Broadcast Log for Thrills and Chills

Thrills and Chills premiered on WNBT in New York City on August 1941, roughly two months after the start of commercial television in the United States. Doug Allen hosted the series, which was also known as Thrills and Chills Everywhere, Thrills and Chills from Everywhere, and Thrills and Chills with Doug Allan.

Each episode saw Allan interviewing an explorer or adventurer and presenting films of an exciting expedition. The series was on the air for nearly five years. It moved from WNBT to experimental DuMont station W2XWV in 1942 and went off the air in 1946.

What follows is an incomplete broadcast log for Thrills and Chills, drawn primarily from television listings published in The New York Times as well as The Billboard and Radio Daily.

The first known broadcast of Thrills and Chills was on Wednesday, August 27th, 1941. The guest was Faustin Wirkus. For the next few months the series was seen irregularly on WNBT.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
1. 08/27/1941 (Wed) Faustin Wirkus
2. 09/10/1941 (Wed) Harold McCracken
3. 09/25/1941 (Thu) Malcolm Rosholt
4. 10/07/1941 (Tue) Earl Rossman
5. 10/15/1941 (Wed) John Wardell
6. 10/22/1941 (Wed) Vincent Palmer
7. 11/04/1941 (Tue) Father Hubbard

In late November 1941, Thrills and Chills began airing every Tuesday at 8:30PM ET on WNBT.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
8. 11/25/1941 Singapore Joe Fisher
9. 12/09/1941 Roy Phelps
10. 12/16/1941 Unknown
11. 01/06/1942 Earl Schenck
12. 01/20/1942 Father Bernard Hubbard
13. 02/10/1942 Arthur Menken

The series shifted to Wednesdays at 8:30PM ET in February 1942 where it remained for a little over a month. It was then off the air for roughly a month. It then returned in May for two weeks, airing on Sundays.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
14. 02/25/1942 Herman Bettinger
15. 03/04/1942 Capt. Bob Bartlett
16. 03/11/1942 Mrs. Ada Hamilton
17. 03/18/1942 Sidney Shurcliff
18. 04/01/1942 Capt. John D. Craig
19. 04/08/1942 Capt. Bob Bartlett
20. 05/10/1942 Lewis N. Cotlow
21. 05/17/1942 Joe Fisher

At some point in 1942, and for reasons unknown, WNBT dropped Thrills and Chills. It then moved to DuMont’s experimental New York City station W2XWV. At least one episode aired in August 1942. In November 1942, the series began airing every third Sunday. The station more or less stuck to that schedule until March 1944.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
22. 08/30/1942 Unknown
23. 11/22/1942 Unknown
24. 12/06/1942 Unknown
25. 01/03/1943 Unknown
26. 01/24/1943 Howard Cleeves and Paula Le Claire
27. 02/14/1943 Father Hubbard
28. 03/07/1942 Dr. William H. Barton
29. 03/28/1943 Dr. William M. Marston
30. 04/18/1943 Helge E. Larsen
31. 05/09/1943 Mrs. Ava H. Singer
32. 05/30/1943 Father Hubbard
33. 06/20/1943 Unknown
34. 07/11/1943 Unknown
35. 08/01/1943 Unknown
36. 08/29/1943 Unknown
37. 09/19/1943 Attilid Gatti
38. 10/17/1943 Unknown
39. 10/31/1943 Clyde Eddy
40. 11/21/1943 Clyde Eddy, Explorer
41. 12/12/1943 Laura Boulton
42. 01/02/1944 Armand Dennis
43. 01/23/1944 Unknown
44. 02/13/1944 Armand Denis
45. 03/05/1944 Unknown

Thrills and Chills is missing from television listings published in The New York Times for roughly six months. Whether it was actually off the air during that period is unknown. Various sources–The Billboard, Radio Daily, and The New York Times–suggest the series returned in October 1944 but only a few episodes aired just once every month until January 1945 when it disappeared again.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
46. 10/31/1944 Captain Ray Scott
47. 11/28/1944 Charles B. Elliot
48. 12/26/1944 Unknown
49. 01/07/1945 Harvard Merrill Hodgekins

When Thrills and Chills returned in June 1945, it aired weekly on Thursdays for just four weeks before switching to a biweekly schedule.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
50. 06/14/1945 M. O’Malley Knott
51. 06/21/1945 Arthur H. O’Connor
52. 06/28/1945 Unknown
53. 07/05/1945 Unknown
54. 07/19/1945 Unknown
55. 08/02/1945 Unknown
56. 08/16/1945 Unknown
57. 08/30/1945 Fifth Anniversary Show

The special fifth anniversary show featured Frazier Hunt, Mrs. Ada Hamilton, Marshall Hall, Cyril von Bauman, and Mrs. Hetty Dyhrenfurth.

By 1945, W2XWV had become commercial station WABD. The station signed off on September 20th, 1945 to transition from Channel 4 to Channel 5 and did not return to the air with a regular program schedule until April 15th, 1946. When it did, Thrills and Chills was back as well, airing weekly on Wednesdays for six weeks. The final known broadcast took place on Tuesday, June 4th, 1946.

Ep. # Airdate Guest(s)
58. 04/17/1946 Unknown
59. 04/24/1946 Unknown
60. 05/01/1946 Unknown
61. 05/15/1946 Unknown
62. 05/22/1946 Unknown
63. 06/04/1946 Unknown

No episodes of Thrills and Chills are known to exist. The series was broadcast live prior to the introduction of the kinescope. There is no evidence the series aired outside of New York City.

Revised May 19th, 2016

2 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Incidentally, Doug Allen’s guest on the March 28, 1943 DuMont program was Dr. William Moulton Marston, a psychologist who helped create the modern polygraph (lie detector)…AND the immortal comic book character “Wonder Woman” [as “Charles Moulton”]. He also made very few TV appearances, as he died of cancer in May 1947.

  • jon crylen says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve done some unrelated research on the 5/9/43 guest, Ava Hamilton Singer; it’s likely she showed up with (now lost) 16mm color footage of a volcano eruption shot in Africa. She was the great-great-granddaughter of James Madison’s Secretary of the Navy, Paul Hamilton, and toured the U.S. with her films in the early 1940s. The NYT listings would be the only indication she ever appeared on TV. I wonder if the 3/11/42 guest (“Ada Hamilton”) wasn’t her, as well.

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