W2XBS Schedule, Week of June 4th, 1939

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station WX2BS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, June 4th, 1939, straight from television listings printed in The New York Times. I wonder just how many members of the “Grandmother’s Night Out Club” were interviewed at the World’s Fair considering that said interview only lasted fifteen minutes. It’s too bad there isn’t more information about who participated in the June 7th variety hour; apparently, some of them were making their television debuts. Speaking of which, television’s very first cabaret was broadcast on June 9th (at least according to The New York Times).

Tuesday, June 6th, 1939
11:00AM-4:00PM – Demonstration Films.
2:45-3:00PM – Members of “Grandmother’s Night Out Club,” all sixty to eighty years of age, will be interviewed at the World’s Fair on America’s progress during the past three generations.

Wednesday, June 7th, 1939
4:30-8:30PM – Demonstration Films.
8:30-9:30PM – Bert Lytell in a dramatic sketch, “The Valiant”; the Kim Loo Sisters, singers and dancers, and Allen Prescott, master of ceremonies. In addition, performers in other fields of entertainment will be seen in their initial efforts before the electric cameras.

Thursday, June 8th, 1939
11:00AM-4:00PM – Demonstration Films.

Friday, June 9th, 2009
4:30-8:30PM – Demonstration Films.
8:30-9:30PM – Television’s first cabaret, with Elle Logan, torch singer; Buck and Bubbles, dancing comedians; Billy Daniels and Mary Parker with Joseph Rines doing the Patty-Cake dance, and Bob Neller, ventriloquist, with “Reggie.”

Saturday, June 10th, 2009
4:00-9:00PM – Demonstration Films.

Sources:
“Notes on Television.” New York Times. 4 Jun. 1939: X8.


5 Comments

  • Cee Jay says:

    The title ‘Demonstration Films’ reminds me of something you’d watch in SHOP class in Jr High, but it’s probably a film explaining how TV works

  • RGJ says:

    The demonstration films were probably whatever W2XBS could get its hands on and were intended to be picked up by the RCA exhibit at the World’s Fair to demonstrate television for fair goers and, more importantly, potential buyers of television sets.

  • Paul Lindemeyer says:

    The schedule cards mailed out weekly to TV homes (not an impossible task when they numbered 1,000 or less!) often gave the titles of the films to be shown. Most were industrial shorts or travelogues, which could be had for the asking or for a nominal rental. Feature films were strictly B-grade, if that, and typically ran only an hour.

  • Paul Lindemeyer says:

    An example of an NBC-TV schedule card, from the week of Feb. 26, 1940:
    http://thekisseloffcollection.com/wordpress/KC/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/cbsprogram1.gif

  • Paul Lindemeyer says:

    I was not totally right about the B-movies. NBC did pick up some older, first run fare, such as “Hell’s Angels” and “Grand Illusion.”

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