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Welcome to Central Illinois' On-Line Broadcast Museum. This website, documents in detail the history of each of the viewable TV stations past and present across mid-Illinois in text, photos and videos as well as each station's current status. This site also includes some local radio history, along with automated analog formats also again told in pictures, videos and text. 


Doug Quick 
Radio/TV Broadcaster/Historian, Author, Webmaster
complete bio available here.

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"Pictures on the Prairie: The 70th Anniversary of Central Illinois Television" by Doug Quick


In the latest issue of PrimeLifeTimes monthly newspaper. This is the first installment of a four-part series. PrimeLifeTimes is a free publication found at various retailers throughout central Illinois. Don't miss out. Grab your copy today for the full article.

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Videos of the Week

Note: Some browsers will not play videos directly. To watch videos-click on the YouTube image, then the word YouTube. It will open another window for viewing.

Dragnet (1957) NBC Jack Webb, Ben Alexander

This episode of the original "Dragnet" TV series is from season five and the 34th episode. Remember, nowadays, we're lucky to see 25 episodes a season from any TV series! On the date, placing this in the 1956-57 season and episode 34 would put it as being sometime in May or early June 1957. 

This episode is called "The Big Deal" as Sgt. Friday and Officer Smith are tracking down the crooks who are car thieves and are selling them illegally. 

This show became one of the most popular TV shows to go into off-network syndication during the 1950s. As local stations grappled with the problem of obtaining popular programming, reruns of "Dragnet" were the answer to their problem. "Badge 714" was used to title the syndication series to differentiate it from the first run of NBC episodes. "Badge 714" aired in central Illinois on WICS, WEEK, WBLN, WTVP, and WCIA syndication. 

"The DI" (1957) Movie directed and starring Jack Webb

I don't often include movies, but this movie produced by Webb's Mark VII, Ltd. and presented by Warner Brothers has a similar style as "Dragnet." In this film, "The Drill Instructor," Mr. Webb stars as the strict drill instructor of a bunch of Marines as he attempts to whip them into shape. Of course, there's always one rebel in the group, and that's the story of a recruit played by Don Dubbins, who is the pain in the side of the DI. 

I only post part of the movie, but this is an extended trailer for the film from 1957 with Jack Webb.

By the way, 20th Century Fox remade "The DI" as an ABC Movie of the Week, "Tribes" starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Darren McGavin, and Earl Holliman. 

Dragnet 67 Promo (1966) NBC Promo

"Dragnet 1967" was a mid-season replacement, with its first episode on January 12, 1967. This promo was more than likely produced in December 1966 and included some short scenes from the first few episodes of the revival series. 

Dragnet 1967 (1967) NBC Jack Webb, Harry Morgan

It has been called the most successful police series in television history. The revival series, "Dragnet 1967," of the original early to mid-50s, aired again on NBC from January 12, 1967 through September 1970. This video includes several episodes from 1967. 

Jack Webb was the producer and director and was once again Sergeant Joe Friday with his partner Officer Joe Gannon. The production style used a viewpoint of reality, with a documentary narration style done by Mr. Webb. All the cases featured in the series came from the files of the LA Police Department. 

Universal Studios produced "Dragnet 1967" with many scenes shot on the back lot street used for other classic Universal shows like, "Leave it Beaver," "Marcus Welby MD," "Ironside," "Murder She Wrote," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Munsters," "Adam-12," "Desperate Housewives," "About a Boy" and many more. (search out "Wisteria Lane") also has a map of Colonial Street explaining the locations shot for "Desperate Housewives," also used in other TV shows and movies.


It was also used for movies, "Desperate Hours" (with Humphrey Bogart), "Bedtime for Bonzo" (with Ronald Reagan), "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (with Don Knots), and "Deep Impact." 

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1968) Guest Jack Webb

Here is the famous Dragnet Clapper Caper routine with Johnny and Jack Webb. Admittedly, you must be a "Dragnet" viewer to understand the routine. Comedy doesn't get much better than this. Enjoy!

O'Hara US Treasury (1971) CBS David Janssen

Jack Webb was the co-creator and executive producer of "O'Hara US Treasury," aired on CBS during the 1971-71 season. Once again, the series included true stories, this time, with the Department of the Treasury and its enforcement agencies of the department: Bureau of Customs, Secret Service, IRS Intelligence Division, IRS Service Inspection Division, IRS Service, and the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Division.

