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.
- January 25 – John F. Kennedy held the first live televised presidential press conference.
- Danger Man (United Kingdom) (1960–1961, 1964–1966) is cancelled due to lack of interest from Australian broadcasters. The series would be revived later.
- 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 – In a speech on "Television and the Public Interest" to the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States, Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow describes commercial television programming as a "vast wasteland" and tells the broadcasters that they could do a better job of serving the public.
- May 29 – Dave Garroway announces his decision to quit the Today show.
- 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 23 – 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.
- September 30 – Grampian Television, the ITV franchise for North East Scotland, begins broadcasting.
- October 1 – 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.
- November 19 – Lucille Ball marries Gary Morton.
- 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.
- 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).
- November 8 – KVN (Клуб, Весёлых и Находчивых, Klub Vesyólykh i Nakhódchivykh, "Club of the Funny and Inventive") debuts on The First Channel in the Soviet Union (1961–1972, 1986–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)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
- American Bandstand (1952–1989)
- Armchair Theatre (UK) (1956–1968)
- As the World Turns (1956–2010)
- Blue Peter (UK) (1958–present)
- Bonanza (1959–1973)
- Bozo the Clown (1949–present)
- Bringing Up Buddy, 1960–1961
- Candid Camera (1948–present)
- Captain Kangaroo (1955–1984)
- Cheyenne (1955–1962)
- Come Dancing (UK) (1949–1995)
- Coronation Street (UK) (1960–present)
- Danger Man (UK) (1960–1961, 1964–1966)
- Dixon of Dock Green (UK) (1955–1976)
- Face the Nation (1954–present)
- Grandstand (UK) (1958–2007)
- Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
- Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951–present)
- Hancock's Half Hour (1956–1962)
- Hawaiian Eye (1959–1963)
- Juke Box Jury (1959–1967, 1979, 1989–1990)
- Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)
- Love of Life (1951–1980)
- Margie, 1961–1962
- Meet the Press (1947–present)
- My Three Sons (1960–1972)
- Opportunity Knocks (UK) (1956–1978)
- Panorama (UK) (1953–present)
- Search for Tomorrow (1951–1986)
- The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–1966)
- The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
- The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968)
- The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966)
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971)
- The Edge of Night (1956–1984)
- The Flintstones (1960–1966)
- The Good Old Days (UK) (1953–1983)
- The Guiding Light (1952–2009)
- The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958–1962)
- The Jack Benny Show (1950–1965)
- The Lawrence Welk Show (1955–1982)
- The Milton Berle Show (1954–1967)
- The Price Is Right (1956–1965)
- The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959–1962)
- The Secret Storm (1954–1974)
- The Sky at Night (UK) (1957–present)
- The Today Show (1952–present)
- The Tonight Show (1954–present)
- The Twilight Zone (1959–1964, 1985–1989, 2002–2003)
- The Voice of Firestone (1949–1963)
- This Is Your Life (UK) (1955–2003)
- Truth or Consequences (1950–1988)
- 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)
- What the Papers Say (UK) (1956–2008)
- What's My Line (1950–1967)
- Window on Main Street (1961–1962)
- Zoo Quest (UK) (1954–1964)
Ending this year
|January||General Motors Presents (Can)||1958|
|May 23||The Americans||1961|
|June 20||The Army Game (UK)||1957|
|June 29||The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford||1956|
|June 30||Hancock's Half Hour|
|September 18||Peter Gunn||1958|
|September 22||Five Star Jubilee||1961|
|Unknown||This Is Your Life (US)||1952|
Changes of network affiliation
|Show||Moved from||Moved to|
|Walt Disney Presents||ABC||NBC|
|January 13||Julia Louis-Dreyfus||Actress (Seinfeld)|
|January 19||Paul McCrane||Actor (ER)|
|February 2||Lauren Lane||Actress (Nanny, TheThe Nanny)|
|February 5||Tim Meadows||Actor (Saturday Night Live)|
|February 21||Christopher Atkins||Actor (Dallas)|
|February 23||Trent Lehman||Actor (Nanny and the Professor)|
|March 3||Mary Page Keller||Actress (Duet)|
|March 4||Steven Weber||Actor (Wings)|
|March 8||Camryn Manheim||Actress (The Practice)|
|March 17||Casey Siemaszko||Actor|
|March 18||Geoffrey Owens||Actor (The Cosby Show)|
|April 3||Eddie Murphy||Comedian, actor (Saturday Night Live)|
|April 6||Gene Eugene||Singer (Adam Again), actor (The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan)|
|April 18||Jane Leeves||Actress (Frasier)|
|April 23||George Lopez||Comedian, actor (George Lopez)|
|April 30||Isiah Thomas||Basketball player and coach|
|May 6||George Clooney||Actor (ER)|
|May 12||Lar Park Lincoln||Actress (Knots Landing)|
|May 29||Melissa Etheridge||Singer, voice actress|
|May 30||Ralph Carter||Actor (Michael Evans on Good Times)|
|May 31||Lea Thompson||Actress (Caroline in the City)|
|June 9||Michael J. Fox||Actor (Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties)|
|June 29||Sharon Lawrence||Actress (NYPD Blue)|
|July 23||Woody Harrelson||Actor (Cheers)|
|August 4||Lauren Tom||Actress (Futurama)|
|August 13||Dawnn Lewis||Actress (A Different World)|
|August 14||Susan Olsen||Actress (Cindy on The Brady Bunch)|
|September 11||Elizabeth Daily||Actress (Rugrats)|
|September 15||Dan Marino||Football player|
|September 23||Chi McBride||Actor|
|September 25||Heather Locklear||Actress (Melrose Place)|
|September 30||Crystal Bernard||Actress (Wings)|
|October 4||David W. Harper||Actor (The Waltons)|
|November 3||Kari Michaelsen||Actress (Gimme a Break!)|
|November 4||Jeff Probst||Emcee (Survivor)|
|December 30||Sean Hannity||Talk show host (Hannity)|
|February 3||Anna May Wong||56||American actress|
|May 22||Joan Davis||53||Actress (I Married Joan)|
|August 26||Gail Russell||36||American actress|
|August 30||Charles Coburn||84||Actor|
|September 10||Leo Carrillo||80||Actor (The Cisco Kid)|
|October 11||Chico Marx||74||Actor (member of the Marx Brothers)|
|November 24||Ruth Chatterton||68||Actress|