Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

History  of  Radio
&  Television  Page

• Page One •

Current Filmmakers
XXth Century Directors
Early Filmmakers
Foreign Cinema
Favorite Films (and Why)
Film Genres
Actors: Stars & Unknowns
Movies: Great & Unsung
Film Festivals & Orgns
Reference & Technical
Film Businesses Page
           classic test pattern for black & white television            pioneers of radio & TV

early TV programs
old time TV commercials
recent TV programs

important dates

old time radio

fiction books


on page two:
videos & DVDs, A-Z
non-fiction books

"When television is bad, nothing is worse. You will observe a vast wasteland."
—  Newton N. Minow  (9 May 1961)

"There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television
could be useful. Stonewall Jackson, who knew something about the use of weapons, is reported to have said, 'When war comes, you must
draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.' The trouble with television is that it is rusting in the scabbard during a battle for survival.”
—  journalist
Edward R. Murrow [1908-65]

"Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television."
—  Woody Allen

"(Television) won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired
of staring at a plywood box every night."  —  Darryl F. Zanuck, in 1946

Magic Lantern's Television & Radio Networks Page

Magic Lantern's History of Cinema Page
History of Cinema Timeline Page
Books About Hollywood & Cinema History

Old Time Radio Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

Radio  &  Television  Pioneers  &  Stars

Pioneers of Primetime P.B.S. documentary  "Pioneers of Primetime" [P.B.S. Nov 1995]
1-hour b&w/color documentary; extras on DVD include extended interviews with Steve
, Milton Berle, Buddy Ebsen, Donald O'Connor, Rose Marie & Red Skelton

Produced & directed by Steve Boettcher; written by John Hoylman & Jack Jones
P.B.S. Paramount widescreen b&w/color DVD [11/2005] for $16.99
full credits at IMDb • official P.B.S. program site
Golden Age of TV Comedy 5-disk set  "The Golden Age of TV Comedy" DVD Box Set [2006]
featuring 25 half-hour shows, some with commercials included: "The Beaulah Show" (2 episodes); "The Burns & Allen Show" (3 episodes); "The Jack Benny Show" (3 episodes); "Duffy's Tavern" (2 episodes); "Jackson & Jill" (3 episodes); "Life With Elizabeth" with Betty White (4 episodes); "Love That Bob" (1 episode); "The People's Choice" (1 episode); "Topper" (1 episode); and "Trouble With Father" with Stu Erwin (5 episodes)
Passport b&w DVD [4/2006] 5 disks - out of prodn/used
Pioneers of Television PBS miniseries  "Pioneers of Television" [P.B.S. Jan 2008]
4-episode mini-series: Late Night, Sitcoms, Game Shows, Variety
Directed by Steve Boettcher; written by Mike Trinklein
P.B.S. Paramount widescreen b&w/color DVD [1/2008] for $22.49
full credits at IMDb • official P.B.S. program site
TV's Greatest Comedians video  "TV's Greatest Comedians: A Tribute To The Pioneers of Television Comedy" [2008]
90-minute program featuring 14 of America's most-loved comedians & comedy teams from the golden age of television comedy: Allen & Rossi, Steve Allen, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Burns & Allen, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, and Ed Wynn
Directed by Tom Edinger; hosted by Gene Rayburn • not listed on IMDb
Marshall Publg & Promotions color DVD [1/2008] for $12.95

"The Golden Age of Comedy" video series from TimeLife

Golden Age of Comedy with Sid Caesar & Milton Berle  
"The Golden Age of Comedy: Hail! Ceasar and Uncle Miltie" [undated]
85-minute compilation featuring Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ezzard Charles, Howard Morris, and Carl Reiner • not listed on IMDb
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Johnny Carson, Mel Brooks, Lucille Ball & Jerry Lewis  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Here's Johnny" [undated]
??-minute combination of "The Timex All-Star Comedy Show" with Mel Brooks, Johnny Carson, Buddy Hackett & Carl Reiner; and "The Wonderful World of Burlesque" TV special with Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis & Danny Thomas
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis, and Jimmy Durante  "The Golden Age of Comedy: A Really Big Show" [undated]
75-minute combination of "The Colgate Comedy Hour with Abbott & Costello" with Vera Zorina; and "The Colgate Comedy Hour with Martin & Lewis" spoofing Ed Sullivan, with Jimmy Durante, Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Abbott & Costello, Lucy & Desi, Jack Benny, Bob Hope & Harpo Marx  "The Golden Age of Comedy" [2005]
160-minute compilation featuring Abbott & Costello's "Who's On First" routine, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Harpo Marx, and Red Skelton
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy 4-disk DVD set  "The Golden Age of Comedy" 4-disk DVD Set [2005]
includes the Carson-Thomas, Caesar-Berle, Abbott & Costello-Lucy & Desi, and 'Really Big Show' disks {as above}, plus extras featuring Jackie Gleason, The 2000-Year-Old Man, and 'Legends of Stand-Up'
TimeLife b&w DVD set [9/2005] 4 disks for $19.99
Golden Age of Comedy with Jack Benny, Humphrey Bogart & Groucho Marx  "The Golden Age of Comedy: The Secret Word Is Jack" [undated]
80-minute combination of three "Jack Benny Show" episodes featuring Jack and his usual
crew, plus guest stars Humphrey Bogart, Bob Hope & Groucho Marx
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
TimeLife b&w VHS [undated] for $25.99
Golden Age of Comedy with Phil Silvers, Ernie Kovacs & Soupy Sales  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Clubhouse Comedy" [undated]
80-minute combination of "The Phil Silvers Special" with Polly Bergen; "The Ernie Kovacs Show" with Edie Adams; and a bonus segment featuring Soupy Sales
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Bob Hope, Lucy & Desi, Ed Wynn & Buster Keaton  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Bob Loves Lucy" [undated]
75-minute combination of "The Ed Wynn Show" [Dec 1949] with Buster Keaton; and
"The Bob Hope Chevy Show" [Oct 1956] with Lucy & Desi
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Abbott & Costello and Martin & Lewis {still photo}  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Who's On First" [undated]
80-minute combination of "The Colgate Hour with Abbott & Costello" [Jan 1951] with Lon Chaney Jr.; and "The Colgate Hour with Martin & Lewis" [Jan 1952] with Sheldon Leonard
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Ed Wynn, The Three Stooges, Abbott & Costello, and Errol Flynn  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Slowly I Turn . . ." [undated]
90-minute combination of "The Jack Benny Show" with Fred Allen; "The Camel Comedy Caravan" with Ed Wynn and The Three Stooges; and "The Colgate Comedy Hour with Abbott & Costello" with Errol Flynn
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Golden Age of Comedy with George Burns, Gracie Allen & Jack Benny  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Say Goodnight, Gracie" [undated]
75-minute combination of three "Burns & Allen Show" episodes, with George Burns & Gracie Allen, and guest star Jack Benny
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] for $6.99
Golden Age of Comedy with Red Skelton, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Jimmy Durante & John Wayne  "The Golden Age of Comedy: Somebody Up There Should Stay There"
80-minute combination of two "Red Skelton Show" episodes with Red Skelton, Peter Lorre and Harpo Marx; bonus segments feature Groucho Marx, Jimmy Durante & John Wayne
TimeLife b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/used

Magic Lantern's Abbott & Costello Page
browse Bud Abbott on DVD
browse Lou Costello on DVD

Magic Lantern's Steve Allen  [1921-2000] Page

Milton Berle  [1908-2002]
browse Milton Berle on DVD • IMDb listing • Wikipedia

Milton Berle Collection  
"The Milton Berle Collection" [2004]
from the 'Milton Berle Buick Show' [1953-55]

