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The year 1940 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1940.
- January – The FCC has public hearings concerning television.
- February 25 – The first ice hockey game is televised in the United States, the New York Rangers vs Montreal Canadiens, from Madison Square Garden on W2XBS-TV.
- February 28 – The first basketball game is televised, from Madison Square Garden; Fordham University vs the University of Pittsburgh.
- March 10 – The Metropolitan Opera broadcast for the first time from NBC studios at Rockefeller Center an abridged performance of the first act of Pagliacci, along with excerpts from four other operas.
- March 15 – RCA reduces the price of television sets.
- May 21 – Bell Telephone Laboratories transmits a 441-line video signal, with a bandwidth of 2.7 MHz, by coaxial cable from New York to Philadelphia and back.
- June – W2XBS in New York (NBC) covers the Republican National Convention from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 33 hours, during a five-day period. The signal is transmitted via coaxial cable.
- August 29 – Peter Carl Goldmark of CBS announces his invention of a color television system.
- September 3 – CBS resumes its television transmissions with the first demonstration of high definition color TV, by W2XAB, transmitting from the Chrysler Building.
- January 19 – Mike Reid, English actor and comedian (died 2007)
- January 22 – John Hurt, English actor
- January 27 – James Cromwell, actor
- February 2 – David Jason, English actor
- February 12 – Ralph Bates, English actor (died 1991)
- February 22 – Judy Cornwell, English actress
- February 27 – Howard Hesseman, actor
- March 7 – Daniel J. Travanti, actor
- March 8 – Susan Clark, actress
- March 10 – Chuck Norris, actor
- April 17 – Chuck Menville, American television animator and writer (died 1992)
- May 5 – Lance Henriksen, actor
- June 1 – Rene Auberjonois, actor
- June 20 – John Mahoney, English-born actor
- June 21 – Mariette Hartley, actress
- July 13 – Patrick Stewart, English actor
- July 18 – James Brolin, actor
- July 22 – Alex Trebek, game show host, Jeopardy!
- August 3 – Martin Sheen, actor
- August 19 – Jill St. John, actress
- August 22 – Valerie Harper, actress
- September 5 – Raquel Welch, actress
- September 12 – Linda Gray, actress
- October 19 – Michael Gambon, Irish-born British actor
- December 11 – Donna Mills, actress