W2XBS Schedule, Week of May 26th, 1940

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week beginning Sunday, May 26th, 1940. It was a pretty full week, despite no broadcasts on Sunday or Monday, with two hours chock full of variety acts, a pair of Aesop fables in film form, some racing and wrestling and a dramatic sketch titled “Overtones” performed by the Centenary Junior College Players. Also, an hour-long drama by Clare Kummer called “The Rescuing Angel.”

Tuesday, May 28th, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Films: “Oom Pah Pah,” an Aesop fable; “Let’s See America,” “The Toppers,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “School of Another Chance.”
6:45-7:00PM – News Bulletins.
9:00-10:00PM – Variety: Arthur Upham Pope on “6,000 Years of Persian Art”; Russell Swann, magician, on the exercycle and Earle B. Perkins on “Marine Invertebrates” with film. Also Centenary Junior College Players in “Overtones,” a dramatic sketch.

Wednesday, May 29th, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Films.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
9:00-10:15PM – Film, “Street Scene,” with Sylvia Sidney and William Collier, Jr.

Thursday, May 30th, 1940
2:00-5:00PM – Racing, at Belmont Park–Suburban Handicap.
6:45-7:00PM – News–Lowell Thomas.
9:00-10:00PM – Drama, “The Rescuing Angel,” by Clare Kummer, with Sally O’Neill, Eric Dressler and Robert Allen.

Friday, May 31st, 1940
3:30-4:30PM – Films, “Summertime,” an Aesop fable; “Men of the Plains,” with Rex Bell.
6:45-7:00PM – News, Lowell Thomas.
8:45-9:00PM – Television Reporter.
9:00-11:00PM – Wrestling, at Jamaica Arena.

Saturday, June 1st, 1940
2:00-5:00PM – Racing, at Belmont Park–American Oaks.
9:00-10:00PM – Variety, “Hits and Bits of 1980,” with Lew Hearn, John Steele, Raymond and Caverly, Chez Chase, Joe Fields, Sandra Lynda, William Foran and Bill Hardy’s Quartet.

“Telecasts for the Week.” New York Times. 26 May 1940: X10.

1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    What, “Let’s See America” and “The Last of the Mohicans” were on AGAIN???

    More Van Beuren “Aesop’s Fables” on the schedule- “Oom Pah Pah” (1930) and “Summertime” (1929); “Men Of the Plains” (1936) was a “typical” Rex Bell Western for independent “Colony Pictures” that lasted a little over an hour, so the length of Friday afternoon’s “children’s hour” of movies should have been closer to 70 minutes.

    Here’s a rarity for TV at that time: a Sam Goldwyn-produced film on Wednesday, “Street Scene” (1931), directed by King Vidor. That was usually as close as NBC got to presenting a “major” Hollywood studio’s film of “recent vintage” on their experimental station [not counting Walt Disney’s 1931 version of “The Ugly Duckling” on that W2XBS anniversary program a few weeks back]- the “big” studios were already starting to feel that embryonic TV was a “threat” to their domain as far as potential viewers- and loss of theatrical revenue- was concerned, and simply wouldn’t allow NBC or CBS access to ANY of their current studio product. Of course, this attitude cost them PLENTY when commercial TV became established as a major entertainment force to be reckoned with by the end of the ’40s.

Leave a Comment