Passport b&w DVD [2/2004] 5 disks for $26.99

'father of TV sketch comedy' Sid Caesar  [1922-2014]

star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame  Stan Chambers
television reporter for KTLA-TV 5 in Los Angeles since 1947
KTLA homepage • IMDb listing • Wikipedia

Stan Chambers Journalism Awards [est. 1999]
A.P.T.R.A. annually presents the Stan Chambers Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 inductee of the A.P.T.R.A. Hall of Fame

KTLA News 60 Years With Stan Chambers book  
“KTLA's News At Ten: 60 Years With Stan Chambers”
[2008] by Stan Chambers, with Lynn Price

Behler Publns 8¼x5½ pb [2/2008] for $1.66

newsman Walter Cronkite  [1916-2009]
browse Walter Cronkite on DVD • IMDb listing • Wikipedia

Walter Cronkite autobio A Reporter's Life  
"A Reporter's Life" [1996]
by Walter Cronkite

Ballantine Books 8¼x5½ pb [10/97] for $12.44
Knopf 9½x6½ hardcover [11/96] for $19.80

Philo T. Farnsworth  [1906-71]
The Inventor of Modern Television

comedian Ernie Kovacs  [1919-62]
browse Ernie Kovacs on DVD • IMDb listing • Wikipedia

"The Ernie Kovacs Show" (TV Series 1952–1956) /tt0044262/
"The Ernie Kovacs Show" (TV 1957) /tt1218019/
"Operation Mad Ball" feature film [1957]
starring Jack Lemmon, Kathryn Grant, Ernie Kovacs, Mickey Rooney, Arthur O'Connell

Zoomar novel by Ernie Kovacs  "Zoomar: A Sophisticated Novel About Love and TV" [1957]
by Ernie Kovacs

A comic romp, (loosely) based on the life & career of television pioneer Pat Weaver
Bantam mass pb [1959] out of print/scarce
Doubleday hardcover [1957] out of print/scarce
Doubleday hardcover [1957] out of print/used
"Bell, Book, and Candle" feature film [1958]
starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs & Hermione Gingold

"Silents Please" 4-episode TV series [1961] /tt0053536/
Hosted by Ernie Kovacs, researched by William K. Everson
"The Ernie Kovacs Special" [Dumont/ABC Nov 1961] /tt1218020/

Best of Ernie Kovacs DVD  
"The Best of Ernie Kovacs" [1977 P.B.S. series]
White Star b&w DVD [11/2000] 2 disks out of prodn/used
Kultur Video b&w VHS [4/92] 5 tapes for $30.97

"Ernie Kovacs: Television's Original Genius" [1982 TV] /tt0083898/
"Ernie Kovacs: Between The Laughter" [1984 TV movie] starring Jeff Goldblum
"The Ernie Kovacs Phile" [Simon & Schuster 1987] by David Walley
"Kovacsland: A Biography of Ernie Kovacs" [HB&J 1990] by Diana Rico
"The Importance of Being Ernie" stage play [2004] by Sean Sanczel

Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD box set  "The Ernie Kovacs Collection" [2011]
includes episodes from his local & national morning shows; episodes
from his NBC-TV prime-time show; 3 kinescopes of "Tonight!" 1956
& 1957; "Kovacs On Music"; five ABC-TV specials; the color version
of his legendary silent show, "Eugene"; award-winning commercials for
Dutch Masters Cigars; and a 44-page booklet

Shout! Factory DVD set [4/2011] 6 disks for $50.99

"Ernie Kovacs & Early TV Comedy: Nothing in Moderation" [5/2011] by Andrew Horton

Robert Q. Lewis  [1920-91]
IMDb listing [1939-86] • Wikipedia

Groucho Marx  [1890-1977]
Groucho Marx Section on Magic Lantern's Marx Brothers Page
browse Groucho Marx on DVD at Amazon

Magic Lantern's
Edward R. Murrow  [1908-65]  Page
Edward R. Murrow Quotations Page at Working Minds Philosophy website

talk-show pioneer Jack Paar  [1918-2004]
"The Morning Show" [CBS-TV 1954-56], daily morning show [1956-57], "Tonight Starring Jack Paar" [NBC-TV 1957-62], "The Jack Paar Program" [Fridays on
NBC-TV 1962-65]; in the 1970s, NBC decided to dump their old kinescopes & video 'airchecks' in a New Jersey landfill, thus video of Jack Paar is rare.
IMDb listing [1951-1998] • Wikipedia

"Jack Paar Comes Home" color TV special [NBC-TV Nov 1986]
b&w clips feature The Beatles (on tape), Richard Burton, Bill Cosby, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, and Richard Nixon
credits at IMDb • watch show [10/2015 upload 48:29] online at YouTube

Jack Paar Collection DVD  
"The Jack Paar Collection" [2004]
Shout Factory color DVD [3/2004] 3 disks for $16.39
includes the documentary "Smart Television: The Best of Jack Paar" [P.B.S. 2003]
and 3 episodes of the prime-time "The Jack Paar Program" [1962-65]
'Jack Paar - As I Was Saying' on DVD  "Jack Paar - As I Was Saying . . . and More!" [2004]
Kultur Video b&w DVD [3/2004] out of prodn/used
two hours of clips featuring Woody Allen, Godfrey Cambridge, Bill Cosby,
Judy Garland, John F. Kennedy, and Jonathan Winters

newsman Dan Rather
IMDb listing [since 1962] • Wikipedia

Rather Outspoken memoir by Dan Rather  "Rather Outspoken: My Life In The News" [2012]
by Dan Rather, with Digby Diehl

Kindle Edition from Hachette [5/2012] for $14.99
Grand Central Publng 9½x6½ hardcover [5/2012] for $16.45

Nikola Tesla  [1856-1943]
The Inventor of Radio

Early  Television  Programs

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" TV series [1954-59]

"Amos 'n' Andy"

"Captain Kangaroo"

¾            ¾            ¾

"Captain Z-Ro" syndicated TV series [1955-56]
title screenshot for 'Captain Z-Ro' 1950s TV series  "Captain Z-Ro and his teenage sidekick Jet (and others) travel through time learning about history in order to help the future." The production values and storylines were barely a step above kids playing in the backyard with a treehouse and some cardboard boxes; the thing to remember is that such was state-of-the-art for local children's television in the 1950s.
The 26 episode titles are: 1) Christopher Columbus; 2) Daniel Boone; 3) William Tell; 4) Genghis Khan; 5) Hernando Cortez; 6) King Alfred; 7) Washington and Howe; 8) Adventure in Space; 9) Attila the Hun; 10) Aztec Papers; 11) Benedict Arnold; 12) Blackbeard the Pirate; 13) Captain Cook & The Hawaiian Islands; 14) Curse of Ra {not on Archive}; 15) Discovery of Gold; 16) King John; 17) Leonardo DaVinci; 18) Magellan (1956); 19) Marco Polo {not on Archive}; 20) Meteor; 21) Molly Pitcher; 22) Pony Express; 23) Robin Hood; 24) Roger the Robot; 25) The Great Pyramid of Giza; and 26) William the Conqueror • Created by & starring Roy Steffens; produced by Kathleen K. Rawlings; directed by David Butler; also starring Bruce Haynes, Jack Cahill
full credits at IMDb • watch 24 of the 26 half-hour episodes online at Internet Archive

'Roger The Robot' episode of the 'Captain Z-Ro' TV series  "Roger The Robot" episode [1956] of the "Captain Z-Ro" TV series [1955-56]
Captain Z-Ro and sidekick Jet complete building a man-sized metal & electronic robot, then send it to explore the planet Venus; but a lightning storm outside the lab diverts the robot to San Francisco . . . {An amazing job, given their next-to-nothing production budget.}
Written by and starring Roy Steffens; directed by David Butler; also starring Bruce Haynes, and voices of Jack Cahill & H.A. Chamberlin
credits at IMDb • watch full episode [8/2015 upload; 26:56] online at YouTube

