Posts in Category: Broadcast History

September 12, 1959…’Bonanza’ Debuts On NBC

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September 12, 1959…’Bonanza’ Debuts On NBC

First, let me tell you about this embedded video. This was the original ending of Episode 1…it is the Cartwright family singing the theme song which was a one time only thing. After you hear it, you’ll know why it was cut and a one time only thing. You can see the entire debut episode at this link, and be sure to check out the revised ending. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4iuzUB5EFE

Initially, ‘Bonanza’ aired on Saturday evenings opposite ‘Perry Mason’. The ratings were dismal and the show was soon targeted for cancellation, but NBC kept it because ‘Bonanza’ was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe Nevada. NBC’s corporate parent, RCA, used the show to spur sales of color television sets and was also the primary sponsor of the series during its first two seasons.

In 1961, NBC moved Bonanza to Sundays at 9:00 with a new sponsor…Chevrolet (replacing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show). The new time slot caused ‘Bonanza’ to soar in the ratings, and it eventually reached number one by 1964, an honor it would keep until 1967 when it was seriously challenged by the ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ on CBS. Had the geniuses at CBS not put ‘The Judy Garland Show’ against ‘Bonanza’, it would have certainly lasted more than one season.

By 1970, ‘Bonanza’ was the first series to appear in the Top Five list for nine consecutive seasons (a record that would stand for many years) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit television series of the 1960s. ‘Bonanza’ remained high on the Nielsen ratings until 1971, when it finally fell out of the Top Ten.

The show ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, just behind ‘Gunsmoke’ which ran for 20 seasons.

By the way, Michael Landon was the only cast member that did not require a hair piece. Even Hop Sing wore a fake Q. Enjoy and share!
-Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUd9KecPa4

‘BONANZA’ written by Ray Evans (lyrics) & Jay Livingston (music). This was the way the original pilot episode of Bonanza was shot in 1959. The producers did …
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September 12, 1954…’Lassie’ Debuts On CBS

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September 12, 1954…’Lassie’ Debuts On CBS

The video clips here are part one and two of the first ever episode of ‘Lassie’ which debuted Sunday, September 12, 1954, at 7:00 p.m. EST…a time slot the show would call home on CBS for the next seventeen years.

Between 1943 and 1951, Lassie, was the inspiration for seven MGM feature films. With completion of the seventh film in 1951, the studio planned no further films for the Lassie character or Pal, the dog actor who portrayed the fictional canine. In lieu of $40,000 back pay owed him by MGM, Pal’s owner and trainer Rudd Weatherwax took all rights to the Lassie trademark and name, and hit the road with Pal to perform at fairs, rodeos, and other venues.

Needing material for the relatively new medium of television, producer Robert Maxwell sold Weatherwax on the concept of a Lassie television series with a boy and his dog theme. The two men developed a scenario about a struggling war widow, her young son, and her father-in-law set on a weather-beaten American farm.

Two pilots were filmed with the first telling the story of the bond forged between boy and dog, and the second filmed to give potential sponsors and network buyers an idea of a typical episode. After viewing the pilots, CBS put the show on its fall 1954 schedule.

Campbell’s Soup Company signed on early as the show’s sole sponsor and remained so for the show’s entire run. Enjoy and share!
-Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf49nG11S2M Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXquPCNsPzM Part 1

Lassie – Episode 1 – “Inheritance” – Part 1 – (Originally broadcast 09/12/1954)

Part 1 of 2. The complete first Lassie TV episode. In this episode Jeff Miller inherits a young collie named Lassie after the death of her owner, an old neig…
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Remembering Bob Crewe…Take A Look At This List Of Hits

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Remembering Bob Crewe…Take A Look At This List Of Hits

Bob Crewe, the writer-producer behind Frankie Valli‘s biggest hits, has died. He was 82. Bob was best known for producing, and co-writing (with Bob Gaudio), a long string of Top 10 singles for The Four Seasons, but Crew has a long and proud history of hits with other acts, like The Rays, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, and his own group, The Bob Crewe Generation.

