1865 May 17, The International Telegraph Union, later the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was set up in Paris to standardize and regulate international radio communications.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Telecommunication_Union)(Econ, 9/26/09, SR
1873 Aug 26, Lee De Forest (d.1961), inventor of the audion vacuum tube, was born in Council bluffs, Iowa. He is considered the father of radio.
1888 Aug 13, John Logie Baird, inventor (father of TV), was born in Scotland.
1894 Sep, Guglielmo Marconi, Italian engineer, built his first radio equipment. By the end of this month he could flit a switch and make a bell ring at the other end of his attic workspace. Originally, radio or radiotelegraphy was called 'wireless telegraphy', which was shortened to 'wireless'. The prefix radio-
in the sense of wireless transmission was first recorded in the word radioconductor, coined by the French physicist Edouard Branly in 1897.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)(ON, 11/99, p.9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio)
Jul 26, Gracie Allen, vaudeville, screen, radio and television personality, wife and foil of George Burns, was born.
1897 Sep 5, Arthur C. Nielson, founder of the
Nielson Ratings, was born.
1905 The De Forest Wireless and Telegraph Company established its KPH Radio station in San Francisco and began broadcasting from the Palace Hotel. It was
destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. In 1912 Marconi bought the station and chose Bolinas for its transmitter.
(SFC, 7/13/05, p.B2)
1906 Aug 19, Philo T. Farnsworth (d.1971), inventor (electronic TV), was
born in Beaver County, Utah.
1906 Dec 2, Peter Carl Goldmark, engineer, was born. He developed the first commercial color television and
the long-playing phonograph record.
1907 Jan 22, The Richard Strauss opera "Salome" made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC; its racy content (including the Dance of the
Seven Veils) sparked outrage.
1908 Mar 13, Walter Annenberg, publisher (Triangle-TV Guide), Ambassador to GB, was born in Milwaukee.
1908 Mar 20, Frank Stanton, broadcasting pioneer and the president of CBS for 26 years, was born in Muskegon, Mich.
1909 US Congress passed a royalties law that required radio broadcasters to pay composers but not performers.
(Econ, 6/16/12, p.74)
1909 In San Jose, Ca., Charles David Herrold (d.1948 at 72), owner of Herrold’s College of Wireless and Engineering, broadcast his first voice transmissions. By 1912 San Jose Calling began regularly broadcasts of music and entertainment. The station later became KQW and then KCBS.
1912 May 11, Phil Silvers, comedian and actor, was born. He stared on TV’s "Sergeant Bilko."
1913 Jan 24, Mark Goodson, TV game-show producer (Goodson-Toddman), was born.
1913 Jun 13, Ralph
Edwards (d.2005), radio and TV host (This is Your Life), was born in Merino, Colo.
(www.imdb.com)(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1914 Two-way radio contact was accomplished between pilot and ground
(NPub, 2002, p.9)
1916 Aug 13, Daniel Schorr, radio and television correspondent, was born.
1918 Jan 24, Oral Roberts, Televangelist, founder Oral Roberts University, was born.
1918 Jan 29, John Forsythe (d.2010), actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty), was born in NJ.
(SFC, 4/3/10, p.C2)
May 29, Herb Shriner, humorist, TV host (Herb Shriner Show), was born.
1918 Jul 2, Robert Sarnoff was born. He later became president of the National Broadcasting
Company (NBC) and converted the network to the first all-color television station.
1919 Jan 14, Andy Rooney, American humorist, author and television personality, was born. He appeared on
the TV program "60 Minutes."
1919 Aug 13, Rex Humbard, televangelist, was born.
1919 Oct 17, The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was chartered.
1920 Aug 20, Pioneering American radio station 8MK in Detroit (later WWJ) began daily broadcasting.
1920 Nov 2, The first radio broadcast of
presidential elections in the United States were made by radio. Westinghouse had built radio station KDKA on its factory roof in Pittsburgh and was among the first to broadcast returns from the Harding-Cox presidential election. 8MK, the first US station owned by a newspaper (the Detroit News), also broadcast the election returns.
(www.oldradio.com/current/the1st.htm)(WSJ, 1/12/98, p.A19)(HN, 11/2/98)(AP, 11/2/99)
1921 Jul 2, J. Andrew White announced the Dempsey-Carpentier fight in Jersey City and was thereby credited with being the first professional radio announcer. Dempsey defeated Georges
Carpentier of France in the 1st million dollar gate ($1.7m) boxing match.
(SFC, 7/20/96, p.E4)(SFC, 10/14/99, p.C5)(SC, 7/2/02)
1921 Sep 19, WBZ in
Springfield, Mass., made its first radio broadcast. It operated under one of the first three "commercial licenses" for broadcasting in the new 360 meter frequency.
1922 Jan 17, Betty White, actress (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls), was born.
1922 Jan 30, Dick
Martin, actor, comedian (Laugh-In), was born in Detroit, Mich.
1922 Feb 27, Commerce Sec. Herbert Hoover convened the 1st National Radio
1922 Jul 27, Norman Lear, TV writer, producer (All in The Family), was born.
1923 Feb 5, Stephen J. Cannell, TV producer, writer (Rockford Files), was born.
1924 Aug 2, Carroll O'Connor (d.2001), actor (All in the Family, Heat of the Night), was born in NYC. His youngest brother Robert was born Aug 1, 1935.
(www.bookrags.com/biography-carroll-oconnor/)(e-mail from Robert)
1924 Jun 24, The US political conventions were first broadcast nationally by radio. The democrats settled on John W. Davis after 103 ballots. He was then defeated soundly by Calvin Coolidge.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A12)(WSJ, 8/9/96,
1925 Aug 12, KMA-AM in Shenandoah, IA, began radio transmissions.
1925 Nov 28, The "WSM Barn Dance", later known as "The Grand Ole Opry" (1927), Nashville’s famed home of country music, made its radio debut on station WSM. The call letters came from the slogan "We Shield Millions" of sponsor National Life and Accident Insurance Co. Edwin Craig, a wireless buff with a stake in the insurance company, had recently sold the
radio idea to the insurance board. In 1999 Charles K. Wolfe published "A Good Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry." In 2007 Craig Havighurst authored “Air Castle of the South.”
(SFC, 7/20/96, p.E4)(AP, 11/28/97)(WSJ, 7/23/99, p.W7)(WSJ, 10/17/07, p.D9)
1926 Jan 17, George Burns married Gracie Allen.
1926 Sep 9, The National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) was
incorporated by the Radio Corporation of America, which had originated as Marconi Wireless.
(AP, 9/9/08)(SFC, 8/2/99, p.B3)
1927 Jan 14, Mary Livingstone (born as Sadye Marks) married Jack Benny. She
appeared as Mary Livingstone on The Jack Benny Program (also called The Jack Benny Show ) through its various sponsors on radio and then to television--until 1965. Jack Benny, who cultivated a fake personality of a miserly wiseacre, was always willing to be the brunt of jokes and Mary supplied many of them. In fact, Benny credited his wife with the biggest laugh of the long-running comedy--bigger
than the famous "Your money or your life" routine--not with a joke, but with three simple words: "Oh, shut up." They were married until his death in 1974. She wrote a memoir about him in 1978.
1927 Apr 7, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was on hand for the first inter-city (DC to Manhattan) transmission by telephone of video imagery. Hoover’s image and voice were transmitted across telephone lines.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1927_in_television)(AH, 4/07, p.14)
1927 Sep 7, American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth (21) succeeded in transmitting an image through purely electronic means by using a device called an image dissector. When Philo T. Farnsworth
was 13, he envisioned a contraption that would receive an image transmitted from a remote location—the television. Farnsworth submitted a patent in January 1927, when he was 19, and began building and testing his invention that summer. He used an "image dissector" (the first television camera tube) to convert the image into a current, and an "image oscillite" (picture tube) to receive it. On this
day his tests bore fruit. When the simple image of a straight line was placed between the image dissector and a carbon arc lamp, it showed up clearly on the receiver in another room. His first tele-electronic image was transmitted on a glass slide in his SF lab at 202 Green St. The New York World’s Fair showcased the television in April 1939, and soon afterward, the first televisions went on sale
to the public.
(AP, 9/7/97)(HNPD, 9/7/98)(SFEC, 8/18/96, BR p.3)
1928 Feb 3, Mr. Fred Rogers, kid host (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood), was born in Latrobe, Pa. [see Mar
1928 Feb 8, 1st transatlantic TV image was received at Hartsdale, NY.
1928 Feb 8, Scottish inventor J. Blaird demonstrated color TV.
1928 Feb 25, Bell Labs introduced
a new device to end the fluttering of the television image.
1928 Mar 19, "Amos & Andy" debuted on radio with the NBC Blue Network, WMAQ
1928 Mar 20, Fred Rogers, television performer (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood), was born. [see Feb 3]
1928 Hugo Gernsbach began a magazine called "All About Television." The cover featured a family gathered around a TV set watching football.
(SFEC, 9/3/00, Z1
1929 Jun 27, Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures.
1929 Oct 24, Rudy Vallee's Fleischmann Hour began broadcasting on NBC radio.
30, Joan Ganz Cooney, television executive, was born in Phoenix, Az. She founded the Children's Television Workshop and was the mastermind behind "Sesame Street."
Mar 16 For the first time, a live opera performance was transmitted via shortwave from Dresden Germany and received by NBC in New York, which broadcasted the event for American listeners. Unfortunately, reception was poor and Americans only heard about 20 minutes of the opera, "Fidelio."
(NY Times, 3/17/1930,
1930-1940 Shirley Bell Cole (1920-2010) served as the primary voice of radio character Little Orphan Annie.
(SFC, 2/4/10, p.C6)
1931 Feb 12, Japan’s first television broadcast was a baseball game.
1931 Apr 6, 1st broadcast of
"Little Orphan Annie" on NBC-radio.
1932 Feb 15, George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on "Guy Lombardo Show."
1932 May 2, Jack Benny's first radio show made its debut on the NBC Blue Network.
1932 Aug 14, Philips made its 1 millionth radio.
1932 Aug 22, BBS began experimental regular TV
1932 The Buck Rogers radio show followed the 1929 cartoon strip and was broadcast to 1947. Dick Calkins, co-author of Buck Rogers, died at 67. In 1988 Lorraine Dille Williams
authored "Buck Rogers: The First 60 Years in the 25th Century."
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.D8)(SFC, 4/13/05, p.G4)
1932 Bob Hope made his radio debut on the "Capitol Family
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.D5)
1932 The national radio show "One Man’s Family" premiered. It was about a fictional San Francisco family.
(SFEC, 3/30/97, BR.
1933 Jan 30, The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit. The show was created by George Washington Trendle and Fran Striker. The show ran for 21 years on ABC radio.
(AP, 1/30/98)(SFC, 12/29/99, p.A11)(MC, 1/30/02)
1933 Apr 17, Johnny Roventini (d.1998 at 86), a Brooklyn-born bellhop, first went on radio during "The Ferde Grofe Show" to promote Philip Morris
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.D5)
1933 Jul 10, 1st police radio system began operations at Eastchester Township, NY.
1934 Jan 22, Bill Bixby, actor (Incredible Hulk, My Favorite Martian), was born in SF, Calif.
1934 Aug 24, In Philadelphia, Pa., Philo T. Farnsworth (28), a San Francisco scientist, produced a televised picture of the moon, the first recorded use of television in astronomy.
1935 Mar, The German Reichpost (Post Office) began the "first television broadcasting service in the world". However, the quality was poor and receivers were almost non-existent."
1935 Apr 16, The radio comedy program "Fibber McGee and Molly" premiered on the NBC Blue Network.
1935 Apr 20, "Your Hit Parade" debuted on NBC radio. It was called the "Lucky Strike Hit Parade" by the newspapers. The show was re-named "Your Hit Parade" on November 9. The first number one song chosen for the first show was "Soon" by Bing Crosby.
(Bruce C. Byrd, Your Hit Parade & American Top Ten Hits, 4th edition, 1994, p.15)
1935 Jul 20, The 1st broadcast of "Gang Busters" played on NBC-radio.
1935 Bob Hope hosted his first NBC radio broadcast for Bromo Seltzer.
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.D5)
1936 Jul 29, RCA showed the 1st real TV program (dancing, film on locomotives, Bonwit Teller fashion show and monologue from Tobacco Road and comedy). [see Nov 6]
Nov 2, The first high-definition public television transmissions began from Alexandra Palace in north London by the BBC.
(HN, 11/2/98)(MC, 11/2/01)
1936 Nov 6, RCA displayed TV for
1936 Dec 1, Bell Labs tested coaxial cable for TV use.
1936 Dec 17, Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, hit overnight success on the Rudy Vallee radio show.
1936 The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) was founded.
(Econ, 6/8/13, p.42)
1937 Jan 25, The US radio program "The Guiding Light," made its debut. In 1952 it became a television soap opera on CBS.
1937 Jun 21, Wimbledon was televised for the first time.
1938 Feb 17, The first Baird color TV
was demonstrated at the Dominion Theatre in London. [see Dec 20]
(HN, 2/17/01)(MC, 2/17/02)
1938 Mar 26, NBC radio performance of Howard Hanson's 3rd Symphony.
1938 Jun 7, The 1st play telecast with original Broadway cast: "Susan & God."
1938 Dec 20, First electronic television system was patented. [see Dec 30]
1938 Dec 30, An electronic television system was patented by V.K. Zworykin. [see Dec 20]
1939 Apr 30, The New York World’s Fair, billed as a look at
"the world of tomorrow," officially opened. NY Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia mandated that the city's nude dancers cover up during the fair. The cover-up evolved into the G-string and later the thong. The General Motors exhibit was titled Futurama. Philo T. Farnsworth premiered his television at the fair. AT&T presented its first Picture Phone at the World's Fair. Salvador Dali created a pavilion
that was called “Dream of Venus” and described as the “funny house of tomorrow.” In 2000 Miles Beller authored "Dream of Venus (Or Living Pictures): A Novel of the 1939 New York world’s Fair." National Presto Industries introduced the home pressure cooker at the fair.
(AP, 4/30/97)(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A8)(SFEC, 4/16/00, BR p.7)(NYTBR,
2/2/03, p.20) (www.imdb.com/title/tt0149460/trivia)(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
1939 May 13, Harvey Keitel, actor (Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs), was born.
1939 Aug 26, The first televised major league baseball games were shown on experimental station W2XBS, a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The Reds won first, 5-2; the Dodgers, second, 6-1.
1939 Sep 30, The first college football game to be televised was shown on experimental station W2XBS in New York as Fordham University defeated Waynesburg College, 34-7 in Triboro
Stadium on Randalls Island.
(AP, 9/30/98)(SFEC, 6/13/99, p.C18)
1939 Penny Singleton (1908-2003), film actress born as Dorothy McNulty, was the voice of Blondie on radio until 1950. Pamela Briton
played the role when Blondie began on TV in 1957.
(SFC, 11/15/03, p.A23)
1939 San Francisco FM radio station KALW began broadcasting at the World Fair on Treasure Island. In 1941 it was donated to the SF Unified school district to train students in
(SFC, 1/15/11, p.C1)
1939 Philo T. Farnsworth sold his television patents to RCA Victor for $1 million.
1940 Feb 12, The radio play "The Adventures of Superman" debuted on the Mutual network with Bud Collyer as the Man of Steel.
1940 Feb 25, A hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS, as the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-2, at Madison Square Garden.
1940 Feb 28, The first televised college basketball games were broadcast, by New York City station W2XBS, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden.
1940 Mar 2, The first televised intercollegiate track meet was seen by TV viewers in New York City as W2XBS presented the action live from Madison Square Garden. New York University won the meet.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1940 Mar 23, 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS.
1940 Apr 16, The 1st televised baseball game on WGN-TV featured the White Sox vs. Cubs in exhibition.
1940 Apr 21, The quiz show that asked the "$64 question," "Take It or Leave It," premiered on CBS Radio.
Sep 3, The 1st showing of high definition color TV.
1941 Mar 1, W47NV, the 1st US FM radio station to broadcast with a commercial license, went on the air, Nashville TN.
1941 Mar 16, Chuck Woolery, TV game show host, was born in Kentucky. He hosted Love Connection from 1983 to
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Woolery)(SSFC, 7/6/08, p.B6)
1941 Apr 1, The first contract for advertising on a commercial
FM radio station began on W71NY in New York City.
1941 May 6, Bob Hope (b. May 29, 1903) began broadcasting his first USO radio show from March Field at Riverside, Ca. The United Service
Organizations (USO) began operations this year and provided free coffee, donuts, and entertainment to US military forces. The organization is supported entirely by private citizens and corporations.
(SFC, 5/28/97, p.D5)(HN, 5/6/98)(SFEC, 9/8/96, Par p.8)
1941 Jul 1, Commercial black and white television broadcasting began in the US under approval by the FCC. NBC’s New York station was the 1st to transition from radio to TV. “Truth or Consequences” with host Ralph Edwards became the 1st commercial TV show for NBC. WW II disrupted TV’s progress. “Truth or
Consequences” prospered on radio and returned to TV in 1950.
(http://www.tvhistory.tv/History%20of%20TV.htm)(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1941 Aug 13, A prototype of the GEE or AMES Type 7000
British radio navigation system was lost on a raid over Hanover, Germany. GEE was devised by Robert Dippy and developed at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) at Swanage. Dippy later went to the United States where he worked on the development of the LORAN system. Loran, long-range navigation, later fell out of favor with the development of satellite-based navigation
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEE_%28navigation%29)(Econ, 3/12/11, TQ p.21)
1941 Aug 29, Robin Leach, host for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, was
1941 Aug 31, The radio program "The Great Gildersleeve," a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly, made its debut on NBC.
(AP, 8/31/97)(MC, 8/31/01)
1941 The Federal Communications Commission adopted a US television standard of 525 lines per picture.
1941 Voice of America (VOA) was created shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 2003 Alan L. Heil, Jr. authored "Voice of America: A History."
1942 Francis Chase Jr. authored “Sound and Fury,” an informal history of radio broadcasting.
(WSJ, 11/1/08, p.W12)
1943 Feb 6, Crooner Frank Sinatra debuted on radio's "Your Hit Parade."
1943 Mar 25, Jimmy Durante and
Garry Moore premiered on radio.
1943 Jun 7, Ken Osmond, actor (Eddie Haskel-Leave it To Beaver), was born.
1943 Oct 12, The Radio Corporation of America announced the divestment of the NBC Blue radio network to businessman Edward J. Noble for $8 million. Noble first called it just "The Blue Network." By Feb 1945 it was renamed the American Broadcasting
(NYT, 10/12/1943, P.23)(NYT, 10/17/1943, P. XII)
1943 Lady Bird Johnson purchased KTBC, a low-powered radio station in Texas. The Federal Communications Commission, which reviewed all
broadcast-license transfers, was close to being abolished. Congressman Lyndon Johnson used his political influence in both Congress and the White House to prevent that from happening. In 1945 the FCC OK'd KTBC's request to quintuple its power, which cast its signal over 63 counties.
1944 Oct 8, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" made its debut on CBS Radio on Ozzie (1906-1975) and Harriet (1909-1994) Nelson’s ninth wedding anniversary. In 1949 their sons David (1936-2011) and Rickie (1940-1985)
joined the cast.
(AP, 10/8/98)(SFC, 1/13/11, p.C6)
1945 Apr 30, "Arthur Godfrey Time" made its debut on the CBS radio network.
1945 Apr 30, The show “Queen For Today” began on the Mutual Broadcasting Company radio program. In 1956 it moved to television as Queen For a Day until 1964 with a 2nd run from 1969-1970.
1946 Mar 16, Erik Estrada, actor (CHiPs, Cross & Switchblade, Lightblast), was born in NYC.
1946 Apr 20, 1st baseball game telecast was in Chicago with the Cards vs. Cubs.
1946 Jinx Falkenburg
(d.2003) and husband Tex McCrary pioneered talk radio programming with the "Hi Jinx" morning show at WEAF in NYC.
(SFC, 8/29/03, p.A28)
1946 Syd Cassyd formed the Television Arts and Sciences Academy.
He envisioned it to as a tool for enlightenment, education, science and technology.
1946 GM’s Chevrolet division was the first automobile company to advertise on network television.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv.
1946 7,000 TV sets were sold as commercial TV became established.
(TMC, 1994, p.1946)
1946-1960 The show "Hometown Jamboree" ran on radio and television. It was produced by Cliffie Stone (d.1998) and gave career boosts to such stars as Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves and Tex Ritter.
(SFC, 1/20/98, p.A18)
1947 Jan 3, Congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City saw some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.
1947 Feb 19, CBS radio premiere of Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasilieras No 3."
1947 May 7, "Kraft
Television Theater" premiered on NBC.
1947 Sep 13, WPVI TV channel 6 in Philadelphia, PA., (ABC) began broadcasting.
1947 Oct 5, In the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.
1947 Oct 13, The popular children's television show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, premiered as a local Chicago show. In its first year, the show's name varied between "Kukla, Fran and Ollie"
and ":Junior Jamboree," but it was essentially the same show.
1947 Oct 27, "You Bet Your Life," starring Groucho Marx, premiered on ABC Radio. The show was transferred to TV on
NBC in 1950 and lasted until 1961.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)(AP, 10/27/97)
1947 Nov 20, "Meet the Press" made network TV debut on NBC.
1947 Dec 27, Buffalo Bob Smith (1917-1998) and puppet Howdy Doody starred on the first nationally broadcast children’s TV show. It ran to Sep. 30, 1960. The show was produced by Martin Stone and was shot in NBC studio 3-K at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The
characters Clarabell the Clown (Bob Keeshan later Captain Kangaroo), Dilly Dally, Chief Thunderthud, Princess Summerfall, Phineas T. Bluster and Flub-a-Dub were featured. The theme song was based on the French ditty: "Ta-ra-ra-Boom-der-e." The show ran for 2,543 episodes. Rufus Rose was the puppeteer for most of the shows. The Rose family later fought with the Detroit Institute of Arts for
possession of the original show puppet.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A18)(AP, 12/27/97)(SFC, 6/19/98, p.B6)(SFC, 7/31/98, p.D7)(SFEC, 2/27/00, p.A3)
1947 The ABC Radio show "Candid Microphone," developed by Allen
Funt, premiered. A year later it became a TV program and later "Candid Camera."
(SFC, 9/7/99, p.C2)
1947 NBC featured Jinx Falkenburg (d.2003) and husband Tex McCrary on the television show "At Home."
(SFC, 8/29/03, p.A28)
1947 Henry Denker (1912-2012), American novelist and playwright, began writing, directing and producing “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” a radio drama on the life of Jesus. The program continued to 1956 and won him a Peabody Award.
(SFC, 5/24/12, p.C5)
1947 The radio show "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" was created. In 1955 it became a TV series with Richard Simmons.
1947 The "Mary Kay and Johnny" TV show began on the DuMont network with Johnny and Mary Kay Stearns. It later moved to NBC and CBS.
(SFC, 12/11/01, p.A28)
1948 Feb 16, NBC-TV began airing its first nightly newscast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre," which consisted of "20th Century Fox- Movietone News" newsreels.
(AP, 2/16/98)(MC, 2/16/02)
1948 Mar 18, Philips began experimental TV broadcasting.
1948 Mar 20, The 1st live televised musical
Eugene Ormandy on CBS.
1948 Mar 20, A televised concert by NBC Symphony was conducted by Arturo Toscanini.
1948 Apr 5, WGN TV channel 9 in Chicago, IL., began broadcasting.
1948 May 9, The first television guide, called TV Forecast, was published by Les Vihon and 3 partners in Chicago. It became the basis for TV Guide which was consolidated under Walter Annenberg.
(WSJ, 5/8/98, p.W10)(WSJ, 6/18/99, p.W6)
1948 May 25, KPIX went on the air as the first TV station in Northern Ca.
(SFEC, 5/16/99, Z1 p.4)
1948 Jun 1, "We
The People", TV Talk Show, radio from ‘36; debuted on CBS.
1948 Jul 5, The pilot episode of “My Favorite Husband,” with Lucille Ball, aired. It was entitled “The Cugat's Tenth Wedding
Anniversary” It became the gifted redhead’s first regular radio program on CBS. Regular broadcasting began on July 23, 1948 and aired on various nights through March 31, 1951. Through most of its life it was sponsored by Jello.
1948 Jun 8, The "Texaco Star Theater" made its debut on NBC-TV with Milton Berle hosting the first program. Although Berle was initially chosen to be only a guest host, he was named the show’s permanent host the following September. Sponsors changed and it became "The Buick-Berle Show" and then just "The Milton
Berle Show." The show lasted to 1956.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.37) (AP, 6/8/98)
1948 Jun 14, Lee Wagner, a New York publisher, launched his TeleVision Guide. It became known as TV Guide. The Barowski
brothers in Philadelphia soon followed with their TV Digest.
(WSJ, 5/8/98, p.W10)
1948 Aug 10, Allen Funt’s "Candid Microphone," later titled "Candid Camera," made its television debut on ABC-TV.
1948 Sep 21, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of the TV vaudeville show "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC on Tuesday nights. [see Jun 8,
(AP, 9/21/98)(SFC, 5/29/00, p.E4)
1948 Nov 28, "Hopalong Cassidy" TV western premiered on NBC television [see Jun 24, 1949].
1948 Nov 29, The popular children's television show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, moved to the NBC Midwest network.
1948 Nov 29, The NYC Metropolitan Opera was televised for the first time as the season opened with "Othello." It featured Ramon Vinay, Licia Albenese, and Leonard Warren and was conducted by Fritz Busch
1948 In Chicago Clint Youle (d.1999 at 83) became television's first weatherman.
(SFC, 7/27/99, p.A17)
1948 The TV show "Pantomime Quiz" began on KTLA in Hollywood. It was hosted by Mike Stokey (d.2003 at 84). It went national on CBS a year later and in the 1960s was renamed "Stump the Stars."
1948 The Perry Como Show made its debut on TV. It ran for 15 years to1963. Como died in 2001 at age 88.
(SSFC, 5/13/01, p.A27)
1948 The TV show "Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One" featured Morey Amsterdam.
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.B2)
1948 The TV show
“Studio One” began broadcasting on TV and featured a new play every week. The show continued to 1958.
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.W9)
1948 TV advertising by liquor makers was halted. The agreement held until
1996 when Seagram Co. began running both radio and TV ads.
(SFC, 10/19/96, D1)
1948 The Hearst Corp. acquired WBAL-TV, Baltimore, one of the country's first television
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1949 Jan 31, The first TV daytime soap opera, "These Are My Children," was broadcast from the NBC station in Chicago.
1949 Apr 1, "Happy Pappy" premiered. It was the first all-black-cast variety show.
1949 Apr 26, Look Magazine proclaimed that radio was "doomed" and that within 3 years television would completely overshadow it.
(440 Int’l. Internet, 4/26/97,
1949 May 29, Candid Camera, TV comedy Variety, moved to NBC.
Jun 1, KSL TV channel 5 in Salt Lake City, UT (CBS) began broadcasting.
1949 Jun 24, "Hopalong Cassidy" became the 1st network western (NBC). William Boyd (1895-1972)
played Hopalong Cassidy on a radio program. He bought the rights to the Cassidy movies and edited them for TV. They proved popular and he made an additional 52 new episodes for TV [see Nov 28, 1948].
(SFC, 1/21/98, Z1 p.3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopalong_Cassidy)
1949 Jul 2, "Red Barber's Clubhouse" sports show premiered on CBS (later NBC) TV.
1949 Jul 7, The
police drama "Dragnet," starring Jack Webb and Barton Yarborough, premiered on NBC radio. It became a TV series in 1951 and 1967.
(AP, 7/7/99)(MC, 7/7/02)
1949 Jul 10, 1st practical rectangular TV tube
was announced in Toledo, Oh.
