List of years in television
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- 1900: The word "television" is coined by Constantin Perskyi at the First International Electricity Congress in Paris, part of the International World Fair
- 1907: Boris Rosing transmits silhouette images of geometric shapes, using a Nipkow disk, mirror-drum, and a cathode ray tube receiver.
- 1908: In a letter to Nature, A.A. Campbell-Swinton describes the modern electronic camera and display system which others are to develop throughout the 1920s.
- 1923: Vladimir Zworykin patents the "iconoscope", the first ancestor of the electric scanning television camera.
- 1925: On October 2, John Logie Baird achieves transmission and remote display of the first television pictures in his laboratory.
- 1926: On January 26, Baird gives the first public demonstration of mechanical television to members of the Royal Institution. This is generally regarded as the world's first public demonstration of a true television set.
- 1927: Baird demonstrates the first ever system for recording television. His Phonovision system records pictures and sound on conventional 78rpm gramophone records. On January 1 British Broadcasting Corporation receives a royal charter, the American network NBC is founded. On April 7 Bell Telephone Company transmits a speech by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover 320 kilometers over telephone lines, which becomes the first successful long distance demonstration of television.
- 1928: Baird demonstrates a mechanical color television system. On May 28, the first television station, W2XB (forerunner to WRGB), begins broadcasting mechanical television in Schenectady, New York. Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is founded.
- 1929: In September, the Baird Television Development Company begins experimental broadcasting in association with the BBC. Regular experimental broadcasting started in Germany by the TV Station Paul Nipkow.
- 1930: Baird installs a television at 10 Downing Street, London, the British Prime Minister's residence. On July 14, Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and his family use it to watch the first ever television drama, The Man with the Flower in His Mouth.
- 1931: Allen B. DuMont perfects long-lasting reliable cathode ray tubes later used for television reception. TV reaches the Soviet Union and France.
- 1932: The BBC starts a regular public television broadcasting service in the UK.
- 1933: The first television revue, Looking In, is broadcast on the BBC. The musical revue featured the Paramount Astoria dancing girls. Broadcast live by the BBC using John Logie Baird's 30-line mechanical television system, part of this performance was recorded onto a 7" aluminum disc using a primitive home recording process called Silvatone. This footage, which runs to just under four minutes, is the oldest surviving recording of broadcast television.
- 1934: Philo Farnsworth demonstrates a non-mechanical television system. The agreement for joint experimental transmissions by the BBC and John Logie Baird's company comes to an end. First 30 Line Mechanical Television Test Transmissions commence in April in Brisbane Australia conducted by Thomas Elliott and Dr Val McDowall.
- 1935: First regular scheduled TV broadcasts in Germany by the TV Station Paul Nipkow. The final transmissions of John Logie Baird's 30-line television system are broadcast by the BBC. First TV broadcasts in France on February 13 on Paris PTT Vision.
- 1936: The 1936 Summer Olympics becomes the first Olympic Games to be broadcast on television
- 1937: The BBC Television Service broadcasts the world's first televised Shakespeare play, a thirty-minute version of Twelfth Night, and the first football match, Arsenal F.C. vs. Arsenal reserves.
- 1938: DuMont Laboratories manufactures and sells the first all-electronic television sets to the public. Baird gives the first public demonstration of color projection television. The BBC broadcasts the world's first ever television science fiction (R.U.R.), and television crime series (Telecrime); in one of the lengthiest experimental television broadcasts, the BBC broadcasts a 90-minute version of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Leslie Banks, Constance Cummings, and James Mason
- 1939: The BBC suspends its television service owing to the outbreak of the Second World War. Broadcasts from 1939 New York World's Fair. Japan is the first Asian country to air television.
- 1940: the American Federal Communications Commission holds public hearings on television
- 1941: First television advertisements aired. The first official, paid television advertisement was broadcast in the United States on July 1, 1941 over New York station WNBT (now WNBC) before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The announcement was for Bulova watches.
