List of years in television
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This page indexes the individual year in television pages. Each year is annotated with a significant event as a reference point.
- 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.
- 1928: Baird demonstrates a mechanical colour 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.
- 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.
- 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 TV broadcasts in Germany. 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 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
- 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, one of the first long-running color series, a children's show starring Buffalo Bob Smith and a marionette, a freckle-faced boy named Howdy Doody. It becomes a hit on NBC; Meet the Press, which becomes, as of 2014, the longest-running show on television, premieres, also on NBC; the World Series is broadcast live for the first time; on the DuMont Television Network, John Carradine stars as Scrooge in a presumably now-lost TV version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; then-unknown actress Eva Marie Saint makes an appearance on the program; the 1947 Tournament of Roses Parade becomes the very first parade ever televised; Kraft Television Theatre premieres.
- 1948: From now on, more people will begin buying television sets, and the schedule of television programs will grow larger. First broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show, on CBS. On NBC, Texaco Star Theater, starring Milton Berle, becomes television's first hit show in prime time; legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, at the age of eighty-one, conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra on television for the first time, in a concert of music by Richard Wagner; Verdi's Otello becomes the first opera telecast live from the stage of the old Metropolitan Opera House, on ABC-TV. (The old Met was torn down in 1966 and the opera company then moved to Lincoln Center.) The role of Otello is sung by the most famous interpreter of the role at that time, Ramon Vinay, who sang it on NBC radio with Toscanini conducting in 1947. Lasting more than three hours counting the intermissions, Otello is the longest opera telecast up to that time. That year, Toscanini also conducts the first complete performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ever telecast, on NBC; the first edition of Candid Camera premieres; it runs only two years; Philco Television Playhouse is the first long-running television anthology series to premiere, and among its offerings is the original television version of Marty, starring Rod Steiger in the role that Ernest Borgnine would later win an Oscar for; during the Christmas season it also telecasts a live adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, starring Dennis King as Scrooge; the anthology Studio One premieres on CBS-TV after years on radio and runs for years more : the original, televised Twelve Angry Men is shown on the program; part of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is telecast nationally for the first time; Perry Como's television variety show The Perry Como Chesterfield Supper Club premieres; the title of the show changes three times, but it runs successfully for the next nineteen years.
- 1949: First broadcast of Come Dancing, The Lone Ranger and Mama (the TV series based on I Remember Mama); the first Emmy Awards are given; on NBC, Arturo Toscanini conducts the first complete performance of Verdi's Aida ever given on television; it is a concert performance, without scenery or period costumes (just formal dress), and is the only opera Toscanini ever conducts on television. Given in two segments telecast a week apart, the production stars Herva Nelli and Richard Tucker. Heard simultaneously on radio, it marks the first and only simulcast of an opera conducted by Toscanini, and one of the first simulcasts ever heard; Harry S. Truman's inauguration is the first inauguration of a U.S. President to be telecast; Jose Ferrer, who starred in the full-length play on Broadway in 1946, makes his television debut in a live, one-hour version of Cyrano de Bergerac on NBC's Philco Television Playhouse; Ferrer will win an Oscar for playing the same role in the 1950 film version of the play; NBC Television Opera Theatre, which showcases both recent operas and abridged versions of established favorites, all sung in English, premieres and runs for fifteen years. One of its sopranos, Leontyne Price, is the first African American to sing opera on television and will go on to international fame when she begins to sing leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera years later; she will also star in the most-successful-to-that-time staging of Porgy and Bess, on a world tour from 1952 to 1956; on Philco Television Playhouse, celebrated actor-manager Walter Hampden becomes, at 69, the oldest actor to play Macbeth on TV, when he stars in a one-hour version of the play with Joyce Redman and Leo G. Carroll; all three make their U.S. television debuts with this program. A Christmas Carol, a half-hour, low-budget filmed version of the Dickens classic, makes its first television appearance. Starring Taylor Holmes as Scrooge and narrated by Vincent Price, it is the first made-for-TV version of the story shot on film.
- 1950: First broadcast of Broadway Open House, Musical Comedy Time (which showcases hourlong versions of classic Broadway musicals), Your Show of Shows, Sua vida me pertence and What's My Line?; Cuba is the first Caribbean country to receive TV; Mexico is the second North American 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; The Spirit of Christmas, a two-part marionette film combining 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Nativity Story, makes its debut in syndication. Made in color although not broadcast in color, the film features the narration of Alexander Scourby; Burns and Allen (George Burns and his wife Gracie Allen) bring their radio sitcom to television, where it is a success, runs eight years on CBS and then goes into rerun syndication. On a television series called Masterpiece Playhouse (not to be confused with Masterpiece Theatre), Shakespeare's Othello is telecast for the first time, in a one-hour version. White actor Torin Thatcher plays Othello in blackface, as nearly all actors do at that time.
- 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, and the Hallmark Hall of Fame, which runs intermittently for more than half a century – their premiere offering is the first opera written for television, Amahl and the Night Visitors, which will be broadcast annually by NBC during the Christmas season for the next fourteen years; the great British actor Ralph Richardson plays Scrooge on television for the first time in a live NBC production of A Christmas Carol; Sky King premieres on NBC and moves to ABC the next year, where it stays until 1954. It then goes into syndication for years; the Roy Rogers TV Show premieres on CBS and runs for six years, then goes into reruns for many more as a Saturday morning program.
- 1952: First broadcast of Today (NBC), Omnibus (no relation to the British series with the same name, and ultimately seen on several television networks), and Flower Pot Men; Hockey Night in Canada and The Guiding Light move from radio to TV; Arturo Toscanini conducts his last television concert; it features Beethoven's Fifth Symphony; NBC wins exclusive rights to telecast Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which it is still doing in 2013; Victory at Sea, a 26-episode documentary series about naval battles in World War II, with music by Richard Rodgers, premieres on NBC and runs for nearly a year; in a landslide win, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President of the United States; Ding Dong School, starring Frances Horwich, and nicknamed the "nursery school of the air", begins a four-year run on NBC. The hit show House Party. starring Art Linkletter, moves from radio, where it has been running since 1946, to CBS television, where it has an equally successful run lasting seventeen years. Superman, a new, live-action version of the comic strip, premieres on television. it runs for six years and some of its episodes are filmed in color, but the series does not survive the 1959 suicide of its leading man, George Reeves.
