Today, when we turn on the TV and channel surf, our eyes scan over a very bloated television guide.
With a barrage of reality series, dramas and films easily accessible at our fingertips, it’s difficult to imagine a time when dead air existed.
Here’s the schedule for the first prime-time fall schedule for each of the four networks in 1946 — ABC (marked by A), CBS (C), NBC (N) and the failed DuMont (D).
The block gives a peek at early television which consisted of variety series, Western films, quiz shows and early educational programming. It’s also relatively barren.
Take a look at the schedule below:
Not familiar with the shows above? Here are some of series that ran during television’s early days:
Geographically Speaking (NBC) – This travelogue series included travel films narrated by hostess Carveth Wells. The show lasted for slightly more than a month on NBC’s Sunday night block.
Face to Face (NBC) — The early “Pyramid-like” quiz show consisted of one man trying to draw another man hidden from view based off of clues fed to him from another person.
Television Screen Magazine (NBC) — This was an early variety show. An equal parallel today would be “60 Minutes.”
Serving Through Science (DuMont) — Encyclopedia Britannica short films were discussed by host Dr. Guthrie McClintock in the show that lasted for less than a year. Though educational, viewers claimed the series boring.
You Are An Artist (NBC) —Jon Gnagy hosted a 15-minute show where he guided viewers through art lessons and analysed famous works from the Museum of Modern Art.
Cash and Carry (DuMont) — Imagine an early version of “Supermarket Sweep” or “The Price is Right” and you have the gist of this supermarket quiz show. The show’s emcee, Dennis James, went on to host “The Price is Right.”
Play the Game (DuMont) – The early charade game show ran on DuMont for 13 weeks before heading over to ABC in 1948.
I Love To Eat (NBC) — Author James Beard hosted the first network cooking show, paving the way for shows including “Rachel Ray” and reality TV’s “MasterChef.”
The World In Your Home (NBC) — There’s little known about the 15-minute documentary-type series from NBC. From the title, it appears likely to have been another early news magazine.
Hour Glass (NBC) — Long before SNL, “Hour Glass” was the first broadcast variety show on broadcast television.
Let’s Rhumba (NBC) — Before “Dancing with the Stars” there was this dance instruction program that ran for slightly more than two months.
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