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Historical Television Highlights


This page features some highlights of Television Broadcasting. It includes programs, program genres, events, and significant locations.

The EDSEL Show-October 13, 1957


Here is the oldest use of videotape for network television recording in existence. The Edsel Show was recorded as it was presented live on CBS on Sunday, October 13, 1957. A TV Guide® Close-Up is shown here from the Indianapolis edition showing it aired on WCIA, Channel 3-Champaign, WISH-TV, Channel 8-Indianapolis, WTHI-TV, Channel 10-Terre Haute and WANE-TV, Channel 15-Fort Wayne.

It is truly significant because the videotape was used to delay the broadcast for viewing in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, the previously live broadcast which was broadcast live for Eastern and Central time zones. Bing Crosby did notoriously favor pre-recording his radio shows to fit his schedule. He was considered a financier and developer of audiotape for the AMPEX company to be used for his radio broadcasts. Then, by the mid-1950s, he was working with AMPEX to develop videotape recorders to bring a live broadcast look and feel to pre-recorded programming.

This is also significant for its sponsor, the Ford Motor Company, which introduced one of the largest failures of an American automobile maker in history. The Edsel was named for the son of Henry Ford and was meant to compete with the likes of General Motors Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick divisions. Unfortunately, it was introduced during an economic recession, which lowered the sales numbers of the entire automotive industry. Plus, the car developed a reputation for being less than reliable.

Enjoy this fine example of a TV special and a TV spectacular with three huge names in the music industry of the 1950s. Sinatra was enjoying a comeback after being on the skids in the early 1950s. He was now riding high after his Oscar and Golden Globe awards "From Here to Eternity" in 1953. He went on to star in several other popular films of the mid-1950s, including "Young at Heart" with Doris Day, "Suddenly" with Sterling Hayden, "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "High Society" with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. "High Society" was one of the highest-grossing movies in 1956, before this TV special. He also rejuvenated his recording career during the mid-1950s with many recorded albums with the likes of Nelson Riddle and his orchestra. 

Meanwhile, Bing Crosby was also very active in film, TV, and radio, having hosted a long-running radio variety special and appearing in the "road" pictures with Bob Hope, who makes a cameo appearance in this special. He was also a broadcast owner, purchasing KCOP-TV in Los Angeles in 1954. He also owned, for a time, KPTV in Portland, Oregon.

Rosemary Clooney began with a hit record in the early 1950s called "Come On-a My House," "Botch-a-Me," and many others. She starred with Bing Crosby in the 1950s color version of "White Christmas." She was the mother of actor Miguel Ferrer, the sister of Nick Clooney, and the aunt of actor George Clooney. 

Bing Crosby died in 1977, Frank Sinatra in 1998, and Rosemary Clooney in 2002. The Edsel was removed from production in 1960.

Edsel Show
CBS TV City.jpg
CBS TV City_property.jpg

This 2-hour, 40-minute video is from a kinescope of a live CBS Special that was broadcast on November 15, 1952 (before any local TV stations were on the air in mid-Illinois to watch it) on CBS. It features stars from its many TV shows, which were broadcast either live or recorded on film at the facility's grand opening.

(Note: Audio might not play on some smaller devices.)

In October 2018, it was announced that CBS had decided to sell its iconic studio located in Los Angeles. By December 2018, the announcement came that CBS had sold their home for $750 million to an LA-based real estate developer, Hackman Capital Partners.

This agreement means that Hackman Capital Partners will continue to use the name "Television City," but CBS will continue to produce TV shows there, at least in the foreseeable future.

The network purchased the property in 1950, located at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. The facility was built for 7 million dollars.


On April 27, 2002, CBS celebrated the 50th year of CBS Television City with a variety show that included many who had worked and performed there. Carol Burnett hosted the special.

This is the oldest videotape recording in existence. The Edsel Show stars Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Rosemary Clooney. Produced at CBS Television City on October 13, 1957. Seen live across the USA in all time zones except the Pacific, The Edsel Show was tape-delayed for broadcast 3 hours later in the Pacific Zone. A few early videotapes were saved...most were erased and reused.

See the Edsel Show section at the top of this page

for more details.


CBS TV City.jpg

CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow takes us on a tour of Television City in Hollywood. The facility began its life in 1953 and became the originating studio of many of CBS's classic TV shows. 

Along with "The Jack Benny Show" and the "Art Linkletter House Party" for example, it was the home of many live and filmed TV shows.  It wasn't until some time later, in the late 1950s that videotape was used to record shows. 

Other shows included "The Price is Right," "Bold and the Beautiful," "Young and the Restless," "Smothers' Brothers," the Norman Lear shows, including "All in the Family," "Welcome Back Kotter(for ABC), "The Gong Show(for NBC), "The Carol Burnett Show," "One Day at a Time," "Threes Company"(for ABC), "Red Skelton Show," "Wheel of Fortune," "Match Game," "Family Feud," "The Twilight Zone" and " 

To see more about CBS Television City, visit the Historical TV Highlights page.


Here's a glimpse of CBS Television City in 1987, showcasing clips from the 1953 special, beloved classic shows, and memorable moments from the 1960s. This includes the Smothers Brothers' struggle with censorship, the iconic Carol Burnett sketch parodying "Gone With the Wind," and the controversial episodes of "Maude" and "The Jeffersons." (Source: YouTube)

CBS Television City
Game Shows


Early Television

Supermarket Sweep (1967) ABC Host: Bill Malone

"Supermarket Sweep" was America's first traveling game show. Here's how it worked: The producers would travel to locations around the country and conduct the show with local participants, primarily married couples, and record for broadcast later. Each couple would load up their shopping carts within a certain time, and the couple that collected the most dollar amount would get to keep their groceries and return the next day to compete again. The host was Bill Malone.

