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)

Film & TV History

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

Film & TV History

1927-04-07 First long distance television transmission: An image of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover sent from Washington, D.C. to NYC by AT&T

  • 1927-09-07 Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of his electronic television in San Francisco
  • 1928-04-28 RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York, allowing trials of inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson's first home television receiver; a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture was received from radio transmitter
  • 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
  • 1928-07-12 1st televised tennis match
  • 1929-05-11 1st regularly scheduled TV broadcasts (3 nights per week)
  • 1929-06-27 1st color Television demo, performed by Bell Laboratories in NYC
  • 1930-08-20 Dumont's 1st TV broadcast for home reception (NYC)
  • 1931-01-22 VARA begins experimental TV broadcast in Diamantbeurs Amsterdam
  • 1932-02-14 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show debuts on CBS radio, airing there until 1937, moving to NBC until 1949, and returning to CBS in 1949, before moving to television
  • 1932-08-22 BBC begins experimental regular TV broadcasts
  • 1933-08-23 First televised boxing match — 6-round exhibition at Broadcasting House in London between middleweights Archie Sexton and Lauri Raiteri; aired by BBC-TV
  • 1936-11-02 At 3pm the BBC begins the world's first regular high-definition TV broadcast service from specially constructed studios at Alexandra Palace, North London
  • 1936-11-12 1st ever TV Gardening show "In Your Garden" shown on BBC television
  • 1938-02-17 1st public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV (London)
  • 1938-04-30 The first televised FA Cup Final takes place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End
  • 1939-05-17 1st televised baseball game is broadcast on NBC, with Princeton defeating Columbia 2-1
  • 1939-06-01 First major boxing match on US television is the heavyweight bout from NY's Yankee Stadium between former world champion Max Baer and Lou Nova; Nova wins by TKO in 11th round
  • 1939-09-30 In the first televised college football game, Fordham beats Waynesburg, 34-7 at Randalls Island, NY
  • 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.
  • 1940-02-25 1st televised (W2XBS, NYC) hockey game (Rangers vs Canadians)
  • 1940-02-28 1st televised basketball game (U of Pitts beats Fordham U, 50-37)
  • 1940-03-02 The first televised intercollegiate track meet is seen in NYC on W2XBS; NYU wins the meet presented live from Madison Square Garden
  • 1941-05-02 FCC approves regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin July 1
  • 1941-07-01 Bulova Watch Co pays $9 for 1st ever network TV commercial
  • 1946-10-02 1st network soap opera "Faraway Hill" begins broadcasting on DuMont Television Network
  • 1947-01-03 1st opening session of Congress to be televised - it did not happen again until 1977
  • 1947-05-07 "Kraft Television Theater" premieres on NBC
  • 1947-09-30 In first televised World Series Baseball game, NY Yankees beat Brooklyn Dodgers, 5-3 in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium; also largest WS crowd to date, 73,365

Historic Communication

1947-10-05 Harry Truman makes the 1st Presidential address televised from the White House

  • 1948-03-18 Philips begin experimental TV broadcasting
  • 1948-03-20 1st live televised symphony performances: Eugene Ormandy leads Philadelphia Orchestra on CBS, followed 90 minutes later by Arturo Toscanini leading the NBC Orchestra on NBC

Television Premiere

1948-06-08 "Texaco Star Theater" premieres on NBC-TV, with "Mr. Television" Milton Berle made permanent emcee in September of the same year

  • 1948-11-29 1st opera to be televised, "Othello", broadcast from the Met (NYC)
  • 1949-01-20 1st inaugural parade televised, for Harry Truman, watched by 10 million people
  • 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.
  • 1949-06-27 "Captain Video & His Video Rangers" debut on DUMONT-TV - Television's first sci-fi series
  • 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
  • 1950-10-12 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show debuts on CBS television, airs until 1958

Television Debut

1951-06-25 1st color TV broadcast, CBS' Arthur Godfrey from NYC to 4 cities

  • 1951-08-11 First televised baseball game in colour on WCBS in New York City; Boston Braves beat Brooklyn Dodgers, 8-1
  • 1951-09-04 1st transcontinental TV broadcast, by US President Harry Truman
  • 1951-10-02 1st Netherland TV broadcast (Toverspiegel)
  • 1951-12-23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • 1951-12-24 1st opera commissioned for television - "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Gian Carlo Menotti premieres on NBC with the NBC Opera Theater
  • 1952-04-30 Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television
  • 1952-05-05 "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (also known as "Vitameatavegamin") episode of "I Love Lucy" premieres, garnering 68% of US television viewers

