Events in Film & Television in 1956

  • Jan 1 KHAS TV channel 5 in Hastings, Nebraska (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 KOSA TV channel 7 in Odessa, Texas (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 WREC (now WREG) TV channel 3 in Memphis, Tennessee (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 6 KGNS TV channel 8 in Laredo, TX (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting

Music History

Jan 9 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin broadcast live, for a 2nd time, on NBC as part of "Producers' Showcase" series

  • Jan 15 KWAB TV channel 4 in Big Spring, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting

Theatrical Finale

Jan 21 "Comedy in Music (Victor Borge)" closes at Golden NYC after 849 performances

  • Jan 30 KRMA TV channel 6 in Denver, CO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 30 KTXS TV channel 12 in Sweetwater-Abilene, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 1 WSAV TV channel 3 in Savannah, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 9 KHPL (now KWNB) TV channel 6 in Hayes Center, NB (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • Feb 10 "My Friend Flicka" premieres on CBS (later NBC) TV
  • Feb 20 WOSU TV channel 34 in Columbus, OH (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 5 "King Kong" 1st televised

Film Release

Mar 13 "The Searchers" American western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood is released

  • Mar 21 "The Rose Tattoo" wins 3 Academy awards, including Anna Manini for Best Actress and Cinematography (Black & White)

Music Premiere

Mar 22 Musical "Mr Wonderful" with Sammy Davis, Jr. and father Sammy Davis, Sr. opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 383 performances

  • Apr 1 KPIC TV channel 4 in Roseburg, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 2 Soap operas "As the World Turns" & "Edge of Night" premiere on TV
  • Apr 10 Philips broadcasts 1st Dutch color TV programs
  • Apr 13 KETA TV channel 13 in Oklahoma City, OK (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 14 Ampex Corp demonstrates 1st commercial videotape recorder

Music Premiere

Apr 25 Noël Coward's musical "South Sea Bubble" premieres in London

  • Apr 29 WLUC TV channel 6 in Marquette, MI (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 29 WSPA TV channel 7 in G'ville-Spartanburg, SC (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 29 WWBT TV channel 12 in Richmond, VA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 6 WRCB TV channel 3 in Chattanooga, TN (NBC) begins broadcasting

Cannes Film Festival

May 10 9th Cannes Film Festival: "The Silent World" directed by Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle wins the Palme d'Or

  • May 10 KFSN TV channel 30 in Fresno, CA (ABC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 11 Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV
  • May 21 WITI TV channel 6 in Milwaukee, WI (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting

Television Finale

May 22 "Bob Hope Show" last airs on NBC-TV

  • May 22 KRIS TV channel 6 in Corpus Christi, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 29 WESH TV channel 2 in Daytona Beach-Orlando, FL (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Jun 3 KGUN TV channel 9 in Tucson, AZ (ABC) begins broadcasting

Television Finale

Jun 5 "Milton Berle Show" last airs on NBC-TV

  • Jun 8 WDAM TV channel 7 in Laurel-Hattiesburg, MS (NBC) begins broadcasting

Music History

Jun 19 Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin end partnership after 10 years, and 16 films

  • Jun 22 6th Berlin International Film Festival: "Invitation to the Dance" wins Golden Bear

Television Finale

Jun 23 "Jimmy Durante Show" last airs on NBC-TV

  • Jun 24 WISC TV channel 3 in Madison, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 25 WKNO TV channel 10 in Memphis, Tennessee (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Jul 7 "Hancock's Half Hour" premieres as a TV show starring Tony Hancock and Sid James, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

Film & TV History

Jul 9 Dick Clark's 1st appearance as host of American Bandstand

  • Jul 13 WCBI TV channel 4 in Columbus, MS (CBS) begins broadcasting

Film Release

Jul 17 MGM releases film "High Society", a musical re-working of "The Philadelphia Story" set in Newport, Rhode Island; starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra, with songs by Cole Porter

  • Jul 29 WCKT (now WSVN) TV channel 7 in Miami, Florida (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 1 KRCR TV channel 7 in Redding-Chico, California (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 5 KUAM TV channel 8 in Agana, GU (CBS/ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 5 WCYB TV channel 5 in Bristol-Kingsport, Virginia (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 6 After going bankrupt in 1955, the American national broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena
  • Aug 8 WDIQ (now KMCT) TV channel 2 in Dozier, AL (PBS) begins
  • Aug 12 KOTI TV channel 2 in Klamath Falls, OR (NBC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 13 WBIR TV channel 10 in Knoxville, TN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 21 WTVW TV channel 7 in Evansville, IN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 26 KREY TV channel 10 in Montrose, CO (CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 28 17th Venice Film Festival opens. No Golden Lion awarded
  • Sep 1 KELP (now KCOS) TV channel 13 in El Paso, TX (PBS) begins broadcasting

#1 in the Charts

Sep 8 Harry Belafonte's album "Calypso" goes #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks

  • Sep 9 Elvis Presley appears on "The Ed Sullivan Show" for the 1st time
  • Sep 10 WSYE (now WETM) TV channel 18 in Elmira-Corning, NY (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Sep 17 Television is first broadcast in Australia

Television Finale

Sep 28 "Johnny Carson Show" TV Variety last airs on CBS-TV

  • Sep 29 "Oh! Susanna" debuts on CBS-TV

Film Premiere

Oct 10 "Giant", directed by George Stevens, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean in his last role, premieres in NYC

  • Oct 13 WAGM TV channel 8 in Presque Isle, ME (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins

Film Premiere

Oct 17 "Around the World in 80 Days", based on the book by Jules Verne, directed by Michael Anderson and starring David Nivon and Cantinflas, premieres in New York

  • Oct 23 First video recording on magnetic tape televised coast-to-coast

Film & TV History

Oct 29 NBC anchors Chet Huntley and David Brinkley first team up in "The Huntley–Brinkley Report"

The Wizard of Oz

Nov 3 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" televised for 1st time - hosted by Bert Lahr and 10 year old Liza Minnelli, as the finale of the Ford Star Jubilee series (CBS-TV)

Television Debut

Nov 5 "The Nat King Cole Show" debuts on NBC, the first variety program to be hosted by an African-American

Film Premiere

Nov 8 Biblical drama film "The Ten Commandments", directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner premieres at the Criterion Theater in NYC

  • Nov 9 Lou Thesz beats Whipper Billy Watson in St Louis, to become NWA wrestling champion
  • Nov 26 TV game show "The Price Is Right", hosted by Bill Cullen, debuts on NBC

Film Premiere

Dec 1 Musical comedy film "The Girl Can't Help It" starring Jayne Mansfield with cameos by rock 'n' roll stars Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent premieres

  • Dec 3 KFSA (now KFSM) TV channel 5 in Ft Smith, AR (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 7 Helen O'Connell joins Today Show panel (NBC)

Film Release

Dec 13 "Anastasia" comeback film for Ingrid Bergman is released in the US, role wins Bergman Academy Award for Best Actress.

  • Dec 15 KGW TV channel 8 in Portland, OR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 15 WRAL TV channel 5 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 18 "To Tell the Truth" debuts on CBS-TV

Radio History

Dec 18 Phil Rizzuto signs as NY Yankees radio-TV announcer

  • Dec 28 Miss Frances [Horwich], last Ding Dong School on NBC-TV