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.
Radio/TV Broadcaster/Historian, Author, Webmaster
complete bio available here.
"Pictures on the Prairie: The 70th Anniversary of Central Illinois Television" by Doug Quick
In the latest issue of PrimeLifeTimes' monthly newspaper, it's the final part of a four-part series. PrimeLifeTimes is a free publication found at various retailers throughout central Illinois. Don't miss out. Grab your December copy today for Part Four. Next month (January) it's a look at "The Golden Age of Television."
Videos of the Week
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The Bing Crosby TV Special (1971) NBC
This Bing Crosby TV Special continues with a tradition that began with his first family, featured on his radio show in the 1940s.
His earlier specials included his first wife Dixie Lee (who died in 1952 from ovarian cancer), and his four sons Gary, twins Dennis and Phillip, and Lindsay.
This TV Special starred Robert Goulet, Mary Costa, the Mitchell Singing Boys, and Bing's second wife Kathryn Grant, along with sons Harry and Nathaniel, and daughter Mary Francis.
The NBC Stations across mid-Illinois aired this special. The stations included WICS, WICD, WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, WTWO-TV, and KSD-TV.
Make Room for Daddy (ABC) 1953
This popular sitcom aired on ABC first in the early 1950s. "Make Room for Daddy" stars Danny Thomas, Jean Hagen, Rusty Hamer, and Sherry Jackson. In this episode, Danny is under contract to perform away from home in Detroit during Christmas, taking him away from his family. Find out how the problem is rectified just in time for Christmas!
This aired on December 22, 1953, and was only seen on WTVP and WDAN-TV. It was not seen on WBLN(Bloomington-Ch 15) or WTVI(Belleville-Ch 54). It may have been seen on WTVH in Peoria, but can't be confirmed.
Donny and Marie Osmond Christmas Special (1976) ABC
This ABC Special was broadcast on December 17, 1976. It was the brother/sister act's first Christmas Special. It features the Osmonds along with guest stars Andy Williams and Paul Lynde.
This would have been broadcast throughout mid-Illinois on WAND, WRAU, WIIL and KTVI.
Ozzie and Harriet Christmas Episode (1956/1964) Rick Nelson
"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" is television's longest-running live-action sitcom. It aired on ABC from October 3, 1952, through April 23, 1966 after being on network radio for a number of years from the 1940s and early 1950s. It even aired on television and radio simultaneously for a number of years in the 1950s.
This particular episode was shown in 1964, but it included a flashback episode from 1956.
It was seen across mid-Illinois on WCIA, WTVH, WDAN-TV, KTVI, and later on WTVP (WAND). It was seen several years on WCIA as the ad agency sponsor (Kodak and Coca-Cola) negotiated a deal to allow WCIA to air the series to reach a larger audience over central Illinois, taking it away from WTVP, which had a much-limited coverage area.
Even so, WCIA did not air the series live across the network but instead aired 16mm film versions with the intended network commercials inserted about a week or two later than the original ABC broadcast.
Meanwhile, WDAN-TV had an "all-run" contract with ABC, which allowed them to air the series live across the network but did not allow for network compensation to the station. The WDAN-TV signal served the Danville area, and if one had their UHF antenna pointing to the east from Champaign-Urbana, viewers could have also seen it on WDAN-TV Channel 24.
Sonny and Cher (1972) CBS Christmas Show
Description of the show by The Paley Center for Media:
"One in this comedy/variety series starring Sonny and Cher. This Christmas-themed episode features special guest William Conrad.
Sonny and Cher open the program with "Jingle Bells," then explain that the show is moving to Wednesdays, a "lucky" day for them both. Conrad then portrays a streetwise Santa Claus who is annoyed to find another St. Nick on his turf, but the two quickly decide to be friends. Sonny and Cher perform Three Dog Night's "Black and White," and in an installment of "Sonny's Pizza," on Christmas Eve, Sonny presents his two beleaguered employees with bonus checks, though he has forgotten to sign them. An official, played by Conrad, arrives and regretfully admits that he must shut off their electricity because of non-payment, but the two waiters charitably "donate" their checks to keep the place running.
