Classic TV

What Were the First Television Shows?

Clip from the Lone Ranger show in 1949

Most early and classic televisions shows were broadcasted live and never recorded. Shows such as news, variety shows, old dramas, and comedy series. Which is why most of them are never stored properly and completely forgotten. But today, with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other countless other streaming services just one click away, we have never had more choices when it comes to TV shows. Anyone can watch shows with any number of devices from your phone to big-screen TVs. But in this article, we are going to take a trip back to the past and reminisce the very first TV shows that our great grandparents enjoyed.

The Lone Ranger – This TV show was a western drama series that aired on the ABC Television network from 1949 to 1957. It starred Clayton Moore, Jay Silvereheels, Chuck Courtney, and John Hart. The Lone Ranger was the highest-rated TV show during the early 1950s. The show ran for over 5 seasons and had 221 episodes in total.

Stand By for Crime – This TV show was a police drama that aired on the ABC Television network from January 1949 to August that same year. It starred Myron Wallace, Boris Aplon, and George Cisar. Stand By for crime is known for being the first TV show that was transmitted from Chicago to New York City. It ran for 30 minutes, and it had only one season.

ABC Television Players – This is a live TV program that was aired on the ABC Television network from January to October 1949. It was initially named ABC Television Players, then it was changed to ABC Tele-Players. They finally settled with ABC Penthouse Players. The TV show was a 30-minute show that showcased live dramatic presentation by little-known actors. The show was narrated by Donald Gallaher, and it was broadcasted live from Chicago.

Your Show Time – This is an anthology drama series that was aired on the NBC Television network from January to July 1949. This show featured 30 minutes dramatizations of stories that were written by renowned authors such as Victor Hugo, Guy de Maupassant, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain. Your Show Time was produced by Marshall Grant, and it only aired for one season, which has 26 episodes.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not – This TV show was a documentary series that first aired on NBC from 1949 to 1950. This was hosted by Robert L. Ripley, and it was based on the popular newspaper feature. The show was revived for a couple of times for several years with different hosts and producers.

Suspense – This is a TV anthology series that aired on the CBS Television network from 1949 to 1954. Suspense was adapted from the radio program that has the same name. It was broadcasted live from New York City, and each episode was hosted by Rex Marshall. The show had a total of six seasons with 260 episodes.

These Are My Children – This is a TV soap opera that was aired on the NBC Television network from January to March 1949. These Are My Children were broadcasted live from Chicago, Illinois, for 15 minutes a day for five days. It is known to be the first daytime soap opera that was aired on TV

Fireside Theatre – Also known as Jane Wyman Presents, this show was an anthology drama series that aired on the NBC Television network from 1949 to 1958. It was considered to be the first successful filmed TV series in American TV history. The show reportedly had a low budget, which is why it often featured public domain stories that were written by freelance writers. Even if it was panned by critics, the show managed to remain on the top ten most popular plays during that time. Fireside Theatre had a total of seven seasons with 268 episodes.

The Clock – This show is an anthology TV series that was based on the ABC radio series of the same title. The Clock aired from 1946 to 1948, and it mostly consists of half-hour original drama series that features mayhem, murder, and insanity. The show was hosted by Larry Semon, and each week, they have a new set of guest stars.

Captain Video and His Video Rangers – This is a science fiction TV series which aired on the DuMont TV Network, and it is considered to be the first TV show of its genre to ever air on American TV. Captain Video and His Video Rangers aired from June 1949 to April 1955, and it was able to spawn a 30-minute spinoff series entitled The Secret Files of Captain Video.

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