There just too much to tell here, but below, I’ve included a list of Bob Crewe’s top hits…songs that charted at 30 or above on the Billboard Top 100. I’ll leave you with this interesting fact that will sort of sum up his amazing success….In 1999, when BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) announced its Top 100 Songs of the Century, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” landed in the top ten with six million airplays. BMI calculates one million continuous performances of a song of the average length (3 minutes) as representing 5.7 years of continuous airplay so; this one song has a history of 35 years of continuous airplay…and counting! Here’s a list of Bob’s “other hits”. We’ll miss him! -Bobby Ellerbee

1957: “Silhouettes”, #3.
1957: “Daddy Cool”, #10.
1958: “La Dee Dah”, #9.
1959: “Lucky Ladybug”, #14.
1962: “Sherry”, #1
1962: “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, #1
1963: “Walk Like a Man, #1
1964: “Dawn (Go Away)”, #3
1964: “Ronnie”, #6
1964: “Navy Blue”, #6
1964: “Rag Doll, #1
1964: “Save It For Me”, #10
1964: “Big Man in Town”, #20
1965: “Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)”, #12 (“Bye Bye Baby” on initial release)
1965: “Let’s Hang On!”, #3
1965: “A Lover’s Concerto,” #2
1965: “Silhouettes,” #5 [Herman’s Hermits cover]
1965: “Girl Come Running,” #30
1965: “Jenny Take A Ride,” #10
1966: “Devil With A Blue Dress On,” #4
1966: “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine,” #13
1967: “Sock It To Me, Baby,” #6
1967: “Music To Watch Girls By,” #15
1967: “Silence Is Golden,” #11 [Tremeloes cover]
1967: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” #2
1967: “I Make a Fool of Myself,” #18
1967: “To Give (The Reason I Live),” #29
1969: “Jean,” #2
1969: “Good Morning, Starshine,” #6
1974: “Lady Marmalade”, #1
1974: “Get Dancin’,” #10
1975: “Swearin’ To God”, #6
1975: “My Eyes Adored You,” #1
1975: “I Wanna Dance Wit’ Choo,” #23
1975: “The Proud One,” #22 [The Osmonds cover]
2001: “Lady Marmalade”, #1 [Christina Aguilera cover]

http://youtu.be/fDLi1n8pdTU?t=5m19sFrankie Valli and the Four Seasons performed on the 2014 edition of “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS on the West lawn of the US Capitol.
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FANTASTIC! Behind The Scenes…ABC Sports, October 4, 1975

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FANTASTIC! Behind The Scenes…ABC Sports, October 4, 1975

With college football back in the air, it’s time to replay this best ever look at how 60 men brought 30 million viewers these great games every Saturday. “Second’s To Play” is presented here in two 15 minute segments with the links below.

This is the most extensive look you’ll ever get of how ABC Sports crews covered the games in this era. Norelco PC 70s and hand held PCP 90s are in use with our friend Don “Peaches” Langford on the sidelines. Enjoy and SHARE! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Ab93jR9Ms&feature=player_embedded Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfEk24kIGdY Part 1


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Rare! ‘Lucky Partners’…NBC Studio 8H, 1958

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Rare! ‘Lucky Partners’…NBC Studio 8H, 1958

If you blinked, you missed this short lived daytime game show. It debuted June 30, 1958 and by August 22, it was gone and these few photos are all that remain. The host was Carl Cardell.

I want to ask a question…does anyone know if the cameraman standing on the McAlister Crab Dolly is Fred Himelfarb? I have never seen a photo of him and would love to know what he looked like. Fred was NBC’s camera guru and was the man who kept the improvements on the TK41 coming. These are beautiful shots of 8H in action and thanks to our friend John Schipp for sharing them. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee




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A Rare Look At NBC Studio 8H…1954

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A Rare Look At NBC Studio 8H…1954

‘Saturday Night Live’ fans and staff will get a kick out of this too as this will look quite familiar. The opens with the studio doors of 8H bursting open and the singing cast making it’s way to the 8th floor elevators to welcome the show’s star, Dorothy Collins, back from maternity leave.

