Events in Film & Television in 1969

  • Jan 2 Robert B. Nemiroff's stage drama "To Be Young, Gifted & Black" adaptated from the writings of his late wife of Lorraine Hansberry, starring Ruby Dee, premieres in NYC
  • Jan 2 The Beatles begin rehearsals, while being filmed, for the Let It Be project at Twickenham Film Studios, London

Music Single

Jan 6 The Supremes release single "I'm Livin' In Shame"

  • Jan 6 WLIW TV channel 21 in Garden City, NY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 27 Actress Thelma Ritter suffers a heart attack (she dies Feb 5th)
  • Feb 1 WPGH TV channel 53 in Pittsburgh, PA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 2 KMST TV channel 46 in Monterey-Salinas, CA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 5 "Turn-On," debuts and cancelled by ABC after flopping so badly

Television Debut

Feb 7 "This Is Tom Jones" debuts on ABC TV

  • Feb 9 KGTO TV channel 36 in Fayetteville, AR (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Feb 16 "Andrei Rublev", Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Anatoly Solonitsyn and Ivan Lapikov, premieres in Moscow after a limited release in 1966

  • Feb 23 Groundbreaking TV documentary series "Civilisation" presented by art historian Kenneth Clark premieres on BBC2 in the UK
  • Feb 23 WWVU (now WNPB) TV channel 24 in Morgantown, WV (PBS) 1st broadcast

Film Premiere

Feb 24 "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" film based on novel by Muriel Spark directed by Ronald Neame, starring Maggie Smith (Academy Award Best Actress) premieres in London

  • Mar 26 "Marcus Welby, M.D.", starring Robert Young and James Brolin debuts as a TV movie on ABC-TV, prior to becoming a weekly series
  • Mar 28 Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis makes a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece

Music History

Mar 31 George Harrison and Pattie Boyd are fined £250 each for illegal drugs

  • Apr 14 KEET TV channel 13 in Eureka, CA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 18 Greek actress and activist Melina Mercouri establishes Greek Aid Fund
  • Apr 23 ABC Masters Bowling Tournament won by Jim Chestney
  • Apr 30 WEDB TV channel 40 in Berlin, New Hampshire (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

May 11 British comedy troupe Monty Python forms, made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin

Music History

May 16 Barbra Streisand appears at a Friars Club Tribute

  • May 23 22nd Cannes Film Festival: "If..." directed by Lindsay Anderson wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

Film & TV History

May 23 BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus

Film Release

May 25 "Midnight Cowboy" directed by John Schlesinger and starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1970)

Television Finale

May 27 Jerry Lewis Show second run, last airs on NBC-TV

  • May 27 Walt Disney World construction begins at Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Jun 1 Tobacco advertising is banned on Canadian radio & TV
  • Jun 3 Last episode of Star Trek airs on NBC (Turnabout Intruder)

Television Debut

Jun 7 "Johnny Cash Show" debuts on ABC-TV

  • Jun 8 "Smothers Brothers comedy Hour" last airs on CBS-TV
  • Jun 8 21st Emmy Awards: "Get Smart", Don Adams and Susan St James win
  • Jun 8 KDNL TV channel 30 in Saint Louis, MO (IND) begins broadcasting

TV Show Appearance

Jun 14 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on David Frost's British TV Show

  • Jun 15 "Hee Haw" with Roy Clark & Buck Owens premieres on CBS TV

Film Release

Jun 18 "The Wild Bunch", directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, is released

  • Jun 25 19th Berlin International Film Festival: "Early Works" wins the Golden Bear

Music History

Jul 6 "Ned Kelly" starring Mick Jagger begins filming in and around Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia

Film Release

Jul 14 "Easy Rider", directed by Dennis Hopper, starring himself, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, is released

