Return to home1865 May 17,
The International Telegraph Union, later the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) was set up in Paris to standardize and
regulate international radio communications.
9/26/09, SR p.18)
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.
(WUD, 1994 p.379)(www.britannica.com)
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,
1895 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
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
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
(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.
(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A2)
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,
(www.imdb.com)(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1914 Two-way radio contact was
accomplished between pilot and ground control.
(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)
1918 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
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
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
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,
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 Conference.
1922 Jul 27, Norman Lear, TV
writer, producer (All in The Family), was born.
1922 Nov 14, The British
Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, began the first daily radio
broadcasts from Marconi House. The company was formed with a
commercial mission to sell radio sets. General manager John Reith
(33), Scottish engineer, envisaged an independent British
broadcaster able to educate, inform and entertain the whole nation,
free from political interference and commercial pressure.
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, p.A11)
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
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
1928 Mar 19, "Amos & Andy"
debuted on radio with the NBC Blue Network, WMAQ Chicago.
1928 Mar 20, Fred Rogers,
television performer (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood), was born. [see Feb
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 p.2)
1929 Jun 27, Scientists at Bell
Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting
1929 Oct 24, Rudy Vallee's
Fleischmann Hour began broadcasting on NBC radio.
1929 Nov 30, Joan Ganz Cooney,
television executive, was born in Phoenix, Az. She founded the
Children's Television Workshop and was the mastermind behind "Sesame
1930 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, p.33)
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
1932 Aug 22, BBS began
experimental regular TV broadcasts.
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
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.D8)(SFC, 4/13/05, p.G4)
1932 Bob Hope made his radio
debut on the "Capitol Family Hour."
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.D5)
1932 The national radio show
"One Man’s Family" premiered. It was about a fictional San Francisco
(SFEC, 3/30/97, BR. p.4)
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 cigarettes.
(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
(SSFC, 8/16/09, p.46)
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
(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]
1936 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
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
(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 Nov 10, Kate Smith first
sang Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" on her CBS radio program,
which aired Thursdays.
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 radio broadcasting.
(SFC, 1/15/11, p.C1)
1939 Philo T. Farnsworth sold
his television patents to RCA Victor for $1 million.
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.D4)
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
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
1940 Apr 21, The quiz show that
asked the "$64 question," "Take It or Leave It," premiered on CBS
1940 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 1995.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Woolery)(SSFC, 7/6/08, p.B6)
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,
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
(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
1941 Aug 29, Robin Leach,
host for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, was born.
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
(SFC, 12/29/99, p.E3)
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."
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.78)
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 Company.
(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.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_for_a_Day)(WSJ, 2/4/08, p.B1)
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. Supl)
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
(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.
(SFC, 1/15/03, p.A19)
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, 1948]
(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
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
(HN, 11/29/98)(MC, 11/29/01)
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."
(SFC, 9/12/03, p.A23)
1948 The Perry Como Show made
its debut on TV. It ran for 15 years to1963. Como died in 2001 at
(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 stations.
(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.
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, p.2)
1949 May 29, Candid Camera, TV
comedy Variety, moved to NBC.
1949 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
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 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 dispute.
(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, 2004)
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
(SFEC, 8/15/99, Z1 p.8)
1949 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.
(SFC, 5/31/99, p.A17)
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
(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 Dallas, Tx.
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) TV.
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
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.
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.D8)
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
(SFC, 12/27/00, p.C6)
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 1981.
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
(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.
1951 Feb 1, The 1st X-ray
moving picture process demonstrated.
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
(AP, 6/25/97)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)
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,
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
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
(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
(SFC, 10/8/09, p.A16)
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)
1952 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, 1960).
(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,
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 biology teacher
(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
(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.
1952 Art 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 Philadelphia.
(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 p.37)
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 p.4)
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
(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 show.
(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.
(WUD, 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 and 1954.
(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 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
(SFC, 11/26/07, p.D3)(Econ, 12/1/07, p.102)
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 1958.
(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.
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
(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]
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 and Sons.
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
1954 Sep 20, The live TV drama
"Twelve Angry Men" was presented as an episode of CBS' "Studio One"
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.
10/27/97)(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046593/)(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB
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
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)(SFC, 3/19/10,
1954 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)
1954 "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 Jacques Cousteau.