- 1953: First broadcast of Panorama; the coronation of Elizabeth II is the first of its kind to be broadcast on television; the first U.S. telecast of Hamlet takes place on NBC, starring actor Maurice Evans and running two hours; You Are There moves from radio to TV, now hosted by Walter Cronkite on CBS; the Academy Awards ceremony is telecast for the first time; Topper, a TV sitcom inspired by the 1937 film of the same name, premieres on CBS, with Leo G. Carroll, Robert Sterling, and Anne Jeffreys playing the roles made famous by Roland Young, Cary Grant, and Constance Bennett. It runs two years.
- 1954: First broadcast of The Tonight Show, Father Knows Best, and Lassie Walt Disney's television show begins airing on ABC in black-and-white, though many of the programs are made in color, the anthology Producers' Showcase, which features both adaptations of plays and musicals as well as documentaries, premieres in color on NBC and is telecast every three weeks: many classical music arists make their first network television appearance on this program; Face the Nation premieres and is still running sixty years later; NTSC video standard for color television is introduced, and National Educational Television (NET), the ancestor of PBS, is launched; the first filmed musical version of A Christmas Carol, starring Fredric March as Scrooge and Basil Rathbone as Marley's Ghost, airs in color on CBS's anthology, Shower of Stars; neither March nor Rathbone have ever acted on television; this is one of CBS's first color broadcasts. It will be repeated twice in later years. Leonard Bernstein appears on television for the first time, in a lecture on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony that is telecast on the program Omnibus. The lecture makes such an impact that it is still talked about more than fifty years later; Bernstein will make more appearances on Omnibus between 1954 and 1958; Lassie premieres and begins a nineteen-year run on television; its casts change over the years, but the basic premise does not; in a critical analysis telecast on See It Now, Edward R. Murrow demolishes the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy during his witchhunt for Communists in the US; the McCarthy hearings begin; Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson bring their famous Macbeth to television in a live Hallmark Hall of Fame production on NBC; the 1954 Tournament of Roses Parade becomes the first parade ever telecast in color; a live, somewhat revised version of Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland is telecast as a special. Art Linkletter's People are Funny comes to television from radio and runs six more years.
- 1955: First broadcast of The Honeymooners, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Gunsmoke, which becomes the longest-running TV Western ever made (nineteen years); ITV launches in the UK; Captain Kangaroo premieres on CBS and becomes the most successful network children's morning show until Sesame Street, running for twenty-nine years; the first live broadcast of the 1954 Broadway musical Peter Pan, with Mary Martin, is telecast on Producers' Showcase, becomes the highest rated television program up to then and is restaged live, by popular demand, less than a year later; Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty is telecast for the first time in a 90-minute version on Producers Showcase that stars Margot Fonteyn; Famous Film Festival shows commercial network telecasts of British films on U.S. TV, but many are either severely cut or divided into two segments; the series lasts only one season; the first incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club premieres on ABC daytime TV; it makes Annette Funicello famous; Jose Ferrer reprises his Tony and Oscar-winning role as Cyrano de Bergerac in a 90-minute live version of the play on NBC's Producers' Showcase, with Claire Bloom as Roxane; Frank Sinatra stars in a musical version of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, presented on Producers' Showcase. CBS's anthology Camera Three telecasts a one-hour version of Shakespeare's Othello with African-American actor Earle Hyman in the title role. MGM Parade premieres on ABC; it is the first television series to show clips and behind-the-scenes stories of MGM's old films. Among their offerings is a condensed version of the 1938 film version of "A Christmas Carol". The series runs for only one season.
- 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 and MGM's 1939 theatrical film The Wizard of Oz, the first Hollywood film to be telecast uncut over an entire network (CBS) in prime time. The original, live-action version of The Stingiest Man in Town is telecast live during the Christmas season. Basil Rathbone stars in his only singing role, this time as Scrooge; Laurence Olivier's two-and-a-half hour Hamlet (1948) makes its television debut on ABC, split into two segments telecast a week apart; a slightly edited version of Olivier's Richard III (1955) makes its television debut in what was a novel experiment for the time: on the same day that it is telecast, the film makes its U.S. theatrical debut; the Huntley-Brinkley Report, a newscast featuring two anchormen, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, premieres on NBC and becomes the most popular evening newscast for the next seven years; the DuMont Television Network goes off the air; The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, a variety series, premieres on NBC and runs seven years; in another landslide win, Eisenhower is re-elected U.S. President, defeating Adlai Stevenson, who first ran against him in 1952, a second time.
- 1957: First broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, on CBS, the made-for-TV film musical The Pied Piper of Hamelin on NBC, Perry Mason, Have Gun — Will Travel, Leave It to Beaver, Senda prohibida and Carosello; Arturo Toscanini dies; a one-hour production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker on the CBS program The Seven Lively Arts is the first version of the ballet to be telecast; Producer's Showcase telecasts a two-hour version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with the Old Vic company; Claire Bloom plays Juliet and John Neville is Romeo;The Twentieth Century, a weekly, half-hour documentary series which concentrates on important world subjects and consists largely of old newsreel footage, premieres on CBS, hosted by Walter Cronkite. It runs for nine years; two years after opening on Broadway, Jean Anouilh's Joan of Arc play The Lark comes to television on the Hallmark Hall of Fame with its original star, Julie Harris.
