Well, it is that annual ritual of TV networks displaying their new wares for us to ignore. Now that there are a zillion TV stations, Netflix, computer and other places to get our entertainment, this annual sacrifice has become much less of a cultural big deal. But once upon a time, it was a very big deal. I am planning on going back a few years to see what you can remember or ever heard of on the early days of TV. Can’t do this all in one quiz, so we will revisit TV occasionally.
When I say early days, I mean let’s start in the 1940s. So go out on the porch and get those old copies of TV Guide and settle in for a few questions.
1) The first TV networks were quite rudimentary. They connected large cities mostly in the northeast. In 1946 there were 2 networks. NBC was one, what was the other?
2) What sport was one of nascent TV’s most popular offerings?
3) In the fall of 1949, a variety show debuted on CBS on Sunday night that would run for a long time as “The Ed Sullivan Show.” What was its original name?
a) The Great White Way
b) Showbiz Showcase
c) Your Show of Shows
d) The Toast of the Town.
4) In 1946, there were 2 networks and just a few shows. By 1949, there were four networks and pretty much a full schedule. What two new networks were added since 1946.
a) CBS and Dumont
b) CBS and ABC
c) Paramount and ABC
d) Mutual and ABC
5) Network evening schedules now start at 7PM central. What time did the evening network schedule begin in 1949 (central time)?
a) 7 PM same as today
b) 6:30 PM
c) 6 PM
d) 7:30 PM
6) Which network pioneered the network evening news in 1948?
7) How long was the evening news in 1948?
a) 10 minutes
b) 15 minutes
c) 30 minutes
d) a full hour
8) In 1949, many companies sponsored TV shows which featured their name. Often these were variety or anthology type programs. Which of the following companies DID NOT have their name on a show in 1949?
a) Procter and Gamble
9) In the 1949 season many of the new shows were adaptations of radio shows. Which show featured a blue collar dad with a wife, daughter and son who usually outsmarted him? Each week usually had a “revolting development.”
a) The Aldrich Family
b) The Goldbergs
c) The Life of Riley
d) The Ed Wynn Show
10) What is the oldest TV station in Iowa, signing on on Halloween of 1949?
a) WHO – Des Moines
b) WOC – Davenport
c) WMT – Cedar Rapids
d) KWWL – Waterloo
Talking about taking us back a long ways. Well, we’ll get a little more contemporary later. I am always curious about how things start. Network TV has been a major force in the US for 60 years. It is fun to see how it started.
So let’s see some answers:
1) b) the Dumont Network
2) a) boxing filled a lot of hours in early TV. Remember network TV was mostly broadcast from New York where prize fights were a daily occurrence.
3) d) The Toast of the Town
4) b) CBS and ABC
5) c) 6 PM central
6) d) CBS
7) b) 15 minutes
8) a) Procter and Gamble. But I’ll bet they advertised a bit.
9) c) The Life of Riley starring Jackie Gleason (what? check it out here)
10) b) WOC – most of the others signed on in 1953.