¾            ¾            ¾

"Cartoon Express" on independent KHJ-TV 9 in Los Angeles [1954-1966] with Engineer Bill

"Howdy Doodie & Buffalo Bob"

"Kukla, Fran & Ollie"

"Lassie" TV series [1954-73]

Laurel & Hardy

"Leave It To Beaver" [1957-63]

"Little Rascals" {syndication of 'Our Gang' shorts}

"Perry Mason" TV series [1957-66]

"Sheriff John" [1952-1970] on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles, California
The "Sheriff John Birthday Song" as .MP3 file [2:02]

¾            ¾            ¾

"{Westinghouse} Studio One" [CBS-TV 1948-58]
Under various series names, "Studio One" presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received 18-Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious nine-year-run totaling 467 episodes; featured writers included: Louisa May Alcott (2 episodes), Charlotte Brontë (2), Raymond Chandler (2), Sumner Locke Elliott (9), Paul Gallico (3), Frank D. Gilroy (2), Jackie Gleason (2), Dashiell Hammett (2), Ben Hecht (4), Henry James (6), Ernest Kinoy (4), Rudyard Kipling (2), Loring Mandel (5), Don Mankiewicz (2), Abby Mann (2), Ferenc Molnár (2), J.B. Priestley (2), Rod Serling (6), William Shakespeare (6), Georges Simenon (2), William Templeton (3), Ivan Turgenev (2), Gore Vidal (3), and Dale Wasserman (2), with one episode each by: Nathaniel Benchley, Emily Brontë, W.R. Burnett, Taylor Caldwell, John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Horton Foote, Fred Gipson, David Goodis, Arthur Hailey, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Patricia Highsmith, MacKinlay Kantor, George S. Kaufman, Ring Lardner, John D. MacDonald, W. Somerset Maugham, Gian Carlo Menotti, George Orwell, Luigi Pirandello, May Sarton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Curt Siodmak, John Steinbeck, Robert Louis Stevenson, Leo Tolstoy, P.L. Travers, Mark Twain, and Stefan Zweig
series credits at IMDb • series entry at Wikipedia • list of episodes at Wikipedia

"Westinghouse Studio One: The Night America Trembled"
live broadcast [CBS-TV Sept 1957]
title for Studio One's 'The Night America Trembled'  A version of what happened on the night that Orson Welles broadcast his "War of The Worlds" radio program
Directed by Tom Donovan; written by Nelson Bond; starring Edward R. Murrow, Alexander Scourby, Robert Blackburn, Casey Allen, Norman Rose, Ray Boyle, Frank Marth, Edward Asner, Freda Holloway, John Gibson, Clint Kimbrough, Tom Clancy, Vincent Gardenia, Fred J. Scollay, James Coburn, Priscilla Gillette, Susan Hallaran, Crahan Denton, Al Markim, Frank Daly, Roger Quinlan, Larry Robinson, Warren Beatty, Warren Oates, Fritz Weber, Bob Kilgallen, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Betty Furness, John Cameron Swayze, John Astin
Synergy Ent. b&w DVD-R [11/2007] for $9.99
episode credits at IMDb • episode entry at Wikipedia • watch full episode [3/2012 upload; 59.24] online at YouTube

¾            ¾            ¾

'The Three Stooges' {syndication from 1958}

¾            ¾            ¾

"Time For Beany" live puppet TV show [1949-55]
entry at Wikipedia • bare credits at IMDb

"Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil" animated cartoon series [ABC-TV 1959 & 1988]
entry at Wikipedia • 1959 series credits (26 episodes) at IMDb • 1988 series credits (5 episodes) at IMDb

created by Robert 'Bob' Clampett [1913-84]
entry at Wikipedia • credits at IMDb • "The Bob Clampett Show" at Wikipedia

official 'Beany and Cecil' DVD website • video credits at IMDb

Beany and Cecil TV cartoons, volume 1  Beany and Cecil TV cartoons, volume 2  "Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil" [indep 2000 & 2009]
The first volume contains twelve color cartoons, four b&w 'Time For Beany' episodes, over 500 still photographs, and "The Lost Work" archival material; the second volume contains eleven color cartoons, two b&w 'Time For Beany' episodes, still photograph gallery, interviews, more "The Lost Work" archival material, "Bob Clampett & Friends" 70-minute audio history, and much more
Volume 1: Image Ent. Special Edition color DVD [1/2000] out of prodn/used
Volume 2: Hen's Tooth Video Special Edition color DVD [9/2009] out of prodn/used

¾            ¾            ¾

"The Twilight Zone"

"Watching Mr. Wizard" [1951-65]

"Webster Webfoot"

. . . and at 'Readers of The Purple Sage' Western Bookstore
Elfego Baca [Disney TV series 1958-60]
Cisco Kid & Pancho Page
Hopalong Cassidy Page
"The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp" [TV series 1955-61]
The Lone Ranger Page
"Zorro" [Disney TV series 1957-61]

¾            ¾            ¾

1950s tv Westerns box set  "1950s TV's Greatest Westerns" [2002]
indep 5-hour DVD set [7/2002] 3 disks for $24.99
contains 12 TV episodes, 1949-1960: "The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1956 episode) starring Scott Forbes; "Annie Oakley" (1956 episode) starring Gail Davis; "Bat Masterson" (1958 episode) starring Gene Barry; "The Cisco Kid" (1951 color episode) starring Duncan Renaldo & Leo Carillo; "Death Valley Days" (1953 episode) hosted by Stanley Andrews; "Fury" (1956 episode) starring Peter Graves; "Judge Roy Bean" (1955 episode) starring Edgar Buchanan; "The Lone Ranger" (1949 episode) starring Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels; "The Roy Rogers Show" (1955 episode) starring Roy Roger & Dale Evans; "Sergeant Preston of The Yukon" (1957 episode) starring Richard Simmons; "Sky King" (1958 episode) starring Kirby Grant; and "Tate" (1960 pilot) starring David McLean
1950s TV's Greatest Detectives DVD box set  "1950s TV's Greatest Detectives" [2002]
remastered b&w DVD [7/2002] 3 disks for $24.99
includes 12 TV episodes, 1951-1959: "Martin Kane, Private Eye" (1951) with William Gargan; "Dick Tracy" (1952) with Ralph Byrd; "Dragnet" (1952) with Jack Webb; "Man Against Crime" (1952) with Ralph Bellamy; "Mr. & Mrs. North" (1952) with Richard Denning & Barbara Britton; "Mystery Theatre Presents" (1952) with Tom Conway; "I Am The Law" (1953) with George Raft; "The Lone Wolf"
with Louis Hayward; "Sherlock Holmes" (1954) with Ronald Howard; "Gangbusters" (1955) with Myron Healey; "Treasury Men In Action" (1955) with Charles Bronson; and "Peter Gunn" (1959) with Craig Stevens
¾            ¾            ¾