If you look closely, you can see the art deco page desk behind them just as they come out. I’ll post a photo of me at that desk in the comments section to refresh your memory. They have cleverly hidden the lights behind flats in the hallway scene.

Notice that when they come back into the studio, they go into the same kind of tunnel we see now on SNL, but it’s not the same.

The SNL “temporary” bleachers on the 9th floor are supported by scaffolding on the studio floor, and were not installed till 1975. At this time, I think the seating in 8H was all pull out bleacher seating, much like you see in high school gyms. I think what they are running through is a curtained pathway between two bleacher sections. This space would have to always be clear as this is how equipment and staff moved in and out of the studio.

By the way, Studio 8H did not go color until June 24, 1963. The color photographs I have posted showing Dorothy Collins with NBC TK41s were taken at Brooklyn II where the show moved in 1957.

See any familiar faces? I see Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms and a few more. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPzhhzkaT24&feature=youtu.be

Dorothy Collins is welcomed back to the Your Hit Parade show by the entire cast of the program. Dorothy took a leave of absence to have her first child and P…
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A Classic Candid And What It Tells Us…

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A Classic Candid And What It Tells Us…

This is NBC cameraman George Kiyak goofing with the photographer in a photo shared by his son, Mark, but let’s look closer…there is something to learn here.

Notice the turret handle is at a 45 degree angle and not at it’s usual 90 degree taking position. What George has done is a “quick cap”… he has partially racked the turret between lenses to save the expensive Image Orthicon tube in this RCA TK30.

The pedestal is a Houston Fearless TD 1. George is sitting on the up/down crank wheel and these were geared to really move when you cranked them. The pedal under the crank wheel is called a trolley pedal. When you step on the TD 1 trolley pedal, it pushes down a castor wheel which allows you to move the base of the pedestal to another angle. Today, that is accomplished with Steer 1.

The castor wheel was used before there was a “Steer 1/Steer 3” option, which first appeared on the next generations of pedestals, the TD 3 counterbalanced pedestals.

The Steer 1 option allows you to steer like a tricycle with one wheel steering and the other two following, while Steer 3 is the, all wheels in the same direction, “crab” steering.

On the left side of the ped base is a cable grip which was usually a matter of preference…some liked them, some didn’t. On the very first TV pedestals which were built in the mid 30s, the cable came out of the bottom of the Iconoscope cameras and went down through the support column, exiting at the base of the column on a spring loaded arm on the right side of the camera. Believe it or not, those peds were electric and a small motor under the skirt moved the camera up and down. They too had trolley pedals.

Including George, everything here were the real workhouses of early television. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Hey CBS…Buck Rogers Wants His Truck Back!

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Hey CBS…Buck Rogers Wants His Truck Back!

In August of 1951, this one of a kind creation was the latest and greatest thing in mobile radio units. For the time, this was actually quite a feat of engineering design with all that molded plexiglass.

This CBS unit is shown here in Central Park and could broadcast on the go from up to 35 miles out. I think the truck is either French or English. Anyone know more? Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Speaking Of ‘Gunsmoke’…How About Some Great Outtakes?

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Speaking Of ‘Gunsmoke’…How About Some Great Outtakes?

Long before blooper shows came to television, this reel was put together by CBS for one of their fall season kick off meetings for their affiliates in the early ’60s.

It’s hosted by James Arness and features a lot of gags from his show, but we’ll also see Red Skelton with the pooping cow, Rod Serling, Richard Boone, Jackie Cooper and many more stars and extras blowing lines and goofing. The cussing is mostly in the last 30 seconds which has a few very interesting surprises! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulfIZA3KBEk

http://www.TVDAYS.com HOME VIDEO COLLECTION http://www.seagate.com Ira H. Gallen Video Resources 220 West 71st Street NYC 10023 (212) 724 – 7055 http://www.T…
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What A Lesson! D W Griffith Was An Editing Pioneer Too!

