Status of Eye Witness

Eye Witness was a half-hour documentary series broadcast in New York City on WNBT between November 1947 and April 1948. Ben Grauer served as host for the series, which was directed by Garry Simpson. The first episode aired on November 6th, 1947 and was broadcast from atop the Empire State Building where WNBT’s transmitter was located. The guest for the premiere was Dr. C. B. Jolliffee, RCA Laboratories Executive Vice President.

Other guests included George M. Nixon of NBC’s Engineering Department, J.B. Elliott, RCA Home Instrument Department Vice President, Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin, RCA’s Director of Electronic Research, FCC Commissioner Paul Walker, U.S. Representative Sol Bloom from New York.

It’s unclear exactly how many episodes were broadcast. Eye Witness shows up in television listings published in The New York Times a total of 17 times between November 1947 and April 1948. However, information provided to the Archive of American Television by Garry Simpson states there were 13 episodes.

Only one episode of Eye Witness is known to exist, the February 26th, 1948 broadcast with Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin. The UCLA Film & Television Archive has a copy of the episode in its collection and in September 2013 it was uploaded to the Internet Archive. Scenes from this episode were included in the third installment of a PBS documentary series called Television (based on an earlier British version) that aired on February 8th, 1988.

# Title Airdate Status
1 [Unknown Title] 11/06/1947  
Television transmitters from the Empire State Building; with Dr. C. B. Jolliffe, RCA Laboratories Executive Vice President.
2 [Unknown Title] 11/13/1947  
Television studios.
3 [Unknown Title] 11/20/1947  
Mobile television units, from NBC’s Studio 3-H at the RCA Building.
4 [Unknown Title] 12/04/1947  
Production of television programs.
5 [Unknown Title] 12/11/1947  
Television receivers; with J.B. Elliott, RCA Home Instrument Department Vice President.
6 [Unknown Title] 01/15/1948  
Manufacture of television receivers.
7 [Unknown Title] 01/29/1948  
How television works; with George M. Nixon, NBC Engineering Department.
8 [Unknown Title] 02/05/1948  
Acting and camera techniques.
9 [Unknown Title] 02/12/1948  
Behind the scenes at a television studio.
10 [Unknown Title] 02/19/1948  
The manufacture of television tubes.
11 “The Story of Television” 02/26/1948 UCLA
Dramatic re-enactments of technological discoveries relating to television; with Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin
12 [Unknown Title] 03/04/1948  
NBC’s Washington station WNBW; with FCC Commissioner Paul Walker and U.S. Representative Sol Bloom.
13. [Unknown Title] 04/13/1948  
Television networks.

According to The New York Times, Eye Witness also aired on the following dates: December 18th, 1947; January 8th, 1948; January 22nd, 1948; and March 18th, 1948.

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