1972 in television

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List of years in television (table)
In home video

The year 1972 involved some significant events in television. Below is a list of notable television-related events.

For the American TV schedule, see: 1972–73 United States network television schedule.


  • January 3 – Show Boat is aired for the first time on network television, on NBC
  • January 21 – The first convention of Star Trek fans is held in New York City's Statler-Hilton hotel
  • Mid-February – John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-host an entire week on The Mike Douglas Show
  • February 19 – Sammy Davis Jr. makes a guest appearance on All in the Family
  • March 18 – After losing a 15-year court battle over the legality of its business relationship with The Herald-Traveler, CBS' Boston, Massachusetts affiliate WHDH-TV Channel 5 signs off the air. At 3 a.m. on March 19, WCVB takes over the Channel 5 frequency, simultaneously switching affiliations to the ABC network following CBS' loss of interest in the channel during the long legal wrangle.
  • April 4 – After a three-year courtship, Emily Nugent married Ernest Bishop on Coronation Street.
  • May – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson permanently relocates its production from New York City to the NBC studios in Burbank, California. (The Tonight Show would remain there until relocating back to New York in February 2014)
  • July 21 – Victoria Wyndham makes her first appearance as vixen (and later, good girl) Rachel Davis on the soap opera Another World.
  • August 1 – Three years after it was first filmed, the Israel Broadcasting Authority finally agrees to screen Barricades, a controversial documentary film that offered a sympathetic portrayal of Palestinians expelled from their homes in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • August 26 – Effective with this issue, TV Guide discontinues the practice of using a "C" to indicate color programs, and instead starts using a "BW" for monochrome, saving a lot of printer's ink in the process. At the time about half of the TV households in the U.S. had color sets.
  • September 9 – The Lawrence Welk Show opens its 18th season on location in Hawaii.
  • September 13 - The Julie Andrews Hour premieres on ABC. Even though its ratings are low and it only lasts a single season, it garners excellent reviews and wins seven Emmy Awards including Best Musical Variety Series.
  • October 27 – The 5000th episode of Captain Kangaroo airs.
  • November 8 – Home Box Office (HBO) is launched, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
  • November 21 – In the second part of a two-part story which began the previous week, Beatrice Arthur's character, Maude Findlay, on the television sitcom Maude, decides to go through with an abortion, in a move that shocked CBS executives and Maude advertisers. (Rue McClanahan made her first appearance as Vivian Cavender in this two-parter; she would become a regular cast member the following season.)
  • December 31 – ORTF 3ème Chaîne launches in France for the first time.


Television shows[edit]





Programs ending[edit]

Date Show Debut
March 1 The Courtship of Eddie's Father (US) 1969
March 10 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury 1971
March 25 Bewitched (US) 1964
March 31 Bright Promise (US) 1969
The Return of Ultraman (Japan) 1971
April 6 My Three Sons (US) 1960
April 27 Me and the Chimp (US) 1972
August 14 Doomwatch (UK) 1970
August 23 The Super (US) 1972
November 10 Clangers (UK) 1969
November 29 Kate (UK) 1970


Date Name Notability
January 11 Amanda Peet Actress (Jack & Jill)
January 13 Nicole Eggert Actress (Charles in Charge)
January 27 Nic Testoni Actor (Home and Away)
March 6 Shaquille O'Neal Basketball player, actor (Shaq Vs.)
April 3 Jennie Garth Actress (Beverly Hills, 90210)
April 6 Jason Hervey Actor (The Wonder Years)
April 20 Carmen Electra Actress (Baywatch)
May 2 Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock") Professional wrestler (WWE) and actor
May 20 Busta Rhymes Rapper, actor (The Boondocks)
June 2 Wayne Brady Actor (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), host (Let's Make a Deal)
June 23 Selma Blair Actress (Anger Management)
July 23 Marlon Wayans Actor (The Wayans Bros.)
July 28 Elizabeth Berkley Actress (Saved by the Bell)
July 29 Wil Wheaton Actor (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
August 9 Liz Vassey Actress (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
August 10 Angie Harmon American actress (Law & Order)
August 30 Cameron Diaz Actress (Saturday Night Live)
October 5 Grant Hill Basketball player
November 14 Josh Duhamel Actor (Las Vegas)
December 19 Alyssa Milano Actress (Charmed)


Date Name Age Notability
January 16 Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. 52 Composer, creator of (The Alvin Show)
May 12 Steve Ihnat 37 Actor (Star Trek)
May 13 Dan Blocker 43 Actor (Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza)