Events in Film & Television in 1954

  • Jan 1 KSLA TV channel 12 in Shreveport, LA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 NBC broadcasts 1st live color US coast-to-coast telecast, the Tournament of Roses Parade, from Pasadena, California
  • Jan 1 WWTV TV channel 9 in Cadillac-Traverse City, MI (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Jan 4 Soap Opera "The Brighter Day" premieres
  • Jan 13 WEAR TV channel 3 in Pensacola-Mobile, FL (ABC) begins broadcasting

Musical Finale

Jan 16 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's musical "South Pacific", starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, closes at the Majestic Theater, NYC, after 1928 performances;, winning 10 Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prize

Television Debut

Jan 17 Jacques Cousteau's 1st network telecast airs on "Omnibus" (CBS)

Music History

Jan 20 Herman Wouk's stage drama "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial", adpated from his novel "The Caine Mutiny", starring Henry Fonda, and directed by Charles Laughton, premieres at the Plymouth Theatre, NYC; runs for 415 performances

  • Jan 26 Groundbreaking begins on Disneyland
  • Feb 1 1st TV soap opera "Secret Storm" premieres
  • Feb 5 WCDC TV channel 19 in Adams, MA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 11 6th Emmy Awards: I Love Lucy, Donald O'Connor & Eve Arden win
  • Feb 14 WTOC TV channel 11 in Savannah, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 15 WRDW TV channel 12 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 16 WNEM TV channel 5 in Bay City, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 17 WAST (now WNYT) TV channel 13 in Albany-Troy, NY (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Mar 9 1st local color TV commercial WNBT-TV (WNBC-TV) NYC (Castro Decorators)
  • Mar 9 WMUR TV channel 9 in Manchester, NH (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 14 KDAL (now KDLH) TV channel 3 in Duluth-Superior, MN (CBS) begins
  • Mar 15 WSJV TV channel 28 in Elkhart-South Bend, IN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 21 KFBB TV channel 5 in Great Falls, MT (ABC/CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 25 26th Academy Awards: "From Here to Eternity" best film, William Holden & Audrey Hepburn best actor, actress
  • Mar 25 RCA manufactures 1st color TV set (12½" screen at $1,000)
  • Mar 28 WKAQ TV channel 2 in San Juan, PR (TM) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 1 WQED TV channel 13 in Pittsburgh, PA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 2 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • Apr 7 WALB TV channel 10 in Albany, GA (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 9 7th Cannes Film Festival: "Gate of Hell" directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • Apr 9 WECT TV channel 6 in Wilmington, NC (NBC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 10 KRGV TV channel 5 in Weslaco, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 KARK TV channel 4 in Little Rock, AR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 WHO TV channel 13 in Des Moines, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 16 KVAL TV channel 13 in Eugene, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 22 US Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings begin
  • Apr 24 WSEE TV channel 35 in Erie, PA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 25 WDEF TV channel 12 in Chattanooga, TN (CBS) begins broadcasting

Film Release

Apr 26 "Seven Samurai", Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, is released

  • May 1 WAPA TV channel 4 in San Juan, PR (NBC/SFN) begins broadcasting
  • May 3 KTEN TV channel 10 in Ada-Ardmore, Oklahoma(ABC) begins broadcasting
  • May 3 WHA TV channel 21 in Madison, Wisconsin (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 15 KGLO (now KIMT) TV channel 3 in Mason City, IA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • May 16 WGAN (now WGME) TV channel 13 in Portland, ME (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • May 22 KREX TV channel 5 in Grand Junction, CO (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 5 "Your Show Of Shows" last airs on NBC-TV
  • Jun 10 KQED TV channel 9 in San Francisco, California (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 17 Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ends
  • Jun 18 4th Berlin International Film Festival: "Hobson's Choice" wins Golden Bear (audience vote)

Musical Finale

Jun 24 Musical revue "John Murray Anderson's Almanac", starring Harry Belafonte, Hermione Gingold, and Orson Bean, closes at Imperial Theatre, NYC, after 229 performances and a Tony Award win

  • Jul 1 WDBO (now WCPX) TV channel 6 in Orlando, FL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 4 WMSL (WYUR, now WAFF) TV channel 48 in Huntsville, AL (ABC) begins
  • Jul 5 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin
  • Jul 6 KMOS TV channel 6 in Sedalia-Warrensburg, MO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 8 KMOX (now KMOV) TV channel 4 in Saint Louis, MO (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Jul 15 KOCO TV channel 5 in Oklahoma City, OK (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 15 WBOC TV channel 16 in Salisbury, MD (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 17 Construction of Disneyland commences in Anaheim, California
  • Jul 22 WTHI TV channel 10 in Terre Haute, IN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 26 WCET TV channel 48 in Cincinnati, OH (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film Release

Jul 28 "On the Waterfront", directed by Elia Kazan starring Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint, is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1955)