Boxing Title Fight

1952-06-05 1st sporting event televised nationally - Jersey Joe Walcott beats Ezzard Charles in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

  • 1952-10-01 1st ultra high frequency (UHF) television station, Portland Or

Sports History

1952-11-30 Jackie Robinson accuses the NY Yankees of racial bias on national television

  • 1952-12-02 First human birth televised to public on KOA-TV Denver, Colorado
  • 1952-12-03 1st TV broadcast in Hawaii
  • 1953-01-01 The first TV detector van, used to track down users of unlicensed television sets, begins operation in the UK

Television Premiere

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

  • 1953-04-29 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV
  • 1953-05-25 1st non-commercial educational television station - Houston, Texas
  • 1953-10-31 TV broadcasting begins in Belgium
  • 1953-12-17 US Federal Communications Commission approves RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications
  • 1953-12-30 The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.
  • 1954-03-09 1st local color TV commercial WNBT-TV (WNBC-TV) NYC (Castro Decorators)
  • 1954-03-25 RCA manufactures 1st color TV set (12½" screen at $1,000)
  • 1954-04-22 US Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings begin
  • 1954-06-17 Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ends
  • 1954-07-05 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin
  • 1954-09-01 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
  • 1954-09-11 1st Miss America TV broadcast; 19 year old Lee Meriwether of California crowned 27th Miss America

TV Show Appearance

1955-06-07 1st President to appear on color TV (Eisenhower)

Britain's First-Ever TV Ad

1955-09-22 Commercial television begins in the UK with the launch of ITV, soon airs the 1st advert on UK TV, for Gibbs SR toothpaste

  • 1955-09-28 1st World Series color TV broadcast on NBC-TV (Yanks beat Dodgers)
  • 1955-10-02 "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premieres on CBS television in the US
  • 1956-03-05 "King Kong" 1st televised
  • 1956-04-10 Philips broadcasts 1st Dutch color TV programs
  • 1956-08-06 After going bankrupt in 1955, the American national broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena
  • 1956-09-17 Television is first broadcast in Australia
  • 1956-10-23 First video recording on magnetic tape televised coast-to-coast

The Wizard of Oz

1956-11-03 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)

  • 1957-02-16 The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television close down between 6 and 7 pm, abolished in the United Kingdom

Television Premiere

1957-03-31 Rodgers & Hammerstein's live television musical "Cinderella", starring Julie Andrews, with Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley, premieres on CBS-TV

Catholic Encyclical

1957-09-08 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical on motion pictures, radio and television

  • 1957-09-22 Western "Maverick" premieres on ABC television starring James Garner

Television Debut

1957-10-18 "The Frank Sinatra Show" television variety/drama anthology series debuts on ABC; the singer-actor is given almost complete control of the program

  • 1958-01-15 New York Yankees announce that 140 MLB games to be televised on WPIX TV this season in a deal worth over $1 million dollars
  • 1958-07-01 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation links television broadcasting across Canada via microwave
  • 1959-07-24 500,000th Dutch TV set registered

TV Show Appearance

1960-05-12 Elvis Presley appears on a Frank Sinatra television special; Elvis sings Sinatra's 1957 Cy Coleman hit "Witchcraft", and Frank performs Presley's 1956 classic "Love Me Tender"

  • 1960-10-11 Radio/TV executive John Fetzer buys a controlling interest of Detroit Tigers
  • 1960-10-12 Japanese politician Inejiro Asanuma is assassinated with a sword during a televised debate live on TV by 17-year old nationalist Otoya Yamaguchi

Conference of Interest

1961-01-25 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference with JFK

  • 1961-04-14 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • 1961-12-15 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time
  • 1962-03-24 Emile Griffith beats Benny " Kid" Paret by TKO in 12th round in welterweight boxing title fight at MSG, NYC; Paret dies 10 days later; first use of television slow motion replay
  • 1962-04-24 Massachusetts Institute of Technology sends TV signal by satellite for 1st time: California to Massachusetts
  • 1962-06-11 "Julie & Carol at Carnegie Hall", musical comedy/variety television special with Julie Andrews & Carol Burnett premieres on CBS
  • 1962-09-01 Channel Television launches to 54,000 households in the Channel Islands.

