1953 in television
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1950 1951 1952 -1953- 1954 1955 1956
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In radio: 1950 1951 1952 -1953- 1954 1955 1956
In film: 1950 1951 1952 -1953- 1954 1955 1956
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The year 1953 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1953.
- January 19 – 68% of all U.S. television sets were tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth to little Ricky.
- February 1
- February 18 – Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz sign an $8,000,000 contract to continue the I Love Lucy television series through 1955.
- February 26 – Fulton Sheen, on his program Life Is Worth Living, reads Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, with the names of high-ranking Soviet officials replacing the main characters. At the end of the reading, Sheen intoned that "Stalin must one day meet his judgment". Stalin died one week later.
- March 17 – Patrick Troughton becomes television's first Robin Hood, playing the eponymous folk hero in the first of six half-hour episodes of Robin Hood, shown weekly until April 21 on the BBC Television Service.
- March 25 – CBS conceded victory to RCA in the war over color television standards.
- April 3 – TV Guide is published for the first time, with 10 editions and a circulation of 1,562,000.
- May 25 – KUHT in Houston becomes the first non-commercial educational TV station.
- June 2 – The Coronation of Elizabeth II is televised in the United Kingdom. Sales of TV sets rise sharply in the weeks leading up to the event. It is also one of the earliest broadcasts to be deliberately recorded for posterity and still exists in its entirety today.
- July 18 – The Quatermass Experiment, first of the famous Quatermass science-fiction serials by Nigel Kneale, begins its run on the BBC.
- The Tonight Show begins as a local New York variety show.
- August 30 – NBC's Kukla, Fran, and Ollie is the first publicly announced experimental broadcast of a program in RCA compatible color.
- October 18 – A live television adaptation of the Shakespeare play King Lear starring Orson Welles is aired on CBS as part of the Omnibus series.
- October 19 – Arthur Godfrey dismisses Julius La Rosa on the air.
- October 23 – The first television station in the Philippines, DZAQ-TV of Alto Broadcasting System (now ABS-CBN) begins broadcasting.
- November 22 – RCA aired (with special permission from the FCC) the first commercial color program in compatible color, The Colgate Comedy Hour with Donald O'Connor.
- December 2 – BBC broadcasts its 'Television Symbol' for the first time, the first animated television presentation symbol.
- December 17 – The FCC reverses its 1951 decision and approves the RCA/NTSC color system.
- December 24 – Dragnet became the first filmed drama to be televised in color each year as a network television program. Only this one episode, entitled "The Big Little Jesus", was filmed in color during the 1950s. The show, however, returned in the late 1960s in color.
Series on the air in 1953
- Adventures of Superman (1952–1958)
- American Bandstand (1952–1989)
- Author Meets the Critics (1947–1954)
- Bozo the Clown (1949–)
- Candid Camera (1948–)
- Cisco Kid (1950–1956)
- Come Dancing (UK) (1949–1995)
- Death Valley Days (1952–1975)
- Dragnet (1951–1959)
- Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (1946–1960)
- Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951–)
- Hawkins Falls (1950, 1951–1955))
- Hockey Night in Canada (1952–)
- Howdy Doody (1947–1960)
- I Love Lucy (1951–1960)
- Juvenile Jury (1947–1954)
- Kraft Television Theater (1947–1958)
- Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947–1957)
- Life is Worth Living (1952–1957)
- Life with Elizabeth (1952–1955)
- Love of Life (1951–1980)
- Martin Kane, Private Eye (1949–1954)
- Meet the Press (1947–)
- Muffin the Mule (1946–1955)
- My Little Margie (1952–1955)
- Omnibus (1952–1961)
- Search for Tomorrow (1951–1986)
- Television Newsreel (UK) (1948–1954)
- The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–1966)
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971)
- The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–1958)
- The Goldbergs (1949–1955)
- The Guiding Light (1952–)
- The Jack Benny Show (1950–1965)
- The Roy Rogers Show (1951–1957)
- The Texaco Star Theater (1948–1953); the show was renamed Buick-Berle Show this year (1953–1954)
- The Today Show (1952–)
- The Voice of Firestone (1949–1963)
- This Is Your Life (U.S.; 1952–1961)
- Truth or Consequences (1950–1988)
- What's My Line (1950–1967)
- Your Hit Parade (1950–1959)
- Your Show of Shows (1950–1954)
- February 10 – Romper Room (1953–1994)
- July 20 – The Good Old Days on BBC Television (1953–1983)
- August 18 - Judge for Yourself with Fred Allen on NBC (1953–1954)
- September 29 – Make Room For Daddy with Danny Thomas on CBS (1953–1964)
- October 2 – The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, an anthology series, The Comeback Story, a reality show, and The Pride of the Family, a situation comedy, all on ABC
- October 5 – Of Many Things, panel discussion show with Dr. Bergen Evans on ABC (1953–1954)
- October 8 – Where's Raymond?, starring Ray Bolger on ABC (in season 2, it is known as The Ray Milland Show) (1953–1955)
- November 11
- December 1 – CBC Theatre on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [later known as General Motors Theatre (1954–1956) and General Motors Presents (1958–1961)]
- Jukebox Jury on ABC (1953–1954)
- Place the Face, with principal host Bill Cullen, on CBS (1953–1954); then transferred to NBC (1954–1955)
Ending this year
|March 26||Biff Baker, U.S.A.||1952|
|April||The Ernie Kovacs Show|
|May 3||Victory at Sea|
|June 26||Kaleidoscope (UK)||1946|
|November 13||Front Page Detective||1951|
|Unknown||The Amos 'n Andy Show||1951|
|Café Continental (UK)||1947|
|Leave It to Larry||1952|
- Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1979). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows: 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-25525-9.