W2XBS Schedule, Week of May 12th, 1940

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week beginning Sunday, May 12th, 1940. The station broadcast every day of the week and there were some very interesting programs on the air, along with the usual sporting events and movies.

I wonder what the “Pages and Guides Minstrel Show” was. And why was Thursday, March 16th seemingly Edison day? What I wouldn’t give to be able to watch either of the plays presented this week: “Mrs. Moonlight” and “We’ll Take the High Road.”

Sunday, May 12th, 1940
3:30-4:40PM – Films, “The Mother”; also “The Lady in Scarlet,” with Reginald Denny.
8:30-9:30PM – Play, “Mrs. Moonlight,” by Benn Levy, with Frances Reid, Dennis Hoey, Frieda Altman and Barbara Robins.

Monday, May 13th, 1940
2:00-5:00PM – Racing, opening day at Belmont Park–the Fashion Stakes and the Toboggan Handicap.

Tuesday, May 14th, 1940
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
9:00-10:00PM – Pages and Guides Minstrel Show.

Wednesday, May 15th, 1940
3:30-4:35PM – Films.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
9:00-10:00PM – Midweek Varieties, with Paul Wing’s spelling bee.

Thursday, May 16th, 1940
3:15-5:00PM – Edison Pageant of Progress Parade, at Orange, N.J.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-9:15PM – Opening night of film “Edison, the Man,” at the Hollywood Theatre, Orange, N.J.
9:15-9:35PM – “Crisis in the Pacific,” a March of Time film.

Friday, May 17th, 1940
3:30-4:40PM – Films.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:45-9:00PM – Television reporter.
9:00-11:00PM – Wrestling, a the Jamaica arena.

Saturday, May 18th, 1940
2:00-5:00PM – Racing, at Belmont Park–The Withers.
9:00-10:00PM – Play, “We’ll Take the High Road,” by Leslie W. McLeod.

“Microphone Presents.” New York Times. 12 May 1940: 140.

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One Reply to “W2XBS Schedule, Week of May 12th, 1940”

  1. Note that a major Hollywood premiere of Spencer Tracy’s Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer biopic, “Edison the Man”, was covered by a W2XBS camera in Orange, N.J. on May 16th. Yet, MGM refused to allow NBC to telecast ANY of their current or older films in New York during this period (already, they conceived that television might be a “competitor” for movie theater attendance). It wasn’t until early 1944 that, during a special telecast, the studio FINALLY allowed WNBT (as W2XBS had become) to present one of their more recent films: a one-reeler entitled, “Patrolling the Ether”, about U.S. Government and Military efforts to keep radio signals “free” from sabotage and misuse during wartime.

    It wouldn’t be until September 1955 that the studio finally allowed the viewing public to see snippets of some of their classic films on a weekly basis- on ABC’s “MGM PARADE”, the studio’s equivalent of “DISNEYLAND”, which preceded it on Wednesday nights. But George Murphy was not “Walt Disney”{and neither was Walter Pidgeon, who replaced Murphy for the final telecasts}, and the show disappeared after a season. In the fall of ’56, though, MGM FINALLY realized that TV could be profitable some of their pre-1948 features, and began selling “packages” of them to local stations….

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