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Early TV – Dale’s Daily Data

A family watching TV in their home in early 1950's (Getty Images)

TV was a lot different more than 50 years ago.   It was at the end of March 1949 when the final episode of the TV show “I’d Like to See” was aired. The idea behind the show was viewers were invited to send in suggestions about things they’d like to see on TV.  Early requests included the United Nations building, Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy and film clips of U.S. Presidents.  People just hadn’t ever seen these things before and it was the prototype for the series “You Asked for It”, which ran from 1950 to 1959. I’d Like to See” was one of a number of experimental programs in the late 1940s, back when TV was brand new.  The problem with it was the networks really didn’t know what to do with TV and most people hadn’t seen it.  Everything changed though when NBC broadcast the 1947 World Series on TV. They estimate 3.9 million viewers watched the Brooklyn Dodgers battle the New York Yankees.  90 percent watched the games in bars because so few people had TV sets in their homes.

By 1948, audience participation shows, like “Original Amateur Hour”,Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts”, and others had caught on.

Today it’s all changed from being able to see things on TV or the internet….to wanting to see those things in person.


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