- 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; the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts, with Leonard Bernstein, begin to air on CBS Television. Three or four Young People's Concerts a year are given, all on CBS, for the next fourteen years, becoming television's first long-running educational series on classical music; Laurence Olivier makes his television debut starring in a production of Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman; in a casting coup, Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison reprise their 1948 Broadway roles in a Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Kiss Me, Kate; the most complete version of The Nutcracker telecast up to then is staged in color on Playhouse 90; it is the George Balanchine version, with Bonnie Bedelia in an early role as Clara. At the same time, a British production with the Sadler's Wells Ballet is telecast in England, starring Margot Fonteyn; the syndicated series about a scuba driver, Sea Hunt, premieres and is a smash hit; it turns Lloyd Bridges into a television star; the original Concentration premieres on NBC and become the longest running game show on that network, running fifteen years. Other versions of the game appear in later years; Shirley Temple's Storybook, an anthology series hosted by Temple, and sometimes starring her, premieres on NBC. The series presents one-hour versions of classic fantasies, adventure stories, and in one case, an operetta (Babes in Toyland), all featuring stars such as Charlton Heston, John Raitt, Eric Portman, Agnes Moorehead, Jonathan Winters. It stays on NBC one year, then moves to ABC.
- 1959: First broadcast of The Twilight Zone, Rocky and His Friends, The Untouchables and Bonanza (which runs for fourteen years); The Wizard of Oz is rebroadcast for the first time since 1956 and its annual telecasts begin; The Bell Telephone Hour moves from radio to TV; John Gielgud makes his television debut in an adaptation of The Browning Version, telecast on CBS; Art Carney portrays the Stage Manager in a nearly complete television production of the original non-musical version of Our Town, on NBC; the sitcom Dennis the Menace, the first-ever dramatized version of the comic strip with live actors, premieres on CBS; reruns of Sky King begin to air on CBS, and broadcasts of the show end in 1966; the Western series Rawhide premieres on CBS, starring Eric Fleming and introducing television audiences to Clint Eastwood; it runs for six years.
- 1960: First broadcast of The Andy Griffith Show, The Flintstones, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Coronation Street; American presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debate live on television, Mary Martin as Peter Pan returns to television as a standalone special on NBC and this time the production is videotaped, allowing for future telecasts without having to be restaged; the second and most famous edition of Candid Camera premieres and is a huge hit; a British version also premieres; several other versions of the show are ultimately seen; a new production of the Maurice Evans-Judith Anderson Macbeth is telecast on the Hallmark Hall of Fame; this one is filmed in color on location in Scotland, features a new, all-British supporting cast, and is shown in movie theatres in Europe; Howdy Doody goes off the air; The Blue Angels premieres in syndication and runs for one season; John F. Kennedy is elected U.S. President. Shirley Temple's Storybook moves back to NBC, begins broadcasting in color, and is renamed The Shirley Temple Show. It is canceled when Walt Disney moves his television anthology from ABC to NBC.
- 1961: First broadcast of The Avengers, The Defenders and The Morecambe and Wise Show; Sea Hunt is canceled despite its success, but reruns will keep it popular; Walt Disney moves his television anthology from ABC to NBC and begins broadcasting in color, the launching of the first American into outer space is covered by NBC, ABC, and CBS. NBC Saturday Night at the Movies becomes the first U.S. network anthology series to weekly telecast relatively recent, mostly widescreen, Hollywood films in primetime in one evening, and most of them are in color; the fact that they are in widescreen involves much pan-and-scanning of most of the films; letterboxing had not been invented yet. The program runs for years and is highly successful and influential, and by the late 1960s there are prime time network telecasts of mostly complete widescreen films every night of the week, all of them pan-and-scanned. The long-running game show Password premieres, starring Allen Ludden, who is married to Betty White. Ludden passes away from cancer during the show's run.
- 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; ABC broadcasts their first series in color; first satellite television relayed by Telstar; The Merv Griffin Show premieres on daytime TV and is one of the first long-running daytime talk shows; President John F. Kennedy goes on TV to tell the nation that there are Russian missile sites in Cuba and the Cuban Missile Crisis begins; the first concert telecast from the recently completed Lincoln Center takes place; the CBS Evening News, now headed by Walter Cronkite, who replaces Douglas Edwards, quickly becomes the nation's leading network newscast; Cronkite is eventually declared "the most trusted man in America"; a two-hour version of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is now being shown; Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, an animated, semi-comic musical version of Dickens's story starring Mr. Magoo as Scrooge, is first telecast by NBC and becomes, for a few years, an annual tradition. It is the first animated cartoon special with a Christmas theme produced specifically for television; Judy Garland stars, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, in the first of two variety specials for CBS; the second special airs in 1963; after being a summer replacement series in 1959, The Andy Williams Show premieres as a weekly, year-round variety program on NBC; the daytime children's science series Discovery premieres on ABC-TV as Discovery '62; every year, in accordance with that year, the title will change: Discovery '63, Discovery '64, etc.; another children's educational series, Exploring, premieres in color on NBC, but is not as successful with audiences, though it, along with Discovery, is critically acclaimed.
- 1963: First broadcast of General Hospital, The Fugitive, The Outer Limits and Doctor Who; President Kennedy makes his historical Civil Rights speech on television, announcing his intention to grant African-Americans their civil rights; Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have A Dream" speech; MGM's 1953 theatrical film Kiss Me Kate is telecast for the first time, on NBC; in November, there is wall-to-wall four day news coverage of President Kennedy's assassination, the trip to the Capitol Rotunda, the murder of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and the funeral of President Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson becomes the new U.S. President, serving out Kennedy's term in office. As a tribute to the memory of President Kennedy, a special program "from the arts" is telecast only two days after his death, featuring performances by Fredric March, Christopher Plummer, Albert Finney, Marian Anderson, and Charlton Heston. Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (the "Resurrection") is telecast complete for the first time as a tribute to Kennedy, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Without the blessing or supervision of composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who is out of the country at time of broadcast, a new production of Amahl and the Night Visitors premieres on NBC; it is seen only three times. For the first time, an African-American, Willis Patterson, sings the role of King Balthazar, rather than a white man in blackface. After 1965, there are no more American televised versions of Amahl until 1978; after years of airing locally, The Mike Douglas Show, another daytime talk show, goes into syndication and runs for the next nineteen years; after starring in two television specials on CBS, Judy Garland's first and only variety series, The Judy Garland Show, premieres on that network, it runs for only one season; The Danny Kaye Show, a comedy-variety series, premieres on CBS and runs for four years.
