W2XBS Schedule, Week of February 25th, 1940

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week beginning Sunday, February 25th, 1940. I have no idea why two films about building houses were shown during this week. It’s interesting that as early as February 1940 television was bringing foreign cinema to the viewing public and with subtitles even.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Three Waltzes (or Les trois valses) was a ninety-minute French film, first released in 1938 (on April 24th, 1939 in the United States) and starred Yvonne Printemps and Pierre Fresnay. It was also apparently a musical.

I wish I knew more about the “variety show” that was broadcast on Friday and Saturday but that’s all the listings include. “Art for Your Sake” with Dr. Bernard Myers appears to have been a somewhat regularly scheduled program on W2XBS.

Sunday, February 25th, 1940
3:30-4:30: Film, “Green Eyes.”
8:45-10:45: Hockey, New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens [sic], at Madison Square Garden.

Wednesday, February 28th, 1940
3:30-4:30: Films, “Little Miss Cowboy” and “Today We Build,” on European and American housing projects.
6:45-7:00: Lowell Thomas-News.
8:15-11:15: Basketball, Fordham vs. Pittsburgh, and New York University vs. Georgetown, at Madison Square Garden.

Thursday, February 29th, 1940
3:30-4:45: Film, “Three Waltzes,” in French, with English subtitles.
6:45-7:00: Lowell Thomas-News.
9:00-11:00: Wrestling, at Ridgewood Grove.

Friday, March 1st, 1940
3:30-4:35: Films, “Jai Alai,” “Burn ‘Em Up Barnes,” “Construction of Three Small House,” on FHA Housing; Thomas J. Watson, president of International Business Machine Corporation, receiving Golden Gate Exposition plaque.
6:45-7:00: Lowell Thomas-News.
8:30-9:30: Variety show.

Saturday, March 2nd, 1940
3:30-4:45: Juvenile film, “Little Red School House.”
7:30-8:00: “Art for Your Sake,” Dr. Bernard Myers.
8:30-9:30: Variety show.
Sources:
“Notes on Television.” New York Times. 24 Feb. 1940: 122.
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1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Lowell Thomas’ nightly 15 minute news and commentary program on NBC radio [for Sunoco gas and oil] was “simulcast” on W2XBS- which, I believe, consisted of Lowell Thomas reading the latest news before an NBC microphone in his studio, with occasional visual aids, especially during the Sunoco commercials. It was basically a “photographed radio show”.

    “Burn ‘Em Up Barnes” was a 1934 Mascot serial starring Jack Mulhall, Frankie Darro and Lola Lane (what a cast!) that lasted 12 chapters, and shown weekly on W2XBS during the early part of 1940. Apparently, Republic Pictures, who succeeded Mascot after 1935, didn’t mind releasing some of their older serials for pre-war experimental telecasts; in fact, “Burn ‘Em Up Barnes” was one of their best-selling serials in the “package” they leased to local stations in the early ’50s.

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