The logistics of creating a show like this would require at least one day to tape a week's worth of shows, allowing the store to return to regular business as soon as possible.

Plus, a winning couple of contestants could return for the taping of the next session(s). Doing it in one day allowed the production to be torn down, moved to the next city, and set up again the following week.

"Supermarket Sweep" was shown on ABC and over mid-Illinois, weekdays at 10 am on WTVP, WTVH, and KTVI. It aired from December 20, 1965, through July 14, 1967. The shopping game show would reappear later in syndication in the 1970s.

Say When (1961) NBC Episode 5, Host: Art James

This installment of "Say When" was broadcast by NBC on Friday, January 6, 1961. It was hosted by Art James and produced by Goodson-Todman Productions and in color. This is a monochrome kinescope. The show was reportedly similar to the early incarnation of "The Price is Right." 

"Say When" premiered on January 2, 1961, and ran through March 26, 1965. It aired at 10 a.m. CT on weekdays on NBC stations WICS, WCHU, WICD, WEEK, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

"Video Village" was one of my favorite game shows as a kid. It was issued as a Milton Bradley board game with a dice cage, similar to the one used on the show but much smaller. Of course, I had to have the board game, and I received it one Christmas. I was probably 6 or 7 years old.

Meanwhile, at the actual game show, the studio was a life-size street with blocks that contestants would "travel" as they approached the business district and would choose prizes from the businesses whose storefronts would include windows with the merchandise. The contestants were married couples, with the husband stepping through the spaces along the "streets." At the same time, the wife would roll the dice


Video Village (1960) CBS Host: Jack Narz Announcer: Kenny Williams

with the help of assistant Joanne Copeland(the second Mrs. Johnny Carson) or Eileen Barton. The original host was Jack Narz, who Monte Hall later replaced. 

There were other versions of "Video Village," including a nighttime version and a junior version for kids that Monte Hall and Stubby Kaye hosted. 

Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley produced the CBS game show. The daytime version aired July 11, 1960, and aired through June 15, 1962. 

Over central Illinois, it was seen on weekdays at 10 am on WMBD-TV, WTHI-TV, KHQA, and KMOX-TV. Video Village wasn't seen on WCIA. Channel 3 aired "Know Your Neighbor," a locally produced show, at 10 am, when it aired across the network. A year later, in 1961, the show was at 9:30 am, and the same thing would happen with WCIA broadcasting "Know Your Neighbor." I checked the listings from June of 1962, the last month of the network broadcast, and again, you guessed it, "Video Village" was pre-emptied by WCIA for "Know Your Neighbor." 

The obvious question is, how did I see the show when WCIA didn't air it? The logical answer would be that I was more familiar with the "Video Village Junior" show, which aired on Saturday mornings at 9 am on all of the CBS stations, including WCIA, from September 20, 1961, through June 16, 1962.

The Price is Right (1958) NBC Host Bill Cullen Announcer: Don Pardo


(Above): Dick Van Dyke pictured at the "Price is Right" set auditioning for the role as "host" to the long running game show. This is likely taken in 1957.

NBC premiered "The Price is Right" on November 26, 1956. This episode was broadcast on March 24, 1958, and seen on WICS, WEEK, and KSD-TV. It was seen for nine years on daytime TV early on, through September 6, 1963, hosted by Bill Cullen.

From a local standpoint, an East Central Illinois native auditioned for the early version's host role. Dick Van Dyke auditioned but did not get the job. As it turned out, it was probably best. 

Dick, in his book, "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business," describes what was going on during that time. Early on, he was the announcer of "The CBS Morning Show," joining anchors Walter Cronkite and Charles Collingwood on July 18, 1955, and going head to head with NBC's "Today" with Dave Garroway. Six months later, Cronkite was removed from the show, perhaps because of his schedule for hosting the evening news and his show"You Are There." 

Dick went to work one morning and found his office had been taken over by a new producer, and "all of my belongings in the hall." He was assured it wasn't a message of the network not wanting him and was told not to "read anything into the fact they didn't have a place to put me." (The rule, I have found, is never to believe a statement like that from anyone you work for) Dick complained to the CBS vice president of television, Harry Amerly, but never got his own office. A year later, he was removed from "The CBS Morning Show."

In 1956, he hosted the Saturday morning "Cartoon Theater" with Heckle and Jeckle. (A sample of that show has been featured on Videos of the Week at least a couple of times over the last 20 years.) 

During that time, he was also a panelist on the "To Tell The Truth" panel show for Goodson-Todman Productions. Even though he seemed to have been ignored by the producers, he was considered as emcee for a new show they were developing called "The Price is Right."


He practiced the show in a studio many evenings with people off the street as "test" contestants.  He recalled going home and telling his wife, Margie, "This is the dumbest idea. People are just trying to guess how much things cost. That's a show?" The producers chose Bill Cullen as host, and it became a TV game show classic for decades. 

"The Price is Right" has the distinction of giving away more merchandise than any other game show. This Goodson-Todman Production has been seen in several different formats over the years, but this early version was much different from what it is now. 

Announcer Don Pardo was recognized as NBC's main network New York announcer, a role he began in the 1950s and continued through the first half of "Saturday Night Live!"

Hollywood Squares (1966) CBS Pilot Show Host: Burt Parks

Here's a rare video of the "Hollywood Squares" pilot show, produced on August 12, 1966. The show was as we remember seeing it. However, the host was Burt Parks, a longtime game show host and Miss America master of ceremonies. Peter Marshall was the host by the time the show's daytime version premiered in the fall of 1966. This pilot was produced long before Paul Lynde became a "permanent" center square occupant. 

You might notice that the squares were loaded with actors who were starring in CBS shows. This pilot was produced at CBS Television City for CBS and Four Star Productions, but as it turned out, CBS rejected the show and it was recast with Peter Marshall, with an entirely new lineup of stars. It was produced for NBC at the Burbank studios. 

I'm sure you remember "Hollywood Squares," a giant tic-tac-toe game with celebrities representing each square and two contestants obtaining an "x" or "o" by agreeing or disagreeing with answers to questions given by those celebrities. 

This NBC daytime version aired from October 17, 1966, through June 20, 1980. It also was syndicated to local stations from 1972-1980. The show returned from 1983 to 1984 as part of the Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour. Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley produced it. 

The daytime version was shown on WICS, WCHU, WICD, WEEK, WGEM-TV, WTWO, and KSD-TV during its run.

Concentration (1958) NBC Host: Hugh Downs

"Concentration" had the longest continuous run of any network game show, premiering on NBC on July 28, 1958. It was also the last NBC network show to convert to color. The conversion happened when host Hugh Downs talked of the conversion and pushed a button on the game show set that instantly changed the video from monochrome to color.

The object of this game was to solve a series of drawn puzzles that illustrated a well-known phrase or saying. A puzzle would be revealed as two contestants matched pairs of squares on a wall display with the same prize. That prize would be posted on a board behind the contestant, who would pair each by remembering the location of the two small squares. The contestant who solved the puzzle during his/her turn would win the prizes. 

Longtime host Hugh Downs continued hosting the daytime version of the NBC show and was a main anchor of the Today Show from 1962 to 1971. When Downs left "Concentration" in 1965, several other hosts continued, including Jack Barry, Art James, Bill Mazer, Ed McMahon, and Bob Clayton. Beginning in 1973, Jack Narz hosted a syndicated version. 

"Concentration" aired on NBC daytime and was seen across mid-Illinois on WICD, WCHU, WICD, WEEK, WTWO, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

The Match Game (1964) NBC Host Gene Rayburn 

This edition of "The Match Game" aired on January 22, 1964. The original version was much different than the one we saw through the 1970s. The host was the same, and the six celebrity panelists would continue. In this early version, we see Betty White, Peggy Cass, Joan Fontaine, Bennet Serf, Henry Morgan, and Robert Q. Lewis. Gene Rayburn was the longtime host of the original and the more recent version. The announcer for both versions was Johnny Olson. 

Goodson-Todman Productions produced both old and new versions. Bert Kempfort wrote and orchestrated the theme song for the original, which reached the top of the MOR popular record charts.

Only eleven of these original "Match Game" shows still exist. One 1969 show was recorded in color on video, while the others were all on black-and-white kinescopes. What you see above is one of the kinescopes.
"The Match Game" aired on NBC from December 31, 1962, through September 20, 1969, and was seen on WICS, WCHU, WICD, WEEK, WTWO, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

Treasure Hunt (1958) ABC/NBC  Host: Jan Murray

"Treasure Hunt" premiered during prime time on September 7, 1956, and aired on ABC through May 24, 1957. After a short time-out, it returned on NBC daytime with prime run airings from August 12, 1957, through December 4, 1959. The host for both runs was Jan Murray.


Two contestants would participate in a question-answer segment, with the winner choosing one of 30 "treasure boxes" containing prizes they would win. 

This show is from the NBC run airing on WICS, WEEK, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

Tic Tac Dough (1958) NBC Host Jack Barry

This particular installment of "Tic Tac Dough" was broadcast on January 31, 1958. This daytime game show aired on NBC from July 30, 1956, through October 30, 1959, and probably aired on all of the NBC affiliates across mid-Illinois through the run of the show. That would have included WICS, WEEK, WCHU, WGEM-TV and KSD-TV. 

"Tic Tac Dough" was seen on weekdays, and from September 1957 through December 1958, it also aired during prime time. It operated much like "Hollywood Squares," which involved contestants playing a tic-tac-toe game involving answering questions and winning the square on the game board. The daytime version was hosted by Jack Barry, Gene Rayburn, and Bill Wendell. Jay Jackson hosted the prime-time version for most of its run. 

In 1978, there was yet another version of "Tic Tac Dough" hosted by Wink Martindale for CBS daytime and a syndicated version for the early evening or prime time.  

It Could Be You (1959) NBC Host Bill Leydon

Game show veteran Ralph Edwards created "It Could Be You," which aired on NBC from June 4, 1956, through December 29, 1961. This game show, shown here, was broadcast on March 5, 1959. 

Bill Leyden hosted this audience participation show, in which three predetermined contestants from the audience were chosen to be reunited with a loved one or even a former friend. The show's announcer was Wendell Niles. The show had more than a five-year run on NBC daytime during the summer seasons of 1958, 1959, and 1960, and the summer of 1961. 

Truth or Consequences (1956) NBC Host: Ralph Edwards/Bob Barker

"Truth or Consequences" was one of the most popular and long-running game/stunt shows on television. This installment was the first episode airing after an early season break from September through December 31, 1956. The show ran on CBS from September 7, 1950, through June 7, 1951. Then, from January 14, 1952, through September 24, 1965, on NBC. There is a chance that the local NBC stations didn't air the network series in the early years, as the stations would not be included in the "buy" from the ad agencies that represented the show's sponsors. Later, though, they would have been broadcast on WICS, WCHU, WICD, WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

From 1966 through 1974, it was seen in syndication and locally on WICS, WCHU, and WICD. "Truth or Consequences" was revived in 1977 and hosted by Bob Hilton. Still, I can't find any local stations that aired it in syndication. 