- 1942: FCC terminates all American television broadcasting because of the war; DuMont petitions FCC to resume broadcasting and receives approval
- 1943: Hänsel und Gretel is the first complete opera to be broadcast on television, but only in New York; first (experimental) telecast of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Many more telecasts of the story will follow in later years, but until film begins to be used on television, no two of the television versions of the story will have the same casts
- 1944: American Broadcasting Company (ABC) formed
- 1945: National Broadcasting Company (NBC) begins the first regularly scheduled television network service in the United States
- 1946: RCA demonstrates all-electronic color television system; the DuMont Television Network begins broadcasting
- 1947: First broadcast of Howdy Doody, Kraft Television Theatre, Meet the Press; the World Series is broadcast live for the first time; the 1947 Tournament of Roses Parade becomes the very first parade ever televised;
- 1948: First broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show, Texaco Star Theater,
- 1949: First broadcast of Come Dancing, The Lone Ranger, Crusader Rabbit and Mama; the first Emmy Awards are given
- 1950: First broadcast of Broadway Open House, Your Show of Shows, Sua vida me pertence and What's My Line?; Cuba is the first Caribbean country to receive TV; Brazil is the first South American country to receive TV; Nielsen Media Research begins to provide television ratings data; The Jack Benny Program moves from radio to TV; Bob Hope appears in his first TV special
- 1951: The first broadcast of live United States transcontinental television takes place in San Francisco, California from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference. First broadcast of I Love Lucy, See It Now, Dragnet, the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life, and The Roy Rogers Show
- 1952: First broadcast of Today (NBC), Omnibus, and Flower Pot Men; Hockey Night in Canada and The Guiding Light move from radio to TV
- 1953: First broadcast of Panorama; the coronation of Elizabeth II is the first of its kind to be broadcast on television
- 1954: First broadcast of The Tonight Show, Father Knows Best, Disneyland and Lassie; NTSC video standard for color television is introduced, and National Educational Television (NET) is launched
- 1955: First broadcast of The Honeymooners, The Mickey Mouse Club, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Captain Kangaroo; ITV launches in the UK, Sunday Night at the London Palladium first broadcast
- 1956: First broadcast of The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, The Price Is Right, Playhouse 90, the Eurovision Song Contest, Hancock's Half Hour
- 1957: First broadcast of Perry Mason, Have Gun — Will Travel, Leave It to Beaver, Senda prohibida and Carosello
- 1958: First broadcast of Blue Peter, Quatermass and the Pit, The Donna Reed Show, Moonlight Mask, and The Huckleberry Hound Show; the quiz show scandals wipe out The $64,000 Question and Twenty One
- 1959: First broadcast of Telejornal (main news broadcast of Portugal's public television, still running to this day), The Twilight Zone, Rocky and His Friends, The Untouchables and Bonanza (which runs for fourteen years)
- 1960: First broadcast of The Andy Griffith Show, The Flintstones, and Coronation Street; American presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debate live on television
- 1961: First broadcast of The Avengers, The Defenders, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Morecambe and Wise Show and Car 54, Where Are You?
- 1962: First broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Steptoe and Son, The Jetsons, University Challenge, Elgar, That Was The Week That Was, The Late Late Show (Ireland) and Sábado Gigante; first satellite television relayed by Telstar
- 1963: First broadcast of General Hospital, The Fugitive, The Outer Limits and Doctor Who
- 1964: First broadcast of Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, Bewitched, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Addams Family, Top of the Pops, Match of the Day, Jeopardy!, Jonny Quest, and the Up series. The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show
- 1965: First broadcast of Days of Our Lives, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, Till Death Us Do Part, Des chiffres et des lettres, Thunderbirds, Tomorrow's World, The Magic Roundabout and The War Game; Nigeria is the first African country to receive TV
- 1966: First broadcast of Star Trek, Batman (the live-action TV series), The Monkees, Dark Shadows, Ultra Series, That Girl, Cathy Come Home and Mission: Impossible
- 1967: First broadcast of The Carol Burnett Show, The Prisoner, The Flying Nun, The Phil Donahue Show, Ambassador Magma; PAL and SECAM colour standards introduced in Europe, with BBC2 making their first colour broadcasts
