The show began in 1956 broadcasting all live 90-minute plays, with only a sub-par kinescope film (film camera aimed at the live broadcast on the TV monitor) as an archive. The second year they began to film maybe every second or third episode (as a "made-for-TV-movie"), then in the last two years began videotaping many of the episodes. The tape technique was harder to spot because the broadcasts still appeared live, but there are at least partial tapes (of excellent, pristine, quality) in the CBS vaults of P90 episodes of "Days of Wine and Roses (1958)," "The Old Man (1958)," "Judgment At Nuremberg (1959)," "Alas, Babylon (1960)," and the final 'Playhouse 90' from 1960, "In The Prescence of Mine Enemies." Clips of these actual tapes were featured in the 2002 CBS special "50 Years of Television City in Hollywood.".
The color broadcast of "The Nutcracker" was Playhouse 90's only color telecast ever, and CBS's only live color broadcast of 1958.