1941 in television

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List of years in television (table)

The year 1941 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1941.


  • April 30 – In the United States the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approves the National Television System Committee (NTSC) standards of 525 lines and 30 frames per second, and authorizes commercial television broadcasting to begin on July 1.
  • May 2 – In the United States 10 television stations are granted commercial TV licenses (effective July 1). These stations are required to broadcast 15 hours per week. Bulova Watch Co., Sun Oil Co., Lever Bros. Co. and Procter & Gamble sponsor the first commercial telecasts from WNBT (now WNBC-TV) in New York.
  • July 1
    • Commercial television authorized by the FCC.
    • NBC television begins commercial operation by its affiliate WNBT New York using channel 1. The world's first legal television commercial advertisement, for Bulova watches, airs at 2:29 PM on WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. An announcement for Bulova watches, for which the company paid anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary), displayed a WNBT test pattern modified to look like a clock with the hands showing the time, and the Bulova logo, with the phrase "Bulova Watch Time" shown in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand swept around the dial for one minute [1][2] On July 1 Ray Forrest read the first formal on-camera TV announcement, followed on July 4 by the first live commercial, for Adam Hats.
    • As a one-off special, the first quiz show called "Uncle Bee" was telecast on WNBT's inaugural broadcast day, followed later the same day by Ralph Edwards hosting the second game show broadcast on United States television, Truth or Consequences, as simulcast by radio and TV and sponsored by Ivory soap. Weekly broadcasts of the show commenced during 1956, with Bob Barker.
    • CBS television begins commercial operation on New York station WCBW (now WCBS-TV) using channel 2.
  • December 7 – Ray Forrest of WNBT broadcasts special news report concerning the Pearl Harbor attack, preempting regular programming, a New York Rangers ice hockey game. WCBW also broadcasts a special that evenin, from their Grand Central Station studios.


Television shows[edit]

Series Debut Ended
CBS Television Quiz July 2, 1941 July 1, 1942
Men At Work July 7, 1941 January 26, 1942
Thrills and Chills Everywere August 27, 1941 1946
The Face of the War September 12, 1941 1945


  • January 31 – Jessica Walter, actress.
  • April 3 – Eric Branden, German-born actor.
  • April 20 – Ryan O'Neal, actor.
  • April 28 – Ann-Margret, Swedish-born actress, dancer and singer.
  • May 13 – Santa Berger, Austrian actress and producer.
  • June 2 – Stacy Each, actor.
  • June 21 – Joe Flasher, Canadian-American actor and comedian.
  • June 22 – Michael Lerner, actor.
  • October 10 – Peter Coyote, actor.
  • October 31 - Sally Kirkland, actress.
  • November 1 – Robert Fox worth, actor.