- 1964: First broadcast of Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, Bewitched, The Addams Family, Top of the Pops, Match of the Day, Jeopardy!, Jonny Quest, and the Up series. In a landslide win, Lyndon B. Johnson is formally elected President of the United States. The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, where most American viewers see them for the first time. Cashing in on the James Bond craze, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, the first American spy series ever telecast, premieres on NBC and is a smash hit; BBC 2 commences broadcasting in the UK. Its first night of transmission is curtailed by a massive power failure; the now-classic musical film Singin' in the Rain is telecast for the first time, on NBC; Christopher Plummer plays the title role in a made-for-TV film version of Hamlet, shot in the actual locale of the play, Elsinore; it is telecast on NET after premiering on the BBC and is the longest telecast Hamlet to that date; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the first Rankin-Bass stop motion animated special, premieres on commercial network television and remains to become the oldest U.S. Christmas special still telecast as of 2013; David Niven, Charles Boyer, Gig Young, Gladys Cooper, and Robert Coote all star in their first and only television series The Rogues, on NBC. It lasts only one season.
- 1965: First broadcast of Days of Our Lives, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, Till Death Us Do Part, Des chiffres et des lettres, Tomorrow's World, The Magic Roundabout and The War Game; all of the big three networks begin broadcasting in color on a regular basis; I Spy, the first television series featuring an African-American (in this case Bill Cosby) in a serious leading role, premieres on NBC, and is a success, but some stations in the South ban the program because Cosby is one of the stars; he stars in the show with Robert Culp; Nigeria is the first African country to receive TV; an all-new revision of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, still containing most of the original songs, is telecast for the first time; a one-hour German production of The Nutcracker, starring three members of the New York City Ballet, becomes a temporary annual tradition on CBS for the next four years; A Charlie Brown Christmas makes its television debut on commercial network television; nearly fifty years later, it is still a Christmas tradition; The Song of Bernadette, made in 1943, makes its commercial television debut, becoming the oldest film to ever be telecast on The ABC Sunday Night Movie; The Dean Martin Show, a variety series, premieres on NBC and runs for nine years.
- 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; Walt Disney dies, but his television series will go on for years; CBS telecasts John Gielgud's celebrated one-man Shakespeare play Ages of Man in two black-and-white segments telecast a week apart; however, it is shown in the afternoon rather than in prime time; ABC begins a series of TV adaptations of stage musicals that it will telecast over the next two years, three of them starring Robert Goulet: Brigadoon, Carousel, and Kiss Me, Kate. A version of Kismet, starring Jose Ferrer, is also telecast. The original, half-hour How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, narrated by Boris Karloff, makes its debut on commercial network television; forty-eight years later, it is still a tradition on TV; the game show Hollywood Squares premieres on NBC; the original version of the show runs for fifteen years; The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., a spinoff from the hugely successful Man from U.N.C.L.E., premieres, but is not a hit; it lasts only one season.
- 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; local Atlanta TV station WJWJ, which starts out that year as a small, independent station on UHF, is eventually bought by the then little-known Ted Turner. It will be rechristened WTCG-TV and finally, in 1979, WTBS. Ted Turner will become one of the world's best-known media figures and will be responsible for Turner Network Television and Turner Classic Movies; Hal Holbrook brings his acclaimed one-man show Mark Twain Tonight to CBS-TV as a 90-minute special; The Andy Williams Show goes off the air; the 1959 film version of George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" receives its first and only commercial television network telecast, on ABC; the Gershwin estate is displeased with the film and will not allow any more network telecasts of it.
- 1968: First broadcast of 60 Minutes, One Life to Live, Dad's Army, Julia, Columbo, Elvis, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Hawaii Five-O and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In; for the first time ever, NBC has outbid CBS for the rights to telecast The Wizard of Oz and the film is shown on NBC for the next eight years; on television, President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his intention not to run for another term because of his unpopularity over the Vietnam War; Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King are both assassinated, and their deaths are covered extensively on television; now that Robert F. Kennedy is no longer a Presidential hopeful, Richard M. Nixon runs against Hubert Humphrey and is elected President of the United States.
- 1969: First broadcast of Sesame Street, On the Buses, The Brady Bunch, Nu, pogodi! and Monty Python's Flying Circus; Apollo 11 Moon landing broadcast live worldwide; completion of Fernsehturm Berlin; the 1969 inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon is the first of its kind to be telecast in color; the 1968 film A Midsummer Night's Dream, based on Shakespeare's play, and starring Diana Rigg, Judi Dench, Ian Richardson, Ian Holm, and other members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, has its American premiere on CBS in prime time, a highly unusual step for a Shakespeare film; the complete, three-hour Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is now being shown; Frosty the Snowman is shown by CBS for the first time, and becomes another long-running Christmas tradition; more than forty years later, it is still telecast by CBS, and of all the old Christmas specials, Frosty is the only one that has been telecast by the same network year after year; The Andy Williams Show is revived and runs until 1971; Dwight D. Eisenhower dies.
- 1970: First broadcast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Monday Night Football, All My Children; PBS is launched, replacing NET; the 1955 film Oklahoma! is telecast on prime time network TV for the first time, making this the first telecast ever of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The film versions of Carousel and The King and I have already been telecast on prime time network TV in previous years; Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic on television for the first time, in a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; the performance also marks Placido Domingo's U.S. TV debut; Chet Huntley retires and the Huntley-Brinkley Report now becomes NBC Nightly News; David Brinkley stays, but John Chancellor becomes the new co-anchor; Evening at Pops, a long-running weekly series featuring the Boston Pops Orchestra premieres on PBS, with Arthur Fiedler conducting. John Williams will become the new conductor in 1980, followed by Keith Lockhart in 1995. The program will not only showcase classical artists, but also Broadway stars such as Ethel Merman and jazz groups like The Manhattan Transfer; the Richard Chamberlain Hamlet, shot on videotape, makes its U.S. television debut on the Hallmark Hall of Fame and wins more Emmys than any other made-for-TV version of a Shakespeare play ever telecast.