Best of TV Detectives DVD box set  "Best of TV Detectives" 150-episode DVD Box Set [2007]
Mill Creek Ent. b&w/color DVD set [6/2007] 12 disks for $19.99
includes 150 TV episodes from: "The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu" [1956]; "The Adventures of Ellery Queen" [1950]; "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" [1955] hosted by Alfred Hitchcock; "Bulldog Drummond" [1957 pilot]; "Burke's Law" [1963] starring Gene Barry; "The Cases of Eddie Drake" [1952]; "Checkmate" [1960]; "Code 3" [1957] hosted by Richard Travis; "Colonel March of Scotland Yard" [1956] starring Boris Karloff; "The Court of Last Resort" [1957] created by Erle Stanley Gardner; "Decoy" [1957] starring Beverly Garland; "Dick Tracy" [1950] 6 episodes starring Ralph Byrd;"Dragnet" [1951-59] 25 episodes starring Jack Webb; "Federal Men" [1950] 5 epiosdes; "Follow That Man" [1949-54] 6 episodes starring Ralph Bellamy; "Front Page Detective" [1951] starring Edmund Lowe; "Gang Busters" [1951]; "I'm The Law" [1953] starring George Raft; "The Lawless Years" [1959] 6 episodes; "Lock
Up" [1959] 8 episodes starring Macdonald Carey; "Lone Wolf" [1955] starring Louis Hayward; "The Man Behind the Badge" [1953] 6 episodes; "Man With A Camera" [1958] starring Charles Bronson; "Mannix" [1967-75] starring Mike Connors; "Martin Kane, Private Eye" [1949] 6 episodes; "Miami Undercover" [1961]; "Michael Shayne" [1960] starring Richard Denning; "Mr. & Mrs. North" [1952] 16 episodes starring Richard Denning & Barbara Britton; "The Public Defender" [1954-56] starring Reed Hadley; "Racket Squad" [1951] 7 episodes starring Reed Hadley; "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" [1957-60] starring David Janssen; "The Shadow" [1954 pilot]; "Sheriff of Cochise" [1956-58] starring John Bromfield; and "U.S. Marshal"
[1958-60] starring John Bromfield
¾            ¾            ¾

'Here Comes Tobor And Other Lost Action Shows of The 1950s' on DVD  "Here Comes Tobor and Other Lost Action Shows of The 1950s" on DVD [2008]
Alpha Home Ent. DVD set [2/2008] for $5.98
NOTE: data on Amazon page is for a different DVD product: this single disk includes four unsold ½-hour live-action TV pilots: "Captain Fathom" [1955], "Here Comes Tobor" [1957], "Sea Divers" [1958], and "Counterspy" [1958]
¾            ¾            ¾

Essential Family Television DVD box set  "Essential Family Television" 150-episode DVD Box Set [2008]
Mill Creek Ent. b&w/color DVD set [7/2008] 12 disks for $14.97
includes 150 TV episodes from: "The Adventures of Hiram Holiday" [1956-57] 6 episodes; "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet"
[1952+] 20 episodes; "The Bob Cummings Show" [1955-59] 7 episodes; "The Buster Keaton Show" [1950-51] 2 episodes; "The Dennis Day Show" [1952-53] 2 episodes; "The Dennis O'Keefe Show" [1959-60] 4 episodes; "The Dick Van Dyke Show" [1961-66] 4 episodes; "The Ed Wynn Show" [1958] 5 episodes; "The Eddie Fisher Show" [1957-58]; "The Edgar Bergen Show" [1958]; "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" [1950-58] 6 episodes; "The Howdy Doody Show" [1947-60]; "I Married Joan" [1952-55] 6 episodes; "The Jack Benny Program" [1950-65] 10 episodes; "The Jim Backus Show" [1960-61] 2 episodes; "Lassie" [1954+] 2 episodes; "The Liberace Show" [1952+] 4 episodes; "The Life of Riley" [1953-58] 2 episodes; "Life With Elizabeth" [1952-55]
6 episodes starring Betty White; "The Lucy Show" [1962-68] 20 episodes; "Make Room For Daddy" [1953-65] 5 episodes starring Danny Thomas; "The Mickey Rooney Show" [1954-55] 5 epi-sodes; "The Milton Berle Show" [1958-62] 5 episodes; "Mister Ed" [1958-66] starring Alan Young; "Our Miss Brooks" [1952-56] 2 episodes starring Eve Arden; "Petticoat Junction" [1963-70] 6 episodes starring Edgar Buchanan; "Phil Silvers Special" [1959?]; "Private Secretary" [1953-57] 3 episodes starring Ann Sothern; "Sea Hunt" [1958-61] starring Lloyd Bridges; "Sky King" [1951-62] 4 episodes starring Kirby Grant; and "The Trouble With Father" [1950-55] 6 episodes starring Stuart Erwin

¾            ¾            ¾

'Classic Sci-Fi TV 150 Episodes' DVD box set  "Classic Sci-Fi TV: 150 Episodes" DVD Box Set [2009]
Mill Creek Ent. DVD set [1/2009] 12 disks for $9.99
includes 150 television episodes: "Captain Z-Ro" (24 episodes); "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger" (23 episodes); "One Step Beyond" hosted by John Newland (18 episodes); "Flash Gordon" starring Steve Holland (14 of 39 episodes); "The Phantom Empire" movie serial starring Gene Autry (12 chapters); "Radar Men From The Moon" movie serial starring George Wallace as Commando Cody (12 chapters); "Under-sea Kingdom" movie serial starring Ray 'Crash' Corrigan (12 chapters); "Space Angel" animated TV series (9 episodes); "Tales of Tomor-row" (6 episodes); "Lights Out!" (4 episodes); "Captain Fathom" animated TV series (3 episodes); "General Electric Theater" hosted by Ronald Reagan (2 episodes); "The Shadow" (2 episodes) — and these single episodes: "Climax! Mystery Theater: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" starring Michael Rennie [1955]; "Clutch Cargo: Operation Moon Beam" animated TV series [1959]; "Destination Space" TV movie
[1959]; "Johnny Jupiter" live action & puppets [1953-54]; "Stamp Day For Superman" promo short starring George Reeves [1954]; "The Star and The Story: Dark Stranger" starring Edmond O'Brien [1955]; "Here Comes Tobor" unsold ½-hour TV pilot [1957]; "Tales of Frankenstein" unsold ½-hour TV pilot [1958]; "Thriller: The Return of Andrew Bentley" hosted by Boris Karloff [1961]; "Your Jeweler's Showcase: Operation, E.S.P." [1952]

¾            ¾            ¾

Golden Age of Television live teleplays on DVD  "The Golden Age of Television" DVD Box Set [2009]
Criterion Collection b&w DVD [11/2009] 3 disks for $37.99
contains 8 live teleplays: "Marty" (24 May 1953) written by Paddy Chayefsky, starring Rod Steiger; "Patterns" [15 Jan 1955) written by Rod Serling, starring Ed Begley; "No Time For Sergeants" (15 March 1955) starring Andy Griffith & Harry Clark; "A Wind From The South" (14 Sept 1955) written by James Costigan, starring Julie Harris; "Bang The Drum Slowly" (26 Sept 1956) starring Paul Newman & Albert Salmi; "Requiem For A Heavy-weight" (11 Oct 1956) written by Rod Serling, starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason & Mickey Rooney; double Emmy-winner "The Comedian" (17 Feb 1957) adapted by Rod Serling, starring Mickey Rooney & Mel Tormé; and "Days of Wine and Roses" (2 Oct 1958) starring Cliff Robertson

Lost and Rare Film and TV Treasures, 5 TV Pilots on DVD  "Lost and Rare Film & TV Treasures, Volume 1: TV Pilots" on DVD [2012]
Festival Films b&w DVD [6/2012] out of prodn/scarce
contains five half-hour pilots for b&w TV series, 1954-61: "Four Star Playhouse" episode "Meet NcGraw" [Feb 1954] starring Frank Lovejoy as a hard-hitting private eye hired by Audrey Totter - was later spun off into the 1957-58 network series; "The Ed Wynn Show" sitcom pilot [1958] did air, but for only 16 episodes; "Maggie" unsold sitcom [1960] starred Leon Ames & Fay Baker as parents to teenager Margaret O'Brien, produced by George Burns (includes the original commercials); "The Jane Powell Show" unsold sitcom [Four Star TV 1961] starring Jane Powell & Russell Johnson; and "Munroe" [1963] almost-lost pilot about a loveable Army K-9 mutt