(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 TV.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1954 Venezuela’s Radio Caracas
Television Station (RCTV) began operations.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.38)
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
(SFC, 7/23/98, 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.
(MC, 3/7/02)(SFC, 12/30/03, p.AD2)
1955 Mar 27, Steve McQueen made
his network TV debut on the Goodyear Playhouse.
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
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)(SFC, 10/13/98, p.A22)(SC,
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
(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, 10/3/00)
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 Bob Cummings Show, aka
Love That Bob, premiered on TV. Ann B. Davis played Schultzy, the
assistant to Cummings.
(SFC, 6/2/14, p.C3)
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
(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
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A23)
1956 Mar 5, "King Kong" was 1st
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."
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, p.A2)
1956 Nov 3, "Wizard of Oz" was
1st televised (CBS-TV).
1956 Dec 18, "To Tell the
Truth" debuted on CBS-TV.
1956 Bob Barker became master
of ceremonies for the TV show “Truth or Consequences.”
(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)
1956 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, ended.
(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 1955-1965.
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.C12)
1956 "The Ernie Kovac Show" ran
for a season under NBC.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.37)
1956 The TV sitcom "Stanley"
starred Buddy Hackett and Carol Burnett. The pilot was written by
(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 Youth."
(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
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 6]
1957 Jul 29, Jack Paar made his
debut as host of NBC’s late-night TV show "Tonight" and stayed on
(WSJ, 5/1/97, p.A16)(SFC, 5/7/97, p.E1)(AP,
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,
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 ABC. It starred James Garner as Maverick and
Jack Kelly as brother Bart Maverick.
(AP, 9/22/07)(AP, 7/20/14)
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
(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.
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 Coast.
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 1970.
1957 Rev. Billy Graham led a
New York Crusade at Madison Square Garden that was televised
(SFEC, 9/21/97, Z1 p.3)
1957 John Forsythe (1918-2010)
starred in “Bachelor Father.” The TV series continued to 1962.
(SFC, 4/3/10, p.C2)
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)
1957 Phyllis Kirk (1927-2006)
played opposite Peter Lawford in TV’s “The Thin Man.” The series ran
(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)
1957 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)
1957 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 hire.
(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,
(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
(SFC, 5/13/00, p.A19)(AP, 9/22/08)(SFC, 12/17/10,
1958 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 Byrnes.
1958 Oct 17, The special "An
Evening with Fred Astaire," the first major TV program produced on
color videotape, aired on NBC.
1958 Pop singer Eydie Gorme
(1928-2013) appeared with her husband on TV in “The Steve Lawrence
and Eydie Gorme Show.”
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
(SFC, 4/27/02, p.A21)
1958 Vito Scotti (1918-1996)
played Rama from India in "Gunga Ram" on Andy Devine’s TV show
(SFC, 6/12/96, p.C2)
1958 The TV program "The Ann
Sothern Show" starred Don Porter and Ann Sothern and ran to 1961.
(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.
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)
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).
(SFC, 8/9/02, p.D17)
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.
(SFC, 12/11/98, p.D4)
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
(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
(MC, 1/5/02)(WGN-BTL, 2004)
1959 Jan 9, The TV show
"Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates premiered on CBS.
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 together.
1959 Apr 17, A nationwide US
air raid drill suspended most television and radio programs for a
(SSFC, 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 Hoss.
(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 1963.
(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
(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
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 Show."
(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."
(SFC, 9/19/02, p.A24)
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 Menninger.
(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
(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 scandal.
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, 2001.
(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,
1960 Sep 28, "Millionaire,"
last aired on CBS-TV.
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 1987.
(MC, 9/30/01)(SFC, 7/27/05,
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
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
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 were
1960 Dec 7, The first episode
of "Coronation Street", the longest running TV soap opera in the
world, was broadcast by Granada.
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
(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.
(SFC, 8/24/96, p.A21)
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" was filmed.
1961 Jan 25, President Kennedy
held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio
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, p.A2)
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 1965.
(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 2006.
(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
(SFC, 10/19/07, p.A11)
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 (1907-1997).
(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 White House.
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 1992.
(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, Mass.
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
(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.
Par p.16)(SFC, 4/14/04, p.E1)
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 Jetson.