- 1968: First broadcast of 60 Minutes, One Life to Live, Dad's Army, Julia, Columbo, Elvis, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Hawaii Five-O, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and Adam-12
- 1969: First broadcast of Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, On the Buses, The Brady Bunch, Clangers, Nu, pogodi! and Monty Python's Flying Circus; Apollo 11 Moon landing broadcast live worldwide; completion of Fernsehturm Berlin
- 1970: First broadcast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, "The Odd Couple", Monday Night Football, All My Children; PBS is launched
- 1971: First broadcast of All in the Family, Kamen Rider, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Chespirito, Parkinson
- 1972: first broadcast of M*A*S*H, Emmerdale, Mastermind, Kamiondžije, El Chavo, El Chapulín Colorado, The Bob Newhart Show, Great Performances, and Maude
- 1973: First broadcast of The Ascent of Man, Moonbase 3, The Young and the Restless, An American Family, The Wombles, Ein Herz und eine Seele, Seventeen Moments of Spring, Last of the Summer Wine and The World at War
- 1974: First broadcast of Chico and the Man, Derrick, Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, Police Woman, Porridge, Rhoda, Good Times, The Rockford Files, and Tiswas; Richard M. Nixon announces his resignation on live television
- 1975: First broadcast of Starsky & Hutch, Baretta, Barney Miller, Fawlty Towers, Good Morning America, One Day at a Time, Saturday Night Live, Super Sentai, Space: 1999, The Jeffersons, The Naked Civil Servant, Paddington Bear, Welcome Back, Kotter, Wheel of Fortune, Wonder Woman; Sony introduces the Betamax home video tape recorder
- 1976: First broadcast of The Muppet Show, I, Claudius, Grlom u jagode, Loriot, Quincy, M.E., Austin City Limits, Charlie's Angels, Family Feud, Laverne and Shirley and Nuts in May; videocassette recorders go on sale; completion of CN Tower
- 1977: First broadcast of Abigail's Party, CHiPs, Eight Is Enough, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, Roots, Soap, Lou Grant, Hungarian Folktales, Three's Company, and Top Gear; Live from the Met
- 1978: First broadcast of An Ordinary Miracle, The All New Popeye Hour, Abarembo Shogun, Battlestar Galactica, Dallas, Diff'rent Strokes, Fantasy Island, Grange Hill, Matador, Mork & Mindy, Pennies from Heaven, Taxi, Future Boy Conan, Deeply Regretted By...
- 1979: First broadcast of Benson, Blue Remembered Hills, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Hart to Hart, Knots Landing, Life on Earth, Los Ricos También Lloran, Real People, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Facts of Life, You Can't Do That on Television, The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed, The Very Same Munchhausen, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Arabela; ESPN and Nickelodeon launched
- 1980: First broadcast of Berlin Alexanderplatz, Magnum PI, Nightline, Vruć vetar, Strumpet City and Yes Minister; Cable News Network (CNN) launched
- 1981: First broadcast of The Smurfs, Hill Street Blues, Urusei Yatsura, Wetten, dass..?, Danger Mouse, Dynasty, Postman Pat, Falcon Crest, Only Fools and Horses and Brideshead Revisited; MTV launched; hundreds of millions watch Prince Charles marry Diana Spencer
- 1982: First broadcast of Remington Steele, Countdown, Cheers, Knight Rider, Family Ties, Brookside, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Chiquilladas, Boys from the Blackstuff, Newhart and St. Elsewhere; Channel 4 (UK) and The Weather Channel launched
- 1983: First broadcast of The A-Team, The Day After, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Oshin, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Reading Rainbow, Press Your Luck, The Joy of Painting, An Englishman Abroad, Blackadder and Terrahawks; Disney Channel launched
- 1984: First broadcast of Airwolf, Blue Thunder, Murder, She Wrote, Miami Vice, Top lista nadrealista, The Cosby Show, Transformers, Night Court, Tales from the Darkside, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, La piovra, Santa Barbara, Heimat and The Jewel in the Crown; A&E and Canal+ launched
- 1985: First broadcast of MacGyver, Growing Pains, ThunderCats, Neighbours, Mr. Belvedere, Larry King Live, Edge of Darkness, EastEnders, The Golden Girls; the Discovery Channel is established; first WrestleMania event
- 1986: First broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Perfect Strangers, Double Dare, Designing Women, Malgudi Days, Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, Dragon Ball, Vasko de Gama from Rupcha Village, Casualty, Alternatywy 4, Saint Seiya, The Singing Detective and Pingu; the Fox Broadcasting Company is launched