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What A Lesson! D W Griffith Was An Editing Pioneer Too!

From the Filmmakers IQ library, here is another great history lesson and today’s subject is editing and how it came to be. In this, I was surprised to learn one of the first great directors was actually one of editing’s leading men and is responsible for many of the same techniques we use today, including what live television is all about…continuity editing. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/6uahjH2cspk?t=27sCinema began as a novelty – projecting dancing shadows on a screen of simple every day scenes. But through the contributions of talented artists, a new cinem…
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More CGI Magic…’Boardwalk Empire’

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More CGI Magic…’Boardwalk Empire’

As promised, here is more on the amazing ability editors now have with Computer Generated Imagery. Period shows like HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ have to take a great deal of care to keep the 1920s look intact and free from modern skylines and backgrounds, but that’s only half of the challenge. The other half is turning the clock back by recreating historic landscapes and even period appropriate ships. Take a look and marvel as the impossible becomes possible before your very eyes. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eay7YRgYQgQ

This is CGI at it’s best for TV
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The Old Shoe…Seth Meyers Desk Platform

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The Old Shoe…Seth Meyers Desk Platform

Last week, ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ debuted their new set, but in case you never saw this up close, here is the old desk platform.

Around Studio 8G, this was called “the shoe” because it kind of looks like one and works like one. The “heal” is where the mechanics are located…the electric motor and axis that moves the desk set in and out of the stage floor. Since the host is the soul of the show, it’s only fitting that the desk was on the “sole” of the shoe. Now you know. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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September 9, 1926…NBC Was Incorporated By RCA

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September 9, 1926…NBC Was Incorporated By RCA

The incorporation process was the first step on a very long and profitable road for the nation’s first broadcasting network which came to life on November 15, 1926, with a gala four-hour radio program originating from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Here is some of NBC’s early history which includes the Red and Blue Networks and their sale. Enjoy and share!
-Bobby Ellerbee

NBC was the joint effort of three pioneers in mass communications: Radio Corporation of America, American Telephone and Telegraph and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Two early radio stations in Newark, New Jersey, and New York City—WJZ, founded by Westinghouse in 1921, and WEAF, founded by the American Telephone & Telegraph Company in 1923—had earlier been acquired by RCA and, after NBC was created, became the centres of NBC’s two semi-independent networks, the Blue Network, based on WJZ, and the Red Network, based on WEAF, each with its respective links to stations in other cities.

The formation of NBC was orchestrated by David Sarnoff, the general manager of RCA, which became the network’s sole owner in 1930.

The National Broadcasting Company was the first permanent, full-service radio network in the U.S. RCA’s goal in forming NBC was to be able to provide a large number of quality radio programs so that, as one of its newspaper ads said, “every event of national importance may be broadcast widely throughout the United States.”

NBC’s first radio broadcast, on November 15, 1926, was a four-and-a-half hour presentation of the leading musical and comedy talent of the day. It was broadcast from New York over a network of 25 stations, as far west as Kansas City; close to half of the country’s five million radio homes tuned in. The first coast-to-coast broadcast soon followed, on New Year’s Day, 1927, when NBC covered the annual Rose Bowl football game in California.

The demand for a network service among local stations was mounting so rapidly that less than two months after its first national broadcast, NBC split its programming into two separate networks, called the “red” and the “blue” networks, to give listeners a choice of different program formats.

By 1941, these two networks blanketed the country; there were 103 blue subscribing stations, 76 red, and 64 supplementary stations using NBC programs. The blue network provided mostly cultural offerings: music, drama, and commentary. The red featured comedy and similar types of entertainment. There were regular radio programs for children, and soap operas and religious programs. When the Federal Communications Commission declared in 1941 that no organization could own more than one network, NBC sold the blue complex, which became the American Broadcasting Company.