This Ralph Edwards show began on radio in the late 1940s (last week's Classic Radio segment was from NBC Radio and 1947- the link is on the right). The series was initially hosted by Mr. Edwards through 1953. Beginning in 1954, Jack Bailey hosted the show; in late 1956, the host was Bob Barker. It is challenging to sort out the air dates of the daytime version with the nighttime version or the hosts of either show, as Mr. Barker and Steve Dunne were listed as the nighttime version hosts for a time.


The show would bring audience members to be contestants, who would be asked an impossible question to answer. Then, a buzzer would immediately sound to allow no more than a fraction of a second to respond. As they failed to give the "truth," they would face the "consequences" with a demanding stunt of some kind. Some would last up to several weeks. 

Nothing But The Truth (1956) CBS Pilot Host: Mike Wallace

The video to the left is the pilot show produced by Goodson-Todman for what was to become "To Tell the Truth." The pilot aired as "Nothing But the Truth" hosted by long-time CBS news anchor and interviewer Mike Wallace.


In this pilot show, the panelists were John Cameron Swayze, Polly Bergen, Hildy Parks, and Dick Van Dyke, and probably produced sometime from August through October of 1956. It premiered on December 18, 1956, and aired through September 5, 1966, on CBS and broadcast across mid-Illinois on WCIA, WTVH, WTHI-TV, KHQA, and KWK-TV(later KMOX-TV).

As far as I can determine, Mr. Wallace was replaced soon after the initial episode(s) by Clayton "Bud" Collier (who played Superman/Clark Kent on the "Superman" series during the Golden Age of Radio from 1940 through 1951).

"To Tell the Truth" aired on CBS during prime time beginning in 1956 and then during the daytime from June 18, 1962, through September 6, 1968. Bud Collier hosted both versions. Regular panelists during the period included Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Phyllis Newman, Kitty Carlisle, and Orson Bean. Other guest stars occupied other seats from time to time.


The show was syndicated from 1969 to 1977 and hosted by Garry Moore through the run. Then, it was hosted by Joe Garagiola for shows that aired in 1980. Those syndicated showings were seen across central Illinois on WICS and WICD. 

Seven Keys (1962) ABC  Host Jack Narz Announcer: Jack Powers 

ABC didn't program a daytime schedule for most of the 1950s; the exception came in the late 1950s with "Who Do You Trust" with Johnny Carson, which aired around 3 pm CT, and "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark followed. 

By 1959, the network premiered a complete daytime schedule developed by ABC head programmer Ollie Treyz, who had been at the network from 1956 through 1962. Mr. Treyz was instrumental in getting Warner Brothers Television to produce several TV shows, bringing ABC into contention with CBS and NBC with successful programming. 

Treyz also needed a daytime schedule to compete with the other networks. He searched for daytime dramas (soaps) but discovered they took too long to succeed. So, he developed a few game shows and filled the schedule with off-network syndicated programs (as CBS did). 

ABC couldn't find advertisers willing to pay the bills for additional programming so the network could compensate the local stations at the monetary levels they wanted. Ollie Treyz then persuaded affiliates to accept less compensation and worked out discounted advertising agreements with the major ad agencies. That resulted in 35 half-hour weekly programs that began at 10 am CT. Unfortunately, it didn't immediately result in a successful result for ABC. Still, it was a start, while the prime-time schedule saw increasing ratings and revenue. 


Among the programs added to the daytime schedule was this daytime show, "Seven Keys," which aired from April 3, 1961, through March 27, 1964. This game show featured game show veteran Jack Narz (the brother of game show host Tom Kennedy).

The game show had two contestants answering questions to advance along a game board by identifying pictures on each square. When a contestant crossed the finish line, they would win that round. The winner would win one more of the seven keys, in which one of them hid the grand prize of the day. At the show's end, the one with the most keys would win, and if one of those keys represented the major prize, they would win that. 

According to the published TV programming schedule in the Bloomington Pantagraph for April 3, 1961, "Seven Keys" aired at 2:30 pm CT on WTVP,   WTVH, and WBKB-TV(now WLS-TV, Chicago) with this video being broadcast on July 12, 1962. 

On Your Way (1953 or 1954) DuMont Host: Bud Collier Announcer: Don Morrow

Here's another show that shifted formats mid-stream. "On Your Way" began on the DuMont network on September 9, 1953, when most local stations in central Illinois went on the air. "On Your Way" aired on DuMont through January of 1954. Unfortunately, there was no way that DuMont could have a live network feed for any central Illinois stations. WCIA, WICS, and WTVP were all listed as DuMont affiliates but were only airing DuMont shows on a delayed basis by airing kinescope (films) of the network shows. It's still being determined if this show ever aired across central Illinois.

The appearance of Don Morrow on the show is one thing of interest to me. He later hosted "Camouflage" for ABC in the early 1960s. I was a fan of the game show, and he served as a mentor for me. Very early in life, I wanted to be a game show host! Imagine my excitement to meet Don Morrow in 1995 while I was in Los Angeles for a convention related to my days in promotion at WICD. He was doing some voice-over work for stations and was in a booth at one of the exhibitions there. I talked to him at some length and found him to be very down-to-earth and personable. I wish I could find more videos with him. Still, other than this, I've seen nothing, as the only YouTube post of "Camouflage," where Don Morrow was the host, had a guest host on that installment. As it was said Mr. Morrow was on vacation for that live show broadcasts.