David Janssen made TV history in the ABC/Quinn Martin Production of "The Fugitive." The native of Nebraska also starred in "Richard Diamond, PI" from 1957-60, then the "Fugitive" from 1963-67, followed by "O'Hara, US Treasury" in 1971-72. He followed this series with "Harry O'" in 1974-76, and then a mini-series "Centennial" from 1978-79. He was also the host of "Biography" during 1979.

Janssen was a noted heavy drinker and smoker. That probably contributed to his early death in 1980 from a sudden heart attack at 48. 

Another note: I make a connection to every weekly subject to central Illinois. So, here's this week's link. This episode of "O'Hara, US Treasury" features the guest star James Wainwright, a Danville, IL native.

About Jack Webb...

Jack Webb is a California native born in Santa Monica, California, in 1920. He grew up in Los Angeles with his mother, as his father left home before young Jack was born. Young Jack was Catholic and an altar boy at his church in Echo Park. He attended Belmont High School near downtown LA, where he was student body president as a senior. 

Jack enlisted in the US Army Air Corps but was "washed out" of pilot training. He later received a hardship discharge because he was his mother and grandmother's primary financial support.

His radio career started in San Francisco at KGO Radio. He hosted "The Jack Webb Show," a half-hour comedy airing on ABC Radio. He left his comedy career behind by 1949 by starring in "Pat Novak For Hire" with up-and-coming Raymond Burr. It featured some initial examples of "hard-boiled" dialog, sometimes humorous, but always profound. 

He also starred in "Johnny Madero," "Pier 23," "Jeff Regan, Investigator," (below), "Pete Kelly's Blues," "Murder and Mr. Malone,"  and "One Out of Seven" (which dealt with racial prejudice).

Mr. Webb's turn to law enforcement for professional material for a string of radio dramas, films, and television began in 1948. "Dragnet" premiered on NBC radio in 1949 with the help of LAPD chief William H. Parker. The radio series episodes would later start with the words "The Big..." Episodes had titles like "The Big Steal" or "The Big Deal." The series included a realistic portrayal of the police with intricate sound effects, including long stretches of footsteps down hallways, steps, and the like and small talk between Webb and his assistant. 

He also penned a book about the LAPD police department and the individual stories of various policemen and women. He would always side with the police officers and write about the low pay and high injury rate of officers who sometimes lost their jobs due to illness or injury. 

The TV series "Dragnet" began and ran concurrently with the radio show for its entire run. The original TV series premiered before being seen across mid-Illinois on January 3, 1952, and aired through September 1959. Even while doing "Dragnet" on radio and/or television, he performed roles in several films, including "Sunset Boulevard" with William Holden, "Dark City" with Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Dean Jagger, Don DeFore, Ed Begley, and Harry Morgan. Morgan and Webb would team up almost 18 years later in the re-incarnation of "Dragnet" in 1967. He also appeared in Marlon Brando's first film, "The Men," when Webb and Brando played former soldiers with paraplegia at a VA hospital. In 1955, he produced, directed, and starred in "Pete Kelly's Blues," a film in which he played a coronet player for a jazz band and was a private investigator. 

In the early 1960s, after the cancellation of both "Dragnet" TV and radio series, he became the executive producer of the anthology series "GE True," an anthology series in which he narrated, acted, and even directed a few episodes. Webb took a significant step in February 1963 when he took the job formerly held by William T. Orr (he was married to Jack L. Warner's stepdaughter) as executive in charge of Warner Brothers Television. 

First, I'm a big fan of Jack Webb. Although, I had a massive problem with one of his first moves as head of the WB Television Productions. He destroyed the once popular series, "77 Sunset Strip," by firing all the regulars except for Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.. He removed all of the charm of the original series and the chemistry of the supporting cast members. The music and location changed, and the first seven episodes were the most bazaar ever seen on television at the time, with a standard storyline. It had Stuart Baily (played by Zimbalist) going worldwide to solve a murder. It featured many famous and up-and-coming guest stars, each introducing themselves with a close-up headshot at the beginning of each episode, one after another, including Zimbalist. The result was a disaster for the series and ABC; as expected, the critics hated it. It resulted in him leaving Warner Brothers by December 1963 (unrelated to the song by Frankie Valli).

After the second "Dragnet" left the airwaves, he was still producing other series. They included "The DA," starring Robert Conrad and Harry Morgan(before M*A*S*H), "O'Hara, United States Treasury," "Harry O," and "Emergency!" "Hec Ramsey," "Project UFO," along with a 1983 try at "Dragnet" with him co-starring with Kent McCord (of "Adam-12") as his younger partner. Five episodes were filmed but never shown.