1949 Sep 1, The 1st network detective series, Private Eyes, premiered.
1949 Sep 15, "The Lone Ranger" premiered on ABC television with Clayton Moore (d.1999) as the masked hero and Jay Silverheels (1912-1980) as Tonto. Their 169  episodes ran to 1957. Moore was replaced by John Hart for the 1952-1953 season due to a salary
(AP, 9/15/99)(SFC, 12/29/99, p.A1,11)(SSFC, 6/19/05, Par p.2)
1949 Dec 28, 20th Century Fox announced it would produce TV programs.
1949 Bozo the Clown made his TV debut on “Bozo’s Circus starring Pinto Colvig on KTTV-Channel 11 (CBS), Los Angeles.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.54)(WGN-BTL,
1949 Jay Ward, cartoonist, created "Crusader Rabbit." It was the first cartoon made for TV.
(SFEC, 12/15/96, DB p.63)
1949 Milton Berle hosted the first TV telethon. $1.1 million for cancer patients was raised in 14 hours.
(SFEC, 8/15/99, Z1 p.8)
Thomas Coffin (d.1999 at 83) became NBC's first television market research specialist. He was the first to conduct studies that showed that people bought products after seeing them on TV. He later was part of a panel that produced the 1972 report that TV violence had an adverse effect on children.
1949 The first Emmy Awards for TV productions were made. Shirley Dinsdale Layburn (d.1999 at 72), a ventriloquist, received one for Most Outstanding Television Personality. Her puppet was Judy Splinters.
(SFC, 5/12/99, p.C6)
1949 Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca (d.2001) starred on the "Admiral Broadway Revue" TV show (Jan-Jun), a forerunner of "Your Show of Shows," which ran to 1954.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A29)(SFC, 8/9/02, p.D17)
1949 KRON-TV began broadcasting in SF.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A8)
1949 Mike Wallace hosted the quiz show "Majority Rules."
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.D9)
1950 Feb 3, Morgan Fairchild, [Patsy McClenny], actress (Falcon Crest), was born in
1950 Feb 25, The comedy-variety program "Your Show of Shows," starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and, later, Howard Morris, debuted on NBC-TV. The show’s writers
included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon & Woody Allen.
(AP, 2/25/00)(MC, 2/25/02)
1950 Mar 9, Space Patrol debuted as a local, 15-minute show that aired live five days a week in Los Angeles and ran to
1955. Norman Jolley (d.2002), evil Agent X, acted in the series and wrote scripts. Ed Kemmer (1921-2004) played Commander Buzz Corry. Joanne Jordan played the evil Queen Mirtha. It featured the voice of Dick Tufeld for its weekly introductions. In 2005 Jean-Noel Bassior authored “Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the name of Early Television.”
(SFC, 8/23/02, p.A27)(SFC, 11/17/04, p.B8)(SFC, 10/17/08, p.B8)(SFC, 9/25/09, p.D10)(SFC, 1/30/12, p.C4)
1950 Apr 9, Bob Hope made his first television appearance. Hope began his career on an NBC television special after years on radio. "I’d
better get into television before Milton Berle used up my material."
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.D5)(HN, 4/9/98)
1950 Jul 10, "Your Hit Parade" premiered on NBC (later CBS)
1950 Sep 30, Radio's "Grand Ole Opry" was broadcasted on TV for 1st time.
1950 Oct 11, The Federal Communications Commission authorized the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to begin commercial color TV broadcasts.
1950 Oct, The TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” (1950-1955) premiered with Frankie Thomas (1921-2006) as Tom Corbett.
(SFC, 5/17/06, p.B7)
1950 Nov 5, Billy Graham’s “Hour of Decision” was first broadcast as a live radio program from Atlanta, Georgia.
1950 The Arthur Murray Party began showing on TV and ran intermittently to 1960. The show was hosted by Kathryn Murray (d.1999 at 92) used comedy and celebrity to sell ballroom dancing to the public. Arthur Murray died in 1991.
1950 The Jack Benny Show featured Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as a foil for Benny.
(SSFC, 2/11/01, BR p.1)
1950 The "Broadway Open House" TV show began and
later evolved into the "Tonight Show."
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.B2)
1950 The "Cisco Kid" TV series began with Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo. The series lasted to 1956.
1950 George Francis Hayes (1865-1969) moved to television and hosted The Gabby Hayes Show, a western series, from 1950 to 1954, and a new version in 1956.
1950 Hot Springs, NM, voted 1,294-295 to change its name to Truth or Consequences. Radio show host Ralph Edwards had promised to broadcast from the town that agreed to change its name to that of his radio show.
(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1950 The TV show "You Bet Your Life" with Groucho Marx began and George Fenneman (1919-1997) began. The show lasted until 1961.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)
1950 Ten million US households had television in this year.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A5)
1950s Scripts from the popular
1950s television show, Your Show of Shows , were found in a closet in New York City in September 2000. Workers in a New York City office building discovered a closet containing 137 scripts, some of them with hand-written notations, from one of the country’s most beloved shows from the `50s. The closet had served as storage for the show’s producer, Max Liebman, who died in
1950s Fred Coe (1914-1979) was considered the greatest producer in television’s Golden Age in the 1950s. John Krampner wrote "The Man in the Shadows: Fred Coe and the Golden Age of
Television" in 1996. Coe produced the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, Studio One, Kraft Television Theater and Robert Montgomery Presents.
(MT, Spg. ‘97, p.18)
1950-1951 The Texaco Star Theater was the top ranking network
show on television with a ranking of 61.6%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1951 Jan 1, A British radio soap opera called “The Archers” began airing following pilot shows in 1950. The show was about a British
farming community and was still popular as it continued in 2011.
(SFC, 1/5/11, p.E2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Archers)
1951 Feb 1, The 1st X-ray moving picture process
1951 Feb 3, "Victor Borge Show," debuted on NBC TV.
1951 May 14, The Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety "Ernie in Kovacsland," debuted on NBC.
(MC, 5/14/02)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.37)
1951 Jun 25, The first commercial color telecast took place as CBS transmitted a one-hour special from New York to four other cities. CBS tried a version of color TV with a design that featured a mechanical rotating color wheel.
1951 Jun 28, A TV version of the radio program "Amos ‘N’ Andy" premiered on CBS. Although criticized for racial stereotyping, it was the first network TV series to feature an all-black cast.
1951 Sep 3, The television soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" made its debut on CBS. From 1953 to 1955 it featured Don Knotts as the neurotic Wilbur Peterson. The show ended in 1986 after 4 years on NBC. Larry Haines (1918-2008) played
the neighbor Stu Bergman for most of the show’s run.
(AP, 9/3/98)(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B7)(SFC, 7/31/08, p.B5)
1951 Sep 4, The first transcontinental television broadcast in America was carried by 94
stations. President Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.
(AP, 9/4/97)(HN, 9/4/98)
1951 Oct 15, The situation comedy "I Love Lucy" premiered on CBS. It
ran through to 1961. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz bought their television studio, Desilu, from Howard Hughes.
(SFEC, 10/20/96, T8)(AP, 10/15/97)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.37)(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.W9)
1951 Nov 18,
"See it Now" premiered on TV.
1951 Dec 5, "Dragnet" premiered on TV.
1951 Dec 24, Gian Carlo Menotti’s "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC.
1951 Paul Harvey (d.2009 at 90), news commentator and talk-radio pioneer, began his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks.
1951 "The Honeymooners" first appeared as a TV sketch featuring Jackie Gleason on the DuMont Network's Cavalcade of Stars. It was written by Harry Crane (d.1999 at 85).
(SFC, 9/15/99, p.C4)
1951 The TV show "See
It Now" was co-produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly (d.1998 at 82). Murrow was on camera and Friendly was behind-the-scenes. The show was cancelled in 1958.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A24)
1951 "Superman and the Mole Men," starred George Reeves in
the first Superman TV episode.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C9)
1951 Jack LaLanne (b.1914) began hosting a daily exercise show on San Francisco’s KGO TV (channel 7).
1951 Don Herbert (1917-2007), as television's "Mr. Wizard," introduced generations of young viewers to the joys of science. “Watch Mr. Wizard” ran for 14 years.
(AP, 6/12/07)(SFC, 6/14/07, p.B5)
1951-1952 Godfrey’s Talent Scouts was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 53.8%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
Jan 3, "Dragnet" with Jack Webb premiered on NBC TV.
1952 Jan 14, NBC’s TV show "Today" with Dave Garroway (d.1982) and Jack Lescoulie had its debut. Garroway left the show in 1961. The
news announcer was James Fleming (1915-1996). The theme music was "Sentimental Journey." Hugh Downs hosted from 1962-1971. Barbara Walters hosted from 1974-1976. Tom Brokaw hosted from 1976-1981. Jane Pauley hosted from 1976-1989. Bryant Gumbel hosted from 1982-1997.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A5)(SFC, 8/19/96, p.C2)(AP, 4/8/97)(AP,
1/14/98)(SFC, 1/11/02, p.D19)(MC, 1/14/02)
1952 Mar 3, "Whispering Streets" debuted on ABC Radio, remaining on the air until Thanksgiving week, 1960. The end of that show brought down the curtain on what is called "the last day of the radio soap opera" (November 25,
(HC, Internet, 3/3/98)
1952 Apr 22, An atomic test conducted at Yucca Flat, Nevada, became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television.
(AP, 4/22/99)(SFC, 4/19/02, p.G3)
1952 Jun 19, The celebrity-panel game show "I've Got A Secret" made its debut on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host.
1952 Jun 30, "The Guiding Light," a popular radio program, made its debut as a television soap opera on CBS.
1952 Jun, The Goon Show began on the BBC Home Service. It had started as the show "Crazy People."
(SFC, 11/28/96, p.B6)
1952 Sep 6, Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal.
1952 Sep 23, Rocky Marciano became the
world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round, in Philadelphia PA. It was Rocky’s 43rd consecutive victory. This was the 1st closed circuit pay-TV telecast of a sports event.
1952 Sep 23,
Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon went on television to deliver what came to be known as the "Checkers" speech as he refuted allegations of improper campaign financing. Nixon denied that he maintained a private slush fund and all financial allegations except for the gift of a cocker spaniel dog named Checkers from a Texan who heard that his daughters wanted a puppy. Some 30
million television viewers watched as Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower‘s running mate in the upcoming presidential elections, made a plea for sympathy and vindication in light of charges he was living a lifestyle beyond the means of his $12,500 Senate salary. In 1997 plans were underway to exhume the dog and rebury it near the former president.
(TMC, 1994, p.1952)(SFC, 4/28/97, p.A5)(AP, 9/23/97)(HNQ, 10/12/99)
1952 Oct 3, The situation comedy "Our Miss Brooks," formerly a radio show, premiered on CBS with Eve Arden again in the title role. Robert Rockwell played her love interest, the
(AP, 10/3/02)(SFC, 1/28/03, p.A15)
1952 Oct 3, The 1st video recording on magnetic tape was made in LA, Ca.
1952 Oct 7, The 1st "Bandstand" broadcast in Philadelphia on WFIL-TV. Dick Clark joined in 1955 as a substitute-host.
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)(SFC, 4/15/00, p.D3)(MC,
1952 Dec 2, 1st human birth televised to public was on KOA-TV Denver, Colo.
1952 Larry Harmon made his debut as Bozo the Clown. The pilot was titled "Pinky Talks Back."
(SFC, 4/14/01, p.B4)
1952 Gunsmoke, the "adult western," began as a radio drama. It spawned a television series (1955)
that lasted 20 years. Starring William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon (a role played by James Arness on TV), the show broke with established radio traditions (such as extended use of sound effects) and character stereotypes (in great part to many cliché-busting scripts by John Mestin). It garnered a huge audience for its network, CBS (sources disagree, but some estimate as much as 30% of the
radio-listening public tuned into the show, a rating impossible to reach in today’s multimedia world). The popular radio drama launched the 20-year TV series, a record as yet unrivalled by any other primetime drama.
Linkletter (1912-2010), radio and TV talk-show pioneer, began hosting his daytime television show “House Party.” It continued to 1970.
(SFC, 5/27/10, p.C4)
1952 Sheri Lewis (19) was a winner on the Arthur Godfrey television talent scout show. Within
5 years she introduced her puppet Lamb Chop on the Captain Kangaroo Show and began her own show in 1957.
(SFC, 8/4/98, p.A7)
1952 The TV show American Bandstand premiered as a local show in
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)(SFC, 4/15/00, p.D3)
1952 "The Ernie Kovacs Show" began under CBS and ran to 1953.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB
1952 The TV show Ding Dong School was developed by George Heinemann (1918-1996)
1952 TV advertised its first toy, Mr. Potato Head.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, z1
1952 The TV show "My Little Margie" starred Gale Storm and Hillary Brooke, It ran until 1955.
(SFC, 6/2/99, p.C7)
1952 "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet"
began its TV run. It had started as a radio series in 1944. The TV show ran to 1966.
(AP, 10/8/98)(SSFC, 5/20/01, p.C5)
1952 The radio show “This Is Your Life,” hosted by Ralph Edwards, migrated to television. It ran to
(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1952 Death Valley Days moved from radio to TV and ran to 1975 as a syndicated television show. British-born manager James Gerstley (1907-2007), president of the Pacific Coast Borax Company (later US Borax), sponsored the
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley_Days)(SFC, 6/6/07, p.B7)
1952 Matsutaro Shoriki founded Nippon Television, Japan’s first private network.
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.62)
1953 Jan 20, In the US Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as president. He succeeded Harry S. Truman. TV coverage sent the event to 21 million sets.
1994, p.1685)(SFC, 1/17/03, p.E8)
1953 Jan 28, J. Fred Muggs (the chimp) joined NBC's "Today Show."
1953 Feb 1, CBS-TV debuted "Private Secretary", starring Ann Sothern, on this day. Ann played Susie McNamera, private secretary to NY talent agent, Peter Sands (played by Don Porter). The show ran during the regular TV seasons on CBS, and last show was September 10, 1957. It ran on NBC-TV in the summers of 1953
(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A26)(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1953 Feb 1, "You Are There" with Walter Cronkite premiered on CBS television.
1953 Feb 3, J. Fred Muggs, a chimp, became a regular on NBC's Today Show.
1953 Feb 9, "Adventures of Superman" TV series premiered in syndication.
1953 Mar 19, The Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time;
"The Greatest Show on Earth" was named best picture of 1952. Gary Cooper & Shirley Booth won for best actor and actress.
(AP, 3/19/99)(MC, 3/19/02)
1953 Apr 3, Walter Annenberg of Philadelphia
began a national TV Guide. His father had published Radio Guide and he bought TV Forecast in Chicago and local television guides in New York , Philadelphia and Washington to begin his operation. A picture of the first cover featured Lucy and Desi Arnaz’ baby (I Love Lucy).
1953 Jun 7, The 1st color network telecast in compatible color was in Boston, Mass.
1953 Jul 11, "Amos 'n Andy," TV Comedy, also radio from '29; last aired on CBS.
1953 Aug 3, Frank
Blair became the news anchor of the Today Show.
1953 Aug 30, The first publicly announced experimental TV broadcast of a network program in compatible color was presented by NBC:
St. George and the Dragon, starring Burr Tillstrom's Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
1953 Sep 10, Swanson sold it's 1st "TV
1953 Sep 20, Jimmy Stewart debuted in "The Six Shooter" on NBC.
1953 Sep 20, The "Loretta Young Show" (A Letter to Loretta) premiered on NBC TV and ran for 8 years.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.B10)
1953 Sep 28, The "Bob & Ray Show," TV Variety, last aired on NBC.
1953 Sep 29, The family comedy "Make Room for Daddy," starring Danny Thomas,
premiered on ABC.
1953 Oct 20, Edward R. Murrow on his TV show “See It Now” brought public attention to the abuses of power in the era of Sen. McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade. Milo
Radulovich (1926-2007), a US Air Force Reserve officer, had been stripped of his commission for refusing to denounce his family, which subscribed to several Serbian newspapers. His commission was later restored. Murrow took up the case and set the turning point to discredit McCarthyism.
(SFC, 11/26/07, p.D3)(Econ, 12/1/07,
1953 Nov 12, US district Judge Grim ruled the NFL can black out TV home games.
1953 Dec 17, FCC approved RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications. Temporary approval of the mechanical CBS color model was rescinded.
(MC, 12/17/01)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)
1953 Dec 30, The first color TV sets went on sale. An Admiral color set was priced about $1,175 in 1953 dollars! Color TV sets did not become affordable to the masses until the late 1960s.
(TMC, 1994, p.1953)(MC, 12/30/01)
1953 Peter Graves starred in the TV series "Stalag 17."
(SFC, 5/19/96, BR, p.30)
1953 The weekly "General Electric
Theater" began on TV.
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D11)
1953 "The Life of Riley" featured William Bendix and Marjorie Reynolds (1917-1997) as Peg Riley. It ran until
(SFC, 2/13/97, p.C4)
1953 Vito Scotti (1918-1996) replaced J. Carrol Naish as the Italian immigrant Luigi Basco in the TV show "Life with Luigi."
(SFC, 6/12/96, p.C2)
1953 The Romper Room TV show for children began in Baltimore on station WBAL. It featured Nancy Claster (d.1997 at 82) as Miss Nancy who stayed on until 1964 when her daughter, Sally, took over for the next 16 years. Locally
produced shows aired in 150 cities. Her "magic mirror" gave the names of children watching at home, names that parents had sent in.
(SFC, 4/26/97, p.A22)
1953 Steve Allen (d.2000) created and hosted
the Tonight Show in NYC. It went national in 1954. Allen remained host until 1957.
(SFC, 11/1/00, p.A19)(SSFC, 5/2/04, Par. p.4)
1953 Andrea King (d.2003 at 84) and Edward G. Robinson starred in the
live production of Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution."
(SFC, 5/9/03, p.A22)
1953 The CBS musical series “Summertime USA” was set in various resorts from Havana to Atlantic City. It
featured Teresa Brewer and Mel Torme.
(SFC, 10/19/07, p.A11)
1953 Soupy Sales (1926-2009) began his “Soupy’s On” 5-day-a-week variety show in Detroit on WXYZ-TV. The theme song was Charlie Parker’s
"Yardbird Suite." Many jazz giants played on his show but very little film footage survived. His “Lunch with Soupy Sales” went national in October 1959, on the ABC television network.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soupy_Sales)(DFP, 7/28/96, p.F1,8)(AP, 10/23/09)(SFC, 10/23/09, p.A8)
1953 The TV show "Winky Dink and You" premiered as the 1st interactive kids’ show.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.54)
1953 In the
US color TV was introduced.
(TMC, 1994, p.1953)
1953 In West Germany Werner Hoefer (d.1997 at 84) began his TV roundtable discussion "Der Internationale Freuschoppen." He led the show until 1987.
Revelations of his work as a Nazi forced the end of his career as the show’s host.
1953-1971 "The Danny Thomas Show" ran on TV.
(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.C10)
1954 Feb 1, A television classic was born this day on CBS-TV, as the serial, "The Secret Storm", was shown for the first day of what would become a 20-year run on the network.
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1954 Feb 19, The Ford Foundation donated $113,724 to KQED, the Bay Area's 1st community television station. The SF Foundation in this year helped launch KQED public radio and the legal Aid Society.
(SFC, 1/28/98, p.A16)(SFC, 2/13/04, p.E4)
1954 Mar 6, The TV show "See It Now" broadcast its "Report on Senator McCarthy," and examined the senator and his red-baiting tactics. [see Mar 9]
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A24)
1954 Mar 9, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-Communism campaign on "See It Now." [see Mar 6]
1954 Mar 15, The "CBS Morning Show" premiered with Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) and Jack Paar (1918-2004.
1954 Mar 25, RCA manufactured its first color TV set and began mass production. The 1953 RCA design for color TV was adopted as the national standard. The 12" screen TV was priced at $1000. Westinghouse had introduced a
color model a few weeks earlier, but only 1 set was sold in the 1st month.
(HN, 3/24/98)(WSJ, 11/4/99, p.B6)(MC, 3/25/02)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)
1954 Apr 6, The TV Dinner was 1st put on sale by Swanson
1954 Apr 22, The publicly televised US Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.
1954 Apr 30, KQED, SF-based public television, began broadcasting.
(SFC, 4/28/04, p.E1)
1954 Jul 4, WMSL (WYUR, now WAFF) TV channel 48 in Huntsville, AL (ABC) began.
1954 Sep 11, The Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss
California, Lee Ann Meriwether of San Francisco, was crowned the winner.
(AP, 9/11/97)(SFC, 11/16/99, p.G9)
1954 Sep 12, Lassie premiered on CBS-TV.
1954 Sep 20, The live TV drama "Twelve Angry Men" was presented as an episode of CBS' "Studio One" anthology series.
1954 Sep 26, Ronald Reagan made his 1st appearance as host of the "General Electric Theater."
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F3)
1954 Sep 27, "Tonight!" hosted by Steve Allen, made its debut on NBC-TV.
1954 Oct 25, President Eisenhower conducted the first televised Cabinet meeting.
1954 Oct 27, Walt Disney's first television program, titled
"Disneyland" after his yet-to-be completed theme park, premiered on ABC.
(AP, 10/27/97)(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046593/)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1954 Dec 15, Fess Parker (1924-2010) starred as
"Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter" in its premier as part of the new Disneyland TV show. It was possibly the first miniseries.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(SFC, 3/19/10, p.C6)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0561021/)
The film "Peter Pan" with Mary Martin was made from the Broadway play. It was shown to a national TV audience in 1955 to help promote color TV.
(SFEC, 5/11/97, DB p.37)(SFC, 12/30/03, p.D2)
"Four Star Playhouse" was a TV dramatic series that starred Charles Boyer, Ida Lupino, Dick Powell and David Niven. It was edited by Coles Trapnell (d.1999 at 88). The show closed in 1956.
(SFC, 2/5/99, p.D4)
1954 The TV serial "The Man With the Steel Whip" starred Richard Simmons.
(SFC, 1/15/03, p.A19)
1954 The TV Omnibus series showed the first under water films by
(SFC, 6/26/97, p.A7)
1954 "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar’s Hour" were hit TV programs. Their comedy writers included Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart and Neil
Simon. "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca ended.
(WSJ, 8/19/96, p.A11)(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A29)
1954 "The Tonight Show" with Steve Allen began on
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1954 Venezuela’s Radio Caracas Television Station (RCTV) began operations.
1954-1960 Robert Young (d.1998 at 91) played the loving father Jim Anderson on TV in "Father Knows Best." Jane Wyatt (1910-2006) played his wife. The show had started as a radio sitcom in 1949.
p.C4)(SFC, 10/23/06, p.B3)
1955 Jan 19, A presidential news conference was filmed for television for the first time, with permission from President Eisenhower.
1955 Mar 5, A truck driver from Tupelo, Miss., made his first-ever TV appearance on this night. Elvis Aron Presley was featured on "Louisiana Hayride". This prompted promoters to send Elvis to New York City to audition for Arthur Godfrey's immensely popular
and career-making "Talent Scouts" program. Talent coordinators and Godfrey are said to have passed on Elvis appearing on the show. Not much later, he was tossed out of the Grand Ole Opry as well, and told to "go back to driving a truck." In a little over a year, however, the nation was caught up in Presley-mania which continues even today.
1955 Mar 7, Mary Martin as "Peter Pan" was televised. It was taped from the Broadway play.
1955 Mar 27, Steve McQueen made his network TV debut on the Goodyear Playhouse.
1955 Apr 1, "One Man’s Family" was seen on TV for the final time after a six-years on NBC-TV.
1955 Jun 1, "Front Row Center", TV Anthology; debut on CBS.
1955 Jun 1, "The Sky’s The Limit", TV Game Show; last aired on NBC. Low ratings were the limit
1955 Jun 7, Pres. Eisenhower became the 1st president to appear on color TV.
1955 Jun 7, "The $64,000 Question" premiered on CBS TV. It was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 47.5%. It featured Art Carney and Jackie Gleason and was in part created by Joseph Cates (d.1998 at 74).
4/24/95, p.R-5)(SFC, 10/13/98, p.A22)(SC, 6/7/02)
1955 Jun 30, The "Johnny Carson Show," debuted on CBS-TV.
(SFC, 1/24/05, p.A8)
1955 Jul 2, "The Lawrence Welk Show" premiered on ABC television.
1955 Sep 10, The TV show "Gunsmoke,"
starring James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, premiered on CBS and lasted to 1975. Dennis Weaver (1924-2006) played Chester Goode.
(AP, 9/10/05)(SFC, 2/28/06, p.A2)
1955 Sep 22, Commercial TV began in
England. ITV began broadcasting at 7:15 pm in the London region only. Associated Rediffusion was awarded the London weekday license by the ITA, with ITN established as a separate company to supply news. ATV London began broadcasting on weekends 2 days later.
1955 Oct 3, "Captain Kangaroo" with Bob Keeshan began its run on CBS TV. The show ended in 1993.
(WSJ, 3/6/97, p.B1)(AP,
1955 Oct 3, The Disney sponsored Mickey Mouse Club began on ABC TV and ran to 1959.
(WSJ, 3/6/97, p.B1)(SFC, 11/30/98, p.A8)
1955 Cheyenne premiered as TV’s 1st hour-long series. It was produced by Roy Huggins.
(SFC, 4/15/02, p.B5)
1955 "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" began on TV with
Hugh O'Brian. It ran to 1961 and was billed as TV’s first adult western. doc was played by Douglas Fowley (d.1998 at 86)
(SFEC,11/30/97, Par p.2)
1955 The TV series "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon"
starred Richard Simmons (d.2003 at 89). The series ran for 3 seasons to 1958.
(SFC, 1/15/03, p.A19)
1955 The Hearst Corp. acquired WISN-TV, Milwaukee.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1955 Art Clokey (33) made a short art film called "Gumbasia," featuring clay animation set to jazz music, that inspired the beloved Gumby television series that debuted in 1956.
(SFC, 4/28/95, p.C5)(AP, 5/15/05)
1955-1959 The police drama Highway Patrol starred Broderick Crawford.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A23)
1956 Mar 5, "King Kong" was 1st televised.
1956 Mar 17, Fred Allen (b.1894), American comedian (Fred
Allen Radio Show), died.
(TOH, 1982, p.1956)(MC, 3/17/02)
1956 Mar 26, Red Buttons debuted on TV in Studio One.
1956 Apr 2, The soap operas "As the World Turns" and "The Edge of Night" premiered on CBS television. Actress Helen Wagner (1918-2010) opened "As the World Turns" with the words: "Good morning, dear."
(AP, 4/2/99)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Edge_of_Night)(AP, 5/3/10)
1956 Apr 10, Philips broadcasted the 1st Dutch color TV programs.
1956 Apr 14, Ampex Corporation demonstrated its first commercial videotape recorder.
1956 Jul 1, Elvis Presley appeared on Steve Allen Show wearing a tuxedo.
1956 Sep 9, Elvis Presley made
the first of three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show." By his third and final appearance on the Sullivan show, due to a number of viewers, who were outraged at his suggestive gyrations, Elvis was filmed from only the waist-up.
(AP, 9/9/97)(MC, 9/9/01)
1956 Oct 23, The 1st video recording on magnetic tape was televised coast-to-coast.
1956 Oct 29, "The
Huntley-Brinkley Report" with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley (1920-2003) premiered as NBC's nightly television newscast, replacing "The Camel News Caravan." It ran to 1970. Brinkley remained with NBC for 11 more years.
(AP, 10/29/97)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(MC, 10/29/01)(SFC, 6/13/03,
1956 Nov 3, "Wizard of Oz" was 1st televised (CBS-TV).
Dec 18, "To Tell the Truth" debuted on CBS-TV.
