Television in History

Events in Film & TV

  • 1912-05-08 Film and television production and distribution studio Paramount Pictures is founded
  • 1925-06-13 Charles Jenkins demonstrates the transmission of synchronized pictures and sound (early television)
  • 1925-06-30 Charles Jenkins is granted the U.S. patent for Transmitting Pictures over Wireless (early television)

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1926-01-26 John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of television in his laboratory in London

Inventor of Television John Logie Baird
Inventor of Television
John Logie Baird
  • 1927-09-07 Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of his electronic television in San Francisco
  • 1928-01-13 RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York allowing American inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson to demonstrate the first home television receiver which delivered a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture
  • 1928-07-02 The Jenkins Television Corporation (owned by Charles Jenkins) goes on air with W3XK, the first television broadcasting station in the USA
  • 1928-07-03 John Logie Baird demonstrates the first colour television transmission in London
  • 1936-11-12 1st ever TV Gardening show "In Your Garden" shown on BBC television
  • 1940-02-01 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.
  • 1946-10-02 1st network soap opera "Faraway Hill" begins broadcasting on DuMont Television Network
  • 1947-05-07 "Kraft Television Theater" premieres on NBC
  • 1949-01-17 "The Goldbergs", first airs in the US on CBS
  • 1949-02-21 US TV soap opera "A Woman to Remember" is 1st broadcast on DuMont Television Network
  • 1949-04-05 Fireside Theater debuts on US television.
  • 1949-12-29 1st UHF television station operating regular basis Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • 1950-10-11 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issues the first license to broadcast television in color, to CBS
  • 1952-04-30 Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television
  • 1952-10-01 1st ultra high frequency (UHF) television station, Portland Or
  • 1953-01-01 The first TV detector van, used to track down users of unlicensed television sets, begins operation in the UK

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1953-02-01 "You Are There" with Walter Cronkite premieres on CBS television

Broadcast Journalist Walter Cronkite
Broadcast Journalist
Walter Cronkite
  • 1953-05-25 1st non-commercial educational television station-Houston, Texas
  • 1953-12-30 The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.
  • 1954-07-05 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin.
  • 1954-10-26 Walt Disney's 1st television program, "Disneyland", premieres on ABC
  • 1955-10-02 "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premieres on CBS television in the US
  • 1956-08-06 After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena
  • 1956-09-17 Television is first broadcast in Australia.
  • 1957-02-16 The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television closedown between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, abolished in the United Kingdom
  • 1957-09-22 Western "Maverick" premieres on ABC television starring James Garner
  • 1958-07-01 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation links television broadcasting across Canada via microwave

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1960-02-26 Vera Miles stars in the famous "Mirror Image" episode of the classic CBS television series "The Twilight Zone"

Actress Vera Miles
Vera Miles
  • 1961-04-14 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • 1962-09-01 Channel Television launches to 54,000 households in the Channel Islands.
  • 1966-07-01 The first color television transmission in Canada takes place from Toronto.
  • 1967-06-25 First global satellite television programme - Our World
  • 1967-11-19 The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong
  • 1968-03-07 The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time in color on television.
  • 1968-05-02 Israeli television begins transmitting
  • 1968-12-09 Terence O'Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, makes a television appeal for moderate opinion in what became known as the 'Ulster stands at the Crossroads' speech
  • 1969-08-05 The UVF plant their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin
  • 1970-10-05 PBS becomes a US television network.
  • 1970-11-09 The Goodies make their television debut on the BBC
  • 1971-02-14 Movie "Ben Hur" 1st shown on television
  • 1975-03-01 Colour television transmissions begin in Australia.
  • 1975-09-29 Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush becomes American television's first African-American weathercaster.
  • 1977-11-26 'Vrillon', claiming to be the representative of the 'Ashtar Galactic Command', takes over Britain's Southern Television for six minutes at 5:12 PM.
  • 1978-09-12 Situation comedy "Taxi" premieres on ABC television

Film release premierFilm Premier

1978-12-27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins

  • 1980-11-17 WHHM Television in Washington, D.C., becomes the first African-American public-broadcasting television station
  • 1981-05-15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • 1985-06-14 "Michael Nesmith In Television Parts" premieres on NBC-TV
  • 1985-11-01 Nostalgia Television begins on cable
  • 1985-12-20 Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
  • 1987-01-22 Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself at a press conference on live national television, leading to debates on boundaries in journalism
  • 1987-11-22 Two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.
  • 1988-12-09 NY Yankees sign 12-year television contract with MSG for $500M
  • 1991-04-11 NYC's Museum of Broadcasting becomes "Museum of Radio & Television"

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1997-03-10 "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Geller premieres on WB Television Network

  • 1997-03-13 Phoenix lights seen at night over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television. Now a hotly debated controversy.
  • 1999-05-21 All My Children star Susan Lucci finally wins a Daytime Emmy after being nominated 19 times, the longest period of unsuccessful nominations in television history
  • 1999-06-02 The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brings television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time
  • 2001-03-04 IRA explode a bomb in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, injuring 11 people
  • 2002-10-30 British Digital terrestrial television (DTT) Service Freeview begins transmitting in parts of the United Kingdom.

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2004-11-30 Longtime "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with $2,520,700 USD, television's all-time biggest game show haul

74 Time Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings
74 Time Jeopardy Champion
Ken Jennings
  • 2006-09-01 Luxembourg becomes the 1st country to complete the move to all digital television broadcasting
  • 2006-09-18 Right wing protesters riot the building of the Hungarian Television in Budapest, Hungary, one day after an audio tape was made public, in which Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány admitted he and his party lied during the 2006 general elections.
  • 2007-07-27 Two News helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors. Worst civil aviation incident in Phoenix history.

AgreementAgreement of Interest

2008-05-04 Seth MacFarlane reaches an agreement worth $100 million with Fox to keep "Family Guy" and "American Dad" on television until 2012, making MacFarlane the world's highest paid television writer

  • 2009-06-12 TSC: All television broadcasts in the United States switch from analog NTSC to digital ATSC transmission.
  • 2012-09-02 A decades-long ban on veiled female news presenters is lifted from State television in Egypt
  • 2014-02-02 Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks defeat Denver Broncos 42-8, most viewed television event in the United States with over 111 million viewers
  • 2016-01-27 On This Day receives its second substantial face-lift, courtesy of a fresh new website design and brand by design studio Fhoke. Dedicated history and film and television channels are launched alongside the new design.
  • 2018-03-10 Two girls aged 8 and 6 become the first female weightlifters to appear on Iranian television after a protest
  • 2018-03-21 China announces greater controls over the media, including merging state-run radio and television broadcasters into a single conglomerate called “Voice of China”