The second incarnation of "On Your Way" was shown as part of the ABC schedule in 1954. It was changed to a talent contest, in a very early version of "America's Idol," "America's Got Talent," or "Star Search." It was hosted by John Reed King and Kathy Godfrey(sister of Arthur Godfrey). This most likely aired on WDAN-TV since they had an "air all" network affiliation agreement with ABC. I found no other central Illinois ABC station broadcast "On Your Way" in January of 1954, according to the TV schedule listings of the Bloomington Pantagraph. That would include WTVP and WBLN. The WTVH program schedule was not listed. 

Twenty-One (1956) NBC Host Jack Barry

Books have been written, and a movie ("Quiz Show") was produced about the controversy surrounding this most infamous game show, "Twenty-One."  Jack Barry and his partner, Dan Enright, created the game show. Each show featured two contestants, one a challenger and the other the previous show's champion. They were in separate isolation booths and asked questions rated from 1 to 11 points. The first person to correctly answer the questions to score 21 points would be the winner. 

Here's the controversy: One contestant, Herbert Stempel, became a multi-week winner, driving viewers to the show. Another contestant beat him after failing to answer a relatively easy question. The other contestant, Charles Van Doren, 

was a handsome guy who attracted an even larger audience because of his ability to answer difficult questions, social standing, family background, and good looks. 

It was a setup as Van Doren was said to have been coached by the producers by the guy he beat, Herbert Stemple. The producers felt that Mr. Stemple was not an attractive enough contestant, and viewers became bored with him as he continued to win each week. Mr. Stemple claimed that the producers were asking him to take a dive and miss a question, allowing Charles Van Doren to be the winner of the next episode. He said the producers coached or rehearsed Van Doren ahead of show time on similar questions and taught him to act to increase the suspense for the viewers and studio audience. It was also said the booths were heated to make the contests sweat, to show how nervous the contestants would be. 

Stemple's allegations of the setup were revealed to the press, which created quite a challenge for the producers of the show, its sponsor, and NBC. Ultimately, the FCC got involved in setting up guidelines for quiz shows that stand today. Still, NBC canceled other game shows that "may have" had similar situations develop. Along with the cancellation of "Twenty-One" was "Dotto," "The $64,000 Challenge," and "The $64,000 Question, all during the Fall of 1958. 

This particular episode of "Twenty-One" aired on December 5, 1956, and shows the actions of Charles Van Doren and Herbert Stempel as they competed for big money. Charles Van Doren, went on to win $253,500 in fourteen appearances on the show. He later captured the imagination of viewers with a photo of him on the cover of LIFE magazine. He even became a co-host on NBC's Today Show until the controversy came to light.


This program aired on NBC affiliates across central Illinois, including WICS, WEEK, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

The Quiz Show Scandal-American Experience (1991) PBS

This is the quiz show scandal explained in "The American Experience" by PBS in 1991. 

The movie "Quiz Show" is available on YouTube. You can click here to see it.


American Bandstand

American Bandstand


"American Bandstand" was one of ABC's longest-running TV series and certainly the first musical series to feature rock and roll. It premiered on WFIL-TV in Philadelphia and was hosted by Bob Horn from 1952 to 1956, then Dick Clark. Soon after, in 1957, "Bandstand" became "American Bandstand" when it went national on ABC every afternoon Monday-Friday.

In August 1963, it would cease being a weekday series and only be seen on Saturday afternoons. The following year, it would be relocated to Los Angeles, I assume to fit the schedule and location for what would be Clark's growing empire in entertainment and production of TV series. He would also produce "Where the Action Is" and "It's Happening" for ABC in the mid-1960s.

On April 4, 1959, Edd Byrnes joined "American Bandstand" with his hit (with Connie Stevens) "Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb." Both were Warner Brothers contract actors and stars of the ABC WB series. Byrnes with "77 Sunset Strip" and Stevens with "Hawaiian Eye."

Dick Clark

Danny and the Juniors had the hit "The Hop," and this video begins with a shout-out to one of the TV stations featured on this website, KTVI, Channel 2 in St. Louis. See it here as it was broadcast in 1958, right after Channel 2 became a full-fledged ABC affiliate. This was from the prime-time version of "American Bandstand" from 1957-58.

From 1958: The Silhouettes and "Get A Job." A number one song for 2 weeks.

Dick Clark on TV Guide

This is a rare episode of "American Bandstand" that aired on March 8, 1963, from Philadelphia. During this period, the show was shortened to just thirty minutes, but by September of that year, it was expanded back to its original one-hour format. This particular episode is unique in that it is the only known surviving weekday half-hour version of the show. It is worth noting that the Top 10 segment was edited out, according to the submitter on YouTube. The show was hosted by Dick Clark, with Charlies O'Donnell serving as the announcer. (Source: YouTube)

The American Bandstand "Scrapbook Gallery"

This is a mostly complete installment of "American Bandstand" from June 18, 1966, we see Steve Alamo, Captain Beefheart, and "Love."


Here's a nearly complete installment of "American Bandstand" from August 2, 1969, as broadcast on ABC. It's missing the number one song of the week, having been blocked by YouTube for copyright issues. Once again, historic videos are being defaced by copyright issues on YouTube.


The 50th Anniversary of "American Bandstand" aired on ABC in 2002 and was the final one of the series. This is a short clip from the show's beginning featuring the guest stars of the early 2000s.

