Programming from late afternoon through the evening
|Once upon a time, there were only three national networks: ABC, CBS and NBC- only able to broadcast in black and white. NBC became the first network to present a coast-to-coast color transmission in January 1954. |
What follows is a rundown of the significant prime time programs broadcast by the alphabet networks during the fall of 1948-49. And when I say "significant," I'm referring to the shows I believe were (and are still) worth watching...
NOTE: All times listed are Eastern Standard time, which means that anyone with a TV set who lived on the West coast would be watching Ed Sullivan's show at 6 pm...
7:30 - 8:30: Ford Theater/ Studio One (CBS)
Dramatic anthology series that served as a springboard for actors heading destined for both stage and screen.
8:30 - 9:00: Meet the Press (NBC)
The oldest program on TV, with a format that has never changed: a politician or other government figure is interviewed by a group of panelists.
9:00 -10:00: The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
Twenty-three years- that's how long this stellar variety show lasted, Sullivan the poker-faced emcee who introduced something for everyone, from stand-up comedians and jugglers, to impressionists, as well as rock, pop and opera performers.
Philco Television Playhouse (NBC)
Another fine series of dramas that served as a proving ground for fledgling writers, directors and actors.
8:00 - 8:30: Tele-Theater (NBC)
Dramatic anthology series.
8:00 - 9:00: The Milton Berle Show (NBC)
Milton Berle earned the title of "Mr. Television," and with good reason. With Texaco as its sponsor, this variety show catapulted Berle to superstardom, its popularity earning "Uncle Miltie"(as he called himself) top ratings for three seasons. Audiences loved the sight gags and outlandish costumes that Berle subjected himself to- no real hardship for a man who loved to be the center of attention. Before the show's initial run had ended, MB had signed a 30-year contract with NBC, resulting in a $200,000 per year paycheck for the comedian.
9:00 - 10:00: Kraft Television Theater (NBC)
One of the top shows featuring original dramas, populated by some of the best performers in the business.
Thursday - Saturday had little to offer...