W2XBS Schedule, Week of May 5th, 1940

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week beginning Sunday, May 5th, 1940. Notice that future Westinghouse spokeswoman Betty Furness had a role in a comedy called “Three Wise Fools” broadcast on Sunday.

Also interesting to me is a dramatic sketch called “Joe and Mary’s Place,” broadcast on Wednesday, May 8th, and the finals of a television beauty contest shown on Thursday, May 9th.

And on Saturday, May 11th, 1940, W2XBS broadcast the opening of the 1940 New York World’s Fair, which was actually the reopening of the 1939 New York World’s Fair for its second season. Recall that the April 30th, 1939 grand opening of the fair marked the beginning of broadcast television.

Sunday, May 5th, 1940
3:30-4:35PM – Film, “Cipher Bureau,” with Leon Ames and Charlotte Winters.
8:30-9:30PM – Comedy, “Three Wise Fools,” by Austin Strong, with Percy Kilbride, Stephen Courtleigh, James Craven and Betty Furness.

Wednesday, May 8th, 1940
3:30-4:35PM – Films, “Norwegian Sketches,” “Mother Melodies,” “Screw Drivers of 1940,” “King’s Stamp,” “See America.”
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-9:30PM – Midweek Varieties, with Eleanor French, songs; “Joe and Mary’s Place,” dramatic sketch, and a fashion revue.

Thursday, May 9th, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Preview of racing season, Belmont Park.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-9:30PM – Finals, television beauty contest.

Friday, May 10th, 1940
3:30-3:40PM – Selections from films, “Casamiento en Buenos Aires” and “Gente Bien.”
3:40-4:45PM – Film, “Mystery in Swing,” with a Negro cast.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:30-8:45PM – Collectors’ Corner, with Joan Atkinson.
9:00-11:00PM – Wrestling in Jamaica.

Saturday, May 11th, 1940
2:30-4:00PM – Opening of the New York World’s Fair.
8:30-8:50PM – “Crisis in the Pacific,” a March of Time film.
8:50-10:00PM – Film, “Panama Patrol,” with Leon Ames.

“Notes on Television.” New York Times. 5 May 1940: 163.