by lounge music played on an electric organ. Occasionally, he would recite the lyrics to a song.
In an era when advertisers and advertising agencies played major roles in program creation and sponsorship, the show began as a syndicated 15-minute radio show created, written and produced by agency owner Cesana on Los Angeles station KHJ in February 1951. It directly followed The Lonesome Gal, a nationally syndicated radio show in which host Jean King played records and spoke in a soothing monologue to male listeners. The Continental failed to attract an audience and was soon cancelled. Cesana convinced television station KNBH to air a video version, which went on the air twice weekly beginning in June 1951. The show was picked up briefly by the CBS network, where it debuted on January 22, 1952, and pitched its last woo on April 17, 1952.