1961 in television
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|List of years in television (table)|
|... 1951 . 1952 . 1953 . 1954 . 1955 . 1956 . 1957 ...
1958 1959 1960 -1961- 1962 1963 1964
... 1965 . 1966 . 1967 . 1968 . 1969 . 1970 . 1971 ...
In radio: 1958 1959 1960 -1961- 1962 1963 1964
In film: 1958 1959 1960 -1961- 1962 1963 1964
|Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...|
The year 1961 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1961.
- January 20 – John F. Kennedy is the first U.S. president to be inaugurated with a color telecast. NBC covers the inauguration in color.
- February 19 – CFTM-TV, future flagship station of Quebec's TVA network, begins broadcasting in Montreal.
- April 29 – Westward Television, the first ITV franchise for South West England, begins broadcasting.
- May 5 - Alan B. Shepard, the first U.S. astronaut in space aboard the spacecraft Freedom 7 in a 15-min. suborbital flight. The launch is watched by 45 million U.S. viewers.
- May 9 - Newton Minow, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, gives the "vast wasteland speech" to the National Association of Broadcasters, telling them that they could do a better job of serving "the public interest."
- July 1 – The soap opera series The Brighter Day airs its first episode after taping locations are moved from New York City to Los Angeles. As a result, key character Babby Dennis and her love interest are written out of the series; the actors who played them didn't want to relocate.
- September 1 – Border Television, the ITV franchise for the English-Scottish Border and Isle of Man, begins broadcasting.
- September 30 – Grampian Television, the ITV franchise for North East Scotland, begins broadcasting.
- September – NBC begins its long-running NBC Saturday Night at the Movies participating, with a broadcast of the 1953 Marilyn Monroe picture How to Marry a Millionaire.
- 1 October – CTV Television Network (CTV) is launched in Canada, the first privately owned network in the country.
- November 4 – (Radiotelevisione italiana)'s second television channel (now named Rai Due) first broadcasts to 52% of the available households in Italy.
- December 15 - Sam and Friends broadcasts their last episode.
- December 31 – Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) starts television broadcasts, bringing television to the Republic of Ireland for the first time.
- January 25 – John F. Kennedy holds the first live televised Presidential press conference.
- Series Danger Man (UK) (1960–1961, 1964–1966) is cancelled due to lack of interest from Australian broadcasters. The series would be revived later.
- May 29 – Dave Garroway announces his decision to quit the Today show.
- November 19 – Lucille Ball marries Gary Morton.
- WBNB airs the first television broadcast in the Virgin Islands. (The station would be destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.)
- January 7 – The Avengers premieres on ITV in UK (1961–1969).
- January 23 - The Americans premieres on NBC.
- March 17 – Five Star Jubilee premieres on NBC.
- April 29 – ABC's Wide World of Sports debuts (1961–2006).
- August 19 – Four Corners, Australia's first current affairs program, premieres (1961–present).
- September 9 – The Jo Stafford Show premieres on ITV (1961).
- September 17 – Car 54, Where Are You? premieres on NBC (1961–1963).
- September 23 – The Stairlit Starways premieres (1961–1968).
- October 1 - Bus Stop premieres on ABC (1961–1962).
- October 2 – Ben Casey premieres on ABC (1961–1966). Password debuts on CBS (1961–1967). Robert Young's short-lived second series, Window on Main Street debuts on CBS (1961–1962).
- October 3 – The Dick Van Dyke Show premieres on CBS (1961–1966).
- October – Songs of Praise debuts on BBC (1961–present).
- CTV National News premieres (1961–present).
- It's Academic (1961–present).
- The Mike Douglas Show premieres (1961–1981).
- Mister Ed debuts (1961–1966).
- Reach for the Top premieres on CBC (1961–1984).
- Meet the Press (1947–present).
- Candid Camera (1948–present).
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971).
- Bozo the Clown (1949–present).
- Come Dancing (UK) (1949–1995).
- The Voice of Firestone (1949–1963).
- The Jack Benny Show (1950–1965).
- Truth or Consequences (1950–1988).
- What's My Line (1950–1967).
- Love of Life (1951–1980).
- Search for Tomorrow (1951–1986).
- Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951–present).
- American Bandstand (1952–1989).
- The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–1966).
- The Guiding Light (1952–2009).
- The Today Show (1952–present).
- Panorama (UK) (1953–present).
- The Good Old Days (UK) (1953–1983).
- Face the Nation (1954–present).
- The Brighter Day (1954–1962).
- The Milton Berle Show (1954–1967).
- The Secret Storm (1954–1974).
- The Tonight Show (1954–present).
- Zoo Quest (UK) (1954–1964).
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962).
- Captain Kangaroo (1955–1984).
- Cheyenne (1955–1962).