From the first coast-to-coast broadcast of the Rose Bowl in 1927, sporting events were a radio mainstay. That same year, the red and blue networks tied in with a number of independent stations to broadcast the second Tunney-Dempsey fight from Soldier Field in Chicago. Two years later NBC broadcast the Kentucky Derby. During the 1920s and 1930s, the network featured the World Series many times. It also covered major football games, golf tournaments, and the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1932.

NBC’s first special-events broadcast was Charles A. Lindbergh’s arrival in Washington on June 11, 1927 after his historic trans-Atlantic flight. In 1928, the network began coverage of national political events, covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1928; the inaugurations of presidents Herbert Hoover in 1929 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933; the opening of the 73rd Congress on March 9, 1933; and Roosevelt’s first “Fireside Chat” on March 12 of that year. “NBC News” was officially created in 1933.

The first international NBC broadcast was also in 1928, when the network carried a pick-up of President Calvin Coolidge opening a Pan-American conference in Havana.


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Speaking Of ‘Star Trek’….

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Speaking Of ‘Star Trek’….

On this 48th anniversary of the series debut, here’s an idea of just how wildly popular the show was. Mad Magazine did a parody!

Our friend Dick DeBartolo wrote “Star Blecch” for Mad’s December ’67 issue and here is Shatner and Nimoy reading it on location. Dick’s story was beautifully illustrated by Mort Drucker, and at the link below is a colorized version for you to share and enjoy! – Bobby Ellerbee
http://startrekanimated.com/mad_01.html


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MUST SEE! The History Of Visual Trickery…

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MUST SEE! The History Of Visual Trickery…

This is the best presentation and history of visual effects I have ever seen! If you have ever wondered where it all started and how it was done, here are the answers.

Starting in 1898, this comes all the way to today and lays out the evolution of the processes that have given us to many unforgettable moments. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/H8aoUXjSfsI?t=36sGo inside the history of the travelling mattes (now called chromakey) and learn the history of visual trickery used by filmmakers from the earliest filmmaker…
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The question is, can you believe your eyes, or not?

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MIND BLOWING! Prepare To Be Astonished!

The question is, can you believe your eyes? After seeing this…you may wonder if you ever can again! Especially at the movies.

The computer generated visual effects in this clip from ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ are simply stunning. See for yourself! Tomorrow, more stunning CGI effects but for now, enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pocfRVAH9yU

A look at some of the more challenging shots Brainstorm Digital put together from Martin Scorsese’s new film The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCap…
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Behind The Scenes…The CBS News Studios

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Behind The Scenes…The CBS News Studios

This is a great clip that takes us inside both the CBS Morning and CBS Evening news studios. The big production studios, 41- 45, are in another part of the building, but the news studios 47 and 57 are close to the front entrance and lobby. I was here in May.

CBS has done a great job on the setup for not only the studios, but the actual newsroom and office spaces. I think this was all done about six years ago. By the way, thanks to our host, Erica Hill, for pointing out that the original Cronkite newsroom map is in the CBS Morning News studio and the replica is on the Evening news set. It was too big to go in the Pelly set in Studio 47. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAVwZawA6eA

Behind-the-scenes tour of the CBS Broadcast Center with Erica Hill, co-host of “CBS This Morning.” Check out more episodes of “Cubes”: http://www.youtube.com…
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A Rare Look (In Color) At Early Electronic Television…

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A Rare Look (In Color) At Early Electronic Television…

This is quite an interesting look at Philo Farnsworth’s television studio and station in operation. From the technical to the theatrical side, including the wild makeup, we’ve got 10 minutes of great color film to show us how this all came together.