  • Jul 14 WMUL (now WPBY) TV channel 33 in Huntington, WV (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • Jul 30 Barbra Streisand opens for Liberace at International Hotel, Las Vegas
  • Jul 30 KAEC TV channel 19 in Lufkin, Texas (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 31 KWIH TV channel 44 in Winona, MN (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 5 The UVF plant their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin
  • Aug 16 WATL TV channel 36 in Atlanta, GA begins broadcasting
  • Aug 19 Film adaptation of Arlo Guthrie's song "Alice's Restaurant", directed by Arthur Penn, and starring Guthrie premieres
  • Aug 22 The Beatles last official group photo session, at John & Yoko's home 'Tittenhurst Park', near Ascot
  • Aug 23 30th Venice Film Festival opens
  • Aug 29 KYUS TV channel 3 in Miles City, MT (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 1 Jerry Lewis' 4th Muscular Dystrophy telethon
  • Sep 9 WCVN TV channel 54 in Covington, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Debut

Sep 13 "Scooby-Doo Where are You" by Hanna-Barbera debuts on CBS in the US

  • Sep 22 "Music Scene" debuts on ABC-TV

Film Premiere

Sep 23 "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres

  • Sep 23 1st broadcast of "Marcus Welby MD" on ABC-TV

Television Premiere

Sep 26 TV sitcom "The Brady Bunch" created by Sherwood Schwartz premieres on ABC in the US

  • Sep 29 "Bright Promise" TV Daytime Soap; debuts on NBC-TV
  • Sep 29 "Letters To Laugh-In" debuts on NBC-TV
  • Sep 29 "Love American Style" premieres on ABC-TV
  • Sep 29 "Name Droppers" debuts on NBC-TV
  • Sep 29 "Sale Of Century" debuts on NBC-TV
  • Oct 5 Monty Python's Flying Circus begins airing on BBC TV
  • Oct 6 WMPB TV channel 67 in Baltimore, MD (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 7 WJMN TV channel 3 in Escanaba, MI (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 9 The Supremes release single "Someday We'll Be Together", Diana Ross' last recording with the group
  • Oct 12 KHOF (now KAGL) TV channel 30 in San Bernardino/Glenda, California (IND) begins
  • Oct 20 WKYH (now WYMT) TV channel 57 in Hazard, KY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 26 WHMA (now WJSU) TV channel 40 in Anniston, AL (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Oct 30 WXPO (now WNDS) TV channel 50 in Manchester, NH (IND) 1st broadcast

Television Premiere

Nov 9 "An Evening with Julie Andrews and Harry Belafonte ", music special with arrangements by Michel Legrand, premieres on NBC-TV

Television Premiere

Nov 10 "Sesame Street" premieres on PBS TV

  • Nov 12 WJJY (now WJPT) TV channel 14 in Jacksonville, IL (ABC) 1st broadcast

Film & TV History

Nov 13 Vice President Spiro Agnew accuses network TV news departments of bias and distortion

  • Nov 15 The 1st ever colour television commercial in the UK, for Birds Eye peas, airs on ATV in the Midlands during a Thunderbirds episode
  • Nov 19 WENY TV channel 36 in Elmira, NY (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 21 KXIX (now KVCT) TV channel 19 in Victoria, TX (ABC) 1st broadcast

TV Show Appearance

Nov 30 American singer-songwriter Neil Diamond makes his only appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", singing "Sweet Caroline" and "Holly, Holy"

Film Premiere

Dec 12 Comedy film "The Magic Christian", starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr premieres in London, England

TV Show Appearance

Dec 14 Jackson Five make their 1st appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

  • Dec 16 Film adaptation of "Hello Dolly" starring Barbra Streisand premieres; wins 3 Academy Awards
  • Dec 18 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", 6th James Bond Film starring George Lazenby and Diana Rigg, premieres in London

Music Premiere

Dec 18 André Previn and Alan Jay Lerner's musical "Coco", inspired by the life of Coco Chanel, and starring Katharine Hepburn, opens at Mark Hellinger Theatre, NYC; runs for 329 performances, wins 2 Tony Awards

  • Dec 21 Diana Ross' final TV appearance as a Supreme on "The Ed Sullivan Show", performing “Someday We’ll Be Together", after which Sullivan announced her upcoming departure from the group

Film & TV History

Dec 28 Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" premieres in NYC