(SFC, 3/23/01, p.D7)(AP, 9/23/02)(SFC, 11/15/03,
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,
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 on ABC.
(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
(SFC, 12/3/99, p.D7)
1962 In San Francisco Bernard
Mayes (1929-2014), a gay British Episcopal worker-priest priest and
founding station manager of KQED, started the first suicide hotline
in the US.
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
(SFC, 1/28/04, p.A2)
1962 The TV show "Frontier
Circus" featured Richard Hanley Jaeckel (d.1997) as cowboy scout
(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 appearance.
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 1965.
(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,
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 1966.
(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 1966.
(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."
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)
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
(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)
1964 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)
1964 Jan, The Beatles made
their North America TV debut on the Jack Paar Show. [see Feb 9,
(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 28, First pirate radio
station began to broadcast off the coast of England. Radio Caroline
debuted with a combination of rock music and lively disk jockey
whose patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain. British
authorities, tried unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station
ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually
dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). [see Dec 23]
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,
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 Aug 27, Gracie Allen
(b.~1895), TV comedian (Burns & Allen), died in Los Angeles.
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
(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
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)
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" 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 TV.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.38)
1964 Ronald Reagan hosted Death
Valley Days and appeared in some episodes through 1965.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F5)
1964 “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
premiered on television.
(AARP Bulletin, 3/14, p. 46)
1964 Peyton Place premiered on
television as the first prime time soap opera. It was based on the
1956 novel by Grace Metalious. Ed Nelson (1928-2014) starred as Dr.
Michael Rossi and appeared in 436 episodes.
(AARP Bulletin, 3/14, p. 46)(SFC, 8/13/14, p.E8)
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
(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 The BBC showed its 26-part
epic of WWI: “The Great War.”
(Econ, 3/29/14, p.88)
1964-1967 Bonanza was the top ranking network show
on television for three seasons with rankings of 36.3, 31.8, and
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1965 Jan 16, "Outer Limits"
last aired on ABC-TV.
1965 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
(AP, 4/27/05)(SFC, 2/10/06, p.E11)(WSJ, 12/1/07,
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
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
(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"
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 soap.
1965 Dec 20, The Dating Game TV
show first aired and was the first of many shows created and
packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s through the 1980s. ABC
dropped the show on July 6, 1973, but it continued in syndication
for another year (1973–1974) as The New Dating Game.
1965 The first animated Peanuts
TV Special was broadcast on CBS.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.E1)
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
(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 “The F.B.I.”
premiered with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918-2014). The show continued
(SFC, 5/3/14, p.A7)
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.
(SFEC, 6/27/99, BR p.45)
1965 Time Magazine entered the
fledgling cable TV business.
(WSJ, 1/11/00, p.B1)
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
(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
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)
1966 Sep 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,
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 Emmy.
(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. Goldberg.”
1966 Dec 18, Dr. Seuss' "How
the Grinch Stole Christmas" aired for 1st time on CBS.
1966 The sitcom "Family Affair"
began on TV. It ran to 1971.
(SFC, 3/5/99, p.C9)
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
(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.
(SFEC, 10/9/96, C2)
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 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" series.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A5)
1967 Dec 26, BBC-1 television
aired "Magical Mystery Tour," the Beatles' critically drubbed
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)
1967 Charles Kurault, CBS TV
correspondent, drove off in a motor home and began documenting
stories of life in America for “On the Road.”
(SSFC, 7/20/14, p.L4)
1967-1968 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
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%.
1968 Feb 19, The children's
program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, created by Fred Rogers
(1928-2003), premiered on NET (later PBS).
1968 May 24, In Britain Mick
Jagger and the Rolling Stones released their song "Jumping Jack
Flash." The US release was on June 1.
1968 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.
1968 Aug 15, Pirate Radio Free
London began transmitting.
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
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.
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
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
(AP, 9/24/98)(SFC, 8/27/99,
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 moon.
(TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)(MC,
1968 Dom DeLuise (1933-2009),
actor, chef, comedian and author, hosted “The Dom DeLuise Show,” a
comedy variety summer series on CBS.
1968 The TV series “The Name of
the Game” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009). The show continued to
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)
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
(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.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, p.C12)
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.
(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.
(SFC, 7/11/96, p.D4)(SFC, 1/22/98, p.D3)(SFC,
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.
