TV Dramas in History

TV Programs: Miniseries - Sitcoms - Soap Operas

Events in Film & TV

  • 1840-03-14 Jose Zorilla's romantic drama "El Zapatero y el Rey" premieres in Madrid
  • 1860-12-24 Actor Joseph Jefferson's dramatization of "Rip Van Winkle" premieres in NYC

Theater Premiere

1920-11-01 Eugene O'Neill's drama "The Emperor Jones" opens at Provincetown Playhouse, NYC; runs for 204 performances

Film Release

1926-04-12 Alfred Hitchcock releases his first film as director "The Pleasure Garden", in England; the silent drama was made in Germany

  • 1928-09-11 1st ever TV drama WGY's "Queens Messenger" broadcast in the New York area starring Izetta Jewell

Film & TV History

1930-01-30 Vladimir Mayakovsky's drama "The Bathhouse (Bunya)" premieres in Leningrad

Film Premiere

1939-12-15 "Gone With The Wind", drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, premieres in Atlanta (Best Picture 1940, inflation not adjusted highest-grossing film of all time)

  • 1949-01-18 "They Stand Accused" courtroom drama premieres on CBS (later DuMont)
  • 1953-09-28 "Racket Squad" TV Crime Drama last airs on CBS

Film Premiere

1956-11-08 Biblical drama film "The Ten Commandments", directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner premieres at the Criterion Theater in NYC

  • 1957-09-18 US Western TV drama "Wagon Train" premieres

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

Film Premiere

1958-07-02 Musical drama Film "King Creole" starring Elvis Presley based on a novel by Harold Robbins premieres

  • 1958-09-29 "Studio One" TV Anthology Drama last airs on CBS-TV
  • 1958-11-05 Gian Carlo Menotti's musical drama "Maria Golovin" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 5 performances
  • 1958-11-08 Gian Carlo Menotti's musical drama "Maria Golovin" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • 1960-09-29 "Johnny Ringo" TV Western Drama; last airs on CBS-TV
  • 1960-09-29 "Outlaws" TV Western Drama; debuts on NBC-TV

Film Premiere

1961-02-01 John Huston's film drama "The Misfits" officially premieres at the Loews Capitol in NYC, after a sneak preview at Reno, Nevada's Grenada Theatre; the final movie for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe was written by Monroe's husband Arthur Miller, and also featured Montgomery Cliff

Film & TV History

1961-02-07 Jane Fonda made her acting debut in the NBC drama "A String of Beads"

  • 1961-09-28 American medical drama series "Dr. Kildare", starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey, premieres on NBC-TV
  • 1961-09-29 "Detectives" TV Crime Drama; moves to NBC-TV
  • 1961-10-02 American medical drama series "Ben Casey", starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe, premieres on ABC-TV
  • 1964-08-08 N. Richard Nash, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' musical "110 in the Shade", based on Nash's drama "The Rainmaker", closes at Broadhurst Theater, NYC after, 330 performances
  • 1966-03-21 American medical drama series "Ben Casey", starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe, ends a five season run on ABC-TV
  • 1966-08-30 American medical drama series "Dr. Kildare", starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey, ends a five season run on NBC-TV

Theater Premiere

1966-09-22 Edward Albee's play "Delicate Balance" premieres in NYC (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1967)

  • 1967-01-12 NBC revival of Jack Webb's police drama "Dragnet", now broadcast in color, debuts; runs through 1970

Film Premiere

1967-12-22 "The Graduate", American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, premieres (Best Director, 1968)

  • 1968-09-21 Police drama "Adam-12" debuts on NBC in the US
  • 1972-01-15 TV drama "Emergency" with Randolph Mantooth and Robert Fuller premieres on NBC TV
  • 1974-09-10 Controversial TV drama "Born Innocent" premieres on NBC TV, starring Linda Blair as an abused teen in a juvenile detention home
  • 1975-02-11 Tv drama “Sarah T: Portrait of A Teenage Alcoholic”, starring Linda Blair, premieres on US network NBC
  • 1976-09-27 TV drama “Dawn: Portrait of A Teenage Runaway", starring Eve Plumb premieres on US network NBC
  • 1977-05-16 TV drama “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, starring Leigh McCloskey, follow up to "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" premieres on US network NBC, focusing on what happened to him after Dawn left L.A. to return to her hometown
  • 1977-09-15 TV LA drama "CHiPs" debuts on NBC in US
  • 1978-04-25 ABC premiere of crime drama "Vega$"
  • 1979-02-09 Walter Hill's drama film "The Warriors" is released in the United States, sparking gang violence at many theaters and a halt to the film's marketing campaign
  • 1981-01-15 Police drama "Hill Street Blues" premieres on NBC-TV