The final American Bandstand edition from the original series was seen in 1987, ending its run on ABC. It was later seen in syndication for a season with Dick Clark, then with replacement hosts. Dick Clark died in 2012 after suffering a stroke in 2004. He continued co-hosting the New Year's Eve Specials on ABC until his death.


Locally Produced 
Programs for

Children's Panel Show/Cartoons Based

The first is the traditional "kids' panel show," in which at least several children would be a part of the on-camera production. Most of these shows for the kids were modeled after "Howdy Doody," with a host who would be the adult "leader" talking and relating to the local kids on the show. The host would sometimes have a co-host who was usually there as comedy relief and to help keep the show rolling as the kids would participate in games and contests between the airing of local cartoons. Sometimes, the show's theme would coincide with the cartoons being shown. You'll see examples below.

WCIA, Channel 3 late weekday afternoon kids shows included: "The Popeye Show," "Popeye's Circus," "Captain Eddy," and "Sheriff Sid."


WTVP Channel 17 broadcasts "Davey's Locker," "Space Angel," "Dick Tracy's Crimestoppers," and "Kartoon Kampus" as well as others. "Romper Room," the young children's show franchise, is also included.


WICS, Channel 20 aired "Pegwill Circus," "Pegwill Pete," "Clickity Clack(or Clicka T. Clack," "The Funny Company," "Kim's Kiddie Korner," and "Popeye and Kim."


WEEK, Channel 43/25, Peoria had the "Captain Jinks and Salty Sam Show."


WTVH, Channel 19, Peoria, was the franchise holder for "Romper Room."


KTVI, Channel 2, St. Louis broadcast "Mr. Patches."

KMOX, Channel 4, St. Louis featured "Cooky and the Captain."


KSD-TV, Channel 5, St. Louis had "Corky the Clown."


KPLR, Channel 11, St. Louis broadcast " Captain 11's Showboat."


KACY, Channel 14, Festus(St. Louis) featured "Millie and Cricket."
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Funny Company was a syndicated concept children's program that would be done locally with local hosts and kids participating. It aired on WICS with Clicka T. Clack as the host. Unfortunately, no videos of the local production are seen on Channel 20. These are the opening titles used by WICS.


This is a segment from more recent days as WEEK's children's program "Captain Jinx and Salty Sam." 

Here is "Cooky and the Captain" from KMOX-TV, Channel 4, St. Louis. It's unknown when this particular clip from videotape aired but it's definitely from the early 1960s.

This goes back to February of 1953 with someone's home movies of their child's appearance on "Romper Room" in 1953. This took place at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland. I'm hoping that someone at WTVP(WAND), WTVH(WIRL, WRAU) has similar home movies of their child's appearance on "Romper Room" or any other locally produced children's show. If you have one in a digital format, I would like to feature it here!  Please contact me!


Childrens Shows


Teen age Dance Programs

Teenager Dance/Music Shows



The second type of children's show was for teenagers. It was top 40 radio on TV as teens danced to their favorite songs of the day. 

They were all pretty much the same format, consisting of a male host who also was the disc jockey. He would interview the teens, perhaps include a "rate-a-record" review of newly released records and an occasional dance contest.

From the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, local TV stations would include a Saturday afternoon or sometimes a weeknight hour-long program dance program.

WCIA broadcasts "The Hop" with John Coleman and later Ed Mason.

WTVP, Channel 17 broadcast "The Frank Monte Show" and later "Marty's Dance Party."

WICS, Channel 20 aired "The Pepsi Dance Party."

WDAN-TV broadcast "Danville Bandstand."

Unfortunately, virtually no video of local dance shows exists, other than some kinescope segments from "The Hop" that were broadcast on WCIA. I don't have access to those, but I'll try. 

Local Teenage Dance Programs
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Disneyland Opening, from ABC July 17, 1955

Seeing current plans by the Disney people to reopen their parks, namely Disneyland and Disney World, it won't be like the original grand opening from 65 years ago, July 18, 1955.

This was broadcast across the ABC television network live with various guest stars, interviews, and many personal observations from Anaheim, California.

From a technical broadcast standpoint, it was an incredible logistic feat to organize and construct a network of video cables all across the park, with black and white video cameras, alongside an audio system in synch with the video and organize the writing and talent to be where they should be on cue. The communication system between everyone in the production was also built. See the video below! 

The final step was to link the production with the ABC network feed from Los Angeles(Hollywood) to master control in New York and then via network feed to the ABC affiliates, at least those with a live network feed, to be broadcast to viewers. This production would have been seen in mid-Illinois on WTVP, WBLN, KTVI, and possibly WTVH.

Enjoy this kinescope of the event, which was probably recorded to be sent to ABC affiliates that did not have a live network feed from the network.   

Curious about how the live broadcast from Disneyland on July 17, 1955, was produced? ABC produced a 14-minute documentary called "Operation Disneyland" that delves into the technical logistics behind the live TV broadcast. Whether you're in the TV production industry or involved in live field broadcasts or sporting events, it's worth checking out how it was done 65 years ago!

"Disneyland's 10th Anniversary" on "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, NBC 1965

Let's advance 10 years to "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" as broadcast on NBC. This episode celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Disneyland and is hosted by 64-year-old Walt Disney. As a side note, Mr. Disney suffered from lung cancer and died in December. 

The show doesn't include commercials, but you'll notice some product placement with Kodak cameras that sponsored the show during a good part of the 1960s.

This would have been seen on NBC affiliates in color on WICS, WCHU, WEEK-TV, WTWO, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV. It was also seen in black and white on WICD. (Find out why it was in black and white on the History of WICD section of this site).