(SS, 3/26/02)(WSJ, 1/10/03, p.A10)
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.
1969 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
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 1976.
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 (1916-2011). Ann B. Davis
(1926-2014) played housekeeper Alice Nelson.
(AP, 9/26/99)(SFC, 7/13/11, p.C4)(SFC, 6/2/14,
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
(WSJ, 6/16/98, p.A17)(AP, 10/5/98)(SFC, 1/4/03,
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
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 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 singles.
1969 Della Reese (b.1931)
hosted her talk show "Della" for one season on TV.
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
1969 The National Association
of Broadcasters endorsed the phase out of cigarette ads on TV and
(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 series.
(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 2011.
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,
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.
1970 Jun 19, "The Tim Conway
Show", TV Comedy, last aired on CBS after 13 episodes.
1970 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 show.
(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 84.
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A22)
1970 The TV soap opera “All My
Children” premiered. Its final episode was scheduled in the Fall of
(SFC, 4/15/11, p.F2)
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.
1970 The Don Knotts Show
premiered and lasted for one season.
(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.
(SFC, 11/26/98, p.B9)
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 1962.
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).
(SFC, 3/26/97, p.C3)
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, 7/23/98, p.C4)
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,
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
1971 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
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 2, “Soul Train,” an
American musical variety TV program premiered and continued to 2006.
It was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as its first
host and executive producer.
5/18/14, Par p.2)
1971 Oct 25, The TV show “The
Electric Company” premiered providing an advance for children raised
on Sesame Street.
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 network.
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, p.A6)
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 Prague.
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%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
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
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
(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.
1972 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.
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 CBS.
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)
1972 Oct 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).
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)
1972 Johnny 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.
(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)
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" ended.
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
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.
1973 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 (1928-2008).
(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 PBS.
1973 The TV "Schoolhouse Rock"
cartoons began to set educational messages to catchy music. The
animated series ran to 1985.
(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 p.26)
1973 The TV series "Streets of
San Francisco" premiered.
(SFC, 6/3/97, p.B1)
1973 The British TV series
"Upstairs, Downstairs," was imported the US as part of PBS’
(SFC, 12/1/01, p.A19)
1974 Jan 15, "Happy Days" began
an 11 year run on ABC.
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
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. It
continued to 1980.
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
(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 Lear.
(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 Kennedy.
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
(SFC, 7/10/98, p.C14)
1975 Jan 6, The NBC TV game
show “Wheel of Fortune”, created by Merv Griffin (1925-2007),
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,
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.
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 Approval."
1975 Aug 10, Television
personality David Frost announced he had purchased the exclusive
rights to interview former President Nixon.
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 28.
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.
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.
1975 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." Don Pardo (1918-2014) began his stint as the announcing
voice of SNL.
(SFEC, 8/23/98, BR p.12)(AP, 10/11/99)(SFC,
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
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.
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
(SFC, 7/22/08, p.E2)
1975 Public radio on the
Canadian Broadcasting network (CBC) went free of advertising.
(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
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 1983.
(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
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, 6/24/06, p.A2)
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)
1976 Malcolm 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.
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)
1977 Mar 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.
1977 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.
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 members.
(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, 1991.
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
1978 Apr 26, A version of Mark
Twain’s "The Prince and the Pauper" appeared on TV with former
Beatle, Ringo Star.
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.
1978 Jul 10, ABC-TV premiered
“World News Tonight” with anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings and
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.
(SFC, 12/30/99, p.E3)
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
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)(Econ, 7/23/05, p.14)
1979 Jan 26, "Dukes of Hazzard"
premiered on CBS and continued to 1985. James Best (d.2015 at 88)
played the inept Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane.
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
(AP, 3/19/97)(SSFC, 3/27/05, Par p.14)(Econ,
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
(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 season.
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
1979 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 28.2%.
(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 evening.
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”
1980 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.
1980 Mar 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.
(AP, 6/1/97)(WSJ, 2/23/00,
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.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4)
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
(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
(SFC, 12/21/96, p.A1)
1980 James Fielder Cook
(d.2003) directed "Gauguin the Savage."
(SSFC, 6/28/03, p.A31)
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
(SFC, 8/28/97, p.A1)
1980 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.
(WSJ, 10/1/97, p.A1)
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%
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
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 Stripes.”