Musical Finale

1982-02-21 Musical review of Fats Waller songs "Ain't Misbehavin'" starring Nell Carter and Irene Cara, closes at Longacre Theater, NYC, after 1604 performances, winning 3 Tony and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Television Premiere

1982-03-13 ABC TV crime drama "T.J. Hooker" premieres, starring William Shatner

  • 1983-02-02 CBS' premiere of fact based WW2 drama "The Scarlet and the Black", based on the life of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
  • 1983-10-10 NBC premiere of true life drama "Adam", based on John Walsh's son's murder

Music Premiere

1984-05-02 Stephen Sondheim's musical "Sunday in the Park with George", a fictionalized version of painter Georges Seurat's relationship with his grandson, starring Mandy Patinkin, opens at Booth Theater, NYC; runs for 604 performances, wins a Pulitzer Prize for Drama

  • 1985-01-15 CBS' premiere of TV made teen drug abuse drama, "Not My Kid", based on the previous year's book by Beth Polson
  • 1985-09-18 "The Equalizer" TV spy/crime drama debuts in the US on CBS (starring Edward Woodward)
  • 1986-09-15 1st broadcast of legal drama "L.A. Law" created by Steven Bochco, with ensemble cast including Corbin Bersen, Jill Eikenberry and Harry Hamlin on NBC
  • 1986-09-29 NBC true life drama "Adam: His Song Continues" premieres, sequel to "Adam" (1983)
  • 1987-04-12 CBS' premiere of fact-based World War II drama "Escape from Sobibor"
  • 1988-12-09 Premiere of fact based crime drama film "Mississippi Burning"
  • 1989-05-14 Moonlighting, TV Crime Drama last airs on ABC

Film Premiere

1989-05-20 Premiere of sports fantasy drama film "Field of Dreams", based on W. P. Kinsella's novel "Shoeless Joe", starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster in his final film role

Film Premiere

1989-06-30 "Great Balls of Fire!" a quasi-biographical drama film starring Dennis Quaid as rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis premieres; Lewis hates the film and the book from which it is sourced, but praises Quaid's performance

  • 1989-10-02 TV true life drama "A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story" premieres on NBC in the US

Film Premiere

1989-12-14 Biographical drama film "Sikwood", directed by Mike Nichols, and starring Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, and Cher premieres

  • 1990-05-19 "Elvis" TV Drama about early life of Elvis Presley last airs on ABC
  • 1992-07-29 Ira Lewis's one-act drama"Chinese Coffee" closes at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC, after 18 performances
  • 1994-05-19 Final episode of American TV drama "LA Law" after 8 year run

Music History

1996-08-21 Revival of Eugene O'Neill's' drama "Hughie", directed by Al Pacino, and starring Pacino and Paul Benedict, opens at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC; runs for 56 performances

Theatrical Finale

1996-09-08 August Wilson's drama "Seven Guitars" closes at Walter Kerr Theater, NYC, after 188 performances

  • 1996-11-02 Revival of Eugene O'Neill's' drama "Hughie", directed by Al Pacino, and starring Pacino and Paul Benedict, closes at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC, after 56 performances
  • 1997-09-25 Medical drama "ER" is performed live on TV
  • 1999-02-23 British TV drama "Queer as Folk" written by Russell T. Davies, starring Aidan Gillen, Craig Kelly and Charlie Hunnam premieres on Channel 4
  • 2000-10-06 Swedish comedy drama "Songs from the Second Floor" written and directed by Roy Andersson is released in Sweden

Television Premiere

2001-06-03 TV drama "Six Feet Under" created by Alan Ball, starring Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall and Frances Conroy premieres on HBO

  • 2001-11-06 TV drama series "24" starring Kiefer Sutherland premieres on Fox

Television Debut

2002-06-02 Crime drama "The Wire" created by David Simon and starring Idris Elba and Dominic West debuts on HBO

  • 2003-09-23 Crime drama "NCIS" starring Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherley, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum premieres on CBS in the US

Television Debut

2005-03-27 TV medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" created by Shonda Rhimes starring Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh debuts on ABC

Music History

2005-09-04 James Mangold's biographic drama "Walk the Line", starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter debuts at the Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado

  • 2006-10-03 American drama series "Friday Night Lights" starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton premieres on NBC
  • 2007-01-07 Danish TV drama "The Killing" created by Søren Sveistrup and starring Sofie Gråbøl premieres on DR1