1956 Bob Barker became master of ceremonies for the TV show “Truth or
(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1956 Charles Jackson Jr. (d.2002 at 88) won $20,000 on the "64,000 Question" and the "$64,000 Challenge" and then revealed that answers had been given to him. Ralph
Story (1920-2006) hosted “The $64,000 Challenge” from 1956-1958. The show was cancelled in 1958 under allegations that answers were supplied in advance.
(SFC, 4/27/02, p.A21)(SFC, 9/28/06, p.B5)
Dick Clark joined the TV show "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)
1956 The Captain Video TV show, created by Lawrence Menkin (d.2000) in 1949,
(SFC, 7/22/00, p.A21)
1956 The first all-color TV station was NBC-TV in Chicago. It was dedicated by Robert Sarnoff (1918-1997), president of NBC from
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.C12)
1956 "The Ernie Kovac Show" ran for a season under NBC.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB
1956 The TV sitcom "Stanley" starred Buddy Hackett and Carol Burnett. The pilot was written by Neil Simon.
(SFC, 7/1/03, p.A2)
1956 Mike Wallace hosted the CBS quiz show "The Big Surprise."
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.D9)
1956 "The Mike Wallace
Interview" began a 4 year run on CBS.
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.D9)
1956 The game show “Treasure Hunt” began on ABC. The show was done from the Century Theatre in NYC and was hosted by comedian Jan Murray
(1916-2006). It later switched to NBC and ran until 1959.
(SFC, 7/3/06, p.A2)
1956 The big money quiz show "Twenty-One" began on TV. It let contestants choose questions on a 1-11 scale of difficulty
and created a star player in college professor Charles Van Doren. It was later found that the shows were rigged. A 194 film "Quiz Show," was based on the resulting scandal.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(WSJ, 1/3/03, p.W4)
1956 Steve Allen starred in NBC’s "The Steve Allen Show." It ran until 1960.
(SFC, 11/1/00, p.A19)
1956 Jack Palance (1919-2006) starred in Playhouse 90’s “Requiem
for a Heavyweight” written by Rod Serling. Palance won an Emmy for his role in the TV presentation.
(SFC, 11/11/06, p.B6)
1956 Orson Welles made the pilot TV show "Fountain of
(SFC, 6/7/99, p.B2)
1956 The Zenith Space Command remote control, co-invented by Robert Adler (1913-2007) and Eugene Polley, was introduced.
(SFC, 2/17/07, p.A2)
1956-1957 "I Love Lucy" was again the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 43.7%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1956-1957 The "My Friend Flicka" TV series featured Gene Evans (d.1998 at 75).
(SFC, 4/2/98, p.A23)
1957 Jan 6, Elvis Presley made
another appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
1957 Feb 16, LeVar Burton, (Roots, Star Trek Next Generation), was born in Landstuhl, Germany.
1957 Mar 1, Kokomo the Chimp became the Today Show animal editor.
1957 Mar 11, Charles Van Doren's 14-week run on the rigged NBC game show "Twenty-One" ended as he was "defeated" by attorney Vivienne Nearing; Van Doren's take was $129,000.
1957 Mar 31, The original version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," starring Julie Andrews, aired live in color on CBS.
1957 May 6, Last broadcast of "I Love Lucy" on CBS-TV. [see Jun 24]
1957 Jun 24, "I Love Lucy," last aired on CBS-TV. [see May
1957 Jul 29, Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC’s late-night TV show "Tonight" and stayed on till 1962..
5/1/97, p.A16)(SFC, 5/7/97, p.E1)(AP, 7/29/97)
1957 Aug 5, "American Bandstand," a teenage dance show hosted by Dick Clark in Philadelphia, made its network debut on ABC-TV.
(WSJ, 3/24/97, p.B1)(SFC,
11/10/99, p.E3)(AP, 8/5/07)
1957 Sep 7, The original version of the animated NBC peacock logo, used to denote programs "brought to you in living color," made its debut at the beginning of "Your Hit Parade."
1957 Sep 8, Pope Pius XII posted his encyclical On motion pictures, radio, TV.
1957 Sep 20, "M Squad," starring Lee Marvin, premiered on NBC-TV.
1957 Sep 21, "Perry Mason," starring
Raymond Burr, premiered on CBS-TV. The show ran to 1965 and returned in 1985.
(AP, 9/21/97)(SFC, 8/20/99, p.D6)
1957 Sep 22, The TV series "Maverick" premiered on
1957 Oct 3, The comedy series "The Real McCoys" premiered on ABC-TV. Richard Crenna began playing the married Luke on "The Real McCoys." The 6-year series starred Walter Brennan as
head of a West Virginia clan that moves to the LA San Fernando Valley.
(SFC, 1/20/03, p.B4)(AP, 10/3/07)
1957 Oct 4, The television series "Leave It to Beaver" premiered on CBS. It ended in 1963 after
6 season. Joe Connelly (d.2003 at 85), writer-producer, co-created the show. It featured Jerry Mathers (9) as Beaver, Tony Dow (12) as his older brother Wally, Hugh Beaumont as the father and Barbara Billingsley (1915-2010) as the mother. Frank Bank (1942-2013) played Lumpy, a foil to Beaver and Wally. Ken Osmond played Wally’s friend Eddie Haskell.
(AP, 10/4/97)(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A25)(SSFC, 10/17/10, p.C9)(SFC, 4/18/13, p.D5)
1957 Oct 4, The TV series “Trackdown” featured Robert Culp (1930-2010). It was based in part on files of the Texas Rangers. The series continued to 1959.
(SFC, 3/25/10, p.C3)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0050071/)
1957 Oct 10, The TV series "Zorro," starring Guy Williams as the masked hero, debuted on ABC.
1957 Oct 13, CBS-TV broadcast "The Edsel Show," a one-hour live special starring Bing Crosby designed to promote the new, ill-fated Ford automobile. It was the first special to use videotape technology to delay the broadcast to the West
1957 Oct 20, Walter Cronkite began hosting his weekly documentary: “The Twentieth Century.” In 1967 the title was changed to “The Twenty-First Century” and it ran through
1957 Rev. Billy Graham led a New York Crusade at Madison Square Garden that was televised coast-to-coast.
(SFEC, 9/21/97, Z1 p.3)
1957 John Forsythe (1918-2010) starred in “Bachelor Father.” The TV series continued to 1962.
1957 "Half Gun, Will Travel" began to run on TV and continued for 6 years.
1957 John Hart (1917-2009) starred as Hawkeye in the TV series “Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans.” Lon Chaney Jr. played Chingachgook.
(SFC, 9/24/09, p.D5)
Phyllis Kirk (1927-2006) played opposite Peter Lawford in TV’s “The Thin Man.” The series ran to 1959.
(SFC, 10/24/06, p.B5)
1957 MGM closed its cartoon studio in a panic over diminishing audiences due
to television. William Hanna and Joe Barbera (1911-2006) formed their own company and began making cartoons for TV. The Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon program "Ruff & Reddy" began.
(SFC, 6/3/97, p.B4)(WSJ, 12/21/06, p.D8)
1957 Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges (d.1998) began as a TV series. It ran to 1961. It was mostly filmed at the Marineland of the Pacific in LA.
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A4)
Singer and actress Gisele MacKenzie (d.2003 at 76) left "Your Hit Parade" (1953-1957) to star in NBC's "The Gisele MacKenzie Show." It ran for 6 months.
(SFC, 9/6/03, p.A16)
Elvis Presley appeared a 2nd time on the Ed Sullivan TV Show.
1957-1959 The TV series "Whirleybirds" starred Ken Tobey (d.2002 at 85) as the co-owner of a helicopter for
(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A29)
1957-1961 Gunsmoke is the top ranking network show on television for four seasons with rankings of 43.1, 39.6, 40.3, and 37.3%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1957-1963 The Sheri Lewis Show ran on NBC.
(SFC, 8/4/98, p.A1)
1958 Apr 15, In the 10th Emmy Awards: Gunsmoke, Robert Young and Jane Wyatt won.
1958 Jun 1, "Youth Wants To Know", TV Public Affairs; last aired on
NBC. Apparently, they didn’t want to know.
1958 Jun 19, "The Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney", TV Variety; last aired on NBC.
1958 Aug 18, An American TV game show scandal investigation started.
1958 Aug 25, The game show "Concentration" premiered on NBC-TV.
1958 Aug, The CBS TV game show
“Dotto,” hosted by Jack Narz (1922-2008), was cancelled following allegations that the show was rigged.
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.B8)
1958 Sep 22, The detective TV show "Peter Gunn" premiered on NBC with Craig
Stevens (d.2000 at 81) as the private eye. The show was created by Blake Edwards (1922-2010) and marked this collaboration with composer Henry Mancini.
(SFC, 5/13/00, p.A19)(AP, 9/22/08)(SFC, 12/17/10, p.D5)
Sep 24, "The Donna Reed Show" premiered on ABC-TV.
1958 Sep 30, The police drama "Naked City" debuted on ABC-TV.
1958 Oct 10, The private-eye series "77 Sunset Strip" premiered on ABC-TV. The hour-length American television private detective series, created by Roy Huggins, starred Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roger Smith, and Edd
1958 Oct 17, The special "An Evening with Fred Astaire," the first major TV program produced on color videotape, aired on
1958 John Frankenheimer directed the TV drama "Days of Wine and Roses" starring Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie.
(WSJ, 7/10/02, p.D8)
1958 Gordon Waldear (d.2002 at 84) won the Sylvania Award for the best educational series "The Criminal Mind."
(SFC, 4/27/02, p.A21)
Scotti (1918-1996) played Rama from India in "Gunga Ram" on Andy Devine’s TV show "Andy’s Gang."
(SFC, 6/12/96, p.C2)
1958 The TV program "The Ann Sothern Show" starred Don Porter and Ann Sothern and ran to
(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A26)
1958 The NBC TV series “Bat Masterson” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009) as Masterson. The show continued to 1961.
1958 The TV show "The Rifleman" starred Chuck Conners and ran to 1963. It was produced by Jules Levy (d.2003 at 80).
(SFC, 5/29/03, p.A19)
1958 Lawrence Swan
(d.1999 at 77) originated KQED's first children's science program. He was born and raised in Darjeeling and authored "Tales of the Himalaya: Adventures of a Naturalist."
(SFC, 5/15/99, p.A22)
1958 The Hearst Corp. acquired Popular Mechanics magazine
and launched WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1958 NBC cancelled the TV variety show "Caesar’s Hour" starring Cid Caesar (36).
1958 In Japan the Tokyo Tower was erected in the capital city as a relay for radio and TV signals. In 1998 it faced replacement.
1958-1962 The TV game show “Play Your Hunch” featured Merv Griffin as host.
(WSJ, 8/15/07, p.D12)
1958-1973 The TV game show "Concentration" was hosted by Art James (d.2004). It was NBC's longest running game show. James was born in Dearborn, Mich., in 1929 as Arthur Efimchick.
(SFC, 4/1/04, p.B7)
1959 Jan 5, The "Bozo the Clown" live children's show premiered on KTLA-Channel 5, Los Angeles TV. It starred Vance Colvig, Jr., son of Pinto Colvig (Bozo in 1949).
(MC, 1/5/02)(WGN-BTL, 2004)
1959 Jan 9, The TV show "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates premiered on CBS.
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052504/)(SSFC, 5/17/09, DB p.50)
1959 Feb 20,
The FCC applied the equal time rule to TV newscasts of political candidates.
1959 Mar 8, Groucho, Chico and Harpo made their final TV appearance
1959 Apr 17, A nationwide US air raid drill suspended most television and radio programs for a half hour.
3/22/09, DB p.50)
1959 Jun 1, "Juke Box Jury" began its long run on BBC-TV.
1959 Sep 12, NBC launched "Bonanza," the first color western on TV. 428 episodes were produced and the show ran to 1973. 431 episodes were filmed at the 570-acre site in Incline Village, Nevada. Michael Landon (d.1991) played Little Joe, Lorne Greene (d.1987) played Ben Cartwright (d.1987 at 72), and Dan Blocker (d.1972) played
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.A12)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.A29)(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.D2)(SFC, 6/28/13, p.D8)
1959 Oct 2, Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" made its debut on CBS-TV.
1959 Oct 15, The TV show "The Untouchables" premiered with Robert Stack (d.2003) as Eliot Ness. It was produced by Bert Granet (d.2002 at 92) and ran to
(SFC, 5/12/96, Par, p.14)(MC, 10/15/01)(SFC, 11/25/02, p.A15)(AP, 5/15/03)
1959 Nov 2, Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he had the questions and answers in advance of his
appearances on the NBC-TV game show "Twenty-One."
(AP, 11/2/97)(HN, 11/2/98)
1959 Nov 11, The 1st episode of "Rocky & His Friends" aired on TV. Jay Ward (d.1989), cartoonist, created the TV show
"Rocky and His Friends," which featured Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. It ran to 1961.
(SFEC, 12/15/96, DB p.63)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(MC, 11/11/01)
1959 Nov 24, The new TV show Twilight
Zone ran "The Time Element" about a bartender returning to Pearl Harbor Dec 6, 1941.
(SFC, 11/25/02, p.A15)
1959 Nov, Chubby Checker introduced "The Twist" on the "Dick Clark Saturday Night
(SFC, 9/5/00, p.D3)
1959 The "Dennis the Menace" show began on TV and ran for 146 episodes. it was based on the cartoon strip by Hank Ketcham.
(SFC, 9/20/97, p.E1)
1959 The TV series "The Lawless Years" began with James Gregory as detective Barney Ruditsky and run to 1962. It was a precursor to "The Untouchables."
1959 The "Maverick" TV cowboy show was written and produced by Coles Trapnell (d.1999) until 1962.
(SFC, 2/5/99, p.D4)
1959 "The Twilight Show" under Rod Serling began on TV. It ran to 1965.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1959 It was learned
that most TV quiz shows were fixed.
(TMC, 1994, p.1959)
1959 It was estimated that the average US family spent 42 hrs per week watching TV.
(TMC, 1994, p.1959)
1959-1963 The TV series "The Many Loves of Dobbie Gillis" featured Sheila Kuehl as Zelda Gilroy. She was elected to the California Assembly in 1994. From 1959-1960 the show featured Tuesday Weld as Thalia
(SFC, 9/22/96, Z1 p.3)(SFC, 9/22/96, DB p.55)
1960 Feb 11, Jack Paar walked off his TV show.
1960 May 13, Bill Mandel was brought before a HUAC committee at SF City Hall concerning his broadcasts at KPFA radio and KQED TV about press and periodicals of the Soviet Union. His TV show was cancelled but he continued broadcasting at KPFA. There was a
protest over the hearing and 64 people were arrested as police turned on fire hoses to quell the disturbance.
(SFEC, 7/26/98, p.D1,4)(SFEC, 5/23/99, Z1 p.1)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F3)
1960 May 18, Eileen
Fulton began playing Lisa on the TV soap "As the World Turns" and continued for over 30 years.
1960 May 19, DJ Alan Freed was accused of bribery in radio payola
1960 Jun 1, The ABC Television Network reached 100 affiliates.
1960 Jun 20, A "Bozo the Clown" show began on Chicago’s WGN-TV starring Bob Bell as Bozo. The show went on hiatus during WGN’s move Chicago’s northwest side and returned Sep 11, 1961. Joey D’Auria replaced Bell in 1984 and the show continued until Aug 26,
(SFC, 6/13/01, p.E3)(WGN-BTL, 2004)
1960 Sep 26, The first televised debate between presidential candidates Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago. Diplomat Henry
Cabot Lodge was Nixon’s vice-presidential nominee.
(SFEM, 4/28/96, p.12)(SFC, 5/7/96, p.A-6)(AP, 9/26/97)
1960 Sep 28, "Millionaire," last aired on
1960 Sep 30, The Flintstones, a cartoon about the domestic life of a stoneage family premiered on TV. It was the 1st prime time animation show and continued in prime time to
(MC, 9/30/01)(SFC, 7/27/05, p.G2)
1960 Sep 30, The last "Howdy Doody Show" (b.1947) with Buffalo Bob Smith was broadcast. Clarabelle finally talked and said "Goodbye Kids."
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A18)(MC, 9/30/01)
1960 Oct 3, "The Andy Griffith Show" premiered on CBS. It was directed by Aaron Ruben (1914-2010) ran to 1968. Don Knotts (d.2006 at 81) played the bumbling Deputy
(WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)(AP, 10/3/00)(AP, 2/26/06)(SFC, 2/5/10, p.C7)
1960 Oct 7, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held the second of their
broadcast debates, in Washington, DC.
1960 Oct 13, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy participated in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign, with Nixon in Hollywood
and Kennedy in New York.
1960 Oct 17, A grand jury found that the popular television game show Twenty-One had provided contestants with questions and answers before the live programs
1960 Dec 7, The first episode of "Coronation Street", the longest running TV soap opera in the world, was broadcast by
1960 "The Porter Wagoner Show" began on TV and ran for 21 years.
1960 The last Playhouse 90 production was shown on TV. It was a drama of the Warsaw ghetto titled: "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" and was written by Rod Serling.
(WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-14)
1960s The King Family was featured on ABC TV. The show featured Alyce King Clarke (1916-1996), one of the King Sisters who sang through five decades.
1960-1966 On TV Hanna-Barbera introduced "The Flintstones" animated cartoon series which ran for a record 166 episodes. This was surpassed in 1997 by "The Simpsons." Jean Vander Pyl (d.1999 at 79) spoke the voice of Wilma, Pebbles and Mrs. Slate, the wife of Fred's boss. The
theme music was composed by Hoyt Curtin (d.2000 at 78).
(USAT, 1/13/97, p.1D)(SFC, 8/26/98, z1 p.6)(SFC, 4/14/99, p.AC5)(SSFC, 12/10/00, p.C17)
1961 Jan 19, The 1st episode for "Dick Van Dyke Show"
1961 Jan 25, President Kennedy held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.
1961 Jan 27, Mitch Miller (1911-2010) debuted his TV show, “Sing Along With Mitch.” It continued to 1964.
1961 Apr 14, The Soviet Union made its first live television broadcast.
1961 Apr 29, ABC's "Wide World of Sports made its debut.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(MC, 4/29/02)
1961 May 9, In a
speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow condemned television programming as a "vast wasteland."
1961 Jun 12, The US
TV show “PM East and PM West” began airing on the Westinghouse network.
(SFC, 6/5/11, DB p.42)
1961 Jun 16, Dave Garroway was fired as Today Show host.
1961 Aug 27, Francis the Talking Mule was the mystery guest on "What's My Line."
1961 Sep 17, The situation comedy "Car 54, Where Are You?" premiered on NBC. Al Lewis (d.2006) played Officer Schnauzer opposite Fred Gwynne’s Officer Francis Muldoon. The series ran to 1963.
(AP, 9/17/01)(SSFC, 2/5/06,
1961 Sep 28, "Dr. Kildare," starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey, and "Hazel," starring Shirley Booth and Whitney Blake (d.2002 at 76), premiered on NBC TV. Hazel was modeled on Ted Key’s Saturday Evening Post cartoons and ran until
(AP, 9/28/01)(SFC, 10/5/02, p.A19)
1961 Oct 1, Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) first aired.
1961 Oct 3, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," also starring Mary Tyler Moore, made its debut on CBS.
1961 Dec, The Mike Douglas Show began in Cleveland, Ohio. The TV show ended in 1982. In 1999 he authored the memoir “”I’ll be Right Back: Memories of TV’s Greatest Talk Show.” Mike Douglas (born in 1925 as Michael Delaney Dowd Jr.) died in
(SFC, 8/12/06, p.B6)
1961 Irene Kampen (d.1998 at 75) wrote her first of ten books on her life following a divorce: "Life Without George." The books became the basis for the TV sitcom: "The Lucy
Show" (1962-1974), which followed Lucille Ball’s divorce with Desi Arnaz.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.A22)
1961 A "Bozo the Clown" show began on Chicago’s WGN-TV. The last show was taped in 2001.
(SFC, 6/13/01, p.E3)
1961 The Joey Bishop Show began on NBC. It was cancelled in 1964. CBS took it over and cancelled it in 1965. The late night real life Joey Bishop Show ran from 1967-1969.
1961 The British television show “The Avengers” began and continued to 1969. The theme music was composed by British jazz artist John Dankworth.
1961-1962 Wagon Train was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 32.1%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1961-1965 The TV courtroom drama show "The Defenders" starred E.G. Marshall.
(SFC, 8/26/98, p.A17)
1961-1965 The TV show "Mr. Ed," featured a talking
horse. Alan Young played Wilbur Post and Bamboo Harvester (1946-1979) played Mr. Ed.
(SFC, 1/24/97, p.D8)
1961-1966 On TV "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was directed by Sheldon Leonard
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.B2)(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.C10)
1962 Jan 13, Ernie Kovacs (b.1919), comedian and TV star, died at age 42 in a car crash in west Los Angeles. ''Nothing in moderation'' was
his credo and appeared on his epitaph.
1962 Feb 14, First lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the
1962 Mar 29, Jack Paar hosted NBC's "Tonight" show for the final time. He was succeeded by Johnny Carson (Oct 1) who stayed to
(SFEC, 2/23/96, z-1 p.2)(AP, 3/29/97)
1962 Apr 24, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Ca., and Westford,
1962 Jun 1, "The Dinah Shore Show" (TV Variety) aired for the last time on NBC after 10 years.
1962 Jul 11, The Telstar I satellite carried the first transatlantic TV transmission. It picked up broadcast signals from France and bounced them down to an antenna in Maine, delivering the first live television picture from Europe to
(PGA, 12/9/98)(MC, 7/11/02)
1962 Aug 8, The Chilean TV variety show "Sabados Gigantes" (Gigantic Saturdays) debuted with Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld (b.1940) as Don Francisco. In April,
1986, the show got shortened to the singular version (Sabado Gigante) went it went on air in Miami, Fla. Kreutzberger was the son of German Jews who fled Nazi persecution.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, Par p.16)(SFC, 4/14/04, p.E1)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0250920/)
1962 Sep 23, "The Jetsons," a TV animated Hanna-Barbera cartoon series about a Space Age family, premiered as the ABC television network's first color program. It was a futuristic mirror image of the Flintstones. Penny Singleton (1908-2003) was the voice of Jane
(SFC, 3/23/01, p.D7)(AP, 9/23/02)(SFC, 11/15/03, p.A23)
1962 Sep 26, TV comedy series "Beverly Hillbillies" premiered on CBS. The Beverly Hillbillies, produced by Paul Henning (1912-2005),
became the top ranking network show on television for two seasons with rankings of 36 and 39.1%. The show ran to 1971.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)(WSJ, 5/26/98, p.B1)(SFC, 3/26/05, p.B5)
1962 Oct 1, Johnny
Carson succeeded Jack Paar as regular host of NBC's "Tonight" show. Carson received an on-air introduction from Groucho Marx; the guests on his debut program were Joan Crawford, Rudy Vallee, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks and The Phoenix Singers.
1962 Oct 11, The TV series "McHale's Navy" (1962-66) premiered and featured Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012) as a Navy officer.
1962 Nov 24, The BBC TV series "That Was the Week That Was" began and ran through 36 episodes to 1963. Willie Rushton impersonated PM Harold McMillan.
1962 The 4 Osmond brothers, under the direction of their father, George Osmond (1917-2007), debuted on the Andy Williams show. Donny Osmond, at age 6, joined the group a year later. Marie Osmond joined the group in 1973. In 1976 the Donny and Marie show began
(SFC, 11/9/07, p.B7)
1962 The TV series "Combat" starred Dick Peabody (d.2000 at 74) as private Littlejohn. The series ran to 1967.
(SFC, 1/14/00, p.D4)
1962 The TV series “The Virginian” starred James Drury and Doug McClure. It was based on the 1902 novel by Owen Wister (1860-1938).
(AH, 10/02, p.20)
1962 The "Match Game" with host Gene Rayburn (d.1999 at 81) made its debut on Dec 31 and ran for 7 years.
(SFC, 12/3/99, p.D7)
1962-1963 Merv Griffin hosted the daytime talk show “The Merv Griffin Show.”
(WSJ, 8/15/07, p.D12)
1962-1965 Jack Paar (d.2004) hosted "The Jack Paar Program."
1962 The TV show "Frontier Circus" featured Richard Hanley Jaeckel (d.1997) as cowboy scout Tony Gentry.
(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A22)
1963 Jan 6, Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" with Marlin Perkins began on NBC.
(AP, 1/6/03)(MC, 1/6/02)
1963 Apr 1,
The daytime television drama "General Hospital" and "Doctors" premiered on ABC.
1963 Jun 7, The Rolling Stones made their 1st TV
1963 Sep 2, "The CBS Evening News" was lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes.
1963 Sep 7, The Beatles made their 1st US TV appearance on ABC’s Big Night Out.
1963 Sep 7,
American Bandstand moved to California and aired once a week on Saturday.
1963 Sep 13, "Outer Limits" premiered on ABC TV. It was partly written, produced and directed by Leslie
Stevens (d.1998) and ran to 1965.
(SFC, 4/29/98, p.C2)(MC, 9/13/01)
1963 Sep 16, The science-fiction anthology series "The Outer Limits" premiered on ABC. It ran to
(AP, 9/16/98)(SFEM, 2/28/99, p.4)
1963 Sep 17, "The Fugitive," starring David Janssen, premiered on ABC. It was written and produced by Roy Huggins (d.2002). Kimble was cleared on the Aug 29,
1967, and narrator William Conrad announced "the day the running stopped." In 1993 Ed Robertson authored the companion book ""The Fugitive Recaptured." In 1993 a film was made based on the TV series with Harrison Ford as Kimble.
(AP, 9/17/98)(WSJ, 10/16/00, p.A32)(SFC, 4/15/02, p.B5)
1963 Sep 18, "The Patty Duke Show" premiered on ABC television.
1963 Sep 28, "New Phil Silvers Show,"
debuted on CBS-TV.
1963 Sep 29, The situation comedy "My Favorite Martian" premiered on CBS. It starred Bill Bixby and Ray Walston (d.2000 at 86). The show ran to
(SFC, 1/3/01, p.A17)(AP, 9/29/03)
1963 Nov 22, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Gov. John B. Connally was seriously wounded.
Oswald was in turn shot in front of TV cameras by Jack Ruby. Rufus Youngblood (1924-1996), a Secret Service agent, shielded VP Johnson from possible gunshots with his body. Johnson rewarded him by promoting him over time to the No. 2 position in the Secret Service. Ruby used a .38 Colt Cobra purchased at Ray’s Hardware and Sporting Goods in Dallas run by Lawrence Brantley (1921-1996). From the
address that President Kennedy never got to deliver in Dallas: "If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be no help."
(TMC, 1994, p.1963)(AHD, p. 931)(SFC, 10/4/96, p.B2)(SFC, 10/17/96, C2) (AP, 11/22/97)
1963 Julia Child made her TV debut as "The French Chef" on Boston's WGBH-TV. PBS picked up the show a year later.
(SFEM, 8/10/97, p.23)
1963 The TV series “Captain
Amos Burke,” later renamed “Amos Burke: Secret Agent,” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009). The show continued to 1966.
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)
1963 The TV show The Saint featured Jackie Collins.
(SSFC, 8/4/02, Par p.14)
1963 Virginia Graham (d.1998) led the "Girl Talk" TV talk show until 1969.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.B6)
1963 Keith Andes
(1920-2005) played the role of an amazing sleuth on the TV sitcom “Glynis.” Glynis Johns played his wife.
(SFC, 11/29/05, p.B7)
1963 The TV costume game show "Let's Make a Deal" premiered and ran for 16 years in daytime and 10 years in prime time.
It was hosted by Monty Hall and co-created by Stefan Hatos (d.1999 at 78).