Historic Publication

Jul 29 Publication of "Fellowship of the Ring" 1st volume of "Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London

  • Aug 1 WKBT TV channel 8 in La Crosse, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 6 WLAC (now WTVF) TV channel 5 in Nashville (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 14 WGR TV (now WGRZ) TV channel 2 in Buffalo, NY (NBC) begins
  • Aug 15 WCHS TV channel 8 in Charleston-Huntington, WV (ABC) begins
  • Aug 22 15th Venice Film Festival: "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Renato Castellani wins Golden Lion
  • Aug 22 WPTV TV channel 5 in Palm Beach, FL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 31 WMTW TV channel 8 in Portland-Poland Spring, ME (ABC) begins

Film Release

Sep 1 Paramount Pictures releases "Rear Window", directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly

  • Sep 1 Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant opens infamous 10-day football mini camp in Junction, Texas; ordeal achieves legendary status becoming subject of 2001 book 'The Junction Boys' & television movie of the same name
  • Sep 2 WTVD TV channel 11 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (ABC) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Sep 6 "La Strada" directed by Federico Fellini premieres at the Venice Film Festival starring Anthony Quinn

Film Release

Sep 7 "Journey to Italy", directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, is released

  • Sep 10 WLUK TV channel 11 in Green Bay, WI (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 11 1st Miss America TV broadcast; 19 year old Lee Meriwether of California crowned 27th Miss America
  • Sep 11 KXJB TV channel 4 in Valley City (Fargo) (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 12 WLBZ TV channel 2 in Bangor, ME (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 13 WPBN TV channel 7 in Traverse City, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 16 CKLW TV channel 9 in Windsor, ON (CBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 18 KTUL TV channel 8 in Tulsa, OK (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 18 WLOS TV channel 13 in G'ville-Spartanburg, SC (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • Sep 20 KETC TV channel 9 in Saint Louis, MO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 25 WCBD TV channel 2 in Charleston, South Carolina (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 26 KODE TV channel 12 in Joplin, MO (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 26 KUTV TV channel 2 in Salt Lake City, UT (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 26 WANE TV channel 15 in Fort Wayne, IN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 26 WCAX TV channel 3 in Burlington, VT (CBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Sep 27 "The Tonight Show" premieres on NBC, hosted by Steve Allen

Film Premiere

Sep 29 "Barefoot Contessa" film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart premieres at the Capitol

  • Sep 29 "Masquerade Party" TV game show moves from CBS to ABC for two seasons
  • Sep 29 KALB TV channel 5 in Alexandria, LA (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Sep 29 The first remake of "A Star Is Born", starring Judy Garland & James Mason premieres at the Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles

Music Premiere

Sep 30 Sandy Wilson's musical "The Boy Friend", cast includes Julie Andrews, making her Broadway debut, opens at the Royale Theatre, NYC; runs for 485 performances

  • Oct 3 KFVS TV channel 12 in Cape Girardeau, MO (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 9 KTIV TV channel 4 in Sioux City, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 10 1st National Film Awards (India): "Shyamchi Aai" wins the Golden Lotus
  • Oct 15 KLTV TV channel 7 in Tyler-Longview, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 18 WBTW TV channel 13 in Florence, SC (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 18 WNBC radio changes call letters to WRCA (NYC)
  • Oct 19 KAKE TV channel 10 in Wichita, KS (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 20 Leigh, Charlap, Styne, Comden and Green's musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard, opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC; runs for 152 performances

Theater Premiere

Oct 21 Dorothy Parker and Arnaud d'Usseau's black comedy play "Ladies of the Corridor" premieres

  • Oct 23 WSAU TV channel 7 in Wausau, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Oct 27 Walt Disney's 1st TV show, "Disneyland", premieres on ABC

  • Oct 27 WISN TV channel 12 in Milwaukee, WI (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 31 KREM TV channel 2 in Spokane, WA (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 1 KUON TV channel 12 in Lincoln, NB (PBS) begins broadcasting

Radio Premiere

Nov 2 BBC radio comedy "Hancock's Half Hour" debuts starring Tony Hancock and Sid James, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

  • Nov 11 Publication of "Two Towers", 2nd volume of "Lord of the Rings", by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London
  • Nov 20 KTRK TV channel 13 in Houston, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 28 KCKT (now KSNC) TV channel 2 in Great Bend, KS (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 5 KTEW (now KJRH) TV channel 2 in Tulsa, OK (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 7 KCTS TV channel 9 in Seattle, WA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 8 WPTZ TV channel 5 in Plattsburgh, NY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 14 WOAY TV channel 4 in Oak Hill-Beckley, WV (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 17 WEAU TV channel 13 in Eau Claire, WI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 25 WSFA TV channel 12 in Montgomery, AL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 28 KEPR TV channel 19 in Pasco-Kennewick-Richl, WA (CBS) 1st broadcast