It's been reported that he owned over 6,000 jazz record albums and even played on some, as he was a coronet player. He married jazz singer Julie London in 1947 but divorced in 1954. They had two daughters. Later, Jack approved the casting of his ex-wife, Julie London, with London's husband, Bobby Troupe, in the TV series Emergency! in the 70s.

His daughter Stacy Webb also authorized and collaborated on a book about her father, Jack Webb, entitled "Just the Facts, Ma'am: The Authorized Biography of Jack Webb, Creator of Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency!" Finally, in 1999, the book she collaborated on was published. Still, she didn't live to see it published as she was killed in an automobile accident with a California State Police vehicle three years earlier.

Jack Webb died from a heart attack at 62 on December 23, 1982. On his death, LAPD Chief Daryl Gates announced that badge number 714 would be retired. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley had all flags in the city lowered to half-staff in honor of Jack Webb. He was buried with a replica LAPD badge with the number 714.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

Jeff Regan, Investigator (1948) CBS Radio with Jack Webb

I resisted using a radio episode of "Dragnet" for this week, instead opting for one of Jack Webb's original series, "Jeff Regan, Investigator."  This series began with the deadpan, hard-boiled dialogue that Jack Webb made famous. Some of the lines he used are priceless. No one writes dialog like this anymore! It's terrific!


There are many Classic Radio YouTube submissions of "Dragnet." Just go to YouTube and search out "Classic Radio Dragnet." 

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)


TV Today

ATSC is here in Central Illinois

Watch the video above for an explanation.  

Use the pull-down menu above labeled "TV TODAY" to get more ATSC 3.0 (NEXTGEN TV) information for each market offering the new local television standard! There are also links for an explanation of what to expect in the years ahead!

Click on the most current news items below for complete details: 

So, What is NEXTGEN TV and How Will It Affect Me?  

Broadcasters push for FCC to rally around ATSC 3.0

FCC, NAB team on ATSC 3.0 transition from April 18, 2023

Harmonic Powers ATSC 3.0 in Major Cities Across the U.S.

Go to TV TODAY to see a complete listing of area television signals across mid-Illinois, along with Chicago, St. Louis, Peoria, Terre Haute, and Quincy markets.


The pages include current TV listings for each market, all of the television transmitters/towers, who owns each one, the owner's address, the operator's address, phone number, websites, and other contact information.

It also includes all of the sub-channels (minus shopping and religious signals). Ownership is listed along with address, phone numbers, and contact information along with websites.


To see the fabulous video that could be coming into your home with NextGenTV, visit Good Vibes at 2010 Round Barn Rd Champaign, IL 61821, or visit the Good Vibes website by clicking here.

Classic Images

A few TV Images 1953-1960!

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What's New in the Museum?


July 29, 2023-Central Illinois' On-Line Broadcast Museum salutes the local heritage TV stations which are all celebrating their 70th Anniversity this year. Be sure and visit "Pictures on the Prairie: The 70th Anniversary of Mid-Illinois Televison." This celebration will continue through December 19, 2023 when the final heritage station signed on.   

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The last few remaining copies of "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television is now available while the supply lasts!

As I announced, my publisher has gone out of business; therefore, no new copies will be printed. I found a few copies, signed them, and they're now available for sale at the Jane Adams Book Shop in downtown Champaign, IL. No additional copies may be ever printed as the book was initially published.

Stop by the Jane Adams Book Shop at 208 North Neil Street in downtown Champaign, IL

WCBUlogo.jpg offers a profile of this website, Central Illinois' On-Line Broadcast Museum, in a continuing series of TV history. Hear it by clicking on the logo above.

WCBU is a joint service of Bradley University in Peoria and Illinois State University at Bloomington/Normal.

Previously on Videos

of the Week...

If you've missed any of the "Videos of the Week" or "Classic Radio" recordings, you'll find them here. Unfortunately, there's no narrative to go along with each. You have to visit each week for that.