(SFC, 3/9/99, p.A22)
1963 The TV show "My Favorite Martian" starred Bill Bixby and Ray Walston (d.2000 at 86). The show ran to
(SFC, 1/3/01, p.A17)
1963 George Fenneman (1919-1997) began to host the TV show "Your Funny, Funny Films" on ABC. It was a forerunner to "America’s Funniest Videos."
1963 The British sci-fi TV series Dr. Who began. It reach the US in 1978. It featured a space traveling Doctor who was hundreds of years old from the planet Gellifrey. He used a London police call box as the external form of his space vessel. The
interior was spacious with comfortable Edwardian touches.
(SFC, 5/14/96, E-1)
1963 Ralph Roberts, former marketer of Muzak and owner of a belts and suspenders company, acquired a 1,200-subscriber,
community antenna, television system (American Cable Systems) in Tupelo, Miss. In 1969 it was incorporated in Pennsylvania and renamed Comcast. The company went public in 1972
(SSFC, 2/15/04, p.I6)
Jan 30, The United States launched Ranger 6 from Cape Canaveral. It was an unmanned spacecraft carrying six television cameras that was to crash-land on the moon.
(AP, 1/30/98)(HN, 1/30/99)
Jan, The Beatles made their North America TV debut on the Jack Paar Show. [see Feb 9, 1964]
(SFC, 1/28/04, p.A1)
1964 Feb 9, The Beatles made their first live American television
appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." [see Jan, 1964]
1964 Feb 16, The Beatles made their 2nd appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show."
1964 Mar 30, The original version of the TV game show "Jeopardy!" premiered on NBC. Merv Griffin (1925-2007) created the TV game show “Jeopardy.” He sold the rights for the show to Coca-Cola for $250 million in 1986. The show was
hosted by Art Fleming until 1975. It resurfaced in syndication in 1984 with Alex Trebek as host.
(SFC, 8/13/07, p.A1)(WSJ, 8/15/07, p.D12)(AP, 3/30/08)
1964 May 25, In the16th Emmy Awards the winners
included the Dick Van Dyke Show, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore.
1964 Jul 22, David Spade, an American actor, comedian and television personality, was born in Birmingham, Michigan.
He first became famous in the 1990s as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and from 1997 until 2003 starred as Dennis Finch on Just Shoot Me!.
1964 Sep 17,
The situation comedy "Bewitched" premiered on ABC-TV.
1964 Sep 22, "Man from U.N.C.L.E," premiered on NBC-TV.
1964 Sep 24, The TV situation comedy "Munsters" premiered on CBS with Al Lewis as the family patriarch.
(AP, 9/24/04)(SSFC, 2/5/06, p.A2)
1964 Sep 25, The TV show “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” debuted with Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle. The show was directed by Aaron Ruben (1914-2010) and continued to run to 1969.
1964 Sep 26, "Gilligan’s Island," a TV tale of 7 castaways, began its 98-show run on CBS. The show was created by Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011).
p.B4)(SFC, 7/13/11, p.C4)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilligan%27s_Island)
1964 Oct 14, Philips began experimenting with color TV.
1964 Dec 3, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" 1st aired on TV.
1964 "The Addams Family" and "The
Munsters" began on TV and ran to 1966. David Levy (d.2000 at 87), An ABC executive, created the Addams Family.
(WSJ, 10/21/96, p.A18)(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A25)
1964 "The Bullwinkle Show" began on NBC
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1964 Ronald Reagan hosted Death Valley Days and appeared in some episodes through 1965.
1964 The TV series “Valentine’s Day” starred Anthony Franciosa as a NYC publishing executive. It lasted just one season.
(SFC, 1/21/06, p.B5)
1964 Charmin began showing TV commercials featuring actor Dick Wilson (1916-2007). He made famous the phrase “Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin.” The ads ended in 1985.
(SFC, 11/20/07, p.A2)
1964 Les Crane (1935-2008), pioneer talk radio and TV host, hosted the “The Les Crane Show,” a late night TV talk show on ABC that ran for 4 months.
1964-1967 Bonanza was the top ranking network show on television for three seasons with rankings of 36.3, 31.8, and 29.1%.
1965 Jan 16, "Outer Limits" last aired on ABC-TV.
Feb 15, Raymond Kurzweil, a diffident but self-possessed high school student, appeared as a guest on a game show called I've Got a Secret. He was introduced by the host, Steve Allen, then he played a short musical composition on a piano that was composed by a computer that he had built. By 2011 Kurzweil believed that we're approaching a moment when computers will become
intelligent, and not just intelligent but more intelligent than humans. He believed that this moment was not only inevitable but imminent. According to his calculations, the end of human civilization as we know it would be about 35 years away.
1965 Apr 27, Edward R. Murrow (b.1908), newscaster (Person to Person), died of cancer in Pawling, N.Y. He had filed radio broadcast from London during the WW II German air raids. In 1986 A.M. Sperber authored “Murrow: His Life and Times.”
4/27/05)(SFC, 2/10/06, p.E11)(WSJ, 12/1/07, p.W10)
1965 Apr 28, Barbra Streisand starred on "My Name is Barbra" special on CBS.
1965 May 2, Intelsat 1, also known as the Early Bird satellite, was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.
1965 May 18, Gene Roddenberry suggested 16 names including Kirk for Star Trek Captain.
1965 Sep 13, Ben Gazzara (1930-2012) starred for two seasons,
1965 to 1968, on the NBC prime-time drama "Run for Your Life." He played a wealthy, successful lawyer, Paul Bryan, who quits his practice after learning he has a terminal illness and then embarks on a globe-trotting quest for adventure before he dies.
1965 Sep 14, The situation comedy "My Mother the Car" premiered on NBC-TV.
1965 Sep 14, The TV show "F-Troop" premiered. It ended in 1967 after 65 episodes.
1965 Sep 15, The TV show “I
Spy” premiered. Bill Cosby and Roger Culp (1930-2010) starred in the series which ran for 82 episodes until 1968.
(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.C10)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0058816/)
1965 Sep 15, The TV show "Lost in Space," with its
Space Family Robinson and robot premiered on CBS. It was set in the year 1997. The show was cancelled in 1968. The CBS TV show featured Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Billy Mumy, Jonathon Harris (d.2002 at 87) and the robot voice of Dick Tufeld (1926-2012).
(SFC, 8/27/96, p.B2)(AP, 9/15/97)(SFEC, 1/3/99, DB p.28)(SFC, 11/6/02,
p.A34)(SFC, 1/30/12, p.C4)
1965 Sep 16, "The Dean Martin Show" premiered on NBC.
1965 Sep 17, "The Smothers Brothers Show", debuted on CBS TV.
1965 Sep 18, "Get Smart" premiered.
1965 Nov 8, The American television soap opera “Days of Our Lives” premiered with Frances Reid (1914-2010) as Alice Horton. Reid spent over 40 years playing Alice Horton on the daytime
1965 The first animated Peanuts TV Special was broadcast on CBS.
1965 The TV show "Big Valley" starred Barbara Stanwyck and ran to 1969. It was produced by Jules Levy (d.2003 at 80).
(SFC, 5/29/03, p.A19)
1965 Jack Paar (47) retired as host from "The Jack Paar Program."
(SFC, 1/28/04, p.A2)
1965 The TV series “Green
Acres” starred Eddie Albert (1906-2005) and Eva Gabor. It ran for 7 years.
(SFC, 5/28/05, p.A2)
1965 The TV series “Honey West” starred Anne Francis (d.2012 at 80). She played a sexy private eye in the
series, which continued to 1966.
(SFC, 1/4/11, p.C5)
1965 The TV series Wild, Wild West began and ran to 1970. Government agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon tracked Arliss Loveless, who sought to
assassinate Pres. Grant.
(SFEC, 6/27/99, BR p.45)
1965 Time Magazine entered the fledgling cable TV business.
1965 The Scopitone was a quick fad that used jukebox machines to show music video-like short films.
(SFC, 10/14/96, p.A23)
1966 Jan 9, Ronald Reagan appeared on Meet the Press and was asked why he had not disavowed the John Birch Society. Reagan said a committee had found looked into the group and "nothing of a subversive nature." In 1960 an informer reported to the FBI that Reagan was a Beverly Hills chapter member.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F6)
1966 Jan 12, "Batman" with Adam West & Burt Ward premiered on ABC TV. Frank Gorshin (1933-2005) played the Riddler.
(MC, 1/12/02)(SFC, 5/19/05, p.B7)
1966 Jun 16, "Rowan & Martin Show," debuted on NBC-TV.
1966 Jun 21, Reg Calvert (b.1938), a pirate-radio operator, was shot and killed by Oliver Smedley, an ex-army man and commercial rival. In 2010 Adrian Johns authored “Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Calvert)(Econ, 11/20/10, p.97)
1966 Jun 27, The 1st sci-fi soap opera, "Dark Shadows," premiered.
1966 Sep 1, The 1st annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, led by Jerry Lewis, was held.
(SFC, 9/3/97, p.E5)
8, The television series “Star Trek” premiered on NBC with the episode "The Man Trap". Nichelle Nichols starred as Lt. Uhura.
(SFC, 8/5/96, p.A13)(SFC, 6/12/99, p.A23)(AP, 9/8/01)
1966 Sep 8, The situation comedy "That Girl" starring Marlo Thomas
premiered on ABC-TV.
1966 Sep 12, "The Monkees" debuted on NBC TV. "Hey, hey we're the Monkees- and we don't monkey around." The show ran to 1868 and won an
(WSJ, 1/9/97, p.A8)(AP, 9/12/01)
1966 Sep 12, The situation comedy Family Affair'' premiered on CBS.
1966 Sep 14, Tillie Edelstein (b.1898), actress and screenwriter, died. As Gertrude Berg, she created “The Goldbergs” (1929), a radio program that later became first television sitcom. In 2009 Aviva Kempner directed a documentary of Berg titled “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Berg)(SFC, 8/7/09, p.E5)
1966 Dec 18, Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" aired for 1st time on
1966 The sitcom "Family Affair" began on TV. It ran to 1971.
1966 Dennis Weaver (1924-2006) starred with a black bear in the TV series “Gentle Ben.”
(AP, 9/10/05)(SFC, 2/28/06, p.A2)
1966 The Road Runner Show arrived on TV.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.55)
1966 The TV sitcom "Petticoat Junction" featured Bea
Benaderet as the widowed owner of the Shady Rest Hotel and mother of 3 fetching daughters in Hooterville. Meredith MacRae (d.2000 at 56) was one of the daughters. The CBS series ran until 1970.
(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A23)
1966 "The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau" made its debut on American TV as a National Geographic Special.
(SFC, 6/26/97, p.A7)
1966-1971 The CBS sitcom "Family Affair" with Brian
Keith played on TV.
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A16)
1966-1971 "That Girl" with Marlo Thomas and Ted Bissel (1935-1996) ran on TV.
1967 Jan 10, National Educational Television (forerunner of Public Broadcasting Service) operated as a true network for the 1st time as it carried Pres. Johnson's State of the Union address.
1967 Jan 15, The Rolling Stones appeared on Ed Sullivan Show.
1967 Feb 5, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premiered on CBS TV.
1967 Mar 29, The first nationwide
strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television occurred and lasted for 13 days.
1967 Jun 4, American actor and comedian Bill Cosby (b.1937)
received an Emmy Award for his work in the television series "I Spy." Cosby won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in the Drama Series in 1966, 1967 and 1968. In the 19th Emmy Awards: Mission Impossible, Monkees, Don Knotts & Lucy Ball were among the winners.
1967 Jun 19, Beatle Paul McCartney, having admitted in Life Magazine that he had taken LSD, repeated the admission on television.
1967 Sep 3, The original version of the television game show "What's My Line?," hosted by John Charles Daly, broadcast its final episode after more than 17 years on CBS.
1967 Sep 4, Michigan Gov. George Romney told a TV interview he'd undergone a "brainwashing" by U.S. officials during a 1965 visit to Vietnam, a comment that apparently damaged Romney's bid for the Republican presidential
1967 Sep 7, The situation comedy "The Flying Nun," starring Sally Field as a nun who finds that she can fly, debuted on ABC.
1967 Sep 9, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" aired as a one-time special on NBC; its success led to a regular series beginning in January 1968. The show folded in 1973.
(AP, 9/9/07)(SSFC, 5/25/08, p.B6)
1967 Sep 11, "The Carol Burnett Show" premiered on CBS.
1967 Sep 16, The TV series "Mannix," starring Mike Connors, premiered on CBS.
1967 Sep 17, "Mission Impossible" premiered on CBS-TV. [see Sep 17,
1967 Oct, TV journalist Charles Kuralt (1934-1997) hit the nation’s roads with a 3-person crew for a trial run of what would become the "On the Road"
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A5)
1967 Dec 26, BBC-1 television aired "Magical Mystery Tour," the Beatles' critically drubbed one-hour special.
1967 Fred W. Friendly, TV producer, published "Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control."
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A24)
1967 Frank Pacelli spent 13 years (1967-1980) on The TV show "Days of Our Lives." He then moved on to "The Young and the Restless."
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A19)
1967 The TV series "Hondo" with Kathie Browne as a widowed mother was based on a story by Louis L’Amour. There was a 1953 film version of the story.
(SFC, 4/17/03, p.A23)
The Andy Griffith Show was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 27.6%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1968 Jan 8, The documentary series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” first
aired on US network TV.
(www.imdb.com/title/tt0845400/)(Econ, 10/31/09, p.97)
1968 Jan 9, The TV show "It Takes A Thief" with Robert Wagner began on ABC. It written and produced by Leslie Stevens
(d.1998) and ran to 1970.
(SFC, 8/13/97, Z1 p.3)(SFC, 4/29/98, p.C2)
1968 Jan 22, The TV variety show "Laugh In" began on NBC with comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. It continued running to May 14,
1973. It was the top ranking network show on television for two seasons (1968-1969) with rankings of 31.8 and 26.3%.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_&_Martin%27s_Laugh-In)(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
Feb 19, The children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, created by Fred Rogers (1928-2003), premiered on NET (later PBS).
May 24, In Britain Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones released their song "Jumping Jack Flash." The US release was on June 1.
Jun 1, The British television series "The Prisoner," starring Patrick McGoohan, had its American premiere on CBS.
1968 Jul 15, The TV soap opera “One Life to Live” premiered. Its final
episode was scheduled in the Fall of 2011.
(SFC, 4/15/11, p.F2)(www.ovguide.com/tv/one_life_to_live.htm)
1968 Aug 15, Pirate Radio Free London began
1968 Aug 21, After 5 years Russia once again jammed Voice of America radio.
1968 Sep 1, Pirate Radio Marina in the Netherlands began transmitting.
1968 Sep 16, Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon exclaimed, "Sock it to ME?" in a taped bit for the NBC-TV comedy program "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."
1968 Sep 20, The TV show "Name of the Game" premiered with Gene Barry and Tony Franciosa. It was written and produced by Leslie Stevens (d.1998) and ran to 1971.
(SFC, 4/29/98, p.C2)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0062591/)
1968 Sep 23, The TV western "The Outcasts" premiered. The one season show featured Otis Young (d.2001 at 69) and Don Murray working together as post Civil War bounty hunters.
(SFC, 10/20/01, p.E2)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0062596/)
1968 Sep 24, The CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" premiered on CBS-TV on a Tuesday night. Don Hewitt created and produced the TV news show "60
Minutes." He wrote his book "Minute by Minute" in 1985.
(SFEM, 2/8/98, Par p.26)(AP, 9/24/98)
1968 Sep 24, The TV show "Mod Squad" premiered on ABC and continued to 1973. It was about 3 hip young cops who worked undercover in LA. A film version was
begun in 1998.
(AP, 9/24/98)(SFC, 8/27/99, p.C14)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0062589/)
1968 Sep 26, Hawaii Five-O premiered on CBS TV and continued to 1980. It starred Jack Lord (d.1998 at 77) and was the
longest running police show in TV history. It’s theme song was "Walk Don’t Run" by the Ventures. Lord (born as John Joseph Patrick Ryan) was a painter off TV and his canvasses sold privately for top dollar.
(SFC, 7/11/96, p.D4)(SFC, 1/22/98, p.D3)
1968 Oct 14, The first live telecast from a manned US spacecraft was sent from Apollo 7.
1968 Nov 17,
NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, "Heidi," on schedule. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Raiders come from behind to beat the Jets, 43-to-32.
1968 Dec 24, The 3 Apollo 8 astronauts (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman), orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast. The first pictures of an Earth-rise over the Moon are seen as the crew of Apollo 8 orbits the
(TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)(MC, 12/24/01)
1968 Dom DeLuise (1933-2009), actor, chef, comedian and author, hosted “The Dom DeLuise Show,” a comedy variety summer series on
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.A9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom_DeLuise)
1968 The TV series “The Name of the Game” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009). The show continued to 1971.
1968 The "Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus" was shot for home video but not released until 1996. The 62 minute TV special featured the Stones, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, the Who, Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal and Jethro Tull.
(SFC, 10/15/96, p.B1)
1968 Tele-Communications Inc. was founded by Bob Magness (1924-1996) when he merged Community Television Inc. and Western Microwave Inc. in Denver. The company went public in 1970.
1968-1972 Terry Melcher (1942-2004) produced his mother’s “The Doris Day Show.”
(SSFC, 11/21/04, p.A25)
1968-1975 The police drama Adam-12 starred Martin Milner and Kent McCord. William Boyett (1927-2004) played Sgt. MacDonald.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A23)
1968-1980 Hawaii Five-O ran on TV for this period. It
starred Jack Lord (d.1998 at 77) and was the longest running police show in TV history. It’s theme song was "Walk Don’t Run" by the Ventures. Lord (born as John Joseph Patrick Ryan) was a painter off TV and his canvasses sold privately for top dollar. Gilbert Lani Kauhi (d.2004) played Detective Kono Kalakaua.
p.D4)(SFC, 1/22/98, p.D3)(SFC, 5/8/04, p.B6)
1969 Feb 9, Gabby Hayes (b.1885), American film and TV actor, died. He played the sidekick to Hopalong Cassidy and later Roy Rogers Westerns.
1969 Mar 26, Marcus Welby MD, a TV movie was shown on ABC-TV. It began a popular series with Robert Young and ran to 1976.
1969 May 11, Canada’s CBC public broadcaster announced it will no longer accept advertising from tobacco companies.
1969 May 11, The Monty Python comedy troupe formed.
1969 May 23, The BBC ordered 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Jun 3, Last episode of Star Trek aired on NBC (Turnabout Intruder).
1969 Jun 7, The Johnny Cash Show premiered on ABC from the Grand Ole Opry
with special guest Bob Dylan and regular cast: Tennessee Three, June Carter and Carter Family, Statler Brothers, and Carl Perkins, stepping in for Luther Perkins, who has just died accidentally in tragic fire. The series ran through 1971.
1969 Jun 9, The US Supreme Court, in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, ruled the Fairness Doctrine constitutional. The court said free-speech protections for broadcasters are narrower than those for publishers and pedestrians. The Red Lion case was the result of a 1964 book "Goldwater: Extremist on the Right," by
Fred J. Cook. In 1987 the Federal Communications Commission voted 4-0 to rescind the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues. The tighter regulation of broadcasting was based on broadcasters' use of public airwaves.
8/4/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Lion_Broadcasting_Co._v._FCC)(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)
1969 Jul 20, Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin made the first successful landing of a
manned vehicle on the moon when they touched down in Apollo 11. Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the landing module Eagle to become the first man ever to walk on the moon. The two astronauts explored the moon's surface for 2 1/2 hours, with amazed TV audiences looking on. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments and his contributions to the space
program. Edwin Aldrin became the second man to step foot on the moon shortly after Neil Armstrong hopped off the lunar lander Eagle at 10:56 p.m. Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon for about two hours during their 22-hour lunar stay. Thomas Kelly (d.2002 at 72) was the engineer who had overseen the building of the lunar module.
(V.D.-H.K.p.182, 341) (TMC, 1994, p.1969)(AP, 7/20/97)(HNPD, 7/20/98)(HNQ, 9/14/00)(SFC, 3/29/02, p.A24)
1969 Sep 23, The 1st broadcast of "Marcus Welby MD" on ABC-TV. The drama with Robert Young continued to
1969 Sep 26, The family comedy series "The Brady Bunch" premiered on ABC-TV and continued to 1974. The show was created by Sherwood Schwartz
(AP, 9/26/99)(SFC, 7/13/11, p.C4)
1969 Oct 5, Monty Python's Flying Circus made its debut on BBC Television. Ian Macnaughton (d.2002) directed all but 4 of its 45 episodes It ran on
British TV until 1974.
(WSJ, 6/16/98, p.A17)(AP, 10/5/98)(SFC, 1/4/03, p.A15)
1969 Nov 10, Sesame Street, a children’s show, premiered on the National Education Television network (NET), which later
became PBS. Jim Henson, Jeffrey A. Moss (d.1998 at 56) and Joe Raposo were the among the creators. Moss created the Cookie Monster character and wrote such songs as "I Love Trash." Kermit Love (1916-2008) worked as the costume designer for the show.
(AP, 11/10/07)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_Street)(SFC, 6/27/08,
1969 Nov 13, Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.
1969 Nov 19, The Benny Hill Show premiered in Britain. It ran on Thames Television (ITV) from 1969-1989.
1969 Dec 17, An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancée, Miss Vicky, on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
1969 Dec 21, Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together", which would be the last of their 12 number one
1969 Della Reese (b.1931) hosted her talk show "Della" for one season on TV.
(SFEC,1/19/97, Par p.22)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0063892/)
1969 George Vicas (d.1997 at 71) produced a TV film for NBC on Artur Rubinstein. Vicas won an Emmy for this documentary.
1969 "Hee-Haw," a syndicated TV show, debuted. It satirized country life with a mixture of music and comedy.
National Association of Broadcasters endorsed the phase out of cigarette ads on TV and radio.
(WSJ, 1/27/04, p.D12)
1969 South Korea’s Samsung Electronics was formed and began making transistor radios. By 2011 it had evolved into the world’s leading
manufacturer of televisions and much else.
(Econ, 10/1/11, p.75)
1969-1972 The TV series “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” starred Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz. Miyoshi Umeki was featured as the housekeeper in the ABC
(SFC, 9/12/07, p.A17)
1970 Jan 5, The TV soap opera “All My Children” premiered. Its final episode was scheduled in the Fall of
(SFC, 4/15/11, p.F2)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0065272/)
1970 Apr 1, President Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971.
1970 Apr 30, President Nixon announced the United States was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest. Nixon widened the war to Cambodia and protests
increased. U.S. troops invaded Cambodia to disrupt North Vietnamese Army base areas. U.S. President Richard Nixon announced to a national TV audience American troop movements into Cambodia to attack Communist border sanctuaries. Calling the joint U.S.-South Vietnamese operation "indispensable," some 32,000 American and 48,000 South Vietnamese troops captured large caches of supplies, but most
Communist forces had already been withdrawn. A storm of protest against expansion of the war swept the United States and four days later four student protesters at Ohio's Kent State University were shot dead by National Guardsmen.
(AP, 4/30/97)(TMC, 1994, p.1970)(HN, 4/30/98)(HNQ,
1970 Apr 30, Inger Stevens (b.1934, Stockholm-born star of TV’s “The Farmer’s Daughter,” died of an overdose. For all intents and purposes, Ms. Stevens' death was a suicide but following her death, it came out in the tabloids that she had been secretly married to African-American Ike Jones since 1961. The
couple was estranged at the time of her death.
1970 May 4, The US FCC adopted the prime time access rule (PTAR), to be fully effective as of October 1, 1971. Four
months after its adoption, however, the Commission on August 7, 1970, significantly amended the rule, delaying until October 1, 1972, the effective date of the off-network and feature films provisions.
1970 Sep 16, The American TV show "McCloud" was released. It starred Dennis Weaver (1924-2006) and was written and produced by Leslie Stevens (d.1998). The series continued to 1977.
(SFC, 4/29/98, p.C2)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0065317/)
1970 Jun 19, "The Tim Conway Show", TV Comedy, last aired on CBS after 13 episodes.
Sep 19, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" with Ed Asner debuted on CBS TV and ran to 1977. Mary Richards threw her hat at 7th St. and Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis for the opening credits. In 2001 the city planned a $150,000 statue of Mary to be made by Gwendolyn Gillen of Wisconsin. In 1989 Robert S. Alley and Irby B. Brown authored “Love Is All Around,” a complete documentary of the
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)(AP, 9/19/00)(WSJ, 6/19/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/12/05, p.P14)
1970 Sep 21, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New
York Jets, 31-to-21.
(SFC, 12/7/96, p.A1)(AP, 9/21/00)
1970 Oct 5, National Educational Television (NET), the forerunner of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), commenced broadcasting following its
merger with station WNDT Newark, New Jersey, to form WNET. In 1973 it merged with Educational Television Stations.
1970 Oct 7, Pres. Nixon proposed a
cease-fire-in-place in a televised speech.
(WSJ, 2/5/96, p.A-19)
1970 Nov 11, Stevie Wonder sang "Heaven Help Us All" on the Johnny Cash show.
1970 The TV news show "Agronsky & Company," WTOP-TV, was the first to feature news reporters talking among themselves. Martin Zama Agronsky (b.1915) died in 1999 at age
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A22)
1970 The TV soap opera “All My Children” premiered. Its final episode was scheduled in the Fall of 2011.
1970 The TV show "Wall Street Week" started with Louis Rukeyser. The last program was scheduled for June 28, 2002.
(SFC, 3/22/02, p.B5)
1970 Virginia Graham
(1912-1998), American daytime television talk show host, began "The Virginia Graham Show" on TV and continued to 1972.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.B6)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Graham)
1970 The Don Knotts Show premiered and lasted for one
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B7)
1970 Flip Wilson (1933-1998), the fist successful black host of a TV variety show, hosted the Flip Wilson Show until 1974.
1970 "The Phil Donohue Show" began on TV. It ran to 1996.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)
1970 Dr. Robert Schuller, minister of the Reformed Church of America, began
his Sunday TV show "Hour of Power."
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Par p.18)
1970 Ted Turner (b.1938) bought an Atlanta UHF station and built it into the Turner Broadcasting System. He had inherited his father’s billboard business in
(WSJ, 10/21/04, p.D8)(www.wordiq.com/definition/Ted_Turner)
1970 Mister Ed the talking horse, star of the 1961 TV sitcom, died. By the time Mister Ed reached the age of 19 he was suffering from a broken leg and a variety of health problems,
and was quietly put to death with no publicity. However, in an interview on Los Angeles station KECT's program "Life and Times", Alan Young stated that Mr. Ed died from an inadvertent tranquilizer administered while he was "in retirement" in a stable in Burbank, California.
1970s "The Six Million Dollar Man" ran as a TV series with Lee Majors. It was based on the book Cyborg by Martin Caidin (d.1997 at 69).
1970-1971 Marcus Welby, M.D. was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of 29.6%. Robert Young (d.1998 at 91) played his TV role "Marcus Welby, M.D." until 1976.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)(SFC,
1971 Jan 1, The US government ban on TV Cigarette ads went into effect.
(SFEC, 9/15/96, DB p.55)(AP, 4/1/98)
1971 Jan 12, The situation comedy "All in the Family" with Carroll O’Connor (1924-2001) as Archie Bunker, began on CBS TV and ran to 1983. It later became "Archie Bunker’s Place." It was the first video-taped sitcom. It was based on the 1964 British series "Till Death Do Us Part," written by Johnny Speight
(d.1998 at 78).
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)(AP, 1/12/00)(SFC, 6/22/01, p.A1)
1971 Feb 20, The National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered radio and TV stations across the US to go
off the air; some stations heeded the alert, which was not lifted for about 40 minutes.
1971 Mar 11, Philo T. Farnsworth (b.1906), inventor of television, died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Later Prof. Donald Godfrey authored "Philo T. Farnsworth: The Father of Television" and Evan I. Schwartz authored "The Last Lone Inventor."