Sonny and Cher then welcome young daughter Chastity for a segment of "Raggedy Sonny and Raggedy Cher," in which the two married dolls prepare for Christmas. When an audience member asks about the couple's vacation habits, Sonny and Cher jet off to the Peaceful Valley Lodge atop a mountain, where they are greeted by the excitable locals, including the town's "social directors," and they greet the celebrities with elaborate song-and-dance numbers and an extravagant suite, despite their wishes for a low-key getaway. Finally, Conrad offers some wise words about the meaning of Christmas. Commercials deleted."
This would have been seen across Mid-Illinois on WCIA, WMBD-TV, KHQA, WTHI-TV, and KMOX-TV.
The Andy Williams Christmas Show (1966) NBC
This Christmas Special with Andy Williams features his wife Claudine Longet, his kids along other family members including his brothers, "The Williams Brothers" and the Osmond Brothers.
You'll hear many of Andy's classic songs from the 1960s as broadcast on December 18, 1966. It was seen across mid-Illinois on WICS, WCHU, WICD(not in color), WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.
The Lucy Show (1962) CBS Together for Christmas
In this episode, Vivian Vance is in the role of Lucy's best friend, Vivian Bagley. Lucy played Lucille Carmichael. Each had children. Lucy's kids were Chris and Jerry, played by Candy Moore and Jimmy Garrett. Viv's son was Sherman, played by Ralph Hart. This was the Lucy series with Gale Gordon as Mr. Mooney. Dick Martin of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" played a pilot named Harry Conners.
This follow-up from "I Love Lucy" aired from October 1, 1962 through July 1965. At the beginning of the next season, Lucy is shown after moving to San Francisco, and her name becomes Lucille Carter.
Meanwhile, Gale Gordon made the move as well, with a new name and a new job. He was now Harrison Carter, playing the role through 1974. Lucy's new BFF was now Mary Jane Lewis. (real-life wife of Elliott Lewis, who not only had a great career in radio, was also a director of many, if not all, of the episodes of "Here's Lucy.")
By 1968, Lucy was cast with two kids, played by her real kids, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. The viewers accepted just about everything that Lucy could throw out to them.
All of the "Lucy" show episodes aired on CBS affiliates in Mid-Illinois, WCIA, WMBD-TV, WTHI, KHQA, and KMOX-TV.
Hazel (1964) CBS Christmas Episode
"Hazel" was sponsored for several years by the Ford Motor Company. The opening sequence for this episode would feature a '65 Ford and the cast members. There was at least one season (1963) that the producers would feature several Ford models (The Falcon, Galaxie 500 convertible, and the new Mustang), all being driven by different members of the family, including the maid, Hazel!
This is the series Christmas episode from 1964, featuring the 1965 Ford LTD being driven by Hazel. She must have been very well paid! This show also lists the executive producer as Harry Ackerman, who was married to a 25-year-old younger, Elinor Donahue (of "Father Knows Best," and "The Andy Griffith Show") from 1962 to his death in 1991.
Mr. Ackerman also was involved in getting Hanna-Barbera productions on ABC, then worked for Screen Gems at Columbia Pictures Television. There he was involved in the productions of "Father Knows Best," "Dennis the Menace," "The Donna Reed Show," "Hazel," "Gidget," "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie," "The Flying Nun," "The Farmer's Daughter," "The Monkees" and "The Partridge Family."
He also was involved in the series "Bachelor Father," and "Leave it To Beaver" for Revue Productions at Universal Studios.
Now, back to the subject at hand. "Hazel" starred Don DeFore, Whitney Blake as attorney George, and his interior decorator wife, Dorothy Baxter. Their son, Harold, was played by Bobby Buntrock.
