Classic TV: The 40s : TV in the 40's?

TV in the 40's?

I always thought TV was rolled out sometime in 50's! Guess I was wrong on that. BTW, how many TV channels were there in Amerika in the 40's?.

"They should have put you in a glass jar on a mantlepiece". - There Will Be Blood

Re: TV in the 40's?

Depends on which part of the US. Many parts of the US still didn't have TV.

Areas which had TV had varying amounts of stations. For example, New York City had five or six stations by 1948, while another major US city had only a single station. Some areas were served by two or three stations.

The networks were: NBC and DuMont starting in 1946, along with CBS and ABC starting in 1948. DuMont went defunct in the mid-1950s.

Other countries which had TV during the 1940s included UK, France, and Russia (the Russian service was limited to two cities originally, and later was expanded to more areas). These three services however were briefly suspended due to WW2, but all three resumed by the end of 1946.

Popular US shows during the late-1940s included "Mary Kay and Johnny", "Texaco Star Theater", "Howdy Doody", "Studio One", "Lucky Pup", etc.

Countries which had TV during the 1930s included: UK, France, US, Germany, and Russia.

George? Oh, for a man his age who's been through as much as he has, he looks terrible

Re: TV in the 40's?

Thank you! Very interesting. I couldn't even imagine TV in the 40's, it must have been like when cellphones and internet first started becoming available to the general public. Only people that could afford it could have it.

Re: TV in the 40's?

Experimental broadcast television began in the early 1930s, transmitting fuzzy images of wrestling, music and dance to a handful of screen. It wasn't until the 1939 World's Fair in New York, where RCA unveiled their new NBC TV studios in Rockefeller Plaza, that network television was introduced. A few months later, William Palley’s CBS began broadcasting from its new TV studios in Grand Central Station.

Re: TV in the 40's?

Thank you for taking the time to enlighten me!

Re: TV in the 40's?

Re: TV in the 40's?

Here is a collection of 1949 TV show excerpts:

Includes excerpts from: "The Ed Wynn Show", "Fireball Fun-for-All", "Chesterfield Supper Time", "Howdy Doody", "The Lone Ranger", "The Morey Amsterdam Show", "NBC News Chicago", "Studio One", "Texaco Star Theater". These shows aired live with the exception of "Lone Ranger".

George? Oh, for a man his age who's been through as much as he has, he looks terrible

Re: TV in the 40's?

Some 1940s TV programming is available to see online, see this thread:

They should release more films and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray

Re: TV in the 40's?

I can give you FIRST HAND information about a Series that aired from 1946 - 1949 on the Du Mont Channel.

The Mary Kay & Johnny Show
was the First 'SIT-COM' ("Situation-Comedy").


In addition to being a Sit-Com. It was also the original Domestic Comedy ,

That is a show where a 'Real Life" Husband & Wife play the Roles of Husband & Wife on a TV Show, so that

Art resembles Life.

The Mary Kay & Johnny Show' preceded 'Ozzie & Harriet (Nelson) by at least 5 years,

'I Love Lucy' was on with her husband Ricky Riccardo (until they got a divorce after about 6 years, however, their show started several years after 'The Mary Kay & Johnny Show', Another difference is that they used an actor instead of their son,


1) My Parents were Mary Kay & Johnny Stearns, They met when they were both acting on Broadway in 1945. They fell in love and got married, My father soon realized that his skills were better at creating, Imaging new ideas, and working with people.

This led to his becoming the writer for the Mary Kay & Johnny Show. His inspiration was daily life, not just themselves but the entire building and neighborhood.

When my eldest brother (Christopher) was born, he became a regular on the show as well.

2) Both of my parents and my brother have web pages listing their credits.

I have none.

3) While The Mary Kay & Johnny Show was shown on the Du Mont Channel, programs were aired "live", so there are no recordings. However, there ARE one or two that were subsequently reproduced off of a Kinescope. It is Archived in the Library of Congress and the museum of a Television History.

4) After leaving the Dumont Channel, my father went to WNBC in New York where he Produced the precursor to The Tonight Show. Next, he was the original Producer of the Tonight Show with Steve Allen and Producer with Jack Parr. At that point, he left WNBC for an entirely different industry: one with less 'back-stabbing' and one where he & my mother were able to travel internationally. They
Worked as a team and they LOVED it!

5) My folks were Happily married for 56 years. There are several Web Interviews of them for the Museum of Television if anyones's interested. It's all on YouTube.

Re: TV in the 40's?

The first postwar TV sets went on sale in 1946. 1946-1947 was also the first network TV season. evision_schedule

Re: TV in the 40's?

I know it sounds pretty weird. I don't know that many TV shows from the 1940s or are still being played today.

You dodge a question like a character dodges a punch on Mortal Kombat.-IceJJFish

Re: TV in the 40's?

Meet the Press (1946).

I don't know what they have to say. It makes no difference anyway. Whatever it is, I'm against it.