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.D1)(www.aoc.gov/cc/art/nsh/farnsworth.cfm)
Mar 28, CBS aired the final broadcast of its Ed Sullivan Show. Reruns and pre-emptions aired in that time slot throughout the following April and May, and in June, CBS announced that The Ed Sullivan Show had been cancelled.
1971 Apr 2, The ABC sci-fi soap opera "Dark Shadows,” which premiered in 1966, aired for the last time.
1971 May 3, The National Public Radio “All Things Considered” program premiered on 112 NPR stations. NPR, the US national, non-commercial radio network, was founded in 1970 and hit the airwaves in April, 1971.
1971 May 9, In the 23rd Emmy Awards: Jack Klugman won for his role in “The Odd Couple” & Jean Stapleton won for her role in “All in the Family.”
1971 Jun 6, "Ed Sullivan Show" made its last broadcasts on CBS-TV.
1971 Jun 12, Tricia Nixon and Edward F. Cox were married in the White House Rose Garden. The event was covered by all three major TV networks.
(AP, 6/12/97)(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A7)
1971 Aug 1, CBS presented Masterpiece Theatre's 6 Wives of Henry VIII. The BBC produced program series first aired in 1970.
(www.tvguide.com/tvshows/six-wives-henry/204436)(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.A9)
1971 Sep 4, "The Lawrence Welk Show" was seen for the last time on ABC-TV. A week later it opened on the Lawrence Welk Network.
1971 Sep 14, "Cannon" with William Conrad premiered on CBS-TV.
1971 Sep 15, The 1st broadcast of "Columbo" on NBC-TV.
1971 Oct 25, The TV
show “The Electric Company” premiered providing an advance for children raised on Sesame Street.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.56)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0066651/)
1971 Nov 30, TV movie "Brian's Song," aired for the
1st time on ABC-TV.
1971 Dec 12, David Sarnoff (b.1891), US TV pioneer (RCA), died. He was a Russian immigrant who transformed NBC from a radio to a TV
(SFC, 8/2/99, p.B3)(www.davidsarnoff.org/ds07.html)
1971 Fielder Cook (d.2003 at 80) adopted Arthur Miller's play "The Price" for NBC.
(SSFC, 6/28/03, p.A31)
1971 Fielder Cook directed "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story." It starred Patricia Neal and became the basis for the 1972 series "The Waltons."
(SSFC, 6/28/03, p.A31)(SFC, 8/9/10,
1971 US CIA funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty was disclosed. In 2000 Arch Puddington, deputy director of RFE/RL’s new York bureau from 1985 to 1993, authored "Broadcasting Freedom." The Munich headquarters were closed in 1994 and the organization moved to an afterlife in
(WSJ, 6/5/00, p.A30)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe)
1971 Britain’s Open University started teaching via radio and television.
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.101)
1971-1976 "All in the Family" was the top ranking network show on television for five seasons with rankings of 34, 33.3, 32.2, 30.2, and 30.1%.
1972 Jan 11, The TV movie "Kolchak, The Night Stalker" aired for the first time. It was followed by a series of 22 episodes that ended Mar 28, 1975.
1972 Jan 14, "Sanford & Son" premiered on NBC TV. It starred Desmond Wilson and Red Foxx and became the most successful black-oriented series in TV history. The series ended in 1977.
(SSFC, 2/11/01, BR p.1)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0068128/)(SFC, 9/19/02, p.A24)
1972 Jan 22, The TV series "Emergency" began with Julie London and Bobby Troup. It ran until 1977.
1972 Apr, The US government filed suit against the 3 major television networks for monopolizing prime-time entertainment with their own programs. The suits were dismissed in 1974 after the Nixon White
House refused to turn over subpoenaed records.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A7)
1972 May 13, Dan Blocker (b.1928), actor (Hoss-Bonanza), died.
1972 May 18, "Me & The Chimp" last aired on CBS-TV.
1972 Jun 8, John Plummer, helicopter pilot and operations officer in Vietnam, ordered the bombing of the village of Trang Bang. He did not know that villagers had taken refuge there. AP photographer Nick Ut took a photo of screaming children struck by napalm that showed 9-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc standing naked
in agony. Alan Downes (1938-1996) filmed live TV footage of 9-year-old Kim Phuc and other children as they fled down Highway One in South Vietnam to escape a village under US napalm attack. On Nov 11, 1996 Plummer met with Phan Thi Kim at the Vietnam memorial in Washington in reconciliation. It was later disclosed that the actual pilot responsible was a South Vietnamese air force officer. In 2000
Denise Chong authored "The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc and the Photograph That Changed the course of the Vietnam War."
(SFC, 10/11/96, p.A24)(SFC, 11/12/96, p.A3)(SFEC, 4/13/97, p.A1,12)(SFC,12/18/97, p.A3)(SFEC, 8/20/00, BR p.1)
1972 Jun 21, The TV sitcom "Corner Bar" began its 1st of 2 seasons.
(SFEC, 3/30/97, DB. p.35)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0546094/)
Sep 4, The TV game show "The Price Is Right" returned with Bob Barker and continued for 35 seasons. A nighttime version also began this year hosted by Dennis James (1917-1997) up to 1977.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_James)
1972 Sep 12, The situation comedy "Maude" premiered on CBS and continued to 1978.
(AP, 9/12/02)(SFC, 1/17/13, p.D6)
1972 Sep 12, William Lawrence Boyd (b.1895),
American film actor best known for portraying Hopalong Cassidy, died.
1972 Sep 14, The family drama series "The Waltons" premiered on
1972 Sep 16, "The Bob Newhart Show" premiered on CBS and ended in 1978. Suzanne Pleshette (1937-2008) played Bob Newhart’s wife.
(AP, 9/16/97)(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A2)
1972 Sep 17, "M*A*S*H" (MASH) premiered on CBS-TV.
1972 Sep 20, The NBC TV series “Madigan” premiered with Richard Widmark (1914-2008).
(SFC, 3/27/08, p.A2)
8, The TV series "Hec Ramsey" premiered with Richard Boone as a gunfighter intrigued with new methods of criminology. It was written, directed and produced by Douglas Benton (d.2000 at 75).
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D11)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0068077/)
1972 Nov 8, The Green Channel of Manhattan became Home Box Office (HBO). Time Life gained control of HBO in March, 1973. HBO soon began transmitting programs to cable TV subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The 1st cablecast was a National League Hockey game.
(WSJ, 1/11/00, p.B1)(SFC, 4/3/01, p.C1)
1972 Home Box Office (HBO) began transmitting programs to cable TV subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The 1st cablecast was a National League Hockey game.
(SFC, 4/3/01, p.C1)
1972 George Carlin performed his stand-up routine "The Seven Words You Can never Say on TV."
(SFC, 1/21/04, p.D2)
Carson moved the “Tonight Show” from New York to Burbank, Ca., and established Los Angeles as the center of popular culture.
(Econ, 1/29/05, p.32)
1972 The British TV series “The Adventurer” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009). The show continued to
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)
1972 Color TV sets outsold black and white TV sets for the 1st time.
1972-1977 The TV show "Streets of San Francisco" featured Karl Malden and Michael Douglas.
(SFC, 6/26/02, p.D8)
1973 Jan 15, Gene Shalit (b.1932) replaced Joe Garagiola on the Today Show panel.
1973 Jan 16, NBC
presented the 440th and final showing of "Bonanza."
1973 Mar 23, After a 5½ year run, soap "Love is a Many Splendored Thing"
1973 Mar 26, The US soap opera "The Young and the Restless" premiered.
1973 Apr 2, CBS radio began on hour news 24 hours a day.
1973 May 4, The 1st TV network female nudity appeared in Bruce Jay Smith's Steambath (PBS) with Valerie Perrine.
1973 May 14, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In last aired on NBC-TV.
1973 May 15, Robert MacNeil and
Jim Lehrer teamed up on NPACT’s coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings. In 1975 the MacNeil-Lehrer Report" premiered on PBS.
1973 May 20, In
the 25th Emmy Awards the winners included The Waltons, All in the Family & Mary Tyler Moore.
1973 Jun 26, Ernest Truex (b.1889), American stage, film
and TV actor, died.
1973 Jul, Testifying before the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (the Ervin Committee), John Ehrlichman, aide to
President Richard Nixon, asserted that the burglary of anti-war activist Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office was within the constitutional powers of the president. The televised committee hearings exposed a wide range of activities, including a secret White House program of harassment and IRS audits of political enemies, burglaries, wiretaps, forging of State Department documents, a secret
fund to finance spying and sabotage of Democratic Party primary campaigns and more that culminated in the House vote for impeachment and the Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974.
Aug 29, Michael Dunn (b.1934), American dwarf actor, died in London.
1973 Sep 10, A second version of the TV game show “Concentration” was syndicated, with Jack
Narz as host. It ran through September 8, 1978.
1973 Nov 20, Allan Sherman (b.1924), American musician, parodist and producer, died. He was the
creator and original producer of the popular “I've Got a Secret” from 1952 to 1958.
1973 PBS began its series "An American Family" featuring Pat and Bill
Loud and their 5 children in Santa Barbara, Ca.
(SFC, 1/6/03, p.D1)
1973 “Viva Alegre,” a bilingual and bicultural TV show for children, premiered on PBS. It was produced by Claudio Guzman
(SFC, 7/18/08, p.B8)
1973 The TV "Frugal Gourmet" show began in Tacoma, Wa., with minister Jeff Smith (1939-2004) and then went national on
(SFC, 7/30/01, p.E1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Smith_(TV_personality))
1973 The TV "Schoolhouse Rock" cartoons began to set educational messages to catchy music. The animated series ran to
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A25)
1973 The TV series "All in the Family" began and ran through 1975. [see 1971]
(SFEC, 11/17/96, Par
1973 The TV series "Streets of San Francisco" premiered.
(SFC, 6/3/97, p.B1)
The British TV series "Upstairs, Downstairs," was imported the US as part of PBS’ Masterpiece Theater.
(SFC, 12/1/01, p.A19)
1974 Jan 15, "Happy Days" began an 11 year run on
1974 Jan 18, "$6 Million Man" starring Lee Majors premiered on ABC TV.
1974 Mar 20, Chet Huntley (b.1911), newscaster (NBC Huntley-Brinkley Report), died of lung cancer.
1974 May 28, In the 26th Emmy Awards: MASH, Alan Alda & Mary Tyler Moore won.
1974 Sep 1, In the Netherlands laws prohibiting pirate radio came into effect.
1974 Sep 13, The "Rockford Files," starring James Garner, was first broadcast on NBC-TV.
1974 Oct 8, President Gerald Ford’s WIN (Whip Inflation Now) program was announced in response to a high inflation rate. Consumer prices rose 12.2 percent in 1974. The WIN program, introduced by Ford to a national television audience,
included tax and spending assistance to hard-pressed industries, a five percent tax surcharge, reduced federal spending and tight monetary policies. During 1974 unemployment jumped from 5 percent to more than 7 percent, interest rates climbed to 12 percent, the stock market fell 28 percent, automobile sales collapsed. In 1974 real economic growth was negative 5 percent.
1974 Oct 13, Ed Sullivan (72), long-time television, host died in New York City.
1974 Dec 5, The TV show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was last shown on BBC. It had premiered on Oct 5, 1969.
1974 Dec 26, Comedian Jack Benny (b.1894) died in Los Angeles at age 80.
1974 The TV series "Get Christie Love" starred Teresa Graves (d.2002 at 54) and lasted one season. Graves played the 1st black woman hired by a big-city police department.
(SFC, 10/12/02, p.A19)
1974 The TV sitcom "Good Times" began and ran to 1979. It featured Esther Rolle (d.1998) as a strong-willed Black mother that kept her family together. The show was created by Norman
(SFC, 11/19/98, p.C9)
1974 The NBC TV daily game show "Name That Tune" was hosted by Dennis James (1917-1997) up to 1975. A weekly version was hosted by Tom
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_That_Tune)
1974 The TV "Donny and Marie Show" featured Donny and 14-year-old Marie Osmond. Their recorded songs included: "Make the World
Go Away," "I’m Leaving it All Up to You," and "Deep Purple."
(WSJ, 2/19/98, p.A20)
1974 The Human Family and Educational Cultural Institute established its Humanitas Prize in recognition of film and TV
scripts the illuminate life and foster compassion.
(SFC, 7/10/98, p.C14)
1975 Jan 6, The NBC TV game show “Wheel of Fortune”, created by Merv Griffin (1925-2007),
(WSJ, 8/15/07, p.D12)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0072584/)
1975 Jan 18, The TV situation comedy series "The Jeffersons" with Sherman Helmsley and Isabel Sanford (d.2004) began and ran through
1985. The spin-off from "All in the Family," premiered on CBS-TV.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, Par p.24)(AP, 1/18/00)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jeffersons)
1975 Jan 23, "Barney Miller" premiered on ABC with
James Gregory (d.2002 at 90) as Inspector Luger based in a NYC police precinct. The series ended in 1982 after 172 episodes. Steve Landesberg (1945-2010) played the role of Detective Sgt. Arthur P. Dietrich. A spin-off called "Fish" was created in 1977 based on detective Phil Fish played by Abe Vigoda.
(www.tv.com/barney-miller/show/345/summary.html)(SFC, 10/11/03, p.A18)(SFC, 12/22/10, p.C5)
1975 Feb 26, The 1st televised kidney transplant was shown on the Today Show.
1975 Mar 31, The TV show Gunsmoke, which premiered in 1955, aired its last original episode. The show was canceled in September.
1975 May 7, The "Matt Helm" TV series, featured Gene Evans (d.1998 at 75), premiered.
1975 May 17, NBC paid $5M for rights to show "Gone with the Wind" one time. The film aired over 2 nights in November, 1976.
1975 Jun 3, Ozzie Nelson (b.1906), actor (Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet), died.
1975 Jun 28, Rod Serling (b.1924), writer and director of the TV series "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery," died. He was remembered in the 1995 PBS production titled: "Submitted for Your
(WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Serling)
1975 Aug 10, Television personality David Frost announced he had purchased the exclusive rights to interview former
1975 Sep 7, Glenn Ford (1916-2006) began starring in the NBC drama “The Family Holvak.” The show aired for the last time on Dec
(SFC, 8/31/06, p.B7)(www.tv.com/the-family-holvak/show/9109/summary.html)
1975 Sep 9, The TV sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” featured Ron Palillo (1949-2012) as student Arnold Horshack and Gabe
Kaplan as teacher Gabe Kotter. The series propelled John Travolta to stardom and continued to 1979.
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.C5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_Back,_Kotter)
1975 Sep 19, The British
sitcom "Fawlty Towers," created by John Cleese, premiered. Six episodes aired in this year and 6 more in 1979. PBS brought the show to America in 1980.
(WSJ, 3/8/99, p.A16)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0072500/)
Oct 11, The TV show "Saturday Night Live" made its debut with guest host George Carlin. Writer Michael O’Donoghue (d.1994) made his debut. In 1998 Dennis Perrin published "Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael O’Donoghue."
(SFEC, 8/23/98, BR p.12)(AP, 10/11/99)
1975 Oct, The MacNeil-Lehrer Report" premiered on PBS.
1975 Nov 7, "Wonder
Woman" debuted as a pilot on ABC.
1975 Nov 28, "The Edge Of Night", TV Daytime Soap; last aired on CBS who wanted to expand one of its soaps to an hour; "Edge"
moved to ABC, which had a time slot available.
1975 Dec 16, The daytime soap "One Day At a Time" premiered. It featured Bonnie Franklin as a divorced
mother in Indianapolis with Valerie Bertinelli as her teenage daughter. The show ran until 1984.
(SFC, 10/5/02, p.A19)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0072554/)
1975 Gene Siskel (1946-1999) and Roger Ebert
(b.1942) began reviewing movies on television on Chicago’s public broadcasting’s WTTV. The jumped to commercial TV in 1982.
(SFC, 7/22/08, p.E2)
1975 Public radio on the Canadian Broadcasting network (CBC) went free of
(Econ, 6/8/13, p.42)
1975-1981 Stanford Opotowsky (d.1997 at 73) served as director of news coverage for ABC TV. He was the author of several books that included: "TV: The Big Picture," "The Longs of
Louisiana," "The Kennedy Government," and "Men Behind Bars."
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.B13)
1976 Jan 1, NBC replaced the peacock logo.
1976 Jan 14, "Bionic Woman," with Lindsay Wagner, debuted on ABC (later NBC).
1976 Jan 27, "Laverne & Shirley," a spin-off from "Happy Days," premiered on ABC TV. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney. The show ran to
(SFC, 7/21/99, p.C3)(MC, 1/27/02)
1976 Feb 1, "Rich Man, Poor Man" mini-series premiered on ABC TV.
1976 Jun 19, Bette Midler's concert at the Cleveland Music Hall became HBO's premiere "Standing Room Only" presentation.
1976 Oct 4, Barbara Walters made her debut as the first female nightly network news anchor. She was hired by ABC-TV, and offered a then-unheard of million dollar a year salary to co-anchor with veteran
Harry Reasoner. But Reasoner was not pleased with having her there. In addition to their lack of chemistry, the network's ratings did not improve, and she was replaced in mid-1978. She joined another ABC show, 20/20, where she had much greater success.
1976 Nov 7, NBC began airing the movie “Gone with the Wind” on TV. It showed over two nights due to its length. The event was the highest-rated television event of the
1976 Dec 1, Sex Pistols used profanity on TV, and got branded as "rotten punks."
1976 "Charlie’s Angels" with David Doyle (1930-1997) began to show on TV and ran until 1981. Aaron Spelling (d.2006) produced the show.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.C3) (SFC,
1976 The TV show "Most Wanted" with Robert Stack ran until 1977.
(SFC, 5/16/03, p.A2)
1976 The TV show "What's Happening!!" began and ran to 1979. It was a comedy about 3 high school students who hung out together.
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A26)
Douglas (1941-2010), Australia's original TV crocodile hunter, shot to fame with the production of his first documentary, "Across The Top." He had trekked across Australia's harsh hinterland filming his encounters with poisonous snakes and ferocious reptiles.
1977 Jan 17, The TV sitcom “Busting Loose” began with Adam Arkin and ran for 24 episodes.
(SFC, 2/13/08, p.B7)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0192884/)
1977 Jan 29, Freddie Prinze (b.1954), American comedian and TV actor, shot himself and died. His work included the TV show “Chico & the Man” (1974-1977).
1977 Jan 23, The TV mini-series "Roots," based on the Alex Haley novel, began a record breaking eight night broadcast on ABC.
(AP, 1/23/98)(HN, 1/23/99)
2, Future Tonight Show host Jay Leno debuted with host Johnny Carson.
1977 Mar 5, President Carter took questions from 42 telephone callers in 26 states on a network radio call-in program
moderated by Walter Cronkite.
1977 Mar 15, The U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of
showing its sessions on television.
1977 May 25, "Brady Bunch Hour" last aired on ABC-TV.
1977 May 29, The NBC 24 hour News & Information Service ended on radio.
1977 May, Gary Nardino (1935-1998) became the president of Paramount Television and inherited the hits "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley."
(SFC, 2/3/98, p.A15)
1977 Jun 2, Forrest Lewis (b.1899), American TV and film actor, died.
1977 Sep 1, Ethel Waters (b.1896), African-American blues and jazz vocalist, died.
Sep 3, The "Mary Tyler Moore Show" was last broadcast on NBC-TV.
1977 Sep 24, ABC launched the TV series “The Love Boat.” The
series continued to 1986 with Gavin MacLeod as the commander of the Pacific Princess.
(www.tvland.com/shows/loveboat/main.jhtml)(SSFC, 3/9/08, p.D3)
1977 Nov 28, "The Honeymooners Christmas," directed
by Jackie Gleason, aired on TV.
1977-1979 Laverne and Shirley was the top ranking network show on television for two seasons with rankings of 31.6 and
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1977-1980 The singing group Sha Na Na did a TV show. They began singing together at Columbia Univ. as the Columbia Kingsmen. Their first gig in Manhattan paid $50 for the 12
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.C13)
1978 Jan 14, Blossom Rock (b.1895), actress, died. She played Grandmamma on the TV Addams Family. She was born as Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald, the sister of the late
actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald.
1978 Feb 8, The BBC TV show Grange Hill, a children’s drama created by Phil Redmond, made its
1978 Apr 2, TV show "Dallas" premiered on CBS as a 5 week mini-series. It was produced by Leonard Katzman (1927-1996) and ran through May,
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A26)(www.tvguide.com/tvshows/dallas/cast/100107)
1978 Apr 22, Will Geer (75), TV and film actor, died. He is best remembered for portraying the wise and crusty Grandpa Zeb Walton
on the long-running The Waltons (1972-1978).
1978 Apr 26, A version of Mark Twain’s "The Prince and the Pauper" appeared on TV with former
Beatle, Ringo Star.
(www.guba.com/watch/2000907534)(440 Int’l., 4/26/97, p.3)
1978 May 13, The last season of "Columbo," begun in 1971, ended on NBC TV.
1978 Jun 1, The TV Crime Drama "Baretta," starring Robert Blake, aired for the last time on ABC. It was first telecast on Jan 17, 1975.
1978 Jun 29, Bob Crane (b.1928), the man who played Colonel Robert Hogan in the TV show "Hogan’s Heroes," was found bludgeoned to death in Scottsdale, Az. John Henry Carpenter (d.1998 at 70), a prime suspect, was
tried and acquitted in 1990.
(SFC, 9/12/98, p.C3)(www.franksreelreviews.com/shorttakes/crane.htm)
1978 Jul 10, ABC-TV premiered “World News Tonight” with anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings and Max
1978 Sep 12, The TV sitcom "Taxi" premiered on ABC television.
1978 The TV series "Fantasy Island" began as an Aaron Spelling production. The show was created by Gene Levitt (d.1999 at 79) and continued until 1984.
(SFC, 1/6/98, p.D3)(SFC, 11/27/99, p.C4)
1978 The TV show "The Paper Chase" was based on the novel and 1973 movie. It starred James Stephens as a first-year law student. Showtime cable picked up the series for 36 new episodes.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E1)
1978 The British sci-fi TV series "Dr. Who," which began in 1963, reached the US. It featured a space traveling Doctor who was hundreds of years old from the planet Gellifrey. He used a London police call box as the external form of his space vessel. The interior was spacious with comfortable
(SFC, 5/14/96, E-1)
1978 "Diff'rent Strokes" premiered on TV and ran to 1984. It co-starred Conrad Bain (d.2013 at 89), Dana Plato (d.1999 at 34), Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman
(SFC, 5/10/99, p.A19)(SFC, 1/17/13, p.D6)
1978 Larry King began a late-night talk show on Mutual Network.
1978 The US Supreme Court upheld an FCC ban on George Carlin's "seven dirty words" and other indecencies on radio, and TV "when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience." The ban was upheld on the grounds that broadcasters had a “uniquely
pervasive presence in the lives of all Americans.
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)(Econ, 7/23/05, p.14)
1979 Jan 26, "Dukes of Hazzard" premiered on CBS.
1979 Jan 29, The 9-part TV miniseries "Backstairs" premiered. It was based on the 1961 book "My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House" by Lillian Rogers Parks (d.1997 at 100).
1979 Feb 15, The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra appeared on the Mike Douglas Show.
1979 Feb 18, The miniseries "Roots: Next Generations" premiered on ABC TV.
1979 Mar 19, The U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business. Brian Lamb launched C-Span, a TV public service broadcasting medium that focused on public affairs without comment or analysis. He came up with the idea while working the Washington bureau chief for Cablevision
(AP, 3/19/97)(SSFC, 3/27/05, Par p.14)(Econ, 3/24/12, p.34)
1979 Apr 8, The 204th and final episode of "All in the Family" ran on TV.
1979 Jun 2, Jim Hutton (b.1934), TV and screen actor, died. In the early 1970s Hutton began working almost exclusively in television and played the title role of Ellery Queen in the 1975
made-for-television movie that led to the 1975-76 television series Ellery Queen.
1979 Aug 17, Vivian Vance (b.1909), TV and theater actress, died. She played
Ethel Mertz in the “I Love Lucy” show.
1979 Sep 1, A Los Angeles court ordered Clayton Moore (1914-1999), born as Jack Carlton Moore, to stop wearing
the Lone Ranger mask.
1979 Sep 7, The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, ESPN, made its cable TV debut. In 1984 it was
bought by ABC, which was in turn bought by Disney in 1996.
(AP, 9/7/97)(Econ, 8/2/08, SR p.5)
1979 Sep 9, In the 31st Emmy Awards the winners included: Taxi, Lou Grant, Ron Leibman & Ruth
1979 Sep 23, The ABC TV show "The Associates" premiered as a comedy about lawyers. It lasted for one
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E1)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0078563/)
1979 Nov 8, ABC-TV aired "Iran Crisis: American Held Hostage" with Frank Reynolds 4 days after the beginning of the Iran hostage
crisis. The late-night news program evolved into “Nightline” on March 24, 1980. Ted Koppel (b.1940) soon became the anchor of nightly news on Iranian Hostages (ABC).
Nov 28, "Young Maverick", a TV Western Drama, made its debut on CBS.
1979 Dec 9, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the religious broadcaster for "The
Catholic Hour," died in New York City at age 84.
(AP, 12/9/97)(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.A2)
1979 Dec 27, "Knots Landing," premiered on CBS-TV.
1979 The TV biography “Ike” starred Darren McGavin as Gen. Patton.
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B8)
1979 The 9-part TV miniseries "Backstairs" was based on the 1961 book "My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House" by Lillian Rogers Parks (d.1997 at 100).
1979 The miniseries "Freedom Road" was based on a 1944 novel by Howard Fast. It starred Muhammad Ali and Kris Kristofferson.
(SFC, 3/13/03, p.A21)
1979 The commercial-free Nickelodeon network was launched.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.56)
1979-1980 60 Minutes was the top ranking network show on television with a ranking of
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1979-1980 German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made "Berlin Alexanderplatz," a 15-hour TV opus on Germany between the wars.
(WSJ, 1/14/97, p.A16)
1979-1984 The TV series "Hart to Hart" with Robert Wager and Stefanie Powers was produced.
(SFC, 8/13/97, Z1 p.3)
1979-1985 The TV series "Dukes of Hazard" played. Denver Pyle (d.1997 at 77) played Uncle Jesse.
1980 Jan 10, The
last broadcast of "Rockford Files" on NBC.
1980 Jan 25, Robert L. Johnson launched Black Entertainment Television (BET). It began as a two-hour-a-week service that aired every Friday
1980 Feb 13, David Janssen, television and film actor, died in Malibu, California, from a heart attack. He was born as David
Harold Meyer on March 27, 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska. He is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Kimble in the hit television series “The Fugitive” (1963–1967).
Mar 5, Jay Silverheels (b.1912), son of a Mohawk Indian chief and actor who portrayed Tonto on "The Lone Ranger", died in Woodland Hills, Ca., from a stroke.
24, ABC's nightly Iran Hostage crisis program was renamed "Nightline."
1980 Jun 1, Ted Turner's Cable News Network (CNN), providing round-the-clock TV newscasts, made
its debut as television's first all-news service, vowing to stay on the air until the world ends. James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, identified the station: "This is CNN." In 2001 Reese Schonfeld, the man who cofounded CNN, authored "Me and Ted Against the World.” "Moneyline" TV Financial News debut on CNN.
6/1/97)(WSJ, 2/23/00, p.W10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNN)
1980 Sep 7, The 32nd Emmy Awards were held. Winners included Taxi, Lou Grant, Ed Asner and Barbara Bel Geddes.
1980 Sep 15, The TV miniseries "Shogun" premiered with Richard Chamberlain and Yoko Shimada.
(SFC, 5/28/01, p.C1)(SFC, 9/16/05, p.F2)
1980 Sep, Dr. Ruth Westheimer (b.1928) began taping a radio talk show in NYC. A year later the "Dr. Ruth" show began taking call-in questions from listeners.