Farnsworth and RCA, under Vladimir Zworykin, were basically neck and neck in development and I think Philo was actually ahead of RCA, but they had the money and he didn’t. There is a famous story of Zworykin visiting Farnsworth on Green Street in San Francisco…during the visit, Philo demonstrated a new Image Dissector tube and as he did, it was reported that a big light went off in Zworykin’s head. Seeing what Farnsworth had done gave him the answer to a huge problem he had with his Iconoscope tube. As soon as he got back to RCA, Zworykin fixed his problem.

Farnsworth had talked with Zworykin as one inventor to another but Zworykin was hearing trade secrets from a competitor. RCA screwed him royally, and although he did finally get some money from the patents RCA had used, it was nothing close to what RCA was making. So, if Philo didn’t get the respect from RCA that he deserved, we can at least give him ours. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOlJCezrUE4

This rare color film shows television’s inventor Philo Farnsworth in his labs in San Francisco & Philadelphia. Made for Popular Science this introduced telev…
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September 7, 1979…ESPN Debuts

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September 7, 1979…ESPN Debuts

On September 7, 1979 at 7:00 p.m. EST, an estimated 30,000 viewers tuned in to witness the launch of The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network…ESPN. Here, at the link, is the welcoming message and the start of the first Sports Center telecast with anchors Lee Leonard and George Grande.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKyRslWcbho

The first score Grande announced was Chris Evert’s victory over Billie Jean King at the US Open. Sports Center lasted a half-hour, consisting mainly of videotaped highlights and following its conclusion that night, the network aired a slow-pitch softball game along with other programming, including wrestling and college soccer. As ESPN grew, so did our cable bills, but that’s another story for another time.

In the photos, we see a studio shot from those early days with Norelco PC70s, a camera op with some great buns and ESPN’s first truck. That first mobile unit was called 140 and is shown here at Compact Video in Burbank in a photo sent to us by David Sturtevant. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee



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NBC Television Logos…1926 – 2000

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NBC Television Logos…1926 – 2000

As part of today’s 57th Anniversary of the NBC Peacock logo, I thought I’d add this montage. Someone did a good job with this, which is actually pretty accurate and inclusive…especially the first three minutes or so. I always thought the Snake logo was the best. What’s your favorite? Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkjlCbOjyWM

HOPE YOU LIKE IT!!! List: 1920s Radio on USA – 1926 1930s 2nd logo – 1931 Man plays chimes – 1933 1940s Microphone WNBT – 1944 Curtain with text – 1949 1950s…
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September 7, 1956…NBC Debuts The Animated Peacock

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September 7, 1956…NBC Debuts The Animated Peacock

57 years ago today, this animated film clip rolled at NBC for the first time at the start of ‘Your Hit Parade’ which at the time, was originating live and in living color from NBC Studio 8H. The voice belongs to legendary NBC announcer Ben Grauer. The animation was done by Electra Film Labs in New York City. The man who designed the peacock is John J. Graham.

There will be much more on this in the next post or two, but I wanted you to see this in the clear. Below in the comments section is the original peacock slide that debuted in July of 1956…fourteen months before this historic bird came to life. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug9ndBnWi9A

www.technologynewstimeline.com In 1957, NBC used this to indicate that the following program would be in color. It was the true beginning of the color-TV era.
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Barbra Streisand’s Network Television Debut…April 5, 1961

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Barbra Streisand’s Network Television Debut…April 5, 1961

Filling in for the vacationing Jack Paar, Orson Bean hosts ‘Tonight’ and introduces the world to Barbara. The actual video will start about a minute into this, but the visuals leading up to it are interesting photos and newspaper clips about the rise of this budding singer.

After her performance, she’ll join (on the couch) Phyllis Diller, Gore Vidal and Hugh Down’s (Paar’s announcer and sidekick) and with Orson behind the desk Albert Dekker. Naturally here singing is flawless but she’s quite funny and at ease in the interview too. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DXvLD-pxms&list=PL0DA39002B63082AB

Barbra Streisand performing “A Sleepin’ Bee” on the Jack Paar Show in 1961.
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The First Photo Of An NBC Studio?

