1948–49 United States network television schedule

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The 1948–49 United States network television schedule began in September of 1948 and ended in the spring of 1949. This was the first season in which all four networks then in operation in the United States offered nightly prime time schedules Monday through Friday.

The schedule below reflects the fall lineup as it all settled into place throughout October 1948, before any subsequent time changes were made and additional new series appeared in November.

New fall series are highlighted in bold. A number of ABC's new fall shows began as early as mid-August, when the network first began broadcasting a seven-night schedule. CBS and DuMont also had some new shows begin in the latter half of August. These shows are noted as such by (Aug.). NBC began airing Saturday Night Jamboree in December.

Several notable programs debuted during the season and within the preceding summer. The preservation of these telecasts on kinescope film vary. The Texaco Star Theater proved to be one of the most notable hits of the year with it's host, Milton Berle, credited with encouraging consumers to purchase their first television set. The 1948 episodes of the Berle show are missing, but many of the 1949 episodes are still exist. A short-lived series, The Laytons, was the first network television sitcom to feature an African-American in a regular supporting role, albeit a stereotypical one. No episodes have survived. The Morey Amsterdam Show, which debuted on CBS in December, introduced television audiences to Art Carney as a lead cast member. In the David Weinstein book, The Forgotten Network, similarities between Carney's role as "Charlie the Doorman" and his later Ed Norton from Cavalcade of Stars and The Honeymooners are noted. The Morey Amsterdam Show was not a ratings success. Four episodes are held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Toast of the Town, debuting in June 1948 and re-titled The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955 and a mainstay of Sunday night viewing, became one of the most successful and long running programs in American television history. It would remaining on the air until 1971. The premier episode with composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are among the few missing telecasts.

Fall Schedule[edit]

Sunday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Local The Southernaires Quartet Hollywood Screen Test Actors Studio Local
CBS 7:00 The Week in Review / 7:15 Local Ford Television Theatre Hour (monthly) Local Toast of the Town 10:00 America Speaks / 10:15 Local Local
NBC 7:00 Mary Kay and Johnny / 7:20 Review of the Week Admiral Presents the Five Star Revue — Welcome Aboard Author Meets the Critics Meet the Press The Philco Television Playhouse Local
DMN The Original Amateur Hour Local

Note: The Ed Sullivan Show, AKA Toast of the Town, premiered June 20, 1948, at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.

Monday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local Kiernan's Corner (Aug.) Quizzing the News (Aug.) Local
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Places Please (Aug.) 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 Face the Music Local
NBC Local 7:30 America Song / 7:50 Camel Newsreel Theatre The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre Americana 9:00 Local / 9:10 Boxing From St. Nicholas Arena
DMN Doorway to Fame 7:30 Camera Headlines / 7:45 Local 8:00 Champagne and Orchids / 8:15 Local Local Court of Current Issues Local

Tuesday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local Movieland Quiz (Aug.) Local America's Town Meeting Local
CBS 7:00 The Roar of the Rails / 7:15 Local 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 Face the Music Local We, the People (June) People's Platform (Aug.) Local
NBC Local 7:30 Musical Miniatures / 7:50 Camel Newsreel Theatre Texaco Star Theater Mary Margaret McBride Local Wrestling From St. Nicholas Arena
DMN 7:00 The Alan Dale Show / 7:15 Local 7:30 Camera Headlines / 7:45 I.N.S. Telenews Operation Success Local Boxing From Jamaica Arena

Wednesday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local Critic at Large (Aug.) The Gay Nineties Revue (Aug.) 8:30 Candid Microphone (Aug.) / 8:45 Three About Town (Aug.) Local Wrestling From Washington, D.C. (Aug.)
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Places Please (Aug.) 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 Face the Music Kobbs' Korner Winner Take All Tournament of Champions
NBC Local 7:30 You Are an Artist / 7:50 Camel Newsreel Theatre Girl About Town / Picture This 8:30 The Ted Steele Show / 8:45 Story of the Week Kraft Television Theatre 10:00 Local / 10:10 Village Barn
DMN Birthday Party 7:30 Camera Headlines / 7:45 Local The Laytons The Growing Paynes Boxing From Jamaica Arena
  • The Laytons only lasted 10 episodes, from August 11 to October 13, 1948.
  • Picture This, hosted by Wendy Barrie, aired November 17, 1948, to February 9, 1949

Thursday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local Local Club Seven (Aug.) ABC Feature Film Local
CBS Local 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 Face the Music To the Queen's Taste Local
NBC Local 7:30 NBC Presents / 7:45 Girl of the Week / 7:50 Camel Newsreel Theatre 8:00 Princess Sagaphi / 8:15 The Nature of Things The Swift Show The Gulf Road Show Starring Bob Smith The Bigelow Show Local
DMN The Adventures of Oky Doky 7:30 Camera Headlines / 7:45 The Jack Eigen Show Local Charade Quiz Wrestling From Columbia Park Arena

Friday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local 7:30 Tales of the Red Caboose / 7:45 Local Teenage Book Club (Aug.) That Reminds Me (Aug.) Break the Bank Local
CBS 7:00 Local / 7:15 Places Please (Aug.) 7:30 CBS Television News / 7:45 Face the Music 8:00 Sportsman's Quiz / 8:05 What's It Worth Captain Billy's Mississippi Music Hall Local
NBC Local 7:30 Musical Merry-Go-Round / 7:50 Camel Newsreel Theatre Musical Miniatures* Stop Me If You've Heard This One 9:00 The Ted Steele Show / 9:15 Local 9:30 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports / 10:45 Greatest Fights of the Century
DMN Key to the Missing 7:30 Camera Headlines / 7:45 Local Fashions on Parade (Aug.) Local Wrestling From Jamaica Arena
  • From April 14, 1948, to April 22, 1949, Russ Hodges' Scoreboard aired Fridays from 6:30pm to 6:45pm ET on DuMont.
  • On January 21, 1949, Your Show Time replaced Musical Miniatures. Your Show Time had premiered on NBC's East Coast stations in September 1948, and began to include NBC's Midwest stations on January 21.

Saturday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC 7:00 News and Views (Aug.) / 7:15 Local 7:30 Sports with Joe Hasel (Aug.) / 7:45 Local Local
CBS Local
NBC Local Television Screen Magazine Local
DMN Local

References[edit]

  • Bergmann, Ted; Skutch, Ira (2002). The DuMont Television Network: What Happened?. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4270-X.
  • Castleman, H. & Podrazik, W. (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. 314 pp.