Television Debut

1962-09-23 ABC's 1st color TV series - The Jetsons by Hanna-Barbera first broadcast

  • 1962-10-17 The Beatles make their live television debut, appearing on Manchester's local "People And Places" program, performing ‘Some Other Guy’ and their new single ‘Love Me Do’

Television Debut

1962-12-20 Pop singing group the Osmond Brothers television debut on Andy Williams Show

  • 1963-04-01 American television soap opera premieres: "General Hospital" (ABC) & "Doctors" (NBC)
  • 1963-09-09 NBC expands "The Huntley–Brinkley Report", their evening television news program, from 15 to 30 minutes

Television Premiere

1964-01-01 Top of the Pops, British pop music television program premieres; acts performing include Dusty Springfield; The Rolling Stones; Dave Clark Five: The Hollies; Swinging Blue; and The Beatles

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

1964-02-09 1st appearance of the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show", live from New York; broadcast draws 73.7 million television viewers

TV Show Appearance

1964-02-16 The Beatles' 2nd appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", live from Deauville Hotel in Miami, Florida; broadcast draws about 70 million television viewers

  • 1964-10-14 Philips begins experimenting with color TV
  • 1965-01-28 "The Who" make their 1st appearance on British television programme "Ready Steady Go!"
  • 1965-02-22 Rodgers & Hammerstein's television musical "Cinderella", starring Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon, with Pat Carroll and Celeste Holm, premieres on CBS-TV

Television Premiere

1965-04-28 "My Name is Barbra", Barbra Streisand's first television special, premieres on CBS

  • 1966-01-02 National Football League Championship, Lambeau Field, Green Bay: Green Bay Packers beat Cleveland Browns, 23-12; first NFL title game televised in colour; last one played before Super Bowl era
  • 1966-07-01 1st color television transmission in Canada is broadcast from Toronto
  • 1966-11-06 1st entire lineup televised in color (NBC)
  • 1966-12-03 Television pop group "The Monkees" make their live concert debut at the Honolulu International Centre Arena, in Hawaii
  • 1967-06-25 First global satellite television program: "Our World" broadcast features 19 acts representing 19 nations including The Beatles singing "All You Need Is Love"
  • 1967-07-01 1st British colour TV broadcast, on BBC 2
  • 1967-11-19 The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong
  • 1968-01-01 Netherlands gets color TV
  • 1968-03-07 The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time in color on television
  • 1968-05-02 Israeli television begins transmitting
  • 1968-07-09 BBC-TV broadcasts "Farewell", folk-rock band The Seekers final performance, draws 10 million viewers

Film & TV History

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

  • 1969-06-01 Tobacco advertising is banned on Canadian radio & TV
  • 1969-08-05 The UVF plant their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin

Film & TV History

1969-11-13 Vice President Spiro Agnew accuses network TV news departments of bias and distortion

  • 1969-11-15 The 1st ever colour television commercial in the UK, for Birds Eye peas, airs on ATV in the Midlands during a Thunderbirds episode
  • 1970-10-05 PBS becomes a US television network.
  • 1970-11-09 Comedy troupe "The Goodies" make their television debut on the BBC
  • 1971-02-14 Movie "Ben Hur" 1st shown on television
  • 1971-02-20 National Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations to go off the air. Mistake wasn't resolved for 30 minutes

Film & TV History

1971-12-10 Lucasfilm Ltd. is founded as a film and television production company by George Lucas in San Francisco, California

Music Concert

1973-02-06 Drummer Buddy Rich plays influential performance at the Top of the Plaza, Richmond New York, later televised by PBS

  • 1973-09-13 US Congress passes & sends a bill to President Nixon to lift NFL football's television blackout of sold out games
  • 1974-02-08 American television soap opera "The Secret Storm" ends a 20 year run on CBS
  • 1974-07-15 TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck shoots herself live on WXLT-TV, Florida, first person to commit suicide in a live broadcast
  • 1975-02-26 1st televised kidney transplant (Today Show)
  • 1975-03-01 Colour television transmissions begin in Australia.