Old Time TV Commercials

Classic Commercials on DVD from Madacy  "Classic Commercials" on DVD [2005]
The first disk has 9 chapters: Cigarettes & Cigars, Cleaning Products, Cosmetics & Medications, Clothes & Accessories, Appliances, Automobiles, Toys, and Public Service Announcements; the second disk has 4 chapters: Food & Drugs, Celebrities, The Drugstore, and Horror & Sci-Fi – over 200 'spots', almost four hours in all!
Madacy color/b&w DVD [5/2005] 2 disks - out of prodn/used
TV Commercials Ultimate Collection on DVD  "TV Commercials: The Ultimate Collection" on DVD [2008]
613 nostalgic TV 'spots', running almost ten hours: classic car, food & beverage, celebrity, cigarette, and toy commercials, plus more!
St. Clair Vision color/b&w DVD [8/2008] 6 disks - out of prodn/used
1001 Classic Commercials on DVD  "1001 Classic Commercials" on DVD [2009]
Mill Creek Ent. color/b&w DVD [7/2009] 3 disks for $4.99
Retro TV Commercials of the 50s & 60s on DVD  "Retro TV Commercials of The 50s and 60s" on DVD [2009]
retro TV commercials for cereal, candy, cosmetics, automobiles & tires, appliances, soaps, tooth-paste, cigarettes & tobacco, gas companies, coffee, snack foods, soda pop, watches, beerbanks, dog food, – all of American commerce, including Baggies, Chiquita Bananas, Gillette Foamy, RCA Radios, and political commercials from the presidential campaigns of Eisenhower, Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and John Kennedy
PR Studios DVD [2/2009] for $15.99
PR Studios DVD [1/2010] for $15.99
TV Commercials From The 50s, 60s & 70s on DVD  "Commercials From The 50s, 60s, and 70s!" [2010]
retro TV commercials for cereal, candy, cosmetics, floor wax, automobiles, appliances, soaps, tooth-paste, cigarettes & tobacco, gas companies, insurance, soups, fast food, coffee, car rental, computers, snack foods, soda pop, banks, dog food, watches, beer, airlines – all of American commerce, including Arthur Murray, Aunt Jemima, Brylcreem, Coca Cola, Handi Wipes, Lady Sunbeam, Paper-Mate, Pepto Bismol, Polaroid, Tang, 3M Copiers, Texaco, Toastem Pop-ups, Vicks Vapo-Rub & Yuban coffee
Volume 1: PR Studios DVD [7/2010] for $14.49
Volume 2: PR Studios DVD [8/2010] for $15.99
Classic Cigarette Commercials on DVD  
"Classic Cigarette Commercials" on DVD [2010]
116 minutes of people having so much fun smoking tobacco products!
PR Studios DVD [2/2010] for $15.99
Classic Car Commercials & Ad Shorts on DVD  "Classic Car Commercials and Ad Shorts" on DVD [2010]
commercials & 'news' shorts for many brands, including Chevrolet, Corvair, Corvette, Dodge, the futuristic Firebird, General Motors' Frigidaire, Hertz, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Renault Dauphine, and Volkswagon Beetle
PR Studios DVD [3/2010] for $15.99
Chevrolet, GM ,and The Golden Age of The American Car TV commercials on DVD  "Chevrolet, G.M., and The Golden Age of The American Car" TV ads [2010]
111 minutes of retro TV commercials and promo shorts, which seem to be all General Motors products
PR Studios color/b&w DVD [10/2010] for $15.99

Recent  Television  Programs

Shelley Duvall's "Tall Tales & Legends" [Showtime 1985-86]
Shelley Duvall's 'Tall Tales & Legends' complete TV series on DVD   Nine hour-long episodes broadcast on Showtime; the episodes are: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" starring Ed Begley Jr.; "Annie Oakley" [12/85] starring Jamie Lee Curtis & Brian Dennehy; "Pecos Bill"; "Casey At The Bat" starring Elliott Gould & Carol Kane; "My Darlin' Clementine" starring Shelley Duvall & Edward Asner; "Johnny Appleseed" starring Martin Short; "Ponce de Leon" starring Michael York; "John Henry" starring Danny Glover; and "Davy Crockett" starring Mac Davis • Co-produced by Shelley Duvall & Fred Fuchs
Complete Series: E1 Ent. color DVD [9/2009] 3 disks for $13.99
full credits at IMDb • series entry at Wikipedia

"TV Guide's 50 Best Shows of All Time: A 50th Anniversary Celebration" [ABC-TV May 2002]
90-minute TV special directed by Eamon Harrington; written by Rick Mitz; narrated by Jonathon Brandmeier
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb

"TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" magazine article May 2002
entry at Wikipedia
Top 10 TV Shows of All Time - per TV Guide in 2002
1. "Seinfeld" (NBC, July 5, 1989- May 14, 1998)
2. "I Love Lucy" (CBS, October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957)
3. "The Honeymooners" (CBS, October 1, 1955 – September 22, 1956)
4. "All In The Family" (CBS, January 12, 1971 – April 8, 1979)
5. "The Sopranos" (HBO, January 10, 1999 – June 10, 2007)
6. "60 Minutes" (CBS, September 24, 1968 – present)
7. "M*A*S*H" (CBS, September 17, 1972 - February 28, 1983)
8. "The Simpsons" (Fox, December 17, 1989 – present)
9. "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, October 3, 1960 – April 1, 1968)
10. "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, October 11, 1975 – present)

"TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time"
entry at Wikipedia

Television  &  Radio  Links

Paley Center For Media {formerly The Museum of TV & Radio}            TVLand Store: 'I Love Lucy', 'Brady Bunch', 'The Honeymooners', 'Three Stooges', 'I Dream of Jeannie', 'Andy Griffith', 'Get Smart', 'Munsters' and more...            Television Fanatic website {with free toolbar download}

Museum of Broadcast Communications [est. 1987] in Chicago, Illinois
"TV History: The First 75 Years" website
Early Television Museum/Foundation in Hilliard, Ohio
F.C.C. History of Television pages
Television Station Index
Radio Locator station listings website
50 Years of Western Australia TV
National Media Museum [est. 1983] in Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K.
Associated Press Television-Radio Association
A.P.T.R.A. Hall of Fame [est. 2009]

Important  Dates  in  the  History
of  Radio  &  Television

  • 1877 June 4: Patent application for the variable resistence carbon microphone filed by Emile Berliner.
  • 1893 Feb: Genius inventor Nikola Tesla lectured on the principles of 'wireless telegraphy'
    [broadcast radio] at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1896: Genius inventor Nikola Tesla built his first working radio transmitter & receiver devices (five years before Marconi).
  • 1900 Aug 25: Russian scientist Constantin Perskyi coined the term 'television' in a paper read in Paris, France, to describe still photographs transmitted over wires.
  • 1900 Dec 23: Reginald A. Fessenden of Canada broadcast the first known transmission of the human voice over the radio, for a distance of about one mile.
  • 1901 Dec 12: First transmission of a radio signal across the Atlantic, sent from Poldhu, Cornwall, U.K. and received by Guglielmo Marconi at St. John's, Newfoundland.
  • 1902 Dec 17: First eastward transmission of a radio signal across the Atlantic, sent from Marconi's transmitter station at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • 1906 Dec 24: Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden made the first transmission of pre-recorded music over the radio, from Brant Rock, MA – the potential audience was radio-telegraph operators aboard ship in the Atlantic Ocean – and is considered the first 'disk jockey'.
  • 1907 Oct 17: Guglielmo Marconi began limited commercial wireless telegraph service between Nova Scotia and Ireland.
  • 1911 March 24: Birthday of animator Joseph Barbera.
  • 1919 Oct 17: Creation of the Radio Corporation of America.