(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
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).
1981 Dec 4, "Falcon Crest"
premiered on CBS-TV and ran to 1990.
1981 Dec 31, CNN launched
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)
1981 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 1270 episodes.
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
(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 Martin Yan.
(SFC, 7/30/01, p.E1)
1982 The TV show Barney Miller
ended its run.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, Par p.22)
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
(SFC, 11/20/03, p.A25)
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, p.A26)
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 Family.
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
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.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A25)
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
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-9)
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, 5/26/97, p.B1)
1983-1988 The TV show "Hotel" was centered on the
fictitious St. Gregory hotel in SF. The Fairmont was used for
(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
(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 uses.”
(AP, 1/17/02)(SFC, 4/8/02, p.E1)(Econ, 4/2/05,
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
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
1984 Nov 22, Fred Rogers
(1928-2003) of PBS' "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" presented his sweater
to the Smithsonian Institution.
1984 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
1984 The TV series "Murder, She
Wrote" began and ran through 1996.
(SFEC, 12/8/96, Par p.18)
1984 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.
(NW, 11/11/02, p.56)
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)
1984 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
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
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 1993.
(SFC, 5/2/13, p.D5)
1985 Neil Postman authored
“Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show
1985 Howard Stern started his
radio show on WXRK in NYC. His later became known as a schock jock
for his "street-talk" style.
(WSJ, 3/8/04, p.B1)
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),
1986 Sep 8, Oprah Winfrey began
her syndicated TV talk show.
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
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.
1987 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 PBS.
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,
1987 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,
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.
1987 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 TV.
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.
(SFC, 11/24/98, p.A26)
1987 Morton Downey Jr. (d.2001)
pioneered the "Trash TV" talk show with his NYC "The Morton
(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
(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
(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 Aug 2, Joe Carcione
(b.1914), US produce expert known on radio, TV and newspapers as the
Green Grocer, died in Burlingame, Ca.
(SSFC, 7/28/13, DB p.46)
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
(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.
(SFC, 11/27/02, p.A26)
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.
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.A9)
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, p.W10)
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.
(SFC, 2/11/04, p.A23)
1989 The TV series “Father
Dowling Mysteries” (1989-1991) began with Tom Bosley
(1927-2010) as a crime-fighting Chicago priest. Tracy Nelson played
(SFC, 10/20/10, p.A8)
1989 Dec 17, The cartoon series
“The Simpsons” premiered on Fox TV.
1990 Mar 27, The U.S. began
test broadcasts of TV Marti to Cuba, which promptly jammed the
1990 Apr 1, CBS fired
sportscaster Brent Mussburger.
1990 Apr 8,
The cult series Twin Peaks premiered on ABC TV. It ran until Apr 18,
(SFC, 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 launched.
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 Miller.
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.D5)(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.A9)(SFC,
1990 Sep 12, The TV drama
“Gabriel’s Fire” premiered with James Earl Jones as Gabriel Bird.
(LSA, Fall, 2007,
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.
(SFC, 4/10/01, p.E1)
1990 The TV show Newhart ended
its run in May.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, DB p.38)
1990 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 invented.
(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 Chronicles.
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,
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 wedlock.
(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
(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
(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
(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
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
(NW, 11/11/02, p.57)
1993 Captain Kangaroo (b.1955)
ended with almost 40 years on TV. The show featured Bob Keeshan as
(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 1999.
(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
(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.
1994 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
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
(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, p.70)
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 billion.
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
1995 Sep 15, The TV series
“Xena: Warrior Princess” featured Lucy Lawless as Xena.
(LSA, Spring, 2009,
1995 Nov 29, "Submitted for
Your Approval," a PBS production on Rod Serling (1924-1975) was
(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)
1995 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 vitamin.
1996 Mar 17, The $16 mil Museum
of Television and Radio was christened in Beverly Hills.
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.B4)
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.
(SFC, 1/22/98, p.A7)
1996 Aug 27, Actor Greg Morris
("Mission: Impossible") was found dead at his Las Vegas home; he was
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.
p.A10)(Econ, 7/9/11, SR p.14)
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
(SFC, 6/26/02, p.D8)
1997 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 history.
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,
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)
1997 Apr 30, ABC aired the
"coming out" of the title character in the sitcom "Ellen," played by
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
(LSA, Spring, 2009,
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 23.
