The following exhibits cover a wide variety of aspects of television history, from early program guides to script material to comic books.
Note: In August 2012, most of the exhibits consisting of videos (Famous Faces Do Commercials, Famous Faces Do PSAs, etc.) were moved to the Video Vault.
FOX Image Campaigns, 1987-1990
During its first years on the air, the FOX network used flashy image campaigns to sell itself as an alternative to the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC). Here are three such campaigns, including three full length image pieces and several shorter image spots, from Fall 1987, Fall 1988 (or 1989) and Spring 1990.
Vintage Sponsor Spots
Watch sixteen sponsor spots, or billboards, for products like Marlboro Cigarettes, Breck Shampoo, Kellogg’s, Twister, Bufferin and Camel Cigarettes, from shows like Laramie, Karen, Route 66 and Where the Action Is.
Full Issues of Vintage Program Guides
Television Forecast – September 6th, 1948
Television Forecast was one of the earliest program guides, covering the Chicago, Illinois area. The issue features a full week’s worth of television listings for stations WGN-TV and WBKB, information on the launch of WENR-TV (Channel 7) on September 17th, 1948, other brief articles and advertisements for Add-a-Vision, Walco Tele-vue Lens and more.
Television Forecast – August 20th, 1949
Here’s another full issue of Television Forecast, with television listings for WBKB, WNBQ, WENR-TV and WGN-TV (plus WTMJ-TV from Milwaukee), a feature on singer Betty Chapel, and other brief articles and advertisements.
TV News – June 2nd, 1951
TV News covered the Buffalo and Rochester regions of New York. Included are a week’s worth of television listings for stations WBEN-TV and WHAM-TV, articles on Groucho Marx and wrestler Ben Morgan, advertisements and a crossword puzzle.
TV Showtime – November 5th, 1951
TV Showtime called itself “The Midwest’s Own Television Magazine,” covering portions of Nebraska and Iowa. This issue features listings for stations KMTV, WOI-TV, and WOW-TV, short articles on Victor Borge and Lloyd Nolan, advertisements and more.
1953 “Gallery” Promotional Booklet
This 26-page booklet from NBC Television was put together for the benefit of potential sponsors interested in Worthington Miner’s new hour-long dramatic anthology. The series never made it to the air.
ABC Promotional Artwork, 1971-1975
Eighteen colorful pieces of promotional artwork for ABC specials and regular series, including The Rookies, The Texas Wheelers, “QBVII” and the 1972 Summer Olympic Games.
Scripts, Comics and More
The Good Life Script Material
Excerpts from two scripts for The Good Life, including revised pages, and a document containing potential story lines for the sitcom.
The New People Comic Books
In 1970, Dell released two comic books based on ABC’s short-lived The New People, which ran for seventeen episodes starting in the fall of 1969. Take a look at the covers, the first five pages from the first issue, and a Spanish version published in Mexico.
TV Guide – Behind the Scenes of the 1964-1965 Season
TV Guide occasionally presented “Picture Features” that went behind the scenes of television programs. Here are seven examples from the 1964-1965 television season, including Gilligan’s Island, The Tycoon and The Baileys of Balboa.