  • 1921 Jan 2: First U.S. radio broadcast of religious services, of the regular Sunday services of Calvary Episcopal Church on K.D.K.A. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 1921 Oct 5: First broadcast of baseball's World Series on radio.
  • 1922 June 14: Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. President heard on radio, as Baltimore station WEAR aired his speech dedicating the Francis Scott Key Memorial at Fort McHenry.
  • 1923 Dec 6: The first radio broadcast of a presidential address, of President Coolidge speaking to a joint session of Congress.
  • 1924 Feb 8: First coast-to-coast radio broadcast.
  • 1924 Feb 12: The first radio speech broadcast by a U.S. presidant, by President Coolidge.
  • 1924 Feb 22: President Coolidge delivered the first radio speech broadcast from the White House.
  • 1926 Sept 9: The National Broadcasting Company was founded by Radio Corporation of America.
  • 1926 Nov 15: Launch of the National Broadcasting Company, with a network of 24 radio stations.
  • 1926 Dec 25: Prof. Kenjiro Takayanagi of Japan displayed a rough image transmitted electronically on a cathode ray tube.
  • 1927 April 7: First successful public transmission of a long-distance television image, that of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover.
  • 1927 Sept 18: Launch of the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System [later CBS] with a network of 16 radio stations.
  • 1927 Sept 23: Invention of electronic scanning devices for television broadcast and receiving by Philo T. Farnsworth.
  • 1928 Dec 23: National Broadcasting Company set up a permanent coast-to-coast radio network.

  • 1932 Dec 25: The British Broadcasting Company inaugurated the Empire Service {forerunner of B.B.C. World Service). King George V gave the first royal broadcast to the Empire, written by author Rudyard Kipling.
  • 1933 Jan 30: First broadcast of the "Lone Ranger" radio program, over station WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan; the radio series ended 3 September 1954.
  • 1934 June 19: The Federal Communications Commission was created, replacing the Federal Radio Commission.
  • 1934 Aug 25: First public demonstration of electronic scanning television by Philo T. Farnsworth at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1935 Dec 19: First public demonstration of F.M. radio, by American inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong.
  • 1936 Nov 2: The British Broadcasting Corp. began 'high definition' television service from Alexandra Palace in London. They also broadcast the first television news that same year.
  • 1938 Oct 30: Orson Welles's notorious "War of The Worlds" radio hoax, aired over the C.B.S. Network.
  • 1939: R.C.A. began selling the first commercial television receivers.
  • 1939 July 18: First broadcast from a commercial FM radio station, in Alpine N.J.
  • 1939 Aug 16: First major league baseball games shown on television, over experimental station W2XBS – a double header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  • 1940 Feb 12: Debut of weekly radio program "The Adventures of Superman", starring Bud Collyer.
  • 1941 July 1: First ever TV ad, for Bulova Watches, on W.N.B.T. New York City.
  • 1943: The U.S. Supreme Court found that Nikola Tesla was the inventor of wireless radio, based on the 1893 publication of his lecture at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1943 Oct 14: Radio Corporation of America completed sale of its NBC Blue Network for $8 million to businessman Edward J. Noble; soon renamed the American Broadcasting Company.
  • 1946 Oct 30: R.C.A. publicly demonstrated an all-electronic system of color TV, on a 15x20-inch screen.
  • 1947 Jan 22: Station W6XYZ in Los Angeles, CA changed call letters to KTLA-TV 5, the first commercial TV west of Chicago.
  • 1947 Oct 5: President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised White House address.
  • 1948: The United States leaped from fewer than 200,000 TV sets to 975,000 TV sets by the end of the year.
  • 1948 Feb 16: First nightly television news broadcast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre" on NBC-TV, showing Fox-MovieTone newsreels narrated by John Cameron Swayze.
  • 1948 June 8: Debut of "Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV starring Milton Berle.
  • 1949 Jan 31: Debut of the first network daytime 'soap opera' television program "These Are My Children" from the N.B.C. afffiliate station in Chicago, which lasted only four weeks.
  • 1949 Sept 15: First broadcast of the "Lone Ranger" television program, over the A.B.C. network; the last new episode of the TV series aired 6 June 1957.

  • 1951 June 25: First commercial color television broadcast - CBS transmitted a one-hour special program from New York City to four other cities.
  • 1951 Sept 4: First live, coast-to-coast television broadcast as President Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco, CA.
  • 1952 Jan 14: Premiere of NBC's "Today Show" with Dave Garroway as 'communicator' (host).
  • 1952 April 22: The first nuclear explosion shown live on network television, as a 31-kiloton bomb was dropped to the Nevada desert from a B-50 Superfortress.
  • 1952 Sept 6: Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal, PQ.
  • 1953 March 19: Academy Awards ceremony televised for the first time.
  • 1953 Dec 17: First national broadcasts of R.C.A./N.T.S.C. color television, on C.B.S. at 6:15 pm and on N.B.C. at 6:30 pm.
  • 1954 Jan 1: N.B.C. broadcast the Pasadena Rose Parade in color on 21 stations.
  • 1954 April 6: Four weeks after Edward R. Murrow's on-air exposé, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy delivered a filmed response on "See It Now" (CBS News) charging that Murrow had in the past "engaged in propoganda for Communist causes".
  • 1954 Sept 27: Debut of NBC's 'Tonight!' show, hosted by Steve Allen.
  • 1954 Nov 25: First coast-to-coast live broadcast of a comedy/drama – and it was in color! A 1-hour live episode of Lux Video Theatre, "A Medal For Benny", adapted by S.H. Barnett from the 1945 movie co-written by John Steinbeck & Jack Wagner; directed by Buzz Kulik; starring Rick Jason, Anne Bancroft & J. Carrol Naish
  • 1955: First nationally-televised Emmy Awards Show, hosted by Steve Allen.
  • 1955 Oct 3: Premieres of "Captain Kangaroo" on the CBS-TV Network and of "The Mickey Mouse Club" on the ABC-TV Network.
  • 1956: Indoor TV antennas, called 'rabbit ears', went on the market.
  • Fall 1956: First wireless remote control for televison sets introduced - the Zenith Space Command.
  • 1956 Oct 29: "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" news program premiered as NBC's nightly tv news broadcast, replacing "The Camel News Caravan" (which began in Feb 1948).
  • 1959: With only three national TV networks in the U.S., there were 48 primetime Western TV series on the air.
  • 1959 Oct 2nd: Debut of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" TV series on the C.B.S. Network; the original series ran thru 1964 and was revived 1985-89 and again 2002-2003.

  • 1960 Oct 1: Debut of the "Flintstones" prime-time TV cartoon series from Hanna-Barbera.
  • 1961 April 29: Jim McKay began working as the first host of the "ABC's Wide World of Sports" program.
  • 1961 May 9: Television programming condemned as a 'vast wasteland' by F.C.C. Commissioner Newton N. Minow in a speech at the National Association of Broadcasters.
  • 1962 April 24: Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, California and Westford, Massachusetts.
  • 1962 September: ABC TV Network began broadcasting color programs.
  • 1967 Sept 9: Debut of the comedy program "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" on NBC; the pilot and 140 episodes were broadcast, ending in March 1973.
  • 1970 Sept 21: "NFL Monday Night Football" debuted on ABC-TV.
  • 1971 Sept: Implementation of the F.C.C.'s Prime Time Access Rule that restricted the amount of network programming that local television stations owned by or affiliated with a network could air during 'prime time'; the policy was repealed in 1996.
  • 1974: Two-thirds of U.S. homes had color TV sets.
  • 1976 Dec: Media mogul Ted Turner originated the 'superstation' cable channel concept by transmitting by satelite from WTCG-TV in Atlanta, Georgia; Turner Broadcasting was later sold to Time Warner.
  • 1979 Sept 7: Launch of cable TV network E.S.P.N. (Entertainment & Sports Programming Network).
  • 1980 June 1: Debut of C.N.N. {Cable News Network}.
  • 1991 Dec: Ted Turner named Time Magazine's Person of The Year (first such for a media figure).
  • 1996 Oct 10: Time Warner purchased and merged with Turner Broadcasting.
  • 1996 Oct 17: Launch of the Fox News Channel.