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
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 from
(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 television.
(SSFC, 4/10/11, p.C8)
1998 A 2-hour TV version of
"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley (1932) was
(WSJ, 4/13/98, p.A20)
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
(SFC, 3/4/99, p.A1)(AP, 3/3/00)
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
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)
1999 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 notoriety.
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
(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
(AP, 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.
(WSJ, 4/25/07, p.A1,9)
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
(SFC, 8/23/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/24/00,
2000 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
(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).
(SFC, 3/27/01, p.A17)
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 Sep 7, The final “Mister
Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show aired as Fred Rogers (72) retired.
(SFC, 8/29/01, p.A1)
2001 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.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A2)
2002 May John Frankenheimer
directed the TV drama "Path To War," about the Johnson’s
administration’s handling of the Vietnam War.
(WSJ, 7/10/02, p.D8)
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 Bell.
2002 Aug 8, The FCC ordered TV
manufacturers to install tuners for digital signals in new TV sets
(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 series.
2002 Oct 21, A&E premiered
"Uncut: The True Story of Hair."
(SFC, 9/28/02, p.D1)
2002 American Idol premiered on
the Fox Network. The public was allowed to decide who stays and who
goes among the final 12 contestants.
(SFC, 5/14/04, p.B1)
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)
2003 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.
(SFC, 1/28/04, p.A2)
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
(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
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.
(SFC, 10/7/04, p.A1)
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.
(WSJ, 12/1/04, 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.
(SFC, 12/13/04, p.E1)
2005 Apr 23, The first YouTube
video was uploaded. The 18 second clip showed founder Jawed Karim
visiting a zoo. In December 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.
p.68)(WSJ, 10/13/06, p.A12)(Econ, 5/3/14, p.58)
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.
(SFC, 3/25/05, p.C1)
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.
(SFC, 4/28/05, p.C1)
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, 2004.
2005 Sep 18, "Everybody Loves
Raymond" won the Emmy for best comedy in its final season;
first-year hit "Lost" was named best drama.
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.
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
(AP, 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
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
(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 Emmy.
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.
(SFC, 11/1/07, p.C1)
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
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
(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.
(SSFC, 6/8/08, p.A2)
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 conglomerate.
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 Radio.”
(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
2009 Feb 17, Liberty Media
Corp. said it will invest $530 million in financially struggling
satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc.
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
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."
2009 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, p.A4)
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
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
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)
2009 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
(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.
2009 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 arrest.
(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.
2009 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
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
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.
2009 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.
2009 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 struggle.
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 channel.
(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
(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
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.
2010 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
(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 Boone.”
(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
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
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
(SFC, 5/27/10, p.C4)
2010 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
(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.
2010 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
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.
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 $24.99.
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
(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.
2010 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
2010 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 cable TV.
(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 IPO.
(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 jobs.
(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.
(AP, 2/9/11)(AP, 2/15/11)
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.
(SFC, 2/12/11, p.D1)
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.
(SFC, 2/17/11, p.D4)
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.
(SFC, 5/26/11, p.A8)
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.
(SFC, 6/4/11, p.A4)
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.
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 Curry.
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
2011 Jun 23, Peter Falk (83),
star of the TV detective series “Columbo” (1971-1977), died in his
Beverly Hills, Calif., home.
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
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
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.
(SFC, 12/8/11, p.A14)
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.”
2011 Twitch.tv, a website that
streams live video directly to users’ computers, was founded. On Aug
25, 2014 Amazon.com announced that it would buy Twitch for $970
(Econ, 8/30/14, p.59)
2011 The TV show
“RightThisMinute” began airing from Phoenix. It featured hosts
presenting videos from the Internet that were expected to go viral.
(SFC, 4/9/15, p.E6)
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)
(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
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 FM.
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, p.A5)
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 “Hogan’s Heroes.”
(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
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
(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)
2012 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.
(SFC, 9/24/12, p.C1)(www.emmys.com)
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
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)
2012 In Lebanon the
Beirut-based pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Mayadeen was launched. It
was backed by Iran and Syria.
(Econ, 2/14/15, p.41)
2012 In Somalia Access TV, a
satellite service, was launched. By 2014 it had 100 channels on
offer to 5,000 subscribers with customers paying $8 per month.