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The First Photo Of An NBC Studio? Quite Possibly…

This is the Green Brothers Novelty Band inside NBC’s Studio B at 711 Fifth Avenue. The date is 1928, and although there are other photos of the network’s first radio studios, they are all dated 1929, so this could be the first inside look.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/realestate/21streets.html?_r=0
At the link is a New York Times article about NBC’s first home and some interesting history from the late 1920s till now. In the drawing below, we see the studios that occupied the top few floors of the building.

After only a few years here, RCA and NBC began the process of designing the space they would move into at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 1933. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee



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Rare! ‘Howdy Doody Show’…Seventh Anniversary Broadcast

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Rare! ‘Howdy Doody Show’…Seventh Anniversary Broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhwTGyfHaK0
‘The Howdy Doody Show’ debuted on December 27, 1947 and was one of the first daily network shows ever broadcast. The final show was done on September 24, 1960 and in it’s 13 years, this is the only time it was ever done outside 30 Rock.

Adding what I know about these three photos to what some distinguished NBC veterans have come up with, it is my conclusion that this is inside The Century Theater at 7th Avenue and 58th street. The first shows from the Century were ‘Mr Peepers’ and ‘The Imogene Coca Show’. I originally thought this may be The International, but that theater had much more seating on the main floor where here, most of the seating area had become a working stage. The Century went into service for NBC in June of ’54.

At the link above, we see one of only two remnants from this show…a Colgate toothpaste commercial. The other is a Welches spot at this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj4r-wr5Zi0

The man in the hat is Bisson Bill, played by New York disc jockey Ted Brown who filled in for Bob Smith, as did Gabby Hayes on some of the shows. Bob was out for a year recuperating from a heart attack he suffered in September of ’54 and returned in September of ’55. The man in the chef’s hat is Dayton Allen who played the parts of Pierre The Chef and Ugly Sam, the world’s worst wrestler. Behind the scenes, Dayton was “the life of the party” and was fired for some of his wild off camera shenanigans with the female cast members and…his member ;>) Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee




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Johnny Carson Punks Joan Rivers! RARE MUST SEE VIDEO!

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FANTASTIC! Johnny Carson Punks Joan Rivers! RARE MUST SEE VIDEO!

I had never seen this till just this morning and bet that you never have either. This is one of the most elaborate practical jokes ever and you’ll love the very end too! Thanks to John Marelli for sending this along. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

#t=205″ target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BainzD2lKmk #t=205

Johnny Carson plays an elaborate practical joke on Joan Rivers (about 1983). Because of her many jokes about the British Royal Family, Johnny Carson hires Br…
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Meredith Vieira Gives Jimmy a Tour of Her Set

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30 Rock Update 2…

Monday, Meredith Vieira’s new show will debut in Studio 6A across the hall from Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight’ show in 6B. In this clip, we get our first look at the set as Jimmy and Meredith leave 6B and take us into 6A for a sneak peak. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/segments/11091

Meredith Vieira Gives Jimmy a Tour of Her Set | Video | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon | NBC

Weeknights 11:35/10:35c on NBC. Official website for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. See Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious mix of comedy sketches, monologues and ridiculous games plus music from today’s hottest bands, celebrity interviews, music parodies and fan favorite segments like Jimmy’s Thank Y…
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1982 Gene Rayburn/WBZ-TV Promos

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Pure Gene!

As you watch Gene Rayburn cut promos for ‘The Match Game’ at WBZ in Boston, you’ll see him transform into his “hosting personality” right before your very eyes. This is fun! Thanks to Kevin Vahey for the clip. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HljIGil9i3s

1982 Gene Rayburn/WBZ-TV Promos

These are excerpts from a promo record session that Gene Rayburn taped at WBZ TV-4 in Boston in the spring of 1982. The spots highlight the station’s afterno…
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How Television Goes From Coast To Coast…The 1949 Version

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How Television Goes From Coast To Coast…The 1949 Version

Before I get too far along, I wanted to mention that at the start of this, and again, scattered throughout, we get a rare look inside at what I think is NBC Studio 8G in action. This would have been shot not long after 8G was dedicated on April 22, 1948.