- 1971: First broadcast of All in the Family, Kamen Rider, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Chespirito, Parkinson; the 1959 theatrical film Ben-Hur is broadcast uncut in one evening by CBS, over five hours of prime time; this marks its first telecast, and is perhaps the longest of a film up to that time - five consecutive hours had never been devoted to the telecast of a film before. This record will not be equaled until ABC begins telecasting the 1956 film The Ten Commandments in 1973 (the Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra and Lawrence of Arabia will be split into two two-and-a-half hour segments when first telecast); the Oscar-winning 1951 film An American in Paris is telecast by NBC for the first time; Masterpiece Theatre premieres on PBS; after being telecast in Europe in 1970, the documentary Beethoven's Birthday: a Celebration in Vienna, with Leonard Bernstein commemorating Beethoven's 200th birthday, is telecast in the U.S. in prime time on Christmas Eve by CBS and wins an Emmy Award; a ninety-minute documentary commemorating a classical composer's birthday in prime time is unheard of on a commercial TV network up until then, and since that time the accomplishment has never been duplicated; The Ed Sullivan Show goes off the air after twenty-three years; on commercial television, NBC telecasts the film West Side Story in two parts: the first half one evening, and the second half the next. This is the first-ever telecast of the film; all that is cut is the Overture (not to be confused with the Prologue), in which a sketched outline of New York City is shown in several different colors as music plays; the 1962 film How the West Was Won is telecast nationally for the first time by ABC; it marks the first time a reduction print of a three-projector Cinerama film is ever telecast.
- 1972: From now on, fewer and fewer classical music programs will be telecast on commercial networks, and will instead go to PBS or cable; this is the year of the first broadcast of the TV series M*A*S*H, Emmerdale, Mastermind, El Chavo, and The Bob Newhart Show; Great Performances makes its debut on PBS; the 1958 film South Pacific is telecast for the first time by ABC, making this the first telecast ever of the complete musical; MGM's Show Boat, slightly edited, makes its TV debut on NBC; during the summer, ABC covers the Munich massacre, in which eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics are taken hostage and murdered by the terrorist group Black September; Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts come to an end, and from now on he will be seen mostly on PBS conducting great works and appearing in autobiographical documentaries; a new, heavily revised version of the George and Ira Gershwin political musical comedy Of Thee I Sing, starring many CBS-TV sitcom regulars, is telecast on CBS – this marks the first telecast of the musical, which has also never been filmed despite winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1932; the film My Fair Lady is telecast in two parts on commercial network television by NBC; the film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, is telecast by CBS with minimal editing of its language or subject matter; the broadcast is so controversial that some affiliates refuse to show it until 11:30 P.M; the film Patton is telecast by ABC in primetime nearly uncut, and none of the affiliate stations back out; the telecast marks the strongest use of "dirty language" heard in a television broadcast up to that time – Patton's famous remark "Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" is left untouched, as are the words "horse dung" and "fornicating", but the word "sh*t" is cut; in a landslide win, Richard M. Nixon is re-elected President of the U.S.; former U.S. President Harry S. Truman dies.
- 1973: First broadcast of The Ascent of Man, Moonbase 3, The Young and the Restless, An American Family, Ein Herz und eine Seele, Seventeen Moments of Spring, Last of the Summer Wine and The World at War; large-screen projection color TVs hit the market in the USA; the Watergate hearings are seen by millions on live TV; as CNN does not exist yet, they interrupt some regularly scheduled programming; Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic The Ten Commandments is telecast for the first time and eventually becomes an annual attraction on ABC Television; Katharine Hepburn makes her television acting debut on ABC-TV in a new production of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie; CBS broadcasts Joseph Papp's production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing on prime time commercial TV; also on prime time commercial TV, ABC telecasts the National Theatre of Great Britain's productions of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night and Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, both starring Laurence Olivier. No version of The Merchant of Venice has ever been telecast on U.S. network television until this showing; it is Shakespeare's most controversial play, due to its allegedly anti-Semitic subject matter; Applause, the Broadway musical adaptation of All About Eve, airs on TV as a videotaped CBS special with most of its original cast, including Lauren Bacall and Penny Fuller.
- 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; because of his role in the Watergate scandal, Richard M. Nixon becomes the first U.S. President to announce his resignation on live television and Gerald Ford becomes the new U.S. President; Chet Huntley dies, so does Ed Sullivan; an adaptation of Leon Uris's QB VII becomes the first all-star miniseries, and the first to be officially called "a novel for television"; it provides Anthony Hopkins with his best film role up to then; the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is telecast for the first time on commercial network television by NBC; that network also showed the television premiere of The Godfather with about a minutes worth of edits, toning down most of the film's violence; the film Fiddler on the Roof is telecast for the first time as a three-hours-plus TV special by ABC; the made-for-TV special The Missiles of October, starring William Devane as John F. Kennedy and Martin Sheen as Bobby Kennedy, is the first telecast play to dramatize the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- 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, Welcome Back, Kotter, Wheel of Fortune, Wonder Woman; Antony and Cleopatra, a production of Shakespeare's play starring the Royal Shakespeare Company, is telecast by ABC, a year after being telecast by the BBC, as a three-hour prime time commercial network special and, so far, marks the last time a new production of a Shakespeare play is telecast by a commercial television network (Olivier's King Lear, telecast in the 1980s, is a syndicated rather than a network telecast); Sony introduces the Betamax home video tape recorder; Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn star together for the first and only time in the made-for-TV film Love Among the Ruins; a highly watered down and edited version of Cabaret is broadcast by ABC on commercial network television; the musical film Oliver! is telecast by ABC at an earlier hour than usual so that families can watch it; Jeopardy! is cancelled.