Television Debut

2007-07-19 TV drama "Mad Men" debuts starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and Vincent Kartheiser on cable network AMC

Television Premiere

2009-09-22 Crime drama "NCIS LA" starring Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, and Daniela Ruah premieres on CBS

  • 2010-09-26 TV Period drama "Downton Abbey" premieres in the UK created by Julian Fellowes, starring Hugh Bonnevillle and an ensemble cast
  • 2011-09-21 Scandinavian crime drama "The Bridge" created by Hans Rosenfeldt, starring Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia premieres

Television Premiere

2011-10-02 TV spy drama "Homeland" starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis premieres on Showtime

Television Premiere

2012-04-15 TV comedy drama "Girls" created by and starring Lena Dunham premieres on HBO

  • 2012-06-26 Police procedural drama "Line of Duty" debuts on BBC 2 in the UK

The Americans Premieres

2013-01-30 TV spy drama "The Americans" created by Joe Weisberg, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys premieres on FX

Television Premiere

2013-03-04 British TV drama "Broadchurch" created by Chris Chibnall, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman premieres on ITV

Television Debut

2014-01-12 "True Detective", a crime-drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, debuts on HBO

Film Release

2014-12-25 "Unbroken", drama film directed by Angelina Jolie and starring Jack O'Connell and Domhall Gleeson, released in the United States

Television Premiere

2015-03-05 US crime drama "American Crime" premieres created by John Ridley

  • 2016-01-24 TV drama "The X-Files" returns after 13 years, reuniting lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and produced again by Chris Carter

Television Premiere

2016-09-20 "This Is Us" TV drama premieres in the US starring Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia

Film Premiere

2016-12-21 Indian sports drama film "Dangal" directed by Nitesh Tiwari and starring Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra premieres - first Indian film to earn $300 million worldwide

  • 2017-03-12 Irene Sankoff and David Hein's musical drama "Come From Away" opens at Schoenfeld Theatre, NYC
  • 2017-11-10 BBC removes drama from Christmas line-up after one of its stars, Ed Westwick, accused of rape by two women
  • 2019-09-22 Billy Porter becomes the first openly gay actor to win an Emmy for lead actor in a drama series for "Pose"
  • 2021-09-17 Netflix drama "Squid Game" premieres created by Hwang Dong-hyuk

Golden Globes

2022-01-10 79th Golden Globes: Best film "The Power of the Dog" (drama), "West Side Story" (comedy/musical), Best TV series "Succession", Best Director Jane Campion (Motion Picture)

  • 2022-07-12 Netflix's South Korean drama "Squid Game" is the first non-English series to be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama [1]
  • 2022-09-12 Lee Jung-jae, star of "Squid Game" is the first person from a foreign-language show to win an Emmy for best actor in a drama [1]

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • 1692-04-05 Adrienne Lecouvreur, French actress (Comédie-Française) inspiration for 1849 drama "Adrienne Lecouvreur", born in Damery, Marne (d. 1730)
  • 1883-03-04 Maude Fealy, American actor and drama coach (The Ten Commandments), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1971)
  • 1900-07-03 John Mason Brown, American drama critic (Tonight on Broadway), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1969)
  • 1941-11-20 Haseena Moin, Pakistani television drama writer and Urdu playwright, born in Kanpur, India
  • 1970-06-14 Todd Manning, fictional character portrayed by Roger Howarth and Trevor St. John from US daytime drama "One Life to Live", is born

Weddings in Film & TV

  • 2005-06-27 "The Young and The Restless" actress Melody Thomas Scott (49) weds supervising producer of the CBS daytime drama Edward J. Scott (60) for the second time in Las Vegas, Nevada

Divorces in Film & TV

  • 2012-06-05 NBC musical drama series "Smash" actress Debra Messing (43) divorces actor and producer Daniel Zelman (44) by their mutual decision after 10 years of marriage

Deaths in Film & TV

  • 1384-06-08 Kan'ami [Yūsaki Kiyotsugu], Japanese actor, playwright, musician and co-founder of Noh drama, dies at 51
  • 1730-03-20 Adrienne Lecouvreur, French actress (Comédie-Française) inspiration for 1849 drama "Adrienne Lecouvreur", dies at 37
  • 1943-01-23 Alexander Woollcott, American drama critic (The New Yorker), dies of a heart attack on radio, at 56

Brooks AtkinsonBrooks Atkinson (1894-1984)

1984-01-14 American drama critic (The New York Times), dies at 89