Network Anniversary Specials

I’ve compiled the following list of network anniversary specials, dating back to NBC’s “The First Fifty Years” (broadcast on Sunday, November 21st, 1976). I believe it includes every major network special. If I’ve left any out, please hit the comments with details.

ABC:
“ABC’s Silver Anniversary Celebration” (Sunday, February 5th, 1978)
“ABC’s 40th Anniversary Special” (Saturday, May 21st, 1994)
“ABC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration” (Monday, May 19th, 2003)

CBS:
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: The Night of 100 Stars” (Sunday, March 26th, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Have a Laugh on Us” (Monday, March 27th, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Chills and Thrills with a Laugh Chaser” (Tuesday, March 28th, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Dreams Come True” (Wednesday, March 29th, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Join the Family” (Thursday, March 30th, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: We’re Getting Personal” (Friday, March 31st, 1978)
“CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: A Rootin’, Tootin’, Hootin’ & Hollerin’ Salute to Cowboys and Clowns” (Saturday, April 1st, 1978)
“CBS at 75” (Sunday, November 2nd, 2003)

NBC:
“The First Fifty Years” (Sunday, November 21st, 1976)
“The First Fifty Years-A Closer Look” (Sunday, October 23rd, 1977)
“The First Fifty Years-A Closer Look (Part II)” (Tuesday, January 31st, 1978)
“NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration” (Monday, May 12th, 1986)
“NBC 75th Anniversary Special” (Sunday, May 5th, 2002)

FOX:
“FOX’s 25th Anniversary Special” (Sunday, April 22nd, 2012)

7 Comments

  • DuMont says:

    I cannot recall any anniversary specials airing on DuMont, The WB, UPN nor PAX/i/ION, and I don’t remember the Big 3 airing any specials of this kind prior to the ’70s.

    I compiled Nielsen ratings for these specials, which have tended to do very well, up until recently:

    ABC:
    “ABC’s Silver Anniversary Celebration” (Sunday, February 5th, 1978) 27.2HH/40%
    “ABC’s 40th Anniversary Special” (Saturday, May 21st, 1994) 7.1HH/12%
    “ABC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration” (Monday, May 19th, 2003) 7.6HH/13%, 3.7 A18-49, 11.3M P2+

    CBS:
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: The Night of 100 Stars” (Sunday, March 26th, 1978) 22.5HH/37%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Have a Laugh on Us” (Monday, March 27th, 1978) 24.5HH/38%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Chills and Thrills with a Laugh Chaser” (Tuesday, March 28th, 1978) 24.1HH/43%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Dreams Come True” (Wednesday, March 29th, 1978) 22.8HH/40%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: Join the Family” (Thursday, March 30th, 1978) 25.2HH/46%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: We’re Getting Personal” (Friday, March 31st, 1978) 19.8HH/35%
    “CBS: On The Air – A Celebration of 50 Years: A Rootin’, Tootin’, Hootin’ & Hollerin’ Salute to Cowboys and Clowns” (Saturday, April 1st, 1978) 16.7HH/30%
    “CBS at 75” (Sunday, November 2nd, 2003) 11.2HH/17%, 3.9 A18-49

    NBC:
    “The First Fifty Years” (Sunday, November 21st, 1976) 28.9HH/44%
    “The First Fifty Years-A Closer Look” (Sunday, October 23rd, 1977) 21.5HH/34%
    “The First Fifty Years-A Closer Look (Part II)” (Tuesday, January 31st, 1978) 13.5HH/22%
    “NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration” (Monday, May 12th, 1986) 18.2HH/28%
    “NBC 75th Anniversary Special” (Sunday, May 5th, 2002) 12.7HH/21%, 7.4 A18-49

    FOX:
    “FOX’s 25th Anniversary Special” (Sunday, April 22nd, 2012) 2.5HH/4%, 1.8 A18-49, 4.3M P2+

  • Bristor Gwynne says:

    i would like to know if there will be a ABC 60th anniversary celebration special in the future.

  • Walter says:

    …Um , are you mislisting the run of late-90s CBS 50th anniversary specials I remember as running in 1978 ?
    There was certainly no full-scale CBS TV broadcasting in 1928
    (Any possible experimental broadcasts aside .) !!!!!!!!!
    I actually did have something to say about something I remember from one of the Tiffany lookbacks , too…

  • Nary Rawlings says:

    looking for show where NBC News interviewed a family of 33 triplets Snippets from that show played once in a while on NBC News ads. Was prevented from seeing this show as a child. Learned some months ago that my family was that family. I want to know what secrets were being kept from me that I was not allowed to see it.

    • Karen Martin says:

      Nary, “Television Programs I’m Looking For” might be a better section to post your request in. Also could you inform us what year this NBC interview took place? If you’re not sure, please give as narrow a time span as possible (such as mid-1960s). The last name of the family (if it isn’t Rawlings) and the town and state where the family lived would also be helpful for anyone attempting to do some research for you.

      I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Leave a Comment