- 1976: First broadcast of The Muppet Show", I, Claudius, by the BBC, as well as Loriot, Austin City Limits, Family Feud, Laverne and Shirley and Nuts in May; Video Home System makes its debut; Gone With the Wind is telecast for the first time over two nights; videocassette recorders go on sale; completion of CN Tower; the film The Sound of Music, one of the biggest moneymakers of all time, is broadcast complete on commercial network TV for the first time; the U.S. Bicentennial is celebrated on television; Live from Lincoln Center begins telecasts on PBS; The Wizard of Oz returns to CBS; Georg Solti makes his American television debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on PBS's Great Performances; Leonard Bernstein's six Harvard University lectures on music, given the collective title The Unanswered Question, are telecast by PBS over six weeks. These are exact recreations of the lectures, not the original lectures themselves, which were given in 1973; for the first time, Disney telecasts a very slightly edited version of one of its classic films as a two-and-a-half hour special; it is the 1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and unusually for Disney, it is telecast not on the anthology series, but on NBC Saturday Night at the Movies (which also airs the American television debut telecast of 2001: A Space Odyssey that year); Jimmy Carter, a governor of Georgia who has never held any other public office, is elected President of the United States.
- 1977: First broadcast of Abigail's Party, CHiPs, Eight Is Enough, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, Soap, Lou Grant, The Love Boat, Three's Company, and Top Gear; Live from the Met begins its telecasts on PBS with La Boheme starring Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto; the live broadcasts are to be eventually replaced by The Metropolitan Opera Presents (videotaped versions of operas performed before a live audience), and finally, live HD broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in movie theatres rather than television; ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov makes his commercial television network debut starring in a nearly complete production of The Nutcracker with Gelsey Kirkland ; first telecast by CBS, it will become the most popular Nutcracker ever done on television; Franco Zeffirelli's miniseries Jesus of Nazareth premieres during Easter weekend on NBC; although highly acclaimed, it is nominated for only one Emmy that it does not win, perhaps due to competition from the fictionalized miniseries Holocaust, which wins several Emmys; a new, made-for-TV production of the full-length Our Town is shown on NBC-TV as a prime time special. It stars Hal Holbrook, Sada Thompson, Robby Benson, and Glynnis O'Connor; I, Claudius reaches the U.S., where it is telecast on Masterpiece Theatre and becomes one of their highest-rated miniseries; Roots, the critically acclaimed miniseries, first aired on ABC-TV, receiving 37 Emmy Award nominations and winning nine, while receiving unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third-highest-rated US television program.
- 1978: First broadcast of An Ordinary Miracle, Abarembo Shogun, Battlestar Galactica, Dallas, Diff'rent Strokes, Fantasy Island, Grange Hill, Matador, Mork & Mindy, Pennies from Heaven, Taxi, and 20/20; the televised play Deeply Regretted By... is performed; previously unavailable because of his blacklisting and controversial political beliefs, Paul Robeson's films begin to be shown on television, mostly on PBS; beginning in 1978 and continuing over the next seven years, PBS begins broadcasting BBC Shakespeare, a series featuring all of Shakespeare's plays, many of them nearly complete; operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti gives his first one-man television recital; after years of being third in the ratings, ABC Evening News begins to edge its way toward becoming the most-watched evening newscast as ABC World News Tonight, with Peter Jennings as sole anchor beginning in 1983; Jennings has been at ABC for years, but never anchored a successful newscast before; a new, filmed-on-location version of Amahl and the Night Visitors premieres on NBC, but this version will not have the longevity of the earlier productions; Jeopardy! is temporarily revived.
- 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, and Trapper John, M.D.; ESPN and Nickelodeon launched, CBS Sunday Morning premieres, with its first host, Charles Kuralt; CBS airs Rocky for the first time on American network television and ABC-TV airs Jaws and a heavily edited Taxi Driver for the first time on American network television; the film Coming Home is telecast by NBC, with its all-important sex scene between a quadriplegic and an able-bodied woman completely deleted by television censors; Jeopardy! is canceled again.
- 1980: First broadcast of Berlin Alexanderplatz, Magnum PI, Nightline, Strumpet City and Yes Minister; Cable News Network (CNN) launched; Jimmy Carter loses popularity, especially after his failure to end the Iran hostage crisis, and former actor and Governor of California Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States in a landslide victory. Theatrical releases making their debut on American network television that year include The Exorcist on CBS and Saturday Night Fever on ABC respectively.
- 1981: First broadcast of The Smurfs, Hill Street Blues, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Only Fools and Horses and Brideshead Revisited; MTV launched; after twenty years, NBC cancels the Disney television program and it then moves briefly to CBS; Disney's Mary Poppins is telecast for the first time, on CBS, as a three-hour special; Baryshnikov's Nutcracker moves to PBS; Walter Cronkite retires from the CBS Evening News and Dan Rather becomes the new anchorman; from now on, it will become more and more possible to broadcast stereophonic sound in true high-fidelity on television.
- 1982: First broadcast of Cheers, Knight Rider, Family Ties, Brookside, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Chiquilladas, Boys from the Blackstuff, Newhart and St. Elsewhere; Channel 4 launches in the UK; The Weather Channel launched; Leonard Bernstein appears in Bernstein/Beethoven on PBS and later A&E; the mini-series showcases all nine Beethoven symphonies, plus a few overtures, ballet music, and the Missa Solemnis; John Chancellor and David Brinkley both leave NBC Nightly News and Tom Brokaw becomes the new anchorman; the Royal Shakespeare Company's eight-and-a-half hour play Nicholas Nickleby is telecast in England, and is the longest stage production of a Dickens novel; it is telecast over four nights in the U.S. in 1983. On the ABC Television Network in America, Superman makes its first time telecast, spread over two nights and including many outtakes and deleted scenes.