Disneyland Opening


Season Premiere Special, ABC, 1963-64

It’s that time of year…the network season premieres!  It’s a time of TV viewing excitement as we anticipate new episodes of your favorite shows…and a healthy mix of new shows. Except that this new TV season has been met with much less enthusiasm. The last few years have been met with far less excitement, even with the pandemic. The networks don’t promote the new seasons they used to. I miss the full-page ads in TV Guide(at least the old TV Guide that listed local stations), the ads in local newspapers, and the half-hour or hour-long promotional network infomercials that would air multiple times from late August to mid-September. 

In 1963, ABC was going through an “image” update with a schedule of some groundbreaking shows matched to the available audience each night.  Some notes along the way:

The Sunday night schedule was set up with basic family viewing beginning at 6:30 with Kurt Russell as “The Travels of Jamie McPheeters” followed by the more adult shows, each 45-minutes long, “The Arrest” and “The Trial” starring “The Rifleman” star, Chuck Conners. That was followed by a Quiz Show, “Hundred Grand.”

Monday started with classic science fiction, “Outer Limits.” I remember watching this series as an 8-year-old; several episodes scared me. That was followed by “Wagon Train” at 7:30 (CT). It had just shifted from NBC (and in color) to ABC (back to black and white, but in color the year after).  It also became a 90-minute show to compete with NBC’s 90-minute epic western “The Virginian.” At 9, it was “Breaking Point,” an hour-long medical drama.

Tuesday began with another classic, “Combat,” the World War II drama. (Remember that it was only 20 years after WWII). But not all World War II shows had to be serious, as “McHale’s Navy” followed at 7:30 pm (CT). This became one of my all-time favorite shows. At 8 pm, Jack Palance was in “The Greatest Show on Earth,” a Desilu-produced drama based on a traveling circus show. Check out the promo for this one with an incredible list of guests, including Tuesday Weld, Russ Tamblyn (“Twin Peaks”), and Robert Webber, among others. The series would go on to star a long list of past and future guests, including one of its producers, Lucille Ball. Then, at 9, it was the pilot show of  “The Fugitive” with David Janssen.

Wednesday night was “family night” on ABC with the long-running “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” at 6:30 pm, then “The Patty Duke Show” at 7. The genre changed to the game show “The Price is Right” with Bill Cullen at 7:30(originally on NBC). The attention shifted back to the adults at 8:00 with “Ben Casey,” the medical drama with Vince Edwards. “Channing” aired at 9:00, starring Jason Evers(he made many guest appearances in QM-produced dramas) and Henry Jones(later on “Phyllis”). This drama was based on events at a university.

Thursday, ABC’s successful family animated series “The Flintstones” led off the night at 6:30, followed by “The Donna Reed Show.” (Most audiences remember Donna Reed as being Jimmy Stewart's love interest in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.) It also starred Carle Betz as her doctor husband. You’ll notice Bob Crane(later on "Hogan's Heroes) as their wacky neighbor. The children of the family were Shelly Fabares (later on “Coach”), Paul Peterson (who had a couple of top 40 hits at the time), and Patty Peterson. This family sitcom aired on ABC from 1958 to 1966. At 7:30 it was “My Three Sons” where it aired from 1960-65 (moving to CBS in 1965-1972).  The variety show “The Jimmy Dean Show” followed at 9 pm. Yea, that’s the sausage king, THE Jimmy Dean.

Friday night began with the hip detective drama “77 Sunset Strip” with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith (Ann Margaret’s husband), and Edd Byrnes (the movie “Grease”). That was followed by another detective drama “Amos Burke” starring Gene Barry (both “War of the Worlds” movies) and was one of Aaron Spelling’s first produced shows (including "The Mod Squad," "The Love Boat," "Charlie's Angels," "Fantasy Island," and many more). At 8:30, we were back to sitcoms with “The Farmer’s Daughter” starring William Windom(later in one memorable episode of "Star Trek" and many other series) and Inger Stevens(who starred in one of the most popular "Twilight Zone" episodes, "The Hitchhiker"). At 9 pm, it was “The Fight of the Week” with boxing.

Saturday night had a musical start with “Hootenanny,” a show featuring the then-popular musical genre “folk songs” at 6:30. That was followed by “The Jerry Lewis Show,” a two-hour talk/variety show that aired for only 13 weeks. It was a programming disaster for the network. A couple of notes, one of the show's writers was Dick Cavett, and it was broadcast from the same theater/studio which would serve as the broadcast home to “The Hollywood Palace” and, many years later, “The Jimmy Kimmel Show.”

Mel Brooks wrote this entire production with the animation segments produced by Chester Gould (“Dick Tracy” cartoonist). 

Edie Adams was the singer at the beginning and end of the show. She was the widow of TV comedy pioneer Ernie Kovacs, who was killed in a car accident in January of 1962. He died, leaving her with many debts. There seemed to be an effort by many of the couple's friends to employ her in commercials, TV shows, and even movies to help her free herself from her husband’s debts.

It appeared the new ABC TV season was off to a great start. You'll notice that most of the westerns were gone. All the Warner Brothers westerns were gone. The only real Western was "Wagon Train," and it was made into an epic with a full 90-minute presentation. "The Tales of Jamie McPheeters" might qualify as a Western. The only Warner Brothers series was "77 Sunset Strip." The daytime TV schedule was full at the time, with every period after 10 am with at least some type of programming. The day consisted of off-network sitcoms, dramas, game shows, and daytime serials. 

About two months into the season, a major event would stop the programming presentation for all three networks for over a week. The assassination of President Kennedy would bring the news departments to the forefront of viewing. CBS and NBC had active and established successful news departments, but ABC was playing catch-up. The Kennedy assassination would help boost the efforts of ABC News and bring respect to the once-third-string network.