Lawrence Welk's Top Tunes and New Talent (1957) ABC

The Best of Shindig! A Special Retrospective from ABC

Shindig! A Special Retrospective (1991)

Where the Action Is! (1965) CBS/ABC

Casey Kasem AT40/The 70s

Dick Clark Beech-Nut Show (1958) ABC

The Lloyd Thkaxton Show (1965) Syndicated

Hullabaloo (1965) NBC Episode 2

Hullabaloo (1966) NBC Paul Anka

Mike Douglas Show (1968) Guests: The Turtles

Lucy Show (1952-1968) CBS 10 Best

Carol Burnett Show (1979) CBS Series Finale

Mary Tyler Moore (1970) Pilot

WLS(1975) Yvonne Daniels

Love American Style (1970) ABC

1975: A Television Album (1975) CBS News

Saturday Morning Cartoon Intros (1970s)

Sunday at the 70s (2000) WDNL Doug Quick

The Detectives (1959) ABC Robert Taylor

The Rifleman (1958) ABC Chuck Conners

The Big Valley (1965) ABC Barbara Stanwyck

WIL Radio (1963) Ron Lundy

Governor and JJ (1970) CBS Dan Dailey

CBS Reach for the Stars (1981) CBS Promo

Reach for the Stars (1982) WCIA

Fall Preview (1974) ABC

Wheel of Fortune (1976 NBC Chuck Wollery

Most Popular TV Opens of the 80s

Solid Gold Countdown (1982)

Commercials 1980 NBC

CBS Primetime Spring 1983

Top 10 Decade-Defining Shows

KXOK Changing Format (1960)

The Object Is (1964) Dick Clark

Code 3 LASD (1956) Syndicated

The Detectives (1959) ABC Robert Taylor

Dragnet (1953) NBC Jack Webb

WLS (1980) Tommy Edwards


Top 10 Deade Defining TV Shows of the 1970s.


M*A*S*H 30th Anniversary Special (2002) FOX


After M*A*S*H (1983) CBS Pilot, 2nd Episode


After M*A*S*H (1984) CBS Radar's Marriage


W*A*L*T*E*R (1984) CBS Pilot Gary Burghoff

No Time for Sergeants (1955) ABC Andy Griffith

No Time for Sergeants (1964) ABC Sammy Jackson

The Danny Thomas Show (1960) CBS Andy Griffith

Bewitched (1968) ABC color kinescope

The Bickersons with Guest: Danny Thomas

Finding Lucy (2000) Documentary

The Best of I Love Lucy Collection, Season 3

What's My Line (1955) CBS Lucy and Desi

Johnny Carson (1974) Guest Lucille Ball

Mothers in Law (1967) NBC Kaye Ballard, Eve Arden

My Favorite Husband (1951) CBS Radio

Lucille Ball

Jack Benny Program (1956) CBS

Jack Benny Program (1958) CBS

Jack Benny Program (1961) CBS

The Tonight Show (1973) NBC Jack Benny

Jack Benny Programs (1930s-1950s) CBS Radio

Bob Hope Show (NBC) 1950

Bob Hope Chevy Show (NBC) 1956

Bob Hope Chevy Show (NBC) 1957

Bob Hope Comedy Special (NBC) 1963

The Bob Hope Show (CBS Radio) 1953

Milton Berle Show (NBC) 5/29/51

Milton Berle Show (NBC) 9/21/54

Milton Berle Show (NBC) 4/24/56

Milton Berle Show (NBC) 6/5/56-Clip with Elvis

Milton Berle Show (NBC-Radio) 8/12/47

I Married Joan (NBC) Pilot Show 1952

I Married Joan (NBC) Season 1, Ep 2

I Married Joan (NBC) Season 2, Ep 12

I Married Joan (NBC) Season 2, Ep 26

I Married Joan (NBC) Season 3, Ep 26

Calvacade of Stars (1950) DuMont- Jackie Gleason

The Jackie Gleason Show (1953) CBS with Peggy Lee

You're In the Picture (1961) CBS Jackie Gleason

The Jackie Gleason Show (1973) CBS

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1985) NBC with Jackie Gleason

Admiral Broadway Revue (1949) NBC/DuMont

Your Show of Shows (1953) NBC

Your Show of Shows (1954) NBC Guest: Margaret Truman

Caesar's Hour (1954) NBC Guest Peggy Lee

David Letterman Show (1982) NBC Guest Sid Caesar

Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) NBC Eddie Cantor

Colgate Comedy Hour (1952) NBC Martin and Lewis

Colgate Comedy Hour (1953) NBC Martin and Lewis

Colgate Comedy Hour (1954) NBC Martin and Lewis

The Martin and Lewis Show (1949) NBC Radio Guest: Lucille Ball

Dragnet (1957) NBC Jack Webb, Ben Alexander

The D.I. (1957) Movie Trailer directed and starring Jack Webb

Dragnet 67 Promo (1966) NBC 

Dragnet 1967 (1967) NBC Jack Webb, Harry Morgan

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1968) NBC Guest Jack Webb

O''Hara US Treasury (1971) CBS David Janssen


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