1980 Nov 17, WHHM Television in Washington, D.C. became the first African American public-broadcasting television station.
1980 Nov 19, CBS TV banned Calvin Klein's jean ad featuring Brooke Shields (b.1965).
1980 Nov 21, An estimated 83 million TV viewers tuned in to the CBS prime-time soap opera "Dallas" to find out "who shot J.R." It turned out to be Kristin Shephard, played by Mary Crosby.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A26)(SFEC, 12/12/99, p.B10)(AP,
1980 Nov, In China the Gang of Four, scapegoats for the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, were tried and sentenced in nationally televised court proceedings.
1980 Dec 30, "Wonderful World of Disney," had its last performance on NBC-TV.
1980 The TV show "Bosom Buddies" with Peter Scolari and Tom Hanks began and lasted to 1982.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E5)
1980 Frank Pacelli (d.1997 at 72) spent 16 years
(1980-1996) directing the TV show "The Young and the Restless."
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A19)
1980 The NBC TV show "United States" was a comedy on modern marriage that lasted about 6 weeks.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E1)
1980 Carl Sagan (1934-1996) dramatized the mysteries of the universe in his 13-part TV series "Cosmos." He made famous the phrase "billions and billions of stars and
(SFC, 12/21/96, p.A1)
1980 James Fielder Cook (d.2003) directed "Gauguin the Savage."
1980 Cable TV began to impact television in the US with a 20% penetration. By 1995 cable TV was in 62% of American homes.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1980 Fred Silverman appointed Brandon Tartikoff (d.1997 at 48), age 31, as president of NBC Entertainment.
(SFC, 8/28/97, p.A1)
Haim Saban founded Saban Entertainment with the rights to a handful of Schlocky Japanese cartoons. The company recycled foreign shows for kids and dubbed them into English. "Power Rangers Turbo," and "Ninja Turtles: The Next Generation" were some of its later programming.
1980 “Yes, Minister,” a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, was first transmitted by BBC television and radio. The sequel, “Yes, Prime Minister,” ran from 1986 to 1988.
1980-1982 Dallas was the top ranking network show on television for two seasons with rankings of31.2 and 28.4%
1981 Jan 14, The US FCC freed radio stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wished.
1981 Jan 15, The "Hill Street Blues" premiered on NBC-TV. It ran to 1987.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB
1981 Feb 21, Charles Rocket (1949-2005) clearly said "fuck" on Saturday Night Live.
1981 Mar 9, Dan Rather made his debut as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."
1981 Aug 1, The US rock music video channel MTV, founded by Bob Pittman, made its debut. The first music video shown on the rock-video cable channel was, "Video Killed the Radio Star", by the Buggles. In 2007 Saul Austerlitz authored “Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video From the Beatles to the White
(WSJ, 3/24/97, p.B1)(AP, 8/1/97)(SSFC, 3/18/07, p.M2)(Econ, 11/22/08, p.78)
1981 Apr 20, The final performance of TV show "Soap" aired.
1981 Aug 20, The family drama TV show "The Waltons," which premiered in 1972, was last broadcast on CBS-TV.
1981 Sep 4, David Brinkley (1920-2003) ended an illustrious 38-year career with NBC News this day. ABC had offered him an opportunity too good to refuse.
1981 Sep 12, The TV show "People's Court" (1981-1993) premiered with retired Judge Joseph Wopner premiered. Rusty Burrell was the bailiff (d.2002).
(www.tv.com/the-peoples-court/show/12330/summary.html)(SFC, 4/20/02, p.A23)
1981 Dec 4, "Falcon Crest" premiered on CBS-TV and ran to 1990.
1981 Dec 31, CNN launched Headline News.
1981 The TV sitcom "Gimme a Break!" began and run to 1987. Singer Nell Carter (d.2003 at 54) played the housekeeper.
(SFC, 1/24/03, p.A2)
1981 The TV series “Simon & Simon” was created and produced by Philip DeGuere Jr. (1945-2005). The show ran for 7 seasons until 1988.
(SFC, 2/1/05, p.B7)
The Smurfs TV cartoon show for kids began. Pierre Culliford (Peyo), Belgian cartoonist, created the gnome-like Smurfs for publisher Charles Dupuis (d.2002 at 84) in 1958. Hanna-Barbera turned it into a US cartoon program.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.)(SFC, 12/3/02, p.A24)
1981 The TV show "Strike Force" with Robert Stack ran until 1982.
(SFC, 5/16/03, p.A2)
1982 Feb 1, The "Late Night
with David Letterman" premiered on NBC TV.
1982 Mar 3, US Dist. Judge Harold Greene, who was immersed in an AT&T antitrust case, surprised broadcasters and Justice with an order
declaring that limits on TV commercials violated antitrust laws.
1982 Mar 26, The American soap opera "Capitol" premiered and ran for
1982 Apr 25, Don Wilson (b.1900), TV announcer (Jack Benny Show), died.
1982 Jul 21, Dave Garroway (b.1913), former TV host of the "Today Show" (1952-1961, committed suicide.
(SFC, 1/11/02, p.D19)(
1982 Nov 24, FCC dropped limits on the duration and frequency of TV ads.
1982 Cid Caesar, TV comic, authored his autobiography "Where Have I Been."
(SFC, 8/9/02, p.D17)
1982 The TV show
“Cagney and Lacey” featured Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as female police detectives. The show continued to 1988.
(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.44)
1982 The TV food show "Yan Can Cook" began on KQED in SF with
(SFC, 7/30/01, p.E1)
1982 The TV show Barney Miller ended its run.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, Par
1982 The TV show "Fame" starred Gene Anthony Ray (d.2003). It was set at New York’s High School for the Performing Arts. It was developed from the 1980 film and ran for 138 episodes.
1982 The TV medical series "St. Elsewhere" began and ran until 1988. it was produced by Bruce Paltrow (d.2002 at 58).
(WSJ, 1/10/00, p.A24)(SFC, 10/4/02,
1983 Feb 28, The last episode of M*A*S*H was shown. A record 125 million made MASH the most watched TV show.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A26)(SFEC, 4/19/98, DB
1983 Mar 6, Country Music Television (CMT) began showing.
1983 Mar 7, TNN (The Nashville Network) began on Cable TV.
1983 Apr 25, "Nightline" expanded from a 1/2 hour to a full hour.
1983 May 10, "Laverne &
Shirley," last aired on ABC-TV.
1983 Aug 3, Carolyn Jones (b.1930), actress, died. She is best remembered for playing the role of Morticia Addams in the classic TV Series The Addams
1983 Sep 19, Chuck Woolery (b.1941) began hosting the syndicated TV game show “Love Connection.” He continued to 1995. The show was produced by Eric
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Woolery)(SSFC, 7/6/08, p.B6)
1983 Sep 25, In the 35th Emmy Awards the winners included Hill St Blues, Cheers, Ed Flanders and Shelley
1983 Oct 5, The TV show “Whiz Kids” was produced by Philip DeGuere Jr. and ran for one season.
1983 Brian Levant co-wrote the TV movie "Still the Beaver," starring the original cast of the "Leave It to Beaver" series.
1983 A television movie titled "The Day After" showed Soviet missiles vaporizing Kansas City. It focused people’s attention on the reality of their local missile silos.
1983 PBS first showed the 13-hour series "Vietnam: A Television History" in the US. It won every award in TV. It was rebroadcast in 1989 and 1997. The 6-year work was produced by Richard Ellison (1924-2004).
(SFC, 10/12/04, p.B8)(SFC,
1983-1988 The TV show "Hotel" was centered on the fictitious St. Gregory hotel in SF. The Fairmont was used for exterior shots.
(SFC, 6/26/02, p.D8)
1984 Jan 10, Clara Peller (1902-1987) 1st asked: "Where's the Beef?," as part of a TV ad for Wendy’s.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where's_the_beef%3F)(AH, 6/07, p.11)
1984 Jan 17, The US Supreme Court sided with Sony and ruled, 5 to 4, that the private use of Sony’s Betamax home video cassette recorders to tape television programs did not violate federal copyright laws because they were “capable of substantial non-infringing
(AP, 1/17/02)(SFC, 4/8/02, p.E1)(Econ, 4/2/05, p.57)
1984 Mar 19, The TV show "Kate & Allie" premiered.
1984 May 1, Gordon Jenkins (b.1910), orchestra leader (NBC Comedy Hour), died of Lou Gehrig's disease in Malibu, Ca.
1984 May 16, Andy Kaufman (35), comedian, died of cancer. He played Latka Gravas in the TV sitcom Taxi.
1984 Jun 1, "Tattletales" second run, TV Game Show; last aired on CBS.
1984 Sep 20, The TV sitcom "Cosby Show" with Bill Cosby premiered on NBC-TV.
(SSFC, 2/11/01, BR p.1)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0086687/)
1984 Nov 22, Fred Rogers (1928-2003) of PBS' "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" presented his sweater to the Smithsonian Institution.
The US television Hall of Fame inducted its 1st class.
(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A15)
1984 Abba Eban helped prepare a 13-part television series about Jewish history called "Heritage: Civilization and the Jews." He later wrote a book by the same
1984 The TV series "Murder, She Wrote" began and ran through 1996.
(SFEC, 12/8/96, Par p.18)
Flip Wilson hosted the TV show "People Are Funny."
(SFC, 11/26/98, p.B9)
1984 The Transformers TV cartoon show, aimed at boys, began.
1984 The TV series “Three’s Company” ended after 8 seasons. The sex farce featured John Ritter as Jack Tripper and Don Knotts as landlord Ralph Furley.
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B7)
Britain enacted the Video Recordings Act (VRA), which also regulated the pornography industry, but later failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the act.
1985 May 18, 1st remote location for "Nightline" was in South Africa.
1985 May 20, US began
broadcasts to Cuba on Radio Marti.
1985 Sep 14, The situation comedy "The Golden Girls" premiered on NBC and continued to 1992. The show included Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue
McClanahan (d.1010 at 76) and Estelle Getty as 4 older women living together in Florida.
(AP, 9/14/05)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0088526/)(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.44)(SFC, 6/4/10, p.C8)
1985 Sep 22, In the
37th Emmy Awards the winners included Cagney & Lacey, Cosby Show and Tyne Daly.
1985 Dec 20, Howard Cosell retired from television sports after 20
years with ABC.
1985 In the SF Bay Area KRON TV introduced “Bay Area Backroads,” a travel show for natives. Jerry Graham (1934-2013) hosted the show until
(SFC, 5/2/13, p.D5)
1985 Neil Postman authored “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.”
1985 Howard Stern started his radio show on WXRK in NYC. His later became known as a schock jock for his "street-talk" style.
1986 Jan 14, Donna Reed (b.1921), actress (Donna Reed Show, Dallas), died of cancer in Beverly Hills, Ca., at age 64.
1986 Feb 27, The U.S. Senate approved telecasts of its debates on a trial basis.
1986 Mar 9, Ned Calmer (78), TV host (In the First Person), died.
1986 Mar 14, Marlin Perkins (80), TV
host of Wild Kingdom, died.
1986 May 20, The Flintstones 25th Anniversary Celebration aired on CBS-TV.
1986 May 22, Cher called David Letterman an asshole on Late Night on NBC.
1986 Jun 2, For the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment of televised sessions began.
1986 Jun 14, Marlin Perkins (b.1905), zoologist and TV host (Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom), died.
1986 Sep 8, Oprah Winfrey began her syndicated TV talk show.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oprah_Winfrey_Show)(SSFC, 2/11/01, BR p.1)
1986 Sep 15, The 1st pilot of "LA Law" was broadcast NBC-TV.
1986 Sep 21, In the 38th Emmy Awards the winners included Golden Girls,
Cagney & Lacey and Michael J. Fox.
1986 Sep 29, The TV series "Designing Women" began with Dixie Carter (1939-2010) and continued to
1986 Dec 2, Desi Arnaz (b.1917), Cuban-born musician and actor (played Ricky Ricardo in “I Love Lucy”), died from lung cancer in Del Mar, California.
In 1949, Arnaz turned his efforts to developing the hit television series "I Love Lucy," which ran for six years on CBS and became the most successful television program in history.
Feb 15, ABC-TV began broadcasting "Amerika" mini-series.
1987 Feb 19, An anti-smoking ad aired for the 1st time on TV and
featured Yul Brynner (1920-1985), who had died of lung cancer.
1987 Feb 27, "Washington Week In Review" celebrated its 20th anniversary on
1987 Mar 23, The American soap opera "Bold and Beautiful" premiered.
1987 Apr 5, Fox Broadcasting Co. made its prime-time TV debut by airing the premiere episodes of "Married ... With Children" and "The Tracey Ullman Show" three times each. In 2004
Daniel M. Kimmel authored “The Fourth Network.” Ron Leavitt (1947-2008), writer and producer, co-created “Married… With Children” with Michael Moye.
(AP, 4/5/02)(WSJ, 6/11/04, p.W4)(SFC, 2/13/08, p.B7)
May 21, The TV series “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” starred Blair Brown as a divorced woman living in NYC. The show continued to 1991.
(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.44)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0092336/releaseinfo)
1987 Jul 8, Lt. Col. Oliver North became a daytime TV star as the Iran-Contra hearings were televised throughout the U.S.
1987 Sep 11, The CBS TV
network went black for six minutes after anchorman Dan Rather walked off the set of "The CBS Evening News" because a tennis tournament being carried by the network ran overtime. The tennis coverage had ended abruptly, catching Rather off guard.
Sep 11, Lorne Greene (b.1915), actor (Bonanza, Battlestar Galactica), died at 72.
1987 Sep 20, The 39th Emmy Awards winners
included: LA Law, Bruce Willis & Sharon Gless.
1987 Sep 26, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," debuted on
1987 Dom DeLuise started in “The Dom DeLuise Show,” a syndicated sitcom (1987-1988) in which he played a Hollywood barber and widowed single father of a 10-year-old
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.A9)
1987 Henry Hampton (d.1998 at 58) produced his 6-hour PBS TV special "Eyes on the Prize," a look at the civil rights movement.
1987 Morton Downey Jr. (d.2001) pioneered the "Trash TV" talk show with his NYC "The Morton Downey Show."
(SFC, 3/14/01, p.A20)
1987 The TV show "The
‘Slap’ Maxwell Story" began a one year run. It was a drama comedy about a sports columnist in New Mexico.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E5)
1987 The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV cartoon show began. The turtles were named after famous Italian
(NW, 11/11/02, p.56)
1987 NBC began its “Unsolved Mysteries” series. The show continued to 2002.
(AH, 4/07, p.58)
1987 The TV show "A Year in the Life" was a drama about a Seattle widower and businessman and his 4 grown children.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E5)
1988 Jan 16, Jimmy "The
Greek" Snyder was fired as a CBS Sports commentator one day after telling a TV station in Washington, D.C., that, during the era of slavery, blacks had been bred to produce stronger offspring. He was fired because he claimed blacks were superior to whites in athletics, and he traced it back to how blacks were bred. To make matters worse, he also said "if blacks take over coaching like everybody
wants them to, there is not going to be anything left for the white people."
1988 Mar 7, Robert Livingston (83), actor (Lone Ranger),
died of emphysema.
1988 Apr 25, "Nightline" went on location to Jerusalem, Israel.
1988 Nov 14, The TV series “Murphy Brown” featured Candice Bergen working as an investigative journalist and producer of a TV news magazine. The show continued to 1998.
(LSA, Spring, 2009,
1988 Dec 2, "Naked Gun" premiered, a movie based on TV's "Police Squad."
1988 The TV series "China Beach" was partly based on the 1983 book "Home Before Morning" by Lynda Van Devanter (d.2002 at 55), the 1st major autobiography by a woman veteran. The series ran to 1991.
1987-1988 Dom DeLuise started in “The Dom DeLuise Show,” a syndicated sitcom in which he played a Hollywood barber and widowed single father of a 10-year-old girl.
1989 Mar 2, Madonna's "Like a Prayer" premiered on worldwide Pepsi commercial.
1989 Apr 26, Lucille Ball (b.1911), Actress-comedian and star of I Love Lucy, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77. She left behind a manuscript that was published in 1996 titled "Love, Lucy." "The tremendous drive and dedication necessary to succeed in any field... often seems to be rooted in a disturbed childhood." In 1993 Tom Gilbert
wrote :"The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz." Lucille Ball was married to Gary Morton (d.1999 at 74) for 29 years. In 2003 Stefan Kanfer authored "Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball."
(SFC, 9/23/96, D1)(SFC, 4/1/99, p.C4)(AP, 4/26/99)(WSJ, 8/15/03,
1989 May 7, Guy Williams (b.1924), actor (Zorro, Lost in Space), died in Argentina. He was born as Armando Catalano in NYC.
1989 May 14, Moonlighting, TV Crime Drama, last aired on ABC.
1989 Larry Elikann (d.2004) directed the TV movie "I Know My First Name Is Steven." It was based on the 1972 abduction of 7-year-old Steven Staynor of Merced, Ca., who was kept by his kidnapper for 7 years.
1989 The TV series “Father Dowling Mysteries” (1989-1991) began with Tom Bosley (1927-2010) as a crime-fighting Chicago priest. Tracy Nelson played Sister Stephanie.
(SFC, 10/20/10, p.A8)
1989 Dec 17, The cartoon series “The Simpsons” premiered on Fox TV.
Mar 27, The U.S. began test broadcasts of TV Marti to Cuba, which promptly jammed the signal.
1990 Apr 1, CBS fired sportscaster Brent
1990 Apr 8, The cult series Twin Peaks premiered on ABC TV. It ran until Apr 18, 1991.
2/19/96, zz-1 p.3)(AP, 4/8/00)
1990 May 18, The TV movie "Return To Green Acres" aired.
1990 May 31, Seinfeld, starring Jerry Seinfeld, debuted on NBC. [see Jan 23, 1991]
1990 Jun 1, E! Entertainment Television was
1990 Jul 12, CBS introduced the TV saga "Northern Exposure." The show ran to 1995. Margaret Phillips (d.2002) played general-store owner Ruth-Anne
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.D5)(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.A9)(SFC, 11/12/02, p.A26)
1990 Sep 12, The TV drama “Gabriel’s Fire” premiered with James Earl Jones as Gabriel
(LSA, Fall, 2007, p.27)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0098801/)
1990 Dec 31, Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV began transmitting.
1990 The Comedy TV Network was formed with the merger of HBO’s Comedy Channel and MTV Network’s Ha! It was soon renamed Comedy Central.
1990 The TV show Newhart ended its run in May.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, DB p.38)
The Children’s Television Act forced networks to broadcast 3 hours of educational TV per week.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.57)
1990 A digital method for transmitting TV pictures was
(WSJ, 4/10/00, p.B2)
1991 Jan 23, "Seinfeld" began at a regular slot on NBC-TV. Seinfeld initially debuted on NBC on July 5, 1989, in the guise of The Seinfeld
1991 Feb 3, Nancy Kulp (69), actress (Jane Hathaway-Beverly Hillbillies), died.
1991 Apr 8, The show Twin Peaks ended its run on TV.
(SFC, 2/19/96, zz-1 p.3)
1991 Apr 22, Johnny Carson announces he would retire the next year from Tonight Show.
1991 May 9, Michael Landon (d.7/1/1991) appeared on Tonight Show to talk about his cancer.
1991 Jun 10, "Twin Peaks" ended
its run on ABC-TV.
1991 Jul 1, Actor Michael Landon died in Malibu, California, at age 54.
1991 Aug 25, In the 43rd Emmy Awards: LA Law, Cheers, Kirstie Alley and Patricia Wettig won.
1991 Sep 15, Andre Baruch (b.1908), radio and TV announcer, died at 83.
1991 Nov 5, Fred
MacMurray (83), actor and the father of Mike Robbie and Chip in the TV series "My Three Sons, died.
(AP, 11/5/01)(USAT, 9/20/02, p.1D)
1991-1998 The sci-fi series “Babylon 5” was broadcast on the TNT Network. It featured
Richard Biggs (d.2004 at 44) as Dr. Stephen Franklin.
(SFC, 5/29/04, p.B6)
1992 May 9, Final episode of "Golden Girls" aired on NBC-TV.
1992 May 12, Actor Robert Reed of TV's "The Brady Bunch" died in Pasadena, Calif., at age 59.
1992 May 18, Marshall Thompson (65), TV and movie actor and writer, died of congestive heart failure in Royal Oak, Michigan. He played Dr. Marsh Tracy, the veterinarian, on “Daktari.” He was born November 27, 1925 in Peoria, Illinois.
1992 May 19, In San Francisco, Vice President Dan Quayle denounced what he called the "poverty of values" in America's inner cities, and criticized the TV show "Murphy Brown" for having its title character decide to bear a child out of
(AP, 5/19/97)(DTnet, 5/19/97)
1992 May 22, Johnny Carson hosted NBC's "Tonight Show" for the last time after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, telling his audience: "I bid you a very heartfelt
good night." Carson was succeeded by Jay Leno.
1992 Jun 19, "A Perfect Score" TV Game Show debut on CBS.
1992 Jun 19, "The Hollywood Game" (TV Game Show) debut on CBS.
1992 Aug 30, The television
series "Northern Exposure" won six Emmy Awards, including best drama series, while "Murphy Brown" received three Emmys, including best comedy series, in a ceremony marked by satirical jabs directed at Vice President Dan Quayle.
1992 Aug, Viewers worldwide were shocked by TV pictures of emaciated Muslim captives in Serb-run prison camps in Bosnia.
1992 Dec 8, NBC announced that "Cheers" would go off the air in May, 1993.
1992 The TV kid’s show Barney
(NW, 11/11/02, p.57)
1992 The CBS TV show "Middle Ages" was about a middle-aged traveling salesman. It lasted less than a month.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E5)
1992 The NBC TV news program "Dateline" began.
(SFC, 6/2/97, p.D1)
1992 The TV show Cosby, a blockbuster sitcom through the 80s, ended in April.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, DB p.38)
1992 Internews, an American non-profit organization dedicated
to developing private TV in Russia with headquarters in Humboldt County, Ca., established a Moscow office.
(Wired, Dec., '95, p.82
1992 Radio Luxembourg went off the air as it lost listeners due to
deregulation and commercial rivals. In 2008 it hoped to make a comeback using digital broadcasts.
(Econ, 3/8/08, TQ p.8)
1993 May 20, An estimated 93 million people tuned in for the 274th & final
episode of "Cheers" on NBC-TV.
1993 Aug 30, "The Late Show with David Letterman" premiered on CBS-TV.
1993 Sep 4, Herve Hillechaize (50) died in Los Angeles. The Fantasy Island actor shot himself to death.
1993 Sep 10, The cult series "The X-Files" premiered on Fox Television.
1993 Nov 28, Garry Moore
(b.Jan 31, 1915) game show and variety show host, died at 78 on South Carolina's Hilton Head island. He was born in Baltimore as Thomas Garrison Morfit. His TV shows included the Garry Moore Show, I've Got a Secret, To Tell the Truth.
1993 Dec 17, Fox Television outbid CBS for the National Football Conference TV package.
1993 The kids
show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered with a girl superhero, the Pink Ranger.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.57)
1993 Captain Kangaroo (b.1955) ended with almost 40 years on TV. The show featured Bob Keeshan
as the Captain.
(WSJ, 3/6/97, p.B1)
1993 The X-Files began on TV. The lead FBI characters, Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson), smacked their first kiss in late
(SFC, 11/27/99, p.D10)
1993-1995 Jonathan Brandis (d.2003 at 27) played boy genius Lucas Wolenczak on "seaQuest DSV," produced by Stephen Spielberg.
(SFC, 11/22/03, p.A18)
1993-2001 The PBS mini series "Tales of the City" was filmed extensively in SF.
(SFC, 6/26/02, p.D8)
1994 May 9, Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait set fire to the couch on Tonight Show. A misdemeanor charge soon followed and a fine of $3,888.
May 19, The final episode of LA Law (b.1986) showed on TV after 8 year run.
1994 Sep 11, In the 46th Emmy Awards the winners included Fraiser, Picket
Fences & Kelsey Grammer.
1994 Larry Elikann (d.2004) directed the TV movie "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills."
(SFC, 2/11/04, p.A23)
1994 John Frankenheimer directed the HBO drama "Against the Wall" about the 1971 prison riot at Attica.
(WSJ, 7/10/02, p.D8)
1994 KKHI, San
Francisco’s classical music station, went off the air.
(SFC, 4/16/08, p.B11)
1995 May 20, CBS News fired co-anchor Connie Chung.
1995 May 22, "The CBS Evening News" resumed a single-anchor format with Dan Rather, after Connie Chung was dropped from the broadcast.
1995 Jul 31, The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal. The deal included the ESPN sports cable network.
(AP, 7/31/97)(Econ, 9/18/04,
1995 Aug 1, In the second TV network takeover in as many days, Westinghouse Electric Corporation struck a deal to buy CBS for $5.4 billion. A day earlier, Walt Disney had agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC for $19
1995 Aug 15, Pioneering TV journalist and Timex watch pitchman John Cameron Swayze died in Sarasota, Florida, at age 89.
1995 Sep 10, NBC’s “ER” won eight Emmy Awards, but lost best dramatic series to ABC’s “NYPD Blue;” NBC’s “Frasier” won five awards, including best comedy series.
1995 Sep 15, The TV series “Xena: Warrior Princess” featured Lucy Lawless as Xena.
(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.45)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0112230/)
1995 Nov 29, "Submitted for Your Approval," a PBS production on Rod Serling (1924-1975) was first broadcast.
(WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-14)(MC, 12/28/01)
1995 Dec 14, Microsoft and NBC announced a joint venture to create MSNBC, a cable channel and Web site devoted to breaking news. In 2005 NBC raised its stake to 82%.
1995 A US Appeals court validated a broader FCC indecency ban, but limited it to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)
US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty moved its headquarters to Prague from Munich.
1996 Jan 1, After 27 years, Betty Rubble debuted as a Flintstone
1996 Mar 17, The $16 mil Museum of Television and Radio was christened in Beverly Hills.
1996 Apr 16, Oprah Winfrey, TV show hostess, made remarks against eating beef on her national program that led Texas cattlemen to file suit against her.
1996 Aug 27, Actor Greg Morris ("Mission: Impossible") was found dead at his Las Vegas home; he was 61.
1996 Oct 7, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp launched the Fox News Channel. It was set up by Roger Ailes, a former media adviser to three Republican presidents, to appeal to conservative viewers. TCI became one of the 1st cable operators to carry it.
(WSJ, 3/3/05, p.A10)(Econ, 7/9/11, SR p.14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Fox_News)
1996 Dec 18, TV industry execs agreed to adopt a ratings system.
1996 Dec 19, The television industry unveiled a plan to rate programs using tags such as "TV-G," "TV-Y" and "TV-M."
1996-2001 The TV show "Nash Bridges" was set in SF.
(SFC, 6/26/02, p.D8)
Jan 11, Sheldon Leonard (89), producer, director (Dick Van Dyke), died.
1997 Feb 9, Fox cartoon series "Simpsons" aired its 167th episode, the longest running animated series in cartoon
1997 Feb 23, NBC TV showed "Schindler's List," completely uncensored and 65M watched.
1997 Mar 1, 5th annual ESPY Awards were shown on TV.
1997 Mar 10, The TV series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” featured Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy. The show continued to 2003.
(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.45)(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/)
1997 Apr 16, Oprah Winfrey hosted her evening show that included a segment on mad cow disease. A group of Texas cattle ranchers later sued her for her comments. The case was initially a test of the state’s 1995 "veggie libel" law that protected perishable food products from false and defamatory statements, but
was ruled to proceed as a common-law business defamation case. Texas jury selection in the trial of Oprah began Jan 20 and she was acquitted by the jury on Feb 26.
