W2XBS Schedule, Week of October 8th, 1939

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, October 8th, 1939, straight from the weekly television listings printed in The New York Times. It featured NBC’s new “uniform” schedule, introduced on Tuesday, September 26th. There were a lot of interesting programs broadcast during the week, including a revue titled “Magazine Rack,” which was shown on Tuesday, October 10th. Among the performers listed was someone named Gene Kelly. Could this be the Gene Kelly of Singin’ in the Rain fame? Also shown on Tuesday was a celebration of Chinese Independence Day featuring, among others, Kitty Carlisle.

On Thursday, October 12th the station broadcast another installment of the serial Lost Jungle and an version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, adapted by Helen Jerome. On Friday, October 13th there was a mobile pick-up from the Bendix, N.J. airport of a model airplane meet; also broadcast that day was a film “commemorating 50th anniversary of Edison’s invention of the cinema.”

Tuesday, October 10th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Kitty Carlisle, Professor Wei Chung-loh and the Kim Loo sisters in Chinese Independence Day ceremonies at World’s Fair.
8:30-9:00PM – “Magazine Rack,” a revue, with Virginia Verrill, soprano; Michael Loring, baritone; the Cabin Kids, Gene Kelly and Franzell’s orchestra.

Wednesday, October 11th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Variety show: films “Power”; “Down the Gasoline Trail”; “Greyhounds of the Deep”; Louise Irwin, exercises for beauty.

8:30-9:30PM – Charles Sheeler, artist, interviewed; Madge Tucker’s radio children; films.

Thursday, October 12th, 1993
2:30-3:30PM – Bob King, ventriloquist; films, “The Lost Jungle”; “Blue Coal”; Richard Kent, traveling chef.
8:30-9:30PM – “Jane Eyre,” by Helen Jerome, with Margaret Curtis, Dennis Hoey, Effie Shannon, Ruth Matteson, Carl Harbord.

Friday, October 13th, 1993
2:30-3:30PM – Model airplane meet, Bendix, N.J. airport.
8:30-9:30PM – June Loraine, mimic; Marjorie Entero and Philippe Borgia, dancers; Ramon Armengod, Mexican singer, and a film commemorating 50th anniversary of Edison’s invention of the cinema.

Saturday, October 14th, 1939
2-4:30PM – Football, C.C.N.Y. vs. Scranton University, Lewisohn Stadium.

Works Cited:

“Televiews for the Week.” New York Times. 8 Oct. 1939: 146.

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1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    YES! Gene Kelly was a hard-working “hoofer” on Broadway during this period, who initially appeared as a supporting dancer to Mary Martin in her famous “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” number in Cole Porter’s 1938 revue, “Leave It To Me!”. A month after his October 10th TV appearance, he landed his first important dancing role in the original Broadway production of William Saroyan’s “The Time Of Your Life”.

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