Throughout Central Illinois, ABC programming could be seen on WTVP(later WAND), WTVH(later WIRL, WRAU, WHOI), and KTVI. The Quincy market, with stations KHQA and WGEM, shared the programming of ABC airing certain programs via tape delay at various weekends and late-night times.  

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(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

ABC 1963 Season Premiere
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The CBS Color Story

CBS prepared this film during the Summer of 1954 to present to affiliates and advertisers, showing the massive amount of effort and equipment it took to present any broadcast, even in black and white, but now in color. This film includes a backstage and production room view of several productions shown on CBS during the year, just after the FCC adopted and approved the black-and-white compatible color system for television broadcasts. Being compatible was the key, in that even a show produced in color could be seen in black and white for those without color television.

CBS tried its mechanical color TV system, and even though it was perhaps slightly better at presenting color, it wasn't compatible with the then-current television system. The CBS system included using a fast-moving large disc that was somewhat dangerous, spinning at over 1400 rpm with red, green, and blue filters in radial arcs, allowing the human eye to retain the separate lit images of multicolor simultaneously. To see what the CBS color system looked like, take a side trip to the site and the CBS color converter page.

The RCA system used in this film shows color cameras with the RCA logos removed. CBS used RCA TK-40 or TK-41s, which were the first television cameras able to broadcast live color images. Networks and local stations used RCA color cameras like these throughout the 1960s.

It wasn't just the cameras that had to be color models, as each camera's controlling unit (seen in the control room) and the video switcher had to be able to accept and mix the color signals coming from the camera and the camera's controlling unit, which were then mixed and sent out across the network. The network coaxial and microwave system that allowed local television stations to accept and broadcast color had to be converted for color. Each network spent millions to make that all happen. 

Meanwhile, local TV stations were slowly being converted to broadcast in color by the mid-1950s, but only the network signal. It was still about 5-10 years before local TV stations could broadcast film (movies and syndicated TV shows) in color, then another 5-10 years before they could broadcast color from their studios.

Despite the incredible effort made by those producers and technicians in the film above, CBS would delay presenting its normal programming schedule in color until some dozen years later. William Paley, CBS Founder and President, insisted that producers of filmed programming (and commercials) pay a surcharge for the network to transmit their product in color. CBS only had a handful of studios in New York that could produce color programming. By the late 1950s, only a few specials were presented in color by CBS, with virtually none in the early 1960s.

Being produced in color would have increased the future syndication of such classic black and white CBS shows as "Perry Mason" (in which only one episode was produced in color), "Route 66," "Playhouse 90," "Gunsmoke," "Ed Sullivan Show," "Rawhide," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," with many others.

In 1965, CBS broadcast only three hours of weekly color programming. By the fall of 1966, CBS claimed to be full color across the network. 

CBS Color
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The Roots of 


Reading the Sterling Quinlan book "Inside ABC," I learned how paralyzed ABC was competitive with the other networks in the early 1960s. Quinlan wrote, "ABC had the serious problem of lack of sufficient capital to introduce color programs into its schedule."  In 1962, ABC collected $10.7 million in profits, compared to $29 million in profit for CBS, and then the year after, CBS's profits rose to $41 million. CBS had the money to build its color operation, and it did by the mid-1960s.

The networks were going to be in a bidding war for Hollywood movies that would help fill the prime-time schedules in the coming years. ABC needed capital for that "war" that was coming. The costs of movie rights to Hollywood films were staggering, and ABC didn't have the money to bid or the ability to broadcast them in color. 

The budget for colorizing studios, production centers, transmitters, and bidding on theatrical films was an incredible $134 million. Another fear was corporate raiders waiting for signs of weakness to swoop up and buy the network at a bargain price.

Over the next several years, ABC and ITT wrangled over the possibility of a merger. It became a bees nest of confrontation between the two companies, but even more so with the Department of Justice and lawmakers skeptical about such action's reasoning and logic.


During that time, ABC borrowed $25 million from ITT to fully convert the network to color for the 1966-67 TV season and purchase the rights to a few Hollywood films. Even Leonard Goldenson, ABC's president, admitted that the amount was much less than needed, with $100 million being mentioned as a minimum investment. All of this happened during the ABC-ITT mess.  

Well, enough about that part of the story, as the merger did not go through after two years of a contentious battle between all involved. 

Let's return to the beginning of the ABC colorcast of "The Jetsons." According to "," since ABC had no way of showing/airing a color program and only a few affiliated stations could broadcast in color, a plan was put into motion involving both ABC, Hanna-Barbera and, I kid you not, NBC. Each Sunday when "The Jetsons" aired, A 35mm master and a 16mm copy (master and a safety film) would be driven by messenger to NBC's Burbank, California studios, where NBC technicians would play them simultaneously down their two AT&T video lines to ABC-New York for the east coast and central time zones. Later, they would do the same for the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

"The Flintstones" would benefit by being broadcast in color the same way when it aired on Friday evenings. This method would continue from late 1962 through late 1964 when ABC installed an RCA color film chain in the New York network operations studio. I'm assuming that NBC charged ABC studio production time; if it was, the cost is unknown.

Locally, WTVP Channel 17-Decatur did not broadcast a network program in color until 1965, when "The Flintstones" and "Jonny Quest" were both broadcast in color. WTVP would broadcast the ABC color logo (seen below) and a video text crawl with the words, "The following is a WTVP Color Presentation." 

--Doug Quick


and "Inside ABC: American Broadcasting Company's Rise to Power

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