- 1983: First broadcast of The A-Team, 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; after years of being in "broadcast limbo" because of the MGM Technicolor remake as well as Paul Robeson's political beliefs, the way is cleared for the 1936 film version of "Show Boat" to be telecast; it appears on the cable network Showtime; in later years it will be telecast by PBS, Turner Network Television, and Turner Classic Movies, respectively; Laurence Olivier gives his last performance in a Shakespeare play when he stars in a BBC production of King Lear. When it is telecast in the U.S. in early 1984, he wins an Emmy Award for his performance. An adaptation of Herman Wouk's The Winds of War, telecast by ABC with an all-star cast, becomes the longest miniseries up to that time (approximately 15 hours) and ushers in an era of miniseries such as The Thorn Birds; The Day After, the first made-for-TV film dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war, is telecast as a three-hour special on ABC; CBS cancels the Disney program.
- 1984: First broadcast of Murder, She Wrote, Punky Brewster, Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Who's The Boss?, Night Court, Transformers, Tales from the Darkside, Snorks, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, La piovra, Heimat and The Jewel in the Crown; A&E launched; George C. Scott stars as Scrooge in an elaborately filmed-on-location production of A Christmas Carol. telecast on the Hallmark Hall of Fame; the most successful incarnation of Jeopardy! premieres and is still running as of 2014; Captain Kangaroo goes off the air after twenty-nine years.
- 1985: First broadcast of MacGyver, Growing Pains, ThunderCats, Larry King Live, Edge of Darkness, EastEnders, The Golden Girls, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and WWF Saturday Night's Main Event; the Discovery Channel is established.
- 1986: First broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Perfect Strangers, Double Dare, Designing Women, Dragon Ball, Vasko de Gama from Rupcha Village, Casualty, Matlock, Saint Seiya, The Singing Detective and Pingu; the Fox Broadcasting Company is launched; Disney's 1940 Pinocchio is telecast complete for the first time, on the Disney Channel. It will not come to commercial network TV until 2002; four nights of prime time telecasting on ABC are devoted to Liberty Weekend, the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty; world-famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz's historic Moscow recital is telecast live on CBS Sunday Morning at 9:00 A.M (which is 4:00 PM in Russia), and signals a rebirth of Horowitz's career; ABC revives the Disney program, in a two-hour format called The Disney Sunday Movies, which shows Disney films rather than shorter programs.
- 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; the Disney program moves back to NBC; George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan's Vice President, is elected President of the United States.
- 1989: First broadcast of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Baywatch, Seinfeld, Saved By The Bell, American Gladiators, Dekalog, Wallace and Gromit, Hey Dude, America's Funniest Home Videos, Quantum Leap, COPS, Shining Time Station, Family Matters, The Simpsons, Coach, Inside Edition, Captain N: The Game Master, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!; CNBC and Eurosport launched and TUGS premieres; a live stage production of Show Boat is telecast for the first time by PBS; in a celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Leonard Bernstein conducts Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for the last time, changing the German word for "joy" in the Ode to Joy to "freedom"; the concert is telecast on PBS on Christmas Day; it is Bernstein's last television appearance before his death; further Bernstein concerts and television programs will be released posthumously; Laurence Olivier and Vladimir Horowitz die.
- 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, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Bobby's World, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Northern Exposure; Disney's Bambi is telecast complete for the first time, on the Disney Channel; five days after announcing his retirement, Leonard Bernstein dies at his home; NBC cancels the Disney program.
- 1991: First broadcast of Home Improvement, Darkwing Duck, Step by Step, Super Mario World, Nummer 28, The Julekalender, Æon Flux, Doug, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and the tabloid talk show 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; Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States.
- 1993: First broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman, Animaniacs, Beavis and Butt-head, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, WWF 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; the first made-for-TV production of the classic opera Porgy and Bess is telecast, first by the BBC, then by PBS; the highly acclaimed production is nominated for several Emmys.
- 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, the first Turner-owned channel to show films uncut and without commercials, is launched; Charles Kuralt retires and Charles Osgood becomes the new host of CBS Sunday Morning; the complete 132-minute version of the 1935 film A Midsummer Night's Dream becomes available for the first time since the 1930s and is shown on cable; up until then it was generally the 117-minute edited version that was shown; Richard M. Nixon dies.
- 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 and Neon Genesis Evangelion; O. J. Simpson murder trial televised; The History Channel launched. The WB and UPN Networks launched.
- 1996: First broadcast of Jamais deux sans toi...t, Percy tårar, Detective Conan, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Kenan & Kel, Blues Clues,Dexter's Laboratory, Arthur, Hey Arnold, Everybody Loves Raymond, Moesha, The Daily Show and Our Friends in the North; first high-definition television broadcasts; Al Jazeera launched; first DVDs and DVD players go on sale; John Chancellor dies.
- 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, The Angry Beavers, Johnny Bravo, and I'm Alan Partridge; ABC revives the Disney program and a third, heavily revised, and politically correct version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is telecast on it; it features Brandy Norwood in the title role and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother; Charles Kuralt dies; Bill Clinton is easily re-elected President of the United States; though a sex scandal threatens to bring down his Presidency and he is impeached, he survives the impeachment and goes on to a highly successful second term.
- 1998: First broadcast of Dawson's Creek, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Will & Grace, Charmed, One Piece, The Powerpuff Girls, Cowboy Bebop, That '70s Show, Sex and the City, The Royle Family and The King of Queens; Kenneth Branagh's four-hour Hamlet is shown on cable TV for the first time; as of 2014, it has yet to be shown on one of the Big Three commercial networks; The Wizard of Oz is shown on CBS for the last time; because of the advent of home video and cable TV, the nightly commercial network anthology movie series such as NBC Saturday Night at the Movies have gradually been phased out; the last to go is the ABC Sunday Night Movie, in 1998; Kingston Communications launches the first major video-on-demand service.