(SFC, 8/20/14, p.A4)
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.
(SSFC, 1/6/13, p.C3)
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 mid-1987.
(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.
2013 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)
2013 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 members.
2013 Jun 18, State TV channels
in Greece remained off-air as the political storm over the future of
public broadcaster ERT raged on.
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.
2013 Jul 19, Zimbabwe's first
independent television station, 1st TV, said it is going on air to
challenge the 30-year state broadcasting monopoly controlled by
President Robert Mugabe. The station is a satellite feed from
outside Zimbabwe using a free network received by an estimated
700,000 homes across the nation.
2013 Jul 22, American TV and
film actor Dennis Farina (69) died in Scottsdale, Arizona. His films
included “Manhunter” (1986), “”Midnight Run” (1988), “Saving Private
Ryan” (1998), “Out of Sight” (1998) and “Get Shorty” (1995). From
2004-2006 he played Detective Joe Fontana on the TV show “Law &
(SFC, 7/23/13, p.C3)
2013 Jul 31, Michael Ansara
(b.1922), Syria-born American film and TV actor, died. He became a
star in the 1950s on the ABC TV show “Broken Arrow” (1956-1958) in a
fictionalized role as Apache chief Cochise. His films included “The
Ten Commandments” (1956), “The Robe” (1953) and “Harum Scarum”
(SSFC, 8/4/13, p.C12)
2013 Aug 20, The Al Jazeera
America news program “America Tonight” was launched from NYC.
Executives were informed that AT&T’s U-verse pay-TV system was
dropping the network. A breech of contract suit was quickly filed.
(SFC, 8/20/13, p.A6)(SFC, 8/22/13, p.A12)
2013 Aug 21, Greece's new state
television channel began airing news programs, more than two months
after the government's abrupt closure of state broadcaster ERT drew
international condemnation and triggered an acute political crisis.
2013 Oct 31, In Britain
television cameras were allowed into one of the highest courts for
the first time, hailed as a landmark move towards open justice while
still protecting the rights of vulnerable witnesses.
2013 Dec 22, Louisiana’s Lt.
Gov. Jay Dardenne said the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV show is
important to state tourism and that he could connect the Robertson
family to new producers if they cannot reach an agreement with the
A&E network. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended last week
for telling GQ magazine that gays are sinners akin to adulterers and
(SFC, 12/23/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 27, The A&E
channel said it is reversing its decision to drop “Duck Dynasty”
patriarch Phil Robertson from the show set in Louisiana for his
remarks on gays.
(SFC, 12/28/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 31, James Avery, the
father figure in the TV sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
(1990-1996), died in Los Angeles.
(SFC, 1/2/14, p.D5)
2014 Jan 15, British actor
Roger Lloyd-Pack (69), best known for playing dim-witted
street-sweeper Trigger on the sitcom "Only Fools and Horses"
(1981-1991), died at his home in London.
2014 Jan 16, American actor
Russell Johnson (89), best known for his role a the Professor on
“Gilligan’s Island” (1964-1967), died at his home on Bainbridge
Island, Washington state.
(SFC, 1/17/14, p.D5)
2014 Feb 12, It was reported
that Comcast has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2
billion in stock or $158.82 per TWC share, which closed at $135.31.
(SFC, 2/13/14, p.A13)
2014 Feb 12, Sid Caesar
(b.1922), former TV comedian, died at his home in Beverly Hills. His
“Your Show of Shows” dominated the Saturday viewing habits of
millions of Americans from 1950-1954.
(SFC, 2/13/14, p.A8)
2014 Feb 13, Ralph Waite (85),
actor, died. He played the patriarch in the TV series “The Waltons”
(SSFC, 2/16/14, p.C14)
2014 Feb 25, Jim Lange (1932),
former TV game host, died in Mill Valley, Ca. His shows included
“The Dating Game” (1965-1978), “Hollywood Connection,” “$100,000
Name That Tune” and “The Newlywed Game.”