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.A3)(SFC, 2/27/98, p.A1)
Apr 30, ABC aired the "coming out" of the title character in the sitcom "Ellen," played by Ellen DeGeneres.
1997 May 1, The TV show Ellen captured 42 million viewers to
hear the Ellen character, played by Ellen DeGeneres, announce that she was a lesbian.
(SFC, 5/2/97, p.C1)
1997 Sep 8, The TV series “Ally McBeal” starred Calista Flockhart as a working girl who was
part successful attorney and part angst-ridden woman. The show continued to 2002.
(LSA, Spring, 2009, p.45)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0118254/)
1997 Sep 10, The Discovery Channel bought the TV Travel
Channel for $20 million.
1997 Dec 18, Festivus, or the “Festival for the Rest of Us” was made famous by an episode of Seinfeld. It came to be celebrated on Dec
1997 Dec 25, Comedian Jerry Seinfeld announced plans to fold his highly successful NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" at the end of the season.
1997 Chris Matthews, speechwriter for Pres. Carter (1979-1980) and syndicated columnist (1987-2002), began his Hardball talk show.
(SSFC, 1/5/03, Par p.18)
1998 Jan 14, NBC agreed to pay Warner Bros. $13 million per episode to retain the highly-rated TV show "ER."
1998 Apr 6, The British TV program for toddlers, "Teletubbies," opened in the US.
(SFC, 4/6/98, p.E1)
1998 Apr 22, National TV Turnoff Week began.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, Par p.18)
1998 Jul 21, Robert Young, actor, died in
Westlake Village, Calif. at age 91. He was best known for his TV roles in "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."
(SFC, 7/23/98, p.C4)(AP, 7/21/99)
1998 Sep 13 NBC's "Frasier" won a record fifth
consecutive Emmy as TV's best comedy series; ABC's "The Practice" was honored as best drama.
1998 Oct, US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty began broadcasting Radio Free Iraq daily
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.C1)(AP, 11/30/09)
1998 L.J. Davis (1940-2011), journalist and novelist, authored “The Billionaire Shell Game,” a critical look at the evolution of cable
(SSFC, 4/10/11, p.C8)
1998 A 2-hour TV version of "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley (1932) was made.
1998 Bob Harris, comedy writer, won 5 games in a row on Jeopardy, which was the limit at this time. He was later invited back for several tournament of Champion competitions. In 2006 he authored “Prisoner of Trebekistan,” an account of his Jeopardy experiences.
(WSJ, 9/16/06, p.P10)(http://tinyurl.com/nn56e)
1999 Mar 3, Monica Lewinsky, in an ABC interview, the 20/20 TV show, timed to coincide with the publication of her book, recounted for Barbara Walters
some of the fondest, as well as most painful, aspects of her relationship with President Clinton.
(SFC, 3/4/99, p.A1)(AP, 3/3/00)
1999 Apr 22, Earth Day. TV Turnoff Week
(SFC, 4/22/99, p.A17)(SFC, 4/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Aug 16, The TV quiz show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" began a limited two-week run on ABC. Imported from London, the show was hosted by Meredith
Vieira and it was still on the air in 2008. This became the most popular TV show of the 1999-2000 season pulling in 28.5m viewers every Tuesday night.
(AP, 8/16/00)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Wants_To_Be_A_Millionaire%3F)(Econ, 5/1/10, SR p.10)
1999 Sep 5, Allen Funt, founder of "Candid Camera" and the father of "reality" television, died in Pebble Beach at 84.
(SFC, 9/7/99, p.B1)
1999 Sep 7, Viacom Inc. announced the acquisition of CBS Corp. for some $36 billion in stock. It was the richest media merger in history.
(WSJ, 9/8/99, p.A1)(AP, 9/7/00)
Dec 27, Leonard H. Goldenson (94), former television executive, who’d built ABC into a network powerhouse, died in Longboat Key, Fla.
1999 Personal Video Recorders
(PVR) were introduced and allowed users to skip through commercials.
(Econ, 4/17/04, p.61)
2000 Feb 15, Fox aired "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?," a TV special which drew huge ratings and much
2000 Mar 13, CBS began filming its "Survivor" show on the Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga. Filming lasted to April 20 and the last survivor was to be awarded a $1 million
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.C15)
2000 Mar 15, Durward Kirby (88), TV funnyman died in Fort Myers, Florida.
2000 May 10, Actor Craig Stevens, who’d starred in the 1950’s TV series "Peter Gunn," died in Los Angeles at age 81.
2000 May 22, The Supreme Court struck down, 5-to-4, a federal law that shielded children from sex-oriented cable TV channels. The US Supreme Court invalidated part of a 1996 law that relegated pornography on cable TV to late-night hours.
5/22/01)(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)
2000 Jul 12, Gemstar, a pioneer in interactive TV, merged with TV Guide in a stock deal valued at $14.2 billion with Gemstar founder Henry C. Yuen as chairman and CEO. In 2003 the SEC filed fraud charges against Yuen for overstated
revenues and Yuen erased the contents of his hard drive. In 2005 Yuen pleaded guilty to one criminal count of obstruction of justice. In 2006 a federal judge found Yuen liable on civil fraud charges and ordered him to pay $22 million in disgorgement, interest and fine.
2000 Aug 23, The final winner of the "Survivor" TV contest set on Pulau Tiga island was broadcast to as many as 40-50 million viewers. Richard Hatch (39), a corporate trainer from Newport, R.I., won the $1 million grand prize. In 2006 Hatch was convicted on
three counts related to tax evasion and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison plus three years of supervised probation.
(SFC, 8/23/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/24/00, p.A1)(http://tinyurl.com/4sna5j)
Sep 10, The TV series “West Wing” won a record 9 Emmys at the 52nd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards, including best drama series; NBC's “Will & Grace (news - Y! TV)” won best comedy.
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.A1)(AP, 9/10/01)
2000 The Czech Security Information Service (BIS) learned that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein planned to use an anti-tank rocket to attack the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague and warned Hussein that they were aware of his plans.
2001 Jan 11, The US Army premiered its new slogan "An Army of one" on the TV sitcom "Friends."
(SFC, 1/10/01, p.B3)
2001 Mar 12, Morton Downey Jr. (68), abrasive, chain-smoking, pioneer host of "Trash TV" talk shows, died. "The Morton Downey Show" premiered in NYC in 1987.
(SFC, 3/14/01, p.A20)(AP, 3/12/02)
2001 Mar 26, The Bill Moyers PBS special "Trade Secrets" focused on the coverup by the American chemical industry of health problems caused by numerous products including vinyl chloride and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
2001 May 3, An estimated 36.4 million people tuned in to watch Tennessee nurse Tina Wesson win as the winner of "Survivor 2," following a 42 day stint in the "Survivor: The Australian Outback" on CBS.
(SFC, 5/4/01, p.C1)(AP, 5/3/02)
2001 Jun, Filmmaker Richard Jellerson, former Vietnam helicopter pilot, 1st showed his documentary film "Helicopter War in Vietnam" on The History Channel.
2001 Jun, NBC launched its "Fear Factor" reality show.
(WSJ, 4/29/04, p.A1)
2001 Sep 7, The final “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show aired as Fred Rogers (72) retired.
(SFC, 8/29/01, p.A1)
Nov 6, Season One of the television series “24” was first broadcast. It featured Jack Bauer as the protagonist, in which he has trained and worked in various capacities as a government agent, including U.S. Army Delta Force, Los Angeles Police Department SWAT, CIA, and finally the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU).
2002 Apr 3, Roy Huggins, novelists, TV writer and producer, died at age 87. His shows included "Cheyenne," "The Fugitive" and "The Rockford Files."
(SFC, 4/15/02, p.B5)
2002 Apr 8, It was reported that a Thai version of the TV show "The Weakest Link" was "promoting fierce competition and selfishness among recipients," in contrast to general Thai generosity.
(SFC, 4/8/02, p.A2)
2002 May 22, The Rosie O’Donnell Show played its farewell edition. Rosie ended her program with a 6-year Emmy-winning streak.
2002 May John Frankenheimer directed the TV drama "Path To War," about the Johnson’s administration’s handling of the Vietnam War.
2002 Jun 2, HBO’s first season of 'The Wire' began with a pilot episode titled “The Target.” The series concentrated on the often-futile efforts of police to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring headed by Avon Barksdale and his lieutenant, Stringer
2002 Aug 8, The FCC ordered TV manufacturers to install tuners for digital signals in new TV sets by
(SFC, 8/9/02, p.A1)
2002 Aug 15, In NYC WNEW-FM radio shock jocks Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia aired an eyewitness account of a couple having sex in the vestibule of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Their show was cancelled Aug 23.
(SFC, 8/24/02, p.D4)
2002 Sep 4, Texas cocktail waitress and aspiring pop star Kelly Clarkson was voted the first "American Idol" at the conclusion of the Fox TV
2002 Oct 21, A&E premiered "Uncut: The True Story of Hair."
2002 American Idol premiered on the Fox Network. The public was allowed to decide who stays and who goes among the final 12 contestants.
2002 Survivor 4 was filmed on Nuku Hiva, the largest of the 12 Marquesa Islands.
(SSFC, 6/2/02, p.C9)
2003 Jan 13-15, A TV documentary, "Chicago City of the Century," was broadcast based on a book of the same name by Don Miller.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.D6)
2003 Feb 18, Joe Millionaire attracted up to 42.6 million viewers for its final TV episode.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Feb 27, Fred Rogers (74), who gently
invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died of cancer.
(AP, 2/27/03)(SFC, 2/28/03, A1)
Mar 9, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole made their debut as TV commentators on 60 Minutes. Their 1st topic was "tax cuts in times of war."
(WSJ, 3/7/03, p.A1)
2003 May 20, The TV show "Buffy the Vampire
Slayer" had its finale. Set in the fictional California town of Sunnydale, "Buffy" depicted high school as a literal Hell. The TV series began in 1997 based on a 1992 movie.
2003 Sep 21,
At the 55th Annual Emmy Awards "The West Wing" won for best drama.
(SFC, 9/22/03, p.D1)
2004 Jan 7, Digital radios went on sale in the US.
(SFC, 1/7/04, p.B8)
2004 Jan 27, Jack Paar (85), TV host, died. The "Jack Paar Tonight Show" ran from 1957-1965 and "The Jack Paar Program" ran from 1962-1965.
2004 Feb 22, The final TV episode of "Sex and the City" aired after a 6-season run.
(SFC, 2/23/04, p.A2)
2004 Mar 31, Air America Radio went live in 3 of largest US markets with a left-leaning, round-the-clock, talk format featuring Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo.
(SFC, 3/31/04, p.C1)
2004 Apr 8, Clear Channel fired Howard Stearn after FCC regulators proposed fining the company $495,000 for airing the shock jock's sexually explicit broadcasts.
(SFC, 4/9/04, p.A3)
2004 Apr 15, In the finale to the first edition of the NBC reality show "The Apprentice," an estimated 27.6 million viewers tuned in to watch. Donald Trump "hired" Bill Rancic over Kwame Jackson during a segment that was telecast live.
2004 May 13, The last episode of "Frasier" aired on TV following an 11-year run.
(SFC, 5/15/04, p.E3)
2004 Aug 16, The children’s TV show “Lazytown” made its US premier. Magnus Scheving spent over a decade building the brand in Iceland before moving overseas.
2004 Oct 6, Sirius Satellite Radio planned to spend $500 million to sign “shock jock” Howard Stern for 5 years beginning in 2006.
2004 Nov 9, Ed Kemmer (b.1921), TV star, died at Roosevelt Hospital in NYC. He played the heroic Cmdr. Buzz Corry on the 1950s children's science-fiction television program “Space Patrol.”. After “Space Patrol,” Kemmer broke the heroic mold by playing
villains in episodes of “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Maverick.” He spent 19 years as a regular on “The Edge of Night,” “As the World Turns,” “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” and other soaps.
(SFC, 11/17/04, p.B8)
2004 Nov 30, Ken Jennings ended his 74-game winning streak on Jeopardy when he missed a question on H&R Block. His winnings had reached $2,520,700 as he lost to real estate agent Nancy Zerg. In 2006 Jennings authored “Brainiac,” an account of his Jeopardy experiences.
p.A1)(WSJ, 9/16/06, p.P10)
2004 Dec 6, Mediaweek reported that 99.8% of indecency complaints to the FCC came from one group, the Parents Television Council.
2005 Jun 24, The final show of “Wall Street Week” on PBS was set for production. Louis Rukeyser hosted the program from 1970 to 2002.
2005 May 16, The SF radio station KYCY-AM planned to dump syndicated talk shows and begin broadcasting amateur podcasts from audio programs posted on the Web.
2005 May 21, Howard Morris (85), best known for playing poetry-spouting hillbilly Ernest T. Bass on the "Andy Griffith Show," died at his home in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
2005 May 26, Eddie Albert (99), actor who moved smoothly from the Broadway stage to nearly 100 movies, died. He found stardom as the constantly befuddled city slicker-turned-farmer in television's "Green Acres."
(AP, 5/28/05)(SFC, 5/28/05, p.A2)
2005 Jun 30, Viacom launched Logo, a gay oriented TV show.
(SFC, 6/30/05, p.E1)(Econ, 7/2/05, p.59)
2005 Aug 1, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt premiered their current TV cable and satellite channel. In 2008 Current Media planned an IPO to raise $100 million.
2005 Aug 10, The castaway television thriller "Lost" debuted as the most watched U.S. import on British television since soap opera "Dallas" captivated fans more than 20 years ago. The US premier was September 22,
2005 Sep 18, "Everybody Loves Raymond" won the Emmy for best comedy in its final season; first-year hit "Lost" was named best
2005 Sep 25, Don Adams (82), TV star born as Donald James Yarmy, died in LA. He played Maxwell Smart on the “Get Smart” TV show from 1965-1970 along with co-star Barbara
(SFC, 9/27/05, p.B5)
2005 Oct 4, A new Syrian TV series began broadcasting around the Middle East. It tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant
Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven, 72 beautiful virgins.
2005 Dec, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim officially launched YouTube, an
Internet based site for sharing video clips. The three founders knew each other from working together at another Internet start up, PayPal. The domain name YouTube.com was registered on Valentine's Day in 2005. The first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23, 2005.
(Econ, 4/29/06, p.68)(WSJ, 10/13/06,
2006 Feb 24, Don Knotts (81), comedian and film star, died in Los Angeles. His half-century career included more than 25 films and seven TV series.
2006 Feb 25, Darren McGavin (83), TV and film star, died of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital. His 5 TV series included “Mike Hammer” and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”
2/26/06)(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B8)
2006 Mar 30, Mexico’s Congress passed legislation dubbed the Televisa Law” confirming the country’s longstanding TV duopoly. President Vicente Fox officially signed off on controversial reforms to the country’s Federal Radio and
Television law on April 11. In 2007 the legislation faced court actions.
2006 Jul 3, Jack Smith (b.1913), singer and TV
host for “You Asked for It,” died at his home in southern California. In 1958 he replaced Art Baker, who created the show in 1950.
(SFC, 7/11/06, p.B4)
2006 Nov 30, The ABC TV soap opera All My
Children depicted a character about to undergo a transition from man to woman.
(SFC, 12/1/06, p.A1)
2006 Nielsen, a firm that tracks what people watch on TV, was purchased by 6 private equity firms
including Blackstone, the Carlyle Group, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for almost $11 billion, one of the largest leveraged buyouts on record. Nielsen went public in 2011.
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.72)
2006 Univision, an Hispanic television network in the US,
was bought by private equity firms for $13.7 billion.
(SFC, 12/27/12, p.69)
2007 Apr 11, MSNBC announced it was dropping its simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program, responding to growing
outrage about host Don Imus' racial slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team. CBS Radio followed suit the next day.
2007 May 14, Endemol, the brains behind reality television
shows like "Big Brother", fell into the hands of a consortium led by Italy's Mediaset which is looking to branch out of the saturated Italian television market.
2007 Jun 10, HBO concluded
"The Sopranos," created by David Chase, with its 86th show since 1999.
2007 Jun 12, Don Herbert (b.1917), who as television's "Mr. Wizard" introduced generations of young viewers to the
joys of science, died in California at his suburban Bell Canyon home.
(AP, 6/12/07)(SFC, 6/14/07, p.B5)
2007 Jun 15, Retired "Price Is Right" host Bob Barker won his 19th Daytime
2007 Jul 23, Genial comic Drew Carey was tapped to replace legend Bob Barker on the CBS daytime game show "The Price is Right."
2007 Jul 29, Tom Snyder (71), TV host, died in SF after a struggle with leukemia. His smoke-filled interviews were a staple of late night television and an inspiration for Dan Aykroyd on "Saturday Night Live." Snyder hosted The
Tomorrow Show from 1973-1982.
(AP, 7/30/07)(SFC, 7/31/07, p.E2)
2007 Aug 12, Merv Griffin (82), television talk show host and entrepreneur, died. He created the TV game show “Jeopardy” in 1964 and sold
the rights for the show to Coca-Cola for $250 million in 1986.
(AP, 8/13/07)(SFC, 8/13/07, p.A1)
2007 Sep 16, The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards were held in Los Angeles. NBC won 7 awards, HBO and ABC both
won 6. “The Sopranos” won for the best drama series and “30 Rock” won for the best comedy series.
(AP, 9/17/07)(SFC, 9/17/07, p.E1)
2007 Sep 23, The 7-part, 15-hour opus “The War,” by Ken Burns and
co-director Lynn Novick, began on PBS. PBS later estimated 18.7 million viewers saw the airings of "The War," the first chapter of Ken Burns' seven-part documentary about World War II.
(SSFC, 9/23/07, p.A1)(AP, 9/25/07)
2007 Oct 31, Physicists at UC Berkeley said they had produced the world’s smallest radio out of a single carbon nanotube, 10,000 times thinner than human hair. They had it play “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos and said it could also function as a transmitter.
2007 Nov 25, Actor Neil Hope, who starred as Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on the popular 1980s TV series "Degrassi Junior High," died. He had little contact with relatives and friends in his final years and died alone in an Ontario rooming house. His death
was not made public until 2012.
2007 Dec 3, In NYC Don Imus returned to the airwaves eight months after he was fired for a racially charged remark about the Rutgers women's basketball
team, and introduced a new cast that included two black comedians on WABC-AM.
2007 Dec 7, Canada's TV watchdog blessed the launch of Vanessa, a national pay TV porn
2008 Jan 19, Suzanne Pleshette (b.1937), film and TV star, died in Los Angeles. The husky-voiced star was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's sardonic wife on
television's long-running "The Bob Newhart Show." Her work included roles in such films as Hitchcock's "The Birds" and in Broadway plays including "The Miracle Worker."
2008 Feb 1,
Actress Shell Kepler (49) died at Oregon Health & Science University hospital. For years she played the gossipy nurse Amy Vining on the TV soap opera "General Hospital."
2008 Mar 16,
Ivan Dixon (b.1931), black actor, director and producer best known for his role as Kinchloe on the 1960s television series "Hogan's Heroes," died.
2008 Apr 24, James Day (89), co-founder
of San Francisco’s KQED TV station (1954), died in NYC. In 1995 he published “The Vanishing Vision: The Inside Story of Public Television.”
(SFC, 4/30/08, p.B9)
2008 May 24, Dick Martin (86), the zany
half of the comedy team whose "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," died in Santa Monica, Ca. He took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catch-phrases as "Sock it to me!"
2008 Jun 7, Jim McKay (b.1921), former ABC sports broadcaster, died in Monkton, Md. He covered 10 Olympic games over 24 years and was the voice on the anthology series “Wide World of Sports” for its first quarter century.
2008 Jul 22, Estelle Getty (b.1923), the sarcastic octogenarian Sophia on TV's "The Golden Girls," died. The diminutive stage and TV actress had spent 40 years struggling for success before landing the role of a lifetime in
(AP, 7/22/08)(SFC, 7/23/08, p.A8)
2008 Jul 25, US Federal regulators formally approved the merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., the nation's only two
satellite radio operators. The companies first applied for permission to combine in March 2007.
2008 Aug 15, Leroy Sievers (b.1955), broadcast journalist, died of cancer. He was a former
executive producer of ABC’s “Nightline” and commented on his disease on National Public Radio (NPR).
(SFC, 8/19/08, p.B5)
2008 Oct 15, John McCain and Barack Obama held their final televised debate
moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS.
2008 Nov 11, Jack Scott (b.1923), former BBC’s chief weatherman, died.
2008 Nov 16, Reg Varney (92), a comic actor who played a cheery Cockney bus driver in British sitcom "On the Buses," died.
(AP, 11/16/08)(Econ, 12/6/08, p.109)
2008 Nov 21, Germany banned Hezbollah's Lebanon-based satellite television station on grounds that it violates the country's constitution.
2008 Dec 2, Ted Rogers (75), founder of Rogers Communications, died in Toronto. He transformed a single FM radio station into a North American broadcasting, publishing and wireless telecommunications
2008 Dec 5, Kyrgyzstan's state radio station was reported to have taken BBC programming off the airwaves, days after withdrawing broadcasting rights from US-funded Radio
Liberty's Kyrgyz Service.
2008 Dec 10, British television broadcast a documentary of the assisted suicide of Craig Ewert (d.2006 at 59), a terminally ill American, as he died in
Switzerland. The documentary, “Right to Die?,” was made by Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky.
(SFC, 12/11/08, p.A2)
2008 Anthony Rudel authored “Hello Everybody: The Dawn of American
(WSJ, 10/9/08, p.A15)
2009 Jan 9, Jon Hager (67), who performed in the musical comedy duo The Hager Twins on "Hee-Haw," died in Nashville. His brother Jim died in May, 2008. The syndicated TV
show, which debuted in 1969, satirized country life with a mixture of music and comedy.
2009 Jan 13, Patrick McGoohan (b.1928), Emmy winning TV and film actor, died. He created and
starred in the cult classic TV show “The Prisoner” (1967). The British show premiered in the US in 1968.
(SFC, 1/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 15, Ricardo Montalban (b.1920), the Mexican-born actor, died
at his home in Los Angeles. His 1980 autobiography was titled "Reflections: A Life in Two Worlds." He became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's "Fantasy Island" (1978-1984).
2009 Jan 18, Bob May (69), American TV and film actor, died. He donned the Robot's suit in the hit 1960s television show "Lost in Space" (1965).
2009 Jan 18, British television presenter Tony Hart
(83) died. He had charmed generations of children with his artsy antics.
2009 Feb 6, Phil Carey (b.1925), film and TV actor, died in NYC. He was best known for his role as business tycoon
Asa Buchanan in the ABC soap opera "One Life to Live."
2009 Feb 17, Liberty Media Corp. said it will invest $530 million in financially struggling satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio
2009 Feb 26, Former EastEnders star Wendy Richard (65), who was diagnosed with cancer in January, died in London. She best known for her role as Pauline Fowler in the London-based
soap whom she played for more than two decades.
2009 Feb 28, Paul Harvey (b.1918), news commentator and talk-radio pioneer, died in Arizona. His staccato style made him one of the
nation's most familiar voices. Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks.
(AP, 3/1/09)(SSFC, 3/1/09, p.A12)
2009 Apr 15, Clement Freud
(84), a grandson of Sigmund Freud, died. He became a well-known writer, politician and urbane regular on British radio. He was best known from his three decades appearing on the BBC game show, "Just a Minute," in which panelists compete to see who can talk the longest without hesitation, deviation or repetition.
2009 Apr 25, Beatrice Arthur (b.1922), stage and TV actress, died. The tall, deep-voiced actress considered herself lucky to be discovered by television executives after a long stage career that included a Tony award for the musical "Mame." Her TV shows
included “Maude” (1972-1978) and “The Golden Girls” (1985-1992).
(AP, 4/26/09)(SSFC, 4/26/09, p.B6)
2009 May 4, Dom DeLuise (b.1933), film and TV actor, died. Though lighthearted onscreen, the
prolific actor was deeply passionate about food, forging a second career as a popular chef and cookbook author.
2009 May 7, John Furia Jr. (b.1929), prolific screen and television writer,
died. His work included popular TV series including "Bonanza," "The Waltons," "Hawaii Five-O" and “The Twilight Zone.”
2009 May 19,
"Glee," Fox's new musical comedy, premiered.
2009 May 29, Jay Leno made hosted his last show at "Tonight," and gave a pre-debut boost
to Conan O'Brien welcoming him as his final guest.
2009 Jun 4, David Carradine (72), star of TV series "Kung Fu" (1972-1975), was found dead in Thailand. At first suicide was
suspected but a forensics expert said circumstances suggested that he may have died from autoerotic asphyxiation. His career had roared back to life when he played the assassin-turned-victim in Quentin Tarentino's "Kill Bill" (2003).
(AP, 6/4/09)(SFC, 6/6/09, p.E3)
2009 Jun 23, Ed McMahon (86), loyal "Tonight Show" sidekick, died. He bolstered boss Johnny Carson with guffaws and a resounding "H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" for 30 years.
2009 Jun 25, Farrah Fawcett (b.1947), a 1970s sex symbol and TV star of "Charlie's Angels" (1976), died in Santa Monica, Ca. She had spent almost three years in private fighting for her life against cancer. The news came just a month after the airing of "Farrah's Story," a documentary in which she made public her
painful treatments and dispiriting setbacks.
2009 Jun 27, Gale Storm (b.1922 as Josephine Owaissa Cottle), singer and former film and TV star, died. Her wholesome appearance and perky
personality made her one of early television's biggest stars on "My Little Margie" (1952-1955) and "The Gale Storm Show” (1956-1960). Her 1980 autobiography was titled "I Ain't Down Yet."
Jun 28, Billy Mays (50), known to television viewers as the OxiClean guy, died of a heart attack at his Tampa home. The boisterous pitchman aired on commercials hundreds of times a week nationwide showing off his latest cleaning product or gadget.
(AP, 6/29/09)(SFC, 6/30/09,
2009 Jun, the last of the US analogue television transmitters switched to digital.
(Econ, 12/11/10, TQ p.14)
2009 Jul 1, Karl Malden (97), Academy Award-winning actor, died. His intelligent characterizations on stage, screen and television made him a star despite his plain looks. His more than 50 film credits included "Patton," "Pollyanna," "Fear Strikes Out," "The Sting II," "Bombers B-52," "Cheyenne Autumn," and "All
Fall Down." Malden gained his greatest fame as Lt. Mike Stone in the 1970s television show "The Streets of San Francisco," in which Michael Douglas played the veteran detective's junior partner.
2009 Jul 1, British actress Mollie Sugden
(86), best-known for her role as Mrs. Slocombe in the television comedy series "Are You Being Served?" (1972-1985), died.
2009 Jul 9, In Venezuela’s top telecommunications official
said President Hugo Chavez's government is imposing new regulations on cable television while revoking the licenses of more than 200 radio stations.
2009 Jul 15, Mazen Abdul-Jawad (32), a
Saudi man, appeared on the Lebanese-based LBC satellite TV station’s "Bold Red Line" program and shocked Saudis by publicly confessing to sexual exploits. More than 200 people soon filed legal complaints against Abdul-Jawad, dubbed a "sex braggart" by the media, and many Saudis said he should be severely punished. On July 31 Abdul-Jawad was detained for questioning. The Jiddah offices of the LBC
station were closed soon thereafter.
(AP, 8/6/09)(AP, 8/9/09)
2009 Jul 17, Walter Cronkite (b.1916), TV journalist, died with his family by his side at his Manhattan home after a long illness. On
April 16, 1962, he replaced Douglas Edwards as anchor of the CBS "Evening News." Polls in 1972 and 1974 had pronounced Cronkite the "most trusted man in America."