In today’s post just before this one, we celebrated America’s first coast to coast television broadcast of September 4, 1951. When this AT&T film was made in 1949, the network lines only went as far west as Chicago but in early 1950 went to St. Louis.

This is full of very interesting information on the coaxial cables and systems of the day and at around the 6 minute mark, we get into how AT&T handled the microwave part of broadcasting.

Many of today’s younger generation of broadcasters do not know that back in the early days, Ma Bell was in charge of long distance transmissions for both radio and television. They were as much a part of engineering and remote crews as the camera and audio men, because without the hookup, there was no show. Enjoy and share!
– Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jYm2SVZIPk

See a new AT&T Archives video every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://techchannel.att.com/archives In 1949, this film was part of the very first hour of…
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September 4, 1951…America’s First Coast To Coast TV Broadcast

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September 4, 1951…America’s First Coast To Coast TV Broadcast

63 years ago yesterday, the first live television signals were transmitted from San Francisco to the east coast. On that day in 1951, President Harry S. Truman’s opening speech before the Japanese Peace Conference was broadcast across the nation, marking the first time a television program was broadcast from coast to coast. The speech focused on Truman’s acceptance of a treaty that officially ended America’s post-World War II occupation of Japan.

The broadcast, via then-state-of-the-art microwave technology, was picked up by 87 stations in 47 cities. In his remarks, Truman lauded the treaty as one that would help “build a world in which the children of all nations can live together in peace.” As communism was threatening to spread throughout Pacific Rim nations such as Korea and Vietnam, the U.S. recognized the need to create an ally in a strong, democratic Japan.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, Japan had been occupied and closely monitored by the American military under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. By 1951, six years later, Truman considered the task of rebuilding Japan complete. Truman praised the Japanese people’s willingness to go along with the plan and expressed his pride in having helped to rebuild Japan as a democracy. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

#52919436” target=”_blank”>http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52919436 #52919436Video on msnbc.com: The first coast to coast broadcast, September 4, 1951 was made by President Harry Truman who made the principal speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco.
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ULTRA RARE! Joan Rivers Debuts Her Own Show…September 1968

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ULTRA RARE! Joan Rivers Debuts Her Own Show…September 1968

Until yesterday, Joan Rivers was a pioneer in every way and we will miss her! 46 years ago this month, ‘That Show With Joan Rivers’ debuted as one of daytime television’s first ever syndicated talk shows. Like Joan, the show was a bit ahead of it’s time and only lasted one season. This was her first solo enterprise on television.

This video is the debut episode…the topic is one that opens itself to “a river” of double entendres and puns, nudism. Joan’s guests are a lady who owns a nudist camp and her great friend, Johnny Carson. Her emotional intro of Johnny comes around 4:40.

This was shot at NBC New York and I think was done on the third floor in either 3A, 3B or 3K. It could have also come from 8G as at the time, I don’t think there was permanent seating in these studios. Anyone know?

The show’s producer, JEM Productions was owned by Joan and her husband Edgar Rosenberg. Joan often made fun of Edgar for being so cheap, and in this case, the story is true! It takes a lot of expensive video tape to syndicate a show and as the story goes, every couple of days, Edgar and company went dumpster diving for old video tape at the networks and production houses in New York.

Sorry for all the commercials here, but this Hulu video is the only place on the net this rare gem is available. In the monologue, you can see a couple of the RCA TK41s, but later in the Q&A session there are some good shots of the cameras around 17 minutes in. Enjoy and share because this is the only place you’ll ever see this! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.hulu.com/watch/258804This episode’s subject is nudism with expert guest, Lucy Hannson. Johnny Carson appears as a celebrity guest.
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