- 1987: First broadcast of Full House, DuckTales, Headbangers Ball, Thirtysomething, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ramayan, Fireman Sam, Inspector Morse, The Bold and the Beautiful, Married... with Children, Star Trek: The Next Generation and 21 Jump Street (TV series)
- 1988: First broadcast of Roseanne, Mystery Science Theater 3000, In the Heat of the Night, Murphy Brown, Yo! MTV Raps, Garfield and Friends, America's Most Wanted, The Wonder Years and Mahabharat; TNT (Turner Network Television) is launched; first LCD televisions go on sale; a writers' strike disrupts U.S. television for five months
- 1989: First broadcast of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Baywatch, Seinfeld, Saved By The Bell, American Gladiators, Dekalog, Wallace and Gromit, Hey Dude, Red Dwarf, America's Funniest Home Videos, Quantum Leap, COPS, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Shining Time Station, Family Matters, The Simpsons, Coach, Inside Edition; CNBC and Eurosport launched
- 1990: First broadcast of TaleSpin, Beverly Hills, 90210, In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Wings, Law & Order, Tiny Toon Adventures, Twin Peaks, Bobby's World, Mr. Bean and Northern Exposure
- 1991: First broadcast of Home Improvement, Darkwing Duck, Step By Step, Nummer 28, Super Mario World, The Julekalender, Æon Flux, Doug, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, The Jerry Springer Show
- 1992: First broadcast of The Larry Sanders Show, Mad About You, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Batman: The Animated Series, Barney & Friends, Martin, The Real World, Cha Cha Cha, YuYu Hakusho, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Melrose Place, X-Men: The Animated Series and Absolutely Fabulous; Cartoon Network launched
- 1993: First broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman, Animaniacs, Beavis and Butt-head, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, WWE Monday Night Raw, Walker, Texas Ranger, Boy Meets World, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Cracker, The X-Files, seaQuest DSV, The Nanny, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog and Frasier
- 1994: First broadcast of Friends, Party of Five, The Kingdom, Babylon 5, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, The Tick, ER, All That and Gullah Gullah Island; Turner Classic Movies is launched. Several TV stations in the US switch their affiliates until 1996.
- 1995: First broadcast of Father Ted, NileCity 105,6, Star Trek: Voyager, The Wayans Bros., WCW Monday Nitro, Road Rules, The Drew Carey Show, JAG, El y Ella, Sevcec and O. J. Simpson murder trial televised; The History Channel launched
- 1996: First broadcast of Jamais deux sans toi...t, Percy tårar, Detective Conan, The Crocodile Hunter, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Blues Clues, Hey Arnold!, Spin City, Arthur, Dexter's Laboratory, Our Friends in the North; first high-definition television broadcasts; Al Jazeera launched; first DVDs and DVD players go on sale
- 1997: First broadcast of Pokémon, Fóstbræður, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Un gars, une fille, King of the Hill, South Park, Teletubbies, Alles Kan Beter, Daria, I'm Alan Partridge; first plasma televisions on sale
- 1998: First broadcast of Dawson's Creek, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Will & Grace, Charmed, One Piece, Bob The Builder, The Powerpuff Girls, Cowboy Bebop, That '70s Show, Sex and the City, The Royle Family and The King of Queens; Kingston Communications launches the first major video-on-demand service.
- 1999: First broadcast of The Sopranos, Family Guy, SpongeBob SquarePants, Futurama, The West Wing, Digimon: Digital Monsters, Ed, Edd n Eddy, The Amanda Show, Big Brother (Netherlands), Walking with Dinosaurs, Yo soy Betty, la fea, Freaks and Geeks, Trick, Angel; first digital video recorders go on sale
- 2000: First broadcast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Malcolm in the Middle, Survivor, Jackass, Da Ali G Show, 106 & Park, Dora The Explorer, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Gilmore Girls and As Told By Ginger
- 2001: First broadcast of 24, Scrubs, Band of Brothers, The Secret Life of Us, Fear Factor, The Fairly Odd Parents, The Office (UK), Samurai Jack, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Lizzie McGuire, How It's Made, Smallville and Six Feet Under
- 2002: First broadcast of American Idol, CSI: Miami, The Shield, City of Men, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Madventures, Firefly, 100 Greatest Britons, Winter Sonata, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, George Lopez, The Wire and Naruto
- 2003: First broadcast of Two and a Half Men, One Tree Hill, The O.C., That's So Raven, Teen Titans, Mythbusters, Dae Jang Geum, NCIS, All In, Little Britain, Peep Show, Arrested Development, Los Serrano, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Venture Bros.