2009 Jul 25, Chinese
state television launched an Arabic-language channel beamed to the Middle East and Africa as part of efforts to expand the communist government's media influence abroad.
2009 Jul 27, A
Congo government spokesman said The Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended transmission of French broadcaster Radio France International (RFI).
2009 Jul 29, Joanne Jordan, film
actress and TV spokesmodel for Hazel Bishop lipstick on “This Is Your Life,” died. She had also promoted Johnson’s Clear Wax, Dove dish detergent, Lilt home permanents and Eastman Kodak.
(SFC, 9/25/09, p.D10)
Jul 31, Venezuelan regulators revoked the broadcast rights of 34 radio stations, deepening a rift between President Hugo Chavez's government and the private media. Venezuelan lawmakers approved an election law to redraw voting districts, a step that President Hugo Chavez's opponents say will give his party a big advantage in next year's congressional vote.
(AP, 7/31/09)(AP, 8/1/09)
2009 Aug 3, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, announced that "many" radio and TV frequencies will revert to the state over what he called irregularities in their licenses.
He gave no specifics.
2009 Aug 11, In Brazil police were reported to be investigating the "Canal Livre" crime TV show saying the show's host, state legislator Wallace Souza, was suspected
of commissioning at least five murders to boost his ratings and prove his claim that Brazil's Amazon region is awash in violent crime. Police also have accused Souza of drug trafficking.
Aug 19, Don Hewitt (86), a TV news pioneer, died. He created the "60 Minutes" news hour in 1968 and produced the popular CBS newsmagazine for 36 years.
2009 Aug 26, A
Brazilian prosecutor in Amazonas state accused Wallace Souza, a former police officer and TV crime show host, of attempting to have a federal judge assassinated in 2007. Souza was already accused of setting up at least 5 killings to boost his TV ratings. Souza was soon kicked out of the state legislature and on Oct 5 police issued a warrant for his
(SFC, 8/27/09, p.A2)(AP, 10/7/09)
2009 Sep 24, Venezuela’s Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said the animated television series "Family Guy." should be pulled from the airwaves because it
promotes the use of marijuana. He said that cable networks that broadcast "Family Guy" would be fined by Venezuela's telecommunications regulator if they refuse to dump the program.
Sep, Huntington, West Virginia, ranked as America’s fattest town, welcomed Jamie Oliver, Britain’s famous Naked Chef, into its school district. His food education program was turned into a reality television series called Food Revolution.
2009 Oct 1, David Letterman, late-night TV talk show host, admitted in an extraordinary monologue before millions of viewers that he had sexual relationships with female employees, after a
CBS News employee tried to extort $2 million from him. Suspect Robert J. Halderman later admitted his guilt and was sentenced to 6 months in jail. He was freed on Sep 2, 2010, after serving 4 months.
(AP, 10/2/09)(SFC, 9/3/10, p.A4)
2009 Oct 14, Israel's foreign minister has ordered ministry officials to summon Turkey's ambassador in Israel and protest to him over a Turkish TV series that reportedly portrays Israeli soldiers murdering children.
2009 Oct 22, Soupy Sales (b.1926), TV personality born as Milton Supman, died in NYC. He was best known for his Detroit-based children's television show, “Lunch with Soupy Sales” (1953). Beginning in October 1959, it was telecast nationally on the ABC television network. His career was built on some 20,000 pies
to face and 5,000 live TV appearances across half a century.
(SFC, 10/23/09, p.A8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soupy_Sales)
2009 Oct 22, In Australia Don Lane (75), an American song-and-dance man known as "The Lanky Yank,” died. He was handed a
full-time gig on Australian TV in 1975 and "The Don Lane Show" became a ratings winner, a mixture of cabaret acts, interviews, comedy skits and a song from the tall host to close each show.
Nov 20, Oprah Winfrey announced that she will end her eponymous show in Sep 2011, 26 after it first aired nationwide.
(Econ, 11/28/09, p.78)
2009 Dec 3, Comcast Corp. announced it
plans to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal for $13.75 billion, giving the nation's largest cable TV operator control of the Peacock network, an array of cable channels and a major movie studio.
Dec 7, ITV, the British TV channel behind hit show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!", apologized for the death of a rat during filming in Australia, as the stars who killed it faced police charges.
2009 Dec 8, CBS canceled "As the World Turns," putting the company that coined the phrase "soap operas" out of the business of making daytime dramas for the first time in 76 years.
2009 Dec 15, Oral Roberts (b.1918), preacher, televangelist and founder of the Oral Roberts Univ. in Tulsa, Okla., died in Newport Beach, Ca. The pioneer Oklahoma-based televangelist began broadcasting his revivals by television in 1954.
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)(Econ, 1/2/10,
2009 Dec 15, In Venezuela lawmakers loyal to President Hugo Chavez inaugurated a state-run radio station that replaces a previous broadcaster that sandwiched criticism of Venezuela's socialist leader between jazz and salsa
2010 Jan 5, US sports broadcaster ESPN said it will show some World Cup soccer matches live from South Africa in 3-D and Japan's Sony teamed up with Discovery and IMAX to launch a
3-D TV network in the United States.
2010 Jan 7, Intel CEO Paul Otellini introduced a technology called Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) that allows a user to beam the contents of a computer
screen to a TV.
(SFC, 1/9/10, p.D1)
2010 Jan 10, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez says there's too much capitalism on Venezuelan TV. So he's urging producers to start making films and TV shows that
stress socialist values.
2010 Jan 6, In Morocco the first Berber TV channel in the ancient but marginalized tongue of Amazigh was launched after a decades-long
2010 Jan 21, Conan O'Brien told NBC good riddance in a $45 million deal for his exit from "The Tonight Show," allowing Jay Leno to return to the
late-night program he hosted for 17 years.
2010 Jan 24, In Venezuela a cable television channel critical of President Hugo Chavez was yanked from the airwaves for defying new regulations
requiring it to televise the socialist leader's speeches.
2010 Jan 22, James Mitchell (b.1920), theater, film and TV actor, died. For nearly three decades he played gruff patriarch Palmer
Cortland on the ABC soap opera "All My Children." His film credits include "The Band Wagon" (1953) with Fred Astaire, "Deep in My Heart" (1954) and "Oklahoma" (1955).
2010 Jan 23, In
Venezuela tens of thousands opposed to President Hugo Chavez took to the streets, blaming him for rolling blackouts, water rationing, widespread crime and other problems they say are making daily life increasingly difficult. This day marked the 1958 uprising that ousted Venezuela’s last military dictator. The Chavez regime told cable TV operators to stop carrying RCTV, a pro-opposition
(AP, 1/24/10)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.44)
2010 Jan 24, Pernell Roberts (b.1928), TV actor, died at his home in Malibu, Ca. He played the eldest Cartwright son (1959-1965) in the “Bonanza” TV
series. After Bonanza he played the lead in the “Trapper John M.D.” TV series.
(SFC, 1/26/10, p.C5)
2010 Feb 5, British actor Ian Carmichael (89) died at his home in northern England. He appeared in a
series of comedies for the Boulting Brothers including "Private's Progress," "Brothers in Law," "Lucky Jim" and "I'm All Right Jack." Later in his career he played the upper-class twit Bertie Wooster, and Dorothy L. Sayers suave detective Lord Peter Wimsey, in television series.
2010 Feb 7, The New Orleans Saints capped off an outstanding season with an upset over the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints' victory over Indianapolis was watched by more than 106 million people, surpassing the 1983 finale of
"M-A-S-H" to become the most-watched program in US television history.
2010 Feb 8, In Australia ITV Studios, producer of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here," was fined 3,000
Australian dollars ($2,615) after pleading guilty of animal cruelty after two reality show contestants skinned, cooked and ate a rat during filming in Australia.
2010 Feb 9, Phil Harris
(53), the fishing boat captain whose adventures off the Alaska coast were captured on the television show "Deadliest Catch", died in Anchorage following a massive stroke on Jan 29.
Feb 25, In Canada police found the body actor Andrew Koenig (41) in a wooded area in Vancouver. He had played Boner in the 1980’s TV sitcom “Growing Pains.”
(SFC, 2/26/10, p.A13)
2010 Mar 13, In
Georgia a hoax television broadcast said Russia had invaded and the president had been killed. It sparked wide anxiety in the country still traumatized by the August 2008 war in which Russian troops advanced deep into the country.
2010 Mar 14, Peter Graves (83), film and TV star, died. His calm and intelligent demeanor was a good fit to the intrigue of "Mission Impossible" (1967-1973 and 1988-1990) as well as the satire of the "Airplane" films.
2010 Mar 18, Fess Parker, former film and TV star, died at his home in Santa Ynez, Ca. He was best know for his role as Davy Crocket on the Disneyland TV show. He later played Daniel Boone in the 1964-1970 TV series “Daniel
(SFC, 3/19/10, p.C6)
2010 Mar 24, Robert Culp (b.1930), TV actor, died after hitting his head during a fall near his Hollywood home. Culp shot to fame thanks to his Kelly Robinson role in “I
Spy” (1965-1968). During the 1980s, Culp also logged 44 episodes as Bill Maxwell in “The Greatest American Hero.”
2010 Apr 1, John
Forsythe (b.1918), TV and movie actor, died at his home in Santa Ynez, Ca. His films included “The Trouble with Harry” (1955) and “Topaz” (1969). His TV roles included “Bachelor Father” (1957-1962), “Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981), and “Dynasty” (1981-1989).
(SFC, 4/3/10, p.C2)
2010 Apr 9, In Somalia witnesses said Islamists were seizing radio transmitters that let the local population hear news programs from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Al-Shabab said the BBC broadcasts anti-Islamic propaganda.
2010 Apr 10, Dixie Carter (b.1939), "Designing Women" (1986-1993) star, died. Her Southern charm and natural beauty had won her a host of television roles. She appeared in TV soap operas in the 1970s, but did not become a national star until her recurring
roles on "Diff'rent Strokes" and another series, "Filthy Rich," in the 1980s. She married actor Hal Holbrook in 1984. The two had met four years earlier while making the TV movie "The Killing of Randy Webster," and although attracted to one another, each had suffered two failed marriages and were wary at first.
2010 May 1, American actress Helen Wagner (b.1918) died. She played mild-mannered Nancy Hughes on the CBS soap opera "As the World Turns" for more than a half-century. Wagner opened "As the World Turns" when it premiered on April 2, 1956, with the words:
"Good morning, dear."
2010 May 24, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched TV Brazil, a new Portuguese-language network based in Mozambique's capital Maputo and tasked with
"saying good things" about Brazil. From Maputo, the new channel will be broadcast to more than 40 countries, mostly in Africa and Latin America.
2010 May 26, Art Linkletter (b.1912),
radio and TV talk-show pioneer, died at his home in Bel-Air, Ca. His many books included “Kids Say the Darndest Things” (1957). His daytime television show “House Party” aired from 1952-1970.
(SFC, 5/27/10, p.C4)
May 28, Gary Coleman (b.1968), the child star from television show "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978-1986), died in Provo, Utah.
2010 Jun 3, Rue McClanahan (76), TV sitcom
actress, died. She starred with Bea Arthur in “Maude” (1972-1978” and played Blanche Devereaux in “The Golden Girls” (1985-1992).
(SFC, 6/4/10, p.C8)
2010 Jun 23, The TV show “As the World Turns,”
daytime TV’s oldest drama, wrapped up production. The show premiered in 1956. the last show will air on Sep 17, 2010.
2010 Jul 13, A US federal appeals court struck down the government’s
long-standing prohibition against indecency on broadcast television and radio ruling that the plicy was unconstitutionally vague.
(SFC, 7/14/10, p.A5)
2010 Jul 16, James Gammon (b.1940), TV and film
actor, died in Orange County, Ca. His films included “Major League” (1989) and its 1994 sequal. His TV roles included the father on “Nash Bridges” (1996-2001).
(SFC, 7/20/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 9, Sudan
halted BBC broadcasts in Arabic on FM radio frequencies after suspending its agreement with the British public broadcaster for reasons it said had nothing to do with its newscasts.
Aug 21, Newly ubiquitous "Golden Girls" actress Betty White won the fifth Emmy of her career for hosting an episode of "Saturday Night Live," while fellow screen veteran Ann-Margret got a standing ovation after receiving her first statuette.
2010 Sep 1, In Senegal Television Futurs Medias (TFM), run by pop star Youssou N’dour (50), began broadcasting but only in Dakar and its immediate suburbs. Its government license, issued earlier this year, limited it to cultural programming and forbade the station from doing newscasts. A request to broadcast to
the rest of the country has so far been denied.
2010 Oct 4, Tokyo-based Toshiba unveiled the world's first high definition liquid crystal display 3-D television
that does not require special glasses, one of the biggest consumer complaints about the technology.
2010 Oct 6, In Italy Concetta Serrano was participating in a live TV show that focuses
on missing people when the anchor told her brother-in-law had confessed to have allegedly murdered her daughter. The Italian news agencies broke the story of the alleged confession while the show was being broadcast from inside the uncle's house in the southern Italian town of Avetrana, where Sarah Scazzi (15) disappeared on Aug. 26.
2010 Oct 6, Logitech introduced Revue, a $299.99 set-top box for Google’s new TV service. The device allows users to access websites, Internet video, digital pictures and music from their televisions. Apple’s set-top box was
introduced on Sep 1 for $99.
(SSFC, 10/10/10, p.D5)(http://tinyurl.com/2vzxpar)
2010 Oct 6, Cisco introduced its $599 Cisco Umi, a consumer product for video chats on home TVs. The service would also require a monthly fee of
(SSFC, 10/10/10, p.D5)(http://tinyurl.com/2vzxpar)
2010 Oct 16, Barbara Billingsley (b.1915), TV and film actress, died at her home in Santa Monica. She play played June Cleaver in the TV
series “Leave It to Beaver” (1957-1963).
(SSFC, 10/17/10, p.C9)
2010 Oct 28, James MacArthur (b.1937), stage and screen actor, died. He played "Danno" in the original version of television's "Hawaii
Five-O" (1968-1980). His breakout role was in the 1957 "Climax!" television series production of "The Young Stranger," in which he starred as the 17-year-old son of a movie executive who has a run-in with the law.
2010 Oct 27, Actress Denise Borino-Quinn (46), who unexpectedly won a TV role as a mafia wife on "The Sopranos," died of liver cancer in New Jersey.
Nov 29, British pay-TV giant BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. said they will launch a free-to-air Arabic language news channel under a joint venture.
Dec 1, Dr. Dean Edell (69), syndicated radio medical show host, announced his retirement on KGO-AM, where he began in 1979.
(SFC, 12/2/10, p.C7)
2011 Jan 1, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched on
(SSFC, 12/26/10, Par p.4)
2011 Jan 11, David Nelson (74), who starred on his parents' popular television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," died. The show originated on radio in 1952
as "Here Come the Nelsons," then ran for 320 episodes on TV from 1952 to 1966 as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" with some of the story lines taken from the stars' own lives. His film credits included "Peyton Place," “The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker," “The Big Circus," “Day of the Outlaw," “30,” “The Big Show," “Love and Kisses” and "Swing Out, Sweet Land." In 1976, he costarred with his
mother in "Smash-Up on Interstate 5."
2011 Jan 26, Nielsen, a firm that tracks what people watch on TV, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in a $1.6 billion
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.72)
2011 Jan 26, BBC world Service said that it would close 5 of its 32 language services, including its Russian language radio broadcasts, and reduce its work force by about a quarter, or up to 650
(SFC, 1/27/11, p.A2)(Econ, 1/29/11, p.55)
2011 Feb 9, An Ivory Coast regulatory board loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo ordered United Nations radio off the air. UN radio director Sylvain
Semilinko said the next day that work continued as normal at UN radio headquarters as preparations were being made in case their signal was jammed.
2011 Feb 9, Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui said that she was let go by MVS radio
for refusing to apologize for her Feb 4 comments regarding a congressman's allegation that President Felipe Calderon is an alcoholic. The firing stirred a debate over freedom of expression in Mexico and allegations that the government still holds sway over the media. Aristegui was reinstated on Feb 14.
2011 Feb 11, Pandora Media Inc., an Internet radio company, announced plans to go public and raise as much as $100 million from sale of stock.
2011 Feb 16, The IBM computer named Watson beat two former Jeopardy champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, finishing a 3-day match at the TV quiz show.
2011 Mar 9, NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday in the wake of comments by a fellow executive that angered conservatives and renewed calls to end federal funding for public broadcasting.
2011 May 25, The final segment of Oprah Winfrey’s TV talk show, taped a day earlier, aired after a 25 year run.
2011 May 27, Actor Jeff Conaway (60), best known for his roles in the movie "Grease" and the 1970s TV series "Taxi", died.
2011 Jun 3, Actor James Arness (88) died at his home in Los Angeles. He played in some 50 films and TV movies and starred as Marshal Mat Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke,” one of televisions longest running series.
2011 Jun 5, In France, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSL) announced that radio and TV stations would no longer be allowed to promote or recommend their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds on air, unless such sites are part of a
news story. The decision, which was first issued quietly on May 27, has now attracted international media outrage thanks to the French bloggers who began writing about it yesterday.
2011 Jun 6, Veteran CBS news reporter Scott Pelley made his debut as the new anchor of the CBS Evening News, a role he assumed after being chosen to replace Katie Couric.
2011 Jun 8, Meredith Vieira ended her five year stint as co-host of the popular Today Show. The veteran newswoman is leaving television to spend more time with her husband, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Vieira is being replaced on Today by Ann
2011 Jun 20, US comedy stunt television show "Jackass" lost one of its stars when Ryan Dunn (34), known for his death-defying and
often car-related pranks, died in a car accident.
2011 Jun 23, Peter Falk (83), star of the TV detective series “Columbo” (1971-1977), died in his Beverly Hills, Calif.,
2011 Aug 22, John Howard Davies (72), a BAFTA award winning comedy director, died in Oxfordshire. He produced TV comedy classics including "Fawlty Towers" and the "Good Life." He
won his first BAFTA for best director for the first series of "Monty Python's Flying Circus."
2011 Sep 11, In Australia Andy Whitfield (39), who played the title role in the hit cable
series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" (2010), died in Sydney of lymphoma cancer.
2011 Oct 15, British actress Betty Driver (91) died. The much-loved actress had starred for 42 years on
"Coronation Street," Britain's longest-running television soap opera.
2011 Oct 25, China’s state media reported that China will replace popular television entertainment with so-called
"healthy" programming, reflecting regulators' latest move to tighten media control.
2011 Oct 25, In India Sushil Kumar, a poor government clerk, became the first person to win $1 million in an Indian game show in India’s version of
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A6)
2011 Nov 4, Andy Rooney (b.1919), writer and "60 Minutes" commentator, died, only a month after delivering his 1,097th and final televised
commentary. His books included "Their Conqueror's Peace: A Report to the American Stockholders" (1947), documenting offenses against the Germans by occupying forces.
2011 Nov 4, Venezuela's broadcast regulatory agency announced more
confiscations of equipment from radio stations suspected of operating without licenses, a day after seizures at three other stations.
2011 Nov 20, In Israel officials and the "All for
Peace" radio station operators said the government has ordered the shutdown of a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station. A shutdown order was issued last week. The West Bank station, which has been operating since 2004, said it would go to court in Israel to try to get back on the air.
2011 Dec 7, TV and film star Harry Morgan (b.1915 as Harry Bratsberg) died in Los Angeles. He had played Col. Sherman T. Potter in the sitcom MASH as well as Bill Gannon in Dragnet.
2011 Dec 16, Veteran film and television actor Dan Frazer, best known for his role as Captain Frank McNeil on the 1970s television series "Kojak," died in Manhattan. His films include "Cleopatra Jones," ''Take the Money and Run" ''Gideon's Trumpet"
and "Deconstructing Harry." Besides "Kojak," Frazer's television appearances include "Car 54, Where Are You," ''Route 66," ''Barney Miller" and "Law & Order."
2011 Donna L. Halper
authored “Boston Radio: 1920-2010.”
2012 Jan 8, The Consumer Electronics Show opened in Las Vegas. South Korea-based Samsung and LG introduced their new 55-inch organic
light emitting diode (OLED) HDTVs.
(SFC, 3/15/12, p.D2)
2012 Jan 26, Actor Robert Hegyes (60), best known for playing Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter, died of a heart attack. After "Kotter,"
Hegyes went on to co-star in "Cagney and Lacey" as Detective Manny Esposito. His other TV work included an episode of "The Love Boat," "NewsRadio" and "CHiPS."
2012 Feb 10, In Jamaica
Wilmot Perkins (80), a veteran journalist considered the island's "godfather of talk radio," died. He worked for more than 50 years in radio, launching his first program "What's your Grouse?" on RJR 94FM in 1960. He quit a couple years later to become a farmer but returned to radio in the 1970s, ultimately launching a show called "Perkins On Line" on Hot102
2012 Feb 12, DogTV went live on Time Warner Cable and Cox Media. It was produced by Jasmine Group, an Israeli company, which hoped to charge a premium of $4.99 per month for the
channel designed to keep dogs company.
(SFC, 3/5/12, p.D3)
2012 Mar 4, ProFlowers of San Diego said it has suspended advertising on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, becoming the 7th advertiser in recent
days to do so, due to his comments about Georgetown Univ. law student Sandra Fluke. He had called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified in support of health insurance that covers birth control for women. A day later the 4 more advertisers dropped his show.
(SFC, 3/5/12, p.A8)(SFC, 3/6/12,
2012 May 6, George Lindsey (83), TV actor, died in Nashville. He spent nearly 30 years as the grinning Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1964-1968) and "Hee Haw" (1971-1993). He played a jovial service station attendant on "Mayberry RFD" (1968-1971).
2012 Jun 2, Richard Dawson (1932), British entertainer, died in Los Angeles. He hosted the TV game show “Family Feud” from 1976-1985 and was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom
(SFC, 6/4/12, p.A6)
2012 Jun 5, Pakistan US Embassy said the US has terminated funding for a $20 million project to develop a Pakistani version of "Sesame Street." The decision came
as a Pakistani newspaper reported allegations of corruption by the local puppet theater working on the initiative.
2012 Jul 3, Andy Griffith (86), TV actor, died at his home in Dare
County, North Carolina. He was best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show” (1960 to 1968), and later for his role as a criminal defense lawyer on "Matlock" 1986 to 1995).
2012 Jul 8, Ernest Borgnine (b.1917), American film and TV star, died. He created a variety of memorable characters in both movies and television and won the best-actor Oscar for his role as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955. He was also known as the Navy officer in the television series "McHale's Navy," which aired from 1962-66.
(SFC, 7/9/12, p.C4)
2012 Jul 24, Chad Everett, the star of the 1970s TV series "Medical Center," died in LA. He also appeared in such films and TV shows as "Mulholland Drive" and "Melrose
2012 Jul 24, Sherman Hemsley (b.1938), African-American actor best know for his role as George Jefferson, died in El Paso, Texas. He debuted as George Jefferson in 1973 in the “All in the Family” sitcom. From 1975-1985 he
continued in “The Jeffersons.” From 1986 to 1991 he played Deacon Ernest Frye in “Amen.”
(SFC, 7/25/12, p.C5)
2012 Aug 16, William Windom, TV actor, died at his home in Woodacre, Ca. He received an
Emmy for best actor for his performance in “My World and Welcome to It” (1970), a program based on James Thurber’s humorous essays. He also appeared in over 50 episodes of “Murder She Wrote.”
(SFC, 8/21/12, p.C3)
Aug 20, Comedian Phyllis Diller (95) died in her Los Angeles home. In 1966-67 she was the star of an ABC sitcom about a society family trying to stave off bankruptcy, "The Pruitts of Southampton." In 1968, she was host of a short-lived variety series, "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show." She also appeared in movies, including "Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number" (1966) and "Eight on
the Lam" (1967) with Bob Hope.
2012 Sep 23, The 2012 US Emmy Awards were presented.
2012 Nov 6, British actor Clive Dunn (b.1920), best known as a bumbling old butcher in the popular World War Two sitcom "Dad' s Army" (1968-1970), died in Portugal.
2012 Nov 23, Larry Hagman (b.1931), who created one of American television's most supreme villains in the conniving, amoral oilman J.R. Ewing of "Dallas" (1978-1991), died in Dallas.
2012 Dec 13, The US CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation), which limits the volume of TV commercials, went into effect.
2012 Dec 14, Envoys from nearly 90 nations signed the first new UN telecommunications treaty since the Internet age, but the US and other Western nations refused to join after claiming it endorses greater government control over cyberspace. The Int’l.
Telecommunications Union (ITU) has no technical powers to change how the Internet operates or force countries to follow its nonbinding accords.
2012 Dec 20, In Puerto Rico Joe Ramos,
president of WAPA TV, told reporters that the SuperXclusivo show will be taped two hours before it is broadcast. The announcement follows a recent outcry over comments that the controversial puppet, known as La Comay, made about a man who was brutally killed.
2012 Dec 24, Jack Klugman (90), stage, film and TV actor, died in Los Angeles. He starred in “The Odd Couple” TV series (1970-1975) and in “Quincy, M.E.” (1976-1983).
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A12)
2013 Jan 1, Michael Cronan (b.1951), graphic designer, died in Berkeley, Ca. He was best know for christening TiVo, the digital TV recorder, and Kindle, Amazon’s portable reading device.
2013 Jan 2, Al Jazeera said it will buy Current TV, the struggling cable channel founded by Al Gore and partners, in a move that will boost the Qatar-based broadcaster's footprint in the United States.
2013 Feb 1, The American TV series “House of Cards” premiered on Netflix.
(Econ, 2/2/13, p.52)
2013 Feb 21, Ray Cusick (84), BBC designer, died. He created the Daleks, mutant monsters in sinister shells, for the “Doctor Who” TV series.
(Econ, 3/2/13, p.90)
2013 Feb 22, Zimbabwe media freedom campaigners said police are breaking the law by seizing and banning small radio receivers that can tune in to stations not linked to the state broadcasting monopoly controlled by President Robert Mugabe's party.
2013 Apr 4, Roger Ebert (b.1942), film critic, died in Chicago. In 1986 he teamed with Gene Siskel (1946-1999) for a TV series named Siskel and Ebert and The Movies. The title of the show was shortened to simply Siskel and Ebert in
(http://tinyurl.com/cgfqk6o)(SFC, 4/5/13, p.D7)
2013 Mar, The Nielsen Co. started labeling people who have stopped using traditional TV service in their homes as "Zero TV" households, because
they fall outside the traditional definition of a TV home. These people were watching shows and movies on the Internet. There were now 5 million of these residences in the US, up from 2 million in 2007.
Apr 8, Annette Funicello (70), one of the original 24 Mouseketeers, died in Bakersfield, Ca., from complications of multiple schlerosis.
(SFC, 4/9/13, p.C4)
2013 May 31, Jean
Stapleton (b.1923), the actress who played the TV sitcom “All In the Family” wife of Archie Bunker, died in NYC. Her films included “Eleanor, First Lady of the World” (1982).
(SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A16)
Jun 12, Greece's conservative-led government was facing a political crisis after its decision to shut down state-run TV and radio as part of spending cuts triggered a wave of strikes and fierce opposition from within the coalition government. The executive order to close ERT must be ratified by parliament within three months but is faced failure if not backed by all the coalition's
2013 Jun 18, State TV channels in Greece remained off-air as the political storm over the future of public broadcaster ERT raged
2013 Jun 19, James Gandolfini (b.1961), Emmy-winning lead star of the HBO TV series “The Sopranos,” died in Italy of a heart attack.
(SFC, 6/20/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 28, Cambodia’s Ministry of Information said all radio stations must be neutral in their coverage before the election and not carry reports on foreigners playing any role in the election. Stations must also suspend
broadcasting Khmer-language programs by foreign media.