- Dixon of Dock Green (UK) (1955–1976).
- Gunsmoke (1955–1975).
- The Lawrence Welk Show (1955–1982).
- This Is Your Life (UK) (1955–2003).
- Armchair Theatre (UK) (1956–1968).
- As the World Turns (1956–2010).
- Hancock's Half Hour (1956–1962).
- Opportunity Knocks (UK) (1956–1978).
- The Edge of Night (1956–1984).
- The Price Is Right (1956–1965).
- What the Papers Say (UK) (1956–2008).
- Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963).
- The Sky at Night (UK) (1957–present).
- Blue Peter (UK) (1958–present).
- Grandstand (UK) (1958–2007).
- The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966).
- The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958–1962).
- Walt Disney Presents (1958–1961) ends on September 17 to resume on September 24 on NBC as Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1961–1969).
- Bonanza (1959–1973).
- Hawaiian Eye (1959–1963).
- The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959-1962).
- Juke Box Jury (1959–1967, 1979, 1989–1990).
- The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968)
- The Twilight Zone (1959–1964, 1985–1989, 2002–2003).
- Bringing Up Buddy, 1960–1961
- Coronation Street (UK) (1960–present).
- Danger Man (UK) (1960–1961, 1964–1966).
- Margie, 1961–1962.
- My Three Sons (1960–1972).
- The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968).
- The Flintstones (1960–1966).
- Window on Main Street (1961–1962).
Ending this year
|May 23||The Americans||1961|
|September||Five Star Jubilee|
|General Motors Presents (Can)|
|The Army Game (UK)||1957|
|The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford||1956|
|This Is Your Life (US)||1952|
Changes of network affiliation
|Show||Moved from||Moved to|
|Walt Disney Presents||ABC||NBC|
|January 3||Judy Flynn||actress.|
|January 13||Julia Louis-Dreyfus||actress|
|January 19||Paul McCrane||actor.|
|February 2||Lauren Lane||actress|
|Trent Lehman||actor (died 1982)|
|February 5||Tim Meadows||actor.|
|February 21||Christopher Atkins||actor.|
|March 3||Mary Page Keller||actress.|
|March 4||Steven Weber||actor.|
|March 8||Camryn Manheim||actress.|
|March 17||Casey Siemaszko||actor.|
|March 18||Geoffrey Owens||actor.|
|April 3||Eddie Murphy||actor, comedian.|
|April 6||Gene Eugene Andrusco||actor, lead singer of Adam Again (died 2000)|
|April 18||Jane Leeves||actress.|
|April 21||Nicholas Lyndhurst||actor|
|April 23||George Lopez||comedian.|
|April 30||Isiah Thomas||former basketball player and coach.|
|May 6||George Clooney||actor.|
|May 12||Lar Park Lincoln||actress|
|May 29||Melissa Etheridge||singer|
|May 30||Ralph Carter||actor.|
|May 31||Lea Thompson||actress.|
|June 9||Michael J. Fox||actor|
|June 25||Ricky Gervais||actor, comedian.|
|June 29||Sharon Lawrence||actress.|
|July 23||Woody Harrelson||actor.|
|July 27||Gabrielle Glaister||actress|
|August 4||Lauren Tom||actress.|
|August 13||Dawnn Lewis||actress.|
|August 14||Susan Olsen||actress.|
|September 15||Dan Marino||football player.|
|September 22||Scott Baio||actor.|
|September 23||Chi McBride||actor.|
|September 25||Heather Locklear||actor.|
|September 30||Crystal Bernard||actress.|
|October 4||David W. Harper||actor.|
|November 3||Kari Michaelsen||actress|
|November 4||Jeff Probst||emcee.|
|December 30||Sean Hannity||talk show host.|
|February 2||Anna May Wong||56||American actress|
|February 17||Nita Naldi||63||American actress|
|March 6||George Formby||56||British actor, entertainer|
|March 12||Belinda Lee||25||British actress|
|May 4||Anita Stewart||66||American actress|
|May 13||Gary Cooper||60||American actor|
|May 22||Joan Davis||53||American actress|
|June 17||Jeff Chandler||42||American actor|
|August 4||Maurice Tourneur||88||French film director|
|August 27||Gail Russell||36||American actress|
|August 30||Charles Coburn||84||American actor|
|September 10||Leo Carrillo||81||American actor|
|September 22||Marion Davies||64||American actress|
|October 11||Chico Marx||74||American actor, member of the Marx Brothers|
|October 18||Tsuru Aoki||69||Japanese-born American actress|
|October 22||Joseph Schenck||82||Russian-born American pioneer motion picture executive|
|November 15||Elsie Ferguson||78||American stage and film actress|
|November 24||Ruth Chatterton||67||American actress|