TV Show Appearance

1975-04-28 Ringo Starr appears on "The Smothers Brothers Show", singing Hoyt Axton's "No No Song", and John Lennon is the guest on Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" program, in what turns out to be his final television interview

  • 1975-09-29 Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush becomes American television's first African-American weathercaster.
  • 1976-02-29 ABC-TV broadcasts premiere of 1965's hit "The Sound of Music"

Television Premiere

1976-09-05 Jim Henson's "The Muppet Show" premieres on television with Mia Farrow as the guest star

  • 1976-09-20 "The Captain and Tennille" television musical-variety show debuts in US (ABC)

Film & TV History

1976-09-23 US televised presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter

Film & TV History

1976-11-07 "Gone With The Wind", 1939 Oscar-winning film epic starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, makes broadcast television debut on NBC; aired in two parts over consecutive nights; earns a then record 65% share of TV viewers

Music History

1977-09-11 American crooner Bing Crosby and British singer David Bowie record duet "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" at ATV Elstree Studios near London for television special "Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas"

  • 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.
  • 1978-03-22 The Rutles mockumentary "All You Need is Cash" debuts on NBC television

Television Premiere

1978-06-06 US TV news program "20/20", created by Roone Arledge premieres on ABC

Television Premiere

1978-09-12 Situation comedy "Taxi" premieres on ABC television starring Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Tony Danza, Marilu Henner, and Andy Kaufman

Television Premiere

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

  • 1979-03-19 US House of Representatives begins live TV broadcasts via C-SPAN

Sports History

1979-03-26 41st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Michigan State beats Indiana State, 75-64; marks start of rivalry between future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird; highest-rated game in history of televised college basketball

  • 1980-11-17 WHHM Television in Washington, D.C., becomes the first African-American public-broadcasting television station
  • 1980-11-21 TV show "Dallas" episode "Who Done It" reveals 'Who Shot J.R.?', gets a then record 53.3 rating (over 83 million viewers, 76% of television watchers) in the US
  • 1981-01-05 Late night television news program "Nightline" with Ted Koppel extended from 20 mins to 30 mins

Film & TV History

1981-03-09 Dan Rather becomes primary anchorman of CBS-TV News

  • 1981-05-15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • 1982-03-07 NCAA Tournament Selection televised live for 1st time
  • 1985-01-23 Britains House of Lords debate 1st televised
  • 1985-06-14 "Michael Nesmith In Television Parts" premieres on NBC-TV
  • 1985-11-01 Nostalgia Television begins on cable
  • 1985-12-01 Noraly Beyer becomes Neth's 1st black TV newscaster
  • 1985-12-20 Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
  • 1986-02-27 The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis

Pripyat: Nuclear Wasteland

1986-04-28 Soviet TV news program Vremya announces a nuclear accident at Chernobyl nuclear power station, 2 days after the event

  • 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

Radio History

1987-02-24 American radio and television personality Larry King suffers a heart attack

Music History

1987-07-13 Federal judge throws out Bette Midler's $10 million suit against Ford Motor Co, who used a sound alike voice for their TV commercials

  • 1987-11-22 Two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.
  • 1988-01-23 Bob Benoit bowls 1st 300-pt game in a televised title match
  • 1988-12-01 NBC bids a record $401 million to capture television broadcasting rights for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games
  • 1988-12-02 ESPN airs its 10,000th edition of 'Sports Center', making it the most televised cable program in history
  • 1988-12-09 NY Yankees sign 12-year television contract with MSG for $500M
  • 1989-01-05 2 French TV newsmen arrested for trying to plant fake bombs on 3 airlines at JFK airport in security test

Radio Premiere

1989-10-15 American radio and television evangelist Billy Graham is given the 1,900th star on Hollywood Boulevard, the first clergyman to be granted a star

  • 1991-04-11 NYC's Museum of Broadcasting becomes "Museum of Radio & Television"
  • 1993-05-10 Last TV appearance of Dutch television presenter Mies Bouwman
  • 1995-04-29 Final TV broadcast of "Empty Nest" on NBC TV

Film & TV History

1995-05-22 TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley 20th anniversary reunion special, televised

  • 1995-06-27 Mason City Iowa's TV news personality Jodi Huisentruit disappears

Television Premiere

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.

Television Premiere

1997-11-02 Rodgers & Hammerstein's television musical "Cinderella", starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, and Bernadette Peters premieres on ABC-TV

  • 1998-10-29 ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States is inaugurated with the launch of STS-95 space shuttle mission

Film & TV History

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 detonates a bomb in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, injuring 11 people

Film & TV History

2002-07-24 On 200th anniversary of his birth French author Alexandre Dumas' ('The Three Musketeers') ashes are interred in the Panthéon in Paris in a televised ceremony

  • 2002-10-30 British Digital terrestrial television (DTT) Service Freeview begins transmitting in parts of the United Kingdom.

Film & TV History

2004-06-02 Ken Jennings begins his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated television game show "Jeopardy!"

  • 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

TV Show Appearance

2005-05-30 Gordon Ramsay first appears on US television in cooking competition show "Hell's Kitchen" on Fox

  • 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.

Agreement 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