  • 2000 Jan: A.O.L. {America Online} purchased and merged with Time Warner (announced January 10, filed February 11); company name was changed to AOL Time Warner
  • 2003: Drastic changes in internet business created gigantic loss in A.O.L.'s value; power shift at AOL Time Warner included dropping AOL from company name.
  • 2009 June 12: The end of analog television broadcasting in the U.S., the final switch-over to digital broadcast TV.
  • 2009 Dec 2: Cable giant Comcast announced its offer for 51% ownership of NBC-Universal broadcast TV network. NBC Universal is valued at $30 billion; Comcast offered parent General Electric $6.5 billion in cash and $7.25 billion in assets to offset $9.1 billion in debt to third party lenders.
  • 2010 Jan 22: Progressive radio network Air America [est. March 2004] ceased operations and filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, due to incompetent management.
  • 2010 Oct: Public television station K.C.E.T. in Los Angeles, California announced its intention to pull out of the P.B.S. affiliate ranks at year’s end after 40 years as a flagship West Coast outlet & producer for the network.
  • 2014 Feb 13: Cable giant Comcast offered to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.
  • 2014 Dec 21: The Fox News Channel decided to play hardball and not negotiate for renewed carriage on the Dish Satellite Network, so when the contract expired, Dish removed Fox from its scheduling. Fox's audience dropped 45% (1.65 million in 2013 versus 939,000 same week in 2014). By year's end, Fox had promoted 20,000 telephone calls threatening to cancel the callers' Dish subscription. But Dish doesn't much care about that, since the satellite service has 14 million subscribers (and 25,000 U.S. employees).
  • 2015 April: Norway announced that it will switch off its nationwide analog radio dial; the plan is to go completely digital, using Digital Audio Broadcasting technology, in January 2017.
  • 2017 April 19: Fox News Network’s biggest star Bill O’Reilly ('The No-Spine Zone') was fired over the multiple recent allegations of sexual harassment against him.

JM's detailed chronology of U.S. television history

Fiction  About  Radio  &  TV
{ in chronological order }

Tom Swift and His Talking Pictures dime novel by Victor Appleton  "Tom Swift and His Talking Pictures: or, The Greatest Invention On Record"
[#31 = 1928] by Howard Garis, writing as house name 'Victor Appleton'

Tom Swift invents a large-screen color TV with high-fidelity sound {written in 1928!}; various movie and legitimate theatre executives panic and resort to sabotage, subterfuge, kidnapping, and even attempted murder to stop Tom's device from being marketed.
Grosset & Dunlap hardcover [1928] out of print/used
Grosset & Dunlap hardcover [1928] out of print/used
Grosset & Dunlap 7½x5¼ hardcover [1928] out of print/used
. . . and more on the 'Tom Swift' Book Series Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

The Great Man novel by Al Morgan  "The Great Man" A Novel" [1955] by Al Morgan
When a popular radio commentator dies in a car accident, his successor is ordered to produce an hour-long tribute, but he can't find anyone who knew the guy with good things to say about him.
Pocket/Cardinal mass pb [1957] out of print/scarce
Dutton 7¾x5¼ hardcover [1955] out of print/used
"The Great Man" feature film [Universal Dec 1956]
Co-written & directed by & starring José Ferrer; based on the novel by Albert E. Morgan; also starring Dean Jagger, Keenan Wynn, Julie London, Joanne Gilbert, Ed Wynn, Jim Backus, Lyle Talbot, Henny Backus & Johnny Grant • VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb
God of Channel 1 novel by Frederik Pohl  
"The God of Channel 1" [1956]
by Frederik Pohl (writing as Donald Stacy)

"The diamond-hard novel of a man who became TV's biggest personality"; the Danny Dahl character is perhaps modeled after C.B.S.'s daily host Arthur Godfrey [1903-83]
Ballantine mass pb [1956] out of print/scarce
Ballantine mass pb [1956] for out of print/scarce
Zoomar novel by Ernie Kovacs  "Zoomar: A Sophisticated Novel About Love and TV" [1957]
by Ernie Kovacs

A comic romp, (loosely) based on the life & career of television pioneer Pat Weaver
Bantam mass pb [1959] out of print/scarce
Doubleday hardcover [1957] out of print/scarce
Doubleday hardcover [1957] out of print/used
The 21-inch Screen 1958 novel by Edwin Fadiman, Jr.   "The 21-Inch Screen" [1958] by Edwin Fadiman, Jr.
"On television, Rex Lundy was the idol of millions, off-camera he was a cheating husband,
an indifferent father, and a ruthless lover."

Signet/NAL mass pb [1959] out of print/used
Signet/NAL mass pb [1959] out of print/used
Doubleday hardcover [1958] out of print/used
Anchor Woman novel by Al Morgan   "Anchorwoman: A Novel" [1974] by Al Morgan
Stein & DayBantam mixed editions [1974] out of print/used

New York TV exec Matt Cobb mystery series by William L. DeAndrea   New York TV exec Matt Cobb mystery series [1978-96]
by William L. DeAndrea [1952-96]

"Killed In The Ratings" [HBJ 1978]
hardcover out of print/many used • pb out of print/used
"Killed In The Act" [Doubleday 1981]
hardcover out of print/used • pb out of print/used
"Killed With A Passion" [Doubleday 1983]
hardcover out of print/used
"Killed On The Ice" [Doubleday 1984]
hardcover out of print/used • pb out of print/used
"Killed In Paradise" [Mysterious Press 1988]
hardcover out of print/used • pb out of print/used
"Killed On The Rocks" [Mysterious Press 1990]
hardcover out of print/many used • pb out of print/many used
"Killed In Fringe Time" [S&S 1995]
hardcover out of print/used
"Killed In the Fog" [S&S 1996]
hardcover out of print/used

The Evening News novel by Arthur Hailey  "The Evening News: A Novel" [1990]
by Arthur Hailey,
author of "Hotel" [1965] & "Airport" [1968]
A Maoist terrorist group in South America kidnaps the wife, son & father-in-law of CBA-TV's American news anchor Crawford Sloane.
Doubleday 9x6 pb [7/2001] for $23.00
Doubleday 9½x6½ hardcover [3/90] out of print/hundreds used
WLT: A Radio Romance novel by Garrison Keillor  "WLT: A Radio Romance" [1991 bestseller] by Garrison Keillor
Two brothers set up radio station WLT ('With Lettuce and Tomato') in Minneapolis in 1926 to draw crowds to their wilting sandwich restaurant. The station is a success, and they are soon hiring local talent whose on-air personalities are not exactly the same as in real life: winsome child star Little Becky is a chain-smoking practical joker, the sports announcer is blind, and the always-cheerful songstress is confined to her wheelchair by polio and fat. The novel's hero is young straight man Francis White, who comes of age at the station and, as the station's success fades, goes on to greater things in television.
Penguin 7½x5 pb [11/92] for $10.20
Viking 8½x5¼ hardcover [11/91] out of print/many, many used
Highbridge ABR auduio CD [10/2006] for $20.48
The Network novel by Bill Siderski  
"The Network" [2009] by Bill Siderski
He was supposed to go down with the ship while they walked away with the money. But he had other ideas, big ideas, bold ideas, ideas that blurred the line between reporting the news and being the news. Now the ratings are high, and everybody is happy . . . until the body count starts to rise.
CreateSpace 8x5 pb [5/2009] for $14.00