- 2004: First broadcast of Bleach, Desperate Housewives, Battlestar Galactica, Hassan and Habibah, Peppa Pig, Drake & Josh, Super Girl, Drawn Together, Veronica Mars, House, Strictly Come Dancing, Doc Martin, Lost, The X Factor; Euro1080 launches the first high-definition television broadcast
- 2005: First broadcast of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Grey's Anatomy, Spiral, Noghtechin, Dancing with the Stars, Ben 10, My Name is Earl, The Closer, So You Think You Can Dance, The Graham Norton Show, Bones, The Colbert Report, Robot Chicken, American Dad!, Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds, Deal or No Deal, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Apprentice (UK), Supernatural, My Lovely Sam Soon, Sto Para Pente, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf and Doctor Who returns to Television.
- 2006: First broadcast of Türkisch für Anfänger, Planet Earth, Jumong, Heroes, Psych, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Hannah Montana, Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe, Code Geass, 30 Rock, and High School Musical; the Netherlands is the first country to move to digital television; France 24 launched; HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc launched
- 2007: First broadcast of The Big Bang Theory, Britain's Got Talent, Chowder, Shaun the Sheep, In the Night Garden, Gossip Girl, iCarly, Burn Notice, Wizards of Waverly Place, Golden Bride, Phineas and Ferb, The Killing, Mad Men, and Damages; a writers' strike shuts down US scripted programming in November.
- 2008: First broadcast of Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Total Drama, Wipeout, True Blood, Fringe, Dead Set, Underbelly, The Inbetweeners, Radio Arvyla and 19 Kids and Counting; first 3D TV broadcasts; the historical miniseries John Adams premieres on HBO and wins a record thirteen Emmys
- 2009: First broadcast of Pawn Stars, Cake Boss, Tosh.0, Jersey Shore, Castle, Horrible Histories, Modern Family, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Parenthood, Cougar Town, The Middle, Glee, and Misfits
- 2010: First broadcast of Adventure Time, Glass Home, Borgen, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Solsidan, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Boardwalk Empire, Mike & Molly, Treme, Regular Show, Good Luck Charlie, The Walking Dead, Blue Bloods, The Voice
- 2011: First broadcast of Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Bob's Burgers, Leyla ile Mecnun, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, The Amazing World of Gumball, Austin & Ally, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Suits, 2 Broke Girls, New Girl, Homeland
- 2012: First broadcast of Duck Dynasty, Satyamev Jayate, Girls, Nashville, Državni posao, Call the Midwife, Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States, Arrow, Omar, The Legend of Korra, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Gravity Falls, Sofia the First, Kitchen
- 2013: First broadcast of Rick and Morty, Steven Universe, Peaky Blinders, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Following, House of Cards (which debuts on Netflix rather than cable or commercial), Teen Titans Go!, Bates Motel, Broadchurch, Gogglebox, Hannibal, Vikings, Orange is the New Black, Liv and Maddie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- 2014: First broadcast of The Flash, True Detective, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Fargo, Gotham, Gomorrah, Lucha Underground, Chrisley Knows Best, Girl Meets World
- 2015: First broadcast of Better Call Saul, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Danger Mouse (2015), Empire, Narcos, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Daredevil, Scream Queens, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Poldark, Supergirl, Mr. Robot, Deutschland 83, Lip Sync Battle, Superstore; Super Bowl XLIX breaks the record for most-watched program in the history of American television; Mayweather–Pacquiao boxing match is history's biggest pay-per-view fight; ten are killed during a helicopter crash during filming of reality series Dropped
- 2016: First broadcast of The Night Of, Stranger Things, The Loud House, War & Peace, Mann Mayal, American Crime Story, Milo Murphy's Law, Westworld
- 2017: First broadcast of American Gods, Star Trek: Discovery, Big Little Lies, A Series of Unfortunate Events