W2XBS Schedule, Week of April 21st, 1940

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week beginning Sunday, April 21st, 1940. I wonder what “Feminine Fancies” (broadcast Friday, April 26th) could possibly be. And what about “Fashions Out of Test Tubes” (broadcast Wednesday, April 24th) as part of a television revue?

The rest of the week was pretty standard fare, films and sporting events, news and the occasional play. Plus the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus!

Sunday, April 21st, 1940
3:30-3:40PM – Film, “Red Riding Hood,” an Aesop fable.
3:30-4:40PM – Film, “Frontier Scout,” with George Houston and Beth Marion.
8:30-9:30PM – Play, “Burlesque,” by George Manker Watters and Arthur Hopkins, with Audrey Christie, Edwin Muchael, Bette Harmon and Robert Allen.

Wednesday, April 24th, 1940
3:15-5:15PM – Baseball, Princeton vs. Columbia, at Baker Field.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-9:30PM – A revue, with Gali Gali, magic; Jules Lande, violin; Lysbeth Hughes, harp; Leni Bouvier and Eugene Van Grona, dancers; Pauline Alpert, piano, and Sarita, dancer. Also Fashions Out of Test Tubes.

Thursday, April 25th, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Films, “The Last of the Mohicans,” “The Story of the Sponge,” “Let’s See America.”
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-11:30PM – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, at Madison Square Garden.

Friday, April 26th, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Film, “Battle of Greed,” with Tom Keene and Gwynne Shipman.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-8:45PM – Television Reporter.
8:45-9:00PM – Feminine Fancies.
9:00-11:00PM – Wrestling, at Jamaica Arena.

Saturday, April 27th, 1940
3:15-5:15PM – Baseball, Columbia vs. Manhattan, Baker Field.
8:30-9:00PM – Films, “Anything for a Thrill,” with Frankie Darro and Kane Richmond.

Sources:
“Notes on Television.” New York Times. 21 Apr. 1940: 128.


1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    More “obscure B-movies” fill W2XBS’ schedule, as usual: “Anything For A Thrill” (Conn Pictures, 1937) featured young Frankie Darro as the “kid brother” of a veteran newsreel cameraman [Kane Richmond] who wants to follow in his footsteps…little did anyone know that, within 25 years, theatrical newsreels would be rendered “obsolete” by TV news coverage. “Frontier Scout” was a typical 1938 “B-western” [from independent “Franklyn Warner Productions”] starring George Houston in his interpretation of “Wild Bill Hickok” (by the ’50s, kids knew just ONE “Wild Bill”, watching Guy Madison’s weekly TV portrayal, and/or listening to the separate Mutual radio edition three afternoons a week from 1951 through ’54). “Battle Of Greed”, from Crescent Pictures in 1937, had Tom Keene as a lawyer involved with uncovering crooked silver claims- and the crooked judge protecting the dirty owlhoots filing them, in Virginia City. You can imagine how those early TV audiences ate these movies up the way their kids would over a decade later, over hundreds of local stations. And, of course, the schedule of filmed presentations wouldn’t be complete without at least ONE Van Beuren ‘Aesop’s Fable’, “Red Riding Hood” (1931). Lowell Thomas is still “simulcasting” his nightly NBC radio news and commentary program at 6:45, with an actual “Sunoco” gas pump globe and cans of their motor oil on the side of his desk while speaking into his NBC microphone, with hardly ANY visual aids accompanying his news items. As for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, keep in mind there was only ONE TV camera (possibly two) present at that April 25th performance, so home viewers got to see a small “taste” of what went on in all three rings, and reactions from the crowd in attendance. Still, it must have been fascinating to those hundreds of people watching….

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