Old  Time  Radio

Old Time Radio Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

Old Radio Programs Dept.
on Old Time Radio Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

Nikola Tesla  [1856-1943] - The Inventor of Radio

browse Old Time Radio books & audio & CDs at Amazon
radio drama shows {some modern} on audio CD at Amazon

Radio & the American Imagination  
"Listening In: Radio and The American Imagination - From Amos 'n' Andy
& Edward R. Murrow To Wolfman Jack & Howard Stern" [1999]
by Susan J. Douglas

Univ MN Press 9x6 pb [2/2004] for $13.57
Crown 9½x6¾ hardcover [4/99] out of print/used
Radio in the Movies book by Laurence Etling  "Radio In The Movies: A History and Filmography, 1926-2010" [2011]
by Laurence Etling

McFarland & Co. pb [5/2011] for $45.00

M u s i c

16 Great Songs From Ten Top Children's Favorite Shows ninyl album  "TV Jamboree: 16 Great Songs From Ten Top Children's Favorite Shows" [circa 1960]
Directed by Mitch Miller, with The Sandpiper Chorus

Discog album info page • not available on Amazon - try eBay
contains 16 original TV theme songs from: "Annie Oakley" (2), "Bugs Bunny" (2), "Howdy Doody" (2), "Lassie" (2), "Mighty Mouse", "Popeye", "Rin Tin Tin" (3), "Tales Of Wells Fargo", "Wagon Train", and "Wyatt Earp"
TV Land Presents: Favorite TV Theme Songs on audio CD  "TV Land Presents: Favorite TV Theme Songs" [2002]  
Rhino / W.E.A. music CD [8/2002] 40 tracks for $11.79
40 TV show themes by original artists on two disks, including "The Addams Family", "All In The Family" sung by Jean Stapleton & Carol O'Connor, "The Andy Griffith Show", "Barney Miller", "Batman", "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Bonanza", "The Brady Bunch", "Charlie's Angels", "Diff'rent Strokes", "Dragnet", "Dukes of Hazzard", "Dynasty", "Gilligan's Island", "Golden Girls", "Good Times", "Green Acres", "Happy Days", "Hawaii 5-0", "Hill Street Blues", "I Dream of Jeannie", "I Love Lucy", "The Jeffersons", "Laverne and Shirley", "The Love Boat", "Magnum, P.I.", "Mannix", "Maude", "The Monkees", "The Munsters", "The Partridge Family", "The Rockford Files", "Star Trek", "Taxi", "The Twilight Zone", "Welcome Back Kotter", and others

100 Greatest TV Themes audio CD, Volume 1  "100 Greatest TV Themes: The Ultimate Television Themes Collection" [2002]
Silva America music CD [8/2002] 4 disks for $29.07
100 TV show themes (a few by original artists) on four disks, including "The Addams Family", "Batman", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Bewitched", "Bonanza", "Burke's Law", "Cheers", "Dallas", "Doctor Kildare", "Doctor Who", "The Fugitive", "Hawaii 5-0", "High Chaparal", "Johnny Staccato", "Kojak", "Lonesome Dove", "Lost In Space", "Magnum, P.I.", "The Man From Uncle", "M.A.S.H.", "Miami Vice", "Mike Hammer", "Mission: Impossible", "Monthy Python's Flying Circus", "The Munsters", "Murder She Wrote", "Northern Exposure", "The Outer Limits", "Perry Mason", "Peter Gunn", "Star Trek", "Streets of San Francisco", "Taxi", "The Twillight Zone", "Twin Peaks", "The Virginian", "Wagon Train", "The Waltons", "Wild Wild West", "The X-Files", and many more

TV Guide 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes on audio CD   "TV Guide 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes: A Year-By-Year Celebration of The Greatest Television Themes, 1953-2002" [2002]
Tee Vee Tunes Records audio CD [10/2002] for $13.41
50 TV show themes (many are remakes), including "The Addams Family", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Batman", "Bewitched", "The Brady Bunch", "Dragnet", "The Flintstones", "Friends", "Gilligans Island", "Hawaii 5-0", "The Honeymooners", "I Love Lucy", "M.A.S.H.", "Mary Tyler Moore", "Mission Impossible", "The Monkees", "Six Feet Under", many more – plus a fact-filled booklet featuring 50 original full-color TV Guide Magazine covers

All-Time Top 100 TV Themes audio CD set  "All-Time Top 100 TV Themes" [2005]
T.V.T. audio CD [8/2005] 2 disks for $18.99
includes themes from current/recent shows all the way back to the "Leave It To
Beaver", "Gilligan's Island", "Dragnet", "The Twilight Zone" & "I Love Lucy" era
100 Greatest TV Themes audio CD, Volume 2  "100 Greatest TV Themes: Volume 2" [2007]
Silva America music CD [11/2007] 4 disks for $30.96
100 remakes of TV show themes reviewed as 'lackluster', including "24" Suite, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Band of Brothers", "Charlie Brown", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "Dukes of Hazard", "Friends", "Kojak", "Lost", "The O.C.", "Space: 1999", "V, The Series", "West Wing", "Young and The Restless", and many more

100 Greatest TV Themes audio CD for 2010  "100 Greatest TV Themes" [2010]
Silva America music CD [11/2010] 4 disks for $29.07
100 TV show themes (a few by original artists) on four disks, including "24" Suite, "The Addams Family", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Band of Brothers", "Batman", "Bewitched", "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Charlie Brown", "Charlie's Angels", "Cheers", "The Cosby Show", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "CSI: Miami", "CSI: New York", "Dallas", "Desperate Housewives", "Dukes of Hazard", "E.R.", "The Flintstones", "Friends", "Get Smart", "Happy Days", "Hawaii 5-0", "High Chaparal", "Hill Street Blues", "I Dream of Jeannie", "Kojak", "L.A. Law", "Law and Order", "Lost", "Kojak", "Love Boat", "M.A.S.H.", "Magnum, P.I.", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "Melrose Place", "Miami Vice", "Mission: Impossible", "Mork and Mindy", "The Munsters", "The Muppet Show" (2), "Murder, She Wrote", "Northern Exposure", "N.Y.P.D. Blue", "The O.C.", "The Pacific", "Perry Mason", "Peter Gunn", "Quantum Leap", "Rawhide", "The Rockford Files", "Sex and The City", "The Simpsons", "Six Feet Under", "Star Trek", "Taxi", "The Twilight Zone", "West Wing", "The Wire", "The X-Files", and many more

jump to History of Radio & Television Page Two

History of Cinema Page
Books About Hollywood & Cinema History

here on Magic Lantern's History of Radio & Television Pages

on page one:  top of page • pioneers of radio & TV • early TV programs •
recent TV programs • links • important dates • old time radio • fiction books • music

on page two:  top of page • videos & DVDs, A-Z • non-fiction books

Online sales in association with  Television History & Criticism books category at Amazon

Current Filmmakers  |   XXth Century Directors  |   Early Filmmakers
Foreign Cinema  |   Favorite Films (and Why)  |   The Movie Industry Page
Film Genres  |   Actors: Stars & Unknowns  |   Movies: Great & Unsung
Film Festivals & Orgns  |   Reference & Technical  |   Film Businesses Page

top of this page  ¸  back to Magic Lantern homepage