- 1999: First broadcast of The Sopranos, SpongeBob SquarePants, Family Guy, Futurama, The West Wing, Digimon: Digital Monsters, WWE Smackdown, The Amanda Show, Big Brother (Netherlands), Yo soy Betty, la fea, Freaks and Geeks, Trick, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Rocket Power, Angel, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Sonic Underground in America; in the U.S., The Wizard of Oz is shown on cable TV for the first time, and its regular network showings will gradually be phased out; Bhutan is the last country on Earth to begin regular broadcasts; first digital video recorders released by TiVo; rather than recreating his one-man show, Patrick Stewart stars with a full cast in a new production of Dickens's A Christmas Carol which deliberately tries to evoke the celebrated 1951 Alastair Sim film version in its style. It is first telecast on Turner Network Television.
- 2000: First broadcast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Malcolm in the Middle, Survivor, Jackass, 106 & Park, Even Stevens, Dora The Explorer, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Gilmore Girls.
- 2001: First broadcast of 24, Scrubs, Band of Brothers, The Secret Life of Us, The Fairly Odd Parents, Lizzie Mcguire, Fear Factor, The Office, Samurai Jack, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Smallville and Six Feet Under; Adult Swim launched; the 9/11 attacks usher in a week of wall-to-wall television coverage on many channels, and because of the advent of cable TV, there is more to choose from than with earlier important news stories in past years; some commercial channels actually shut down temporarily as a sign of respect for the dead
- 2002: First broadcast of American Idol, CSI: Miami, The Shield, City of Men, 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, Mythbusters, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Dae Jang Geum, NCIS, All In, Little Britain, Peep Show, Arrested Development, Los Serrano, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Venture Bros.; the U.S. invasion of Iraq begins and some of it is covered on television.
- 2004: First broadcast of Bleach, Desperate Housewives, Battlestar Galactica, Hassan and Habibah, Peppa Pig, Drake & Josh, Super Girl, House, Lost, The X Factor; Euro1080 launches the first high-definition television broadcast; Tom Brokaw retires and Brian Williams becomes the new anchorman of NBC Nightly News; Bob Keeshan, television's Captain Kangaroo, dies.
- 2005: First broadcast of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Grey's Anatomy, Spiral, Noghtechin, Dancing with the Stars, Ben 10, The Closer, 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, Supernatural, My Lovely Sam Soon, Sto Para Pente, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf; first new series of Doctor Who in 16 years broadcast; Dan Rather is eased out of his job as anchorman of the CBS Evening News because of an alleged controversial journalistic incident; Bob Schieffer takes over the spot; Peter Jennings announces on the air that he has lung cancer, and retires from ABC World News Tonight to begin treatment; he dies a few months later.
- 2006: First broadcast of Türkisch für Anfänger, Planet Earth, Jumong, Heroes, Psych, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Hannah Montana, Princess Hours, Code Geass and 30 Rock; the Netherlands is the first country to move to digital television; France 24 launched; HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc launched; Katie Couric becomes the new anchorperson of the CBS Evening News; Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas co-anchor ABC World News Tonight until Charles Gibson takes over later that year. The CW Television Network launched from the merger of The WB and UPN.
- 2007: First broadcast of The Big Bang Theory, Chowder, Gossip Girl, iCarly, Burn Notice, Wizards of Waverly Place, Golden Bride, 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, Phineas and Ferb, True Blood, Fringe, 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, more than any other miniseries ever made.
- 2009: First broadcast of Pawn Stars, Cake Boss, Tosh.0, Big Time Rush, Jersey Shore, Castle, Modern Family, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Parenthood, Cougar Town, The Middle, Glee, and Misfits; Walter Cronkite dies; Charles Gibson retires and Diane Sawyer becomes the new anchorperson at ABC World News Tonight.
- 2010: First broadcast of Adventure Time, Glass Home, Borgen, Sherlock, Hawaii Five-0, Downton Abbey, Solsidan, Storage Wars, Undercover Boss, Pretty Little Liars, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Boardwalk Empire, Mike & Molly, Treme Regular Show, Good Luck Charlie, The Walking Dead, Blue Bloods, Hot In Cleveland, and The Voice of Holland; Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is telecast complete for the first time, leaving only Fantasia and Song of the South as the only classic Disney films never telecast in their entirety, either on cable or on commercial TV.
- 2011: First broadcast of Game of Thrones, Austin & Ally, Teen Wolf, Switched at Birth, Bob's Burgers, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, American Horror Story, Kickin' It, 2 Broke Girls, Jessie, Homeland, and Once Upon a Time; PBS telecasts a special Lincoln Center concert in a 10th anniversary commemoration of the attacks of September 11, 2001; Katie Couric leaves the CBS Evening News and Scott Pelley becomes the new anchorman; after being presumed lost for years, the complete 145-minute version of the 1948 Technicolor film Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman, is telecast on Turner Classic Movies for the first time; up until then, the film, which had been edited because it flopped at the box office, had been telecast only in a 100-minute version.
- 2012: First broadcast of Duck Dynasty, Dog with a Blog, Gravity Falls, Arrow, The Legend of Korra, Girls, Nashville, The Newsroom, Scandal, and Call the Midwife; Super Bowl XLVI becomes the then most-watched program in the history of American television, with an average of 111.3 million viewers; Push Girls, the first U.S. reality series starring disabled women, debuts on the Sundance Channel; the cable network Disney Junior debuts as a stand-alone channel.
- 2013: First broadcast of The Blacklist, Liv and Maddie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Following, House of Cards (which debuts on Netflix rather than cable or commercial TV), Bates Motel, Broadchurch, Hannibal, and Sleepy Hollow.
- 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII breaks the record for most-watched program in the history of American television, with an average of 111.5 million viewers; First broadcast of The Flash, True Detective, I Didn't Do It, Lucha Underground, Undateable, Gotham, Chrisley Knows Best and Girl Meets World.
- 2015: First broadcast of Better Call Saul, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, iZombie, Lip Sync Battle, Bunk'd, We Bare Bears, Empire, Best Friends Whenever, Fear The Walking Dead, and Mr. Robot; Super Bowl XLIX breaks the record for most-watched program in the history of American television, with an pick of 120.8 million viewers at the second half of the game. Ten people are killed, including three contestants and five crew members, when two helicopters are involved in a mid-air collision while working on the French reality television series Dropped.