"Hazel" has the honor of being broadcast by two networks. First on NBC from September 28, 1961 (in black and white). For the 1963-65 season, it was in color on NBC. Then transferred, thanks to the show's ad agency, J. Walter Thompson, The Ford Motor Company, to be broadcast on CBS for the 1965-66 season.
During the final season, Hazel would stay with the series, but all of the original cast would leave, saying explaining that they were transferred to Sibera....actually the Middle East. They so loved their son, Harold, they left him with the house, furniture, and probably the cars and, of course, Hazel.
The new masters of the household were now George's brother (who looked nothing like George), played by Ray Fulmer, and his wife Barbara, played by Lynn Borden. Their daughter Susie was played by Julia Benjamin.
(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.
They may be removed without notice)
Christmas Old Time Radio Shows
Enjoy 7 hours of classic Christmas season-themed Classic radio shows for your Christmas!
00:00 The Night Before Christmas - New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
00:28:17 A Christmas Carol - CBS Radio Mystery Theater
01:11:21 The Christmas Story - Mysterious Traveler
01:40:18 Miracle On 34th Street - Screen Director's Playhouse
02:10:06 A Christmas Carol - CBS Hallmark Hall Of Fame
02:34:08 The Plot To Murder Santa Claus - Rocky Fortune
02:57:30 The Big Little Jesus - Dragnet
03:24:03 Nick Carter's Christmas Adventure - Nick Carter Master Detective
03:53:33 Christmas Bonus - The Whistler
04:22:57 Hanging Cross - Have Gun Will Travel
04:45:24 Irma's Christmas Party - My Friend Irma
05:14:42 Uninhabited - Lights Out
05:44:35 A Pony For Christmas - Dr. Sixgun
06:12:07 Christmas Gift For Fibber McGee - The Great Gildersleeve
06:40:39 Out Of Jail For Christmas - Danger With Granger
(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.
They may be removed without notice)
Boo Boo and Yogi (Hanna-Barbara Productions)
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
Boo Boo and Yogi (Hanna-Barbara Productions)
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 will be printed as the book was initially published.
Stop by the Jane Adams Book Shop at 208 North Neil Street in downtown Champaign, IL
I hope to have an e-book set for purchase sometime during the Spring of 2024.
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.
Milton Berle Show (NBC) 6/5/56-Clip with Elvis
I Married Joan (NBC) Season 1, Ep 2
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
Dragnet (1957) NBC Jack Webb, Ben Alexander
Guests: Dinah Shore, Groucho Marx, Carl Reiner
NBC Guests: Nat King Cole, Ginger Rogers, George Burns
Guest: Andy Griffith
Empire Builders (Classic Radio Show-1938) Betty White
New Stuff on this Site
For the first time ever, a very rare photograph of the original tower and antenna of Champaign's WCHU, Channel 33!! Check out the HISTORY of WCHU/WICD
There are several updates within the History of WICS. Both involve two different station sales by two groups within the 1980s. Go to the second WICS History page for details.
On the WTVP history page one, new pictures, newspaper clippings, and other items have replaced poor-quality pictures or clips with many much better-quality copies.
Updated TV Now with "The Nest" taking the place of "Stadium."
Watching the news of Chicago going ATSC 3.0. Waiting for details to update TV Now-Chicago.
Program schedules were added to the WTVP(WAND) first page, showing what was broadcast in September-October 1953.
Some newspaper ads were published in the Taylorville Breeze Courier in 1953 by WTIM-Radio.
Added some newspaper clippings from February of 1962 to the History of WCIA 1953-1965 site.
Added program schedules to WTIM 1410AM, Taylorville page from 1963-1965.
Added program schedules to WLS 890AM, Chicago on Legendary Radio Station page from 1964-65.
Added program schedules to WTVP, and WCIA pages with some overlap. That overlap includes other stations in some cases. You'll see listings for WICS, and KSD-TV on some of the other listings posted. It's complicated! It's best seen on a large-screen computer monitor. Don't try to read them on your phone!
More pictures added to WTIM/WEEE history.