(SFC, 2/28/14, p.D2)
2014 Mar 6, Sheila MacRae (92),
Broadway and TV star, died. She was best known for playing Alice
Kramden to Jackie Gleason’s Ralph on the Jackie Gleason Show
(SSFC, 3/9/14, p.C12)
2014 Mar 30, British actress
Kate O'Mara (74), best known for her role in the 1980s soap opera
"Dynasty," died in a nursing home in southern England after a short
2014 Apr 7, Latvia said it is
joining Lithuania in banning Russian state TV broadcasts because it
found that several programs about the Ukraine crisis were
tendentious and not in the Baltic nation's security interests. A
three-month suspension of RTR Rossiya broadcasts will begin April 8.
2014 Apr 7, In Rwanda Cassien
Ntamuhanga, head of a Christian radio station, disappeared in Kigali
without a trace after a ceremony commemorating the 1994 genocide.
2014 Apr 22, The US Supreme
Court heard oral arguments in a case involving Aereo, a US internet
streaming service that picks up signals of free-to-air TV channels
for its subscribers.
(Econ, 4/26/14, p.65)
2014 Apr 26, In China a
spokeswoman for a leading online video site, Youku, said it has
received notification not to show sitcom "The Big Bang Theory,"
political and legal drama "The Good Wife," crime drama "NCIS" and
legal drama "The Practice."
2014 May 2, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
(b.1918), American TV star, died at his home in Solvang, Ca. He had
starred in “77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964) and “The F.B.I.”
(SFC, 5/3/14, p.A7)
2014 May 19, AT&T Inc. said
it would buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, or $95 per
share. The deal faced unique regulatory scrutiny from the FCC and
Department of Justice.
2014 Jul 19, American TV and
film actor James Garner (86) died in Los Angeles. His whimsical
style in the 1950s TV Western "Maverick" led to a stellar career in
TV and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated
2014 Aug 19, Ukraine said it
has blocked 14 Russian television channels from its cable networks
to stop them spreading war propaganda.
2014 Aug 25, At the annual
Emmys in LA popular British detective series "Sherlock" picked up
three awards, while hit drama "Breaking Bad" was the big winner of
2014 Sep 4, Joan Rivers (81),
award winning comedienne, died in New York. The caustic stand-up
comic and television host had blazed a trail at a time when comedy
was all but off-limits to women.
2014 Aug 30, Andrew McLaglen
(b.1020), American film director, died in Friday Harbor, Wa. His
work included numerous TV Westerns such as “Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun -
Will Travel,” and Rawhide. His films included “Man in the Vault”
(1956), “Gun the Man Down” (1956), “McLintock!” (1963),
“Shenandohah” (1965), “The Rare Breed” (1966), “The Way West”
(1967), “Wild Geese” (1978) and “Sahara (1983).
(SFC, 9/5/14, p.D4)
2014 Nov 3, In Massachusetts
Tom Magliozzi (b.1937), the elder brother of NPR’s “Car Talk”
brothers, died. Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, began their
radio show on WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate, in 1977 and went
national in 1987. They stopped taping live in 2012.
(SFC, 11/4/14, p.C3)
2014 Dec 26, Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty quoted the director of its Azerbaijani service
saying that the office has been locked down since early today by
prosecutors and armed police.
2014 Gabriel Sherman authored
“The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant Bombastic Roger
Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided a Country.”
(SSFC, 2/2/14, p.F1)
2015 Jan 1, Donna Douglass
(b.1932), TV actress, died in Baton Rouge, La. She played Elly May
Clampett in the “The Beverly Hillbillies” sitcom which aired from
(SFC, 1/3/15, p.A6)
2015 Jan 1, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics said it will release smart televisions equipped
with its new platform built around the Tizen operating system this
year, as it seeks to lower its reliance on Google.
2015 Feb 2, In Bahrain the new
Alarab television news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince
was suspended from broadcasting, just hours after it went on air and
carried an interview with prominent opposition activist Khalil
2015 Feb 27, Leonard Nimoy
(83), who played the half-Vulcan character of Dr. Spock on the TV
series “Star Trek” (1966-1968), died in Los Angeles. His 1975
autobiography was titled “I Am Not Spock.” His revisionist sequel
titled “I Am Spock” was published in 1995.
2015 Mar 31, Crimea's
independent television station ATR went off air at midnight after
Russian authorities repeatedly refused to give it a broadcasting
2015 Apr 9, In France hackers
purporting to be supporters of Islamic State knocked out channels
belonging to public television station TV5Monde and posted material
on its social media feeds to protest French military action in Iraq.