W2XBS Schedule, Week of September 10th, 1939

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, September 10th, 1939, straight from the weekly television listings printed in The New York Times. There are a lot of gaps in the schedule due to various outside telecasts that were to be announced when this schedule was published. For some reason The New York Times didn’t indicate when the noon broadcasts ended; they were simply listed starting at “12:00 Noon. The week was filled with plenty of films, some interviews and the fourth chapter of the 1934 film serial The Lost Jungle (you can see it’s IMDb page here). It seems W2XBS simply started with the fourth chapter because I can find no record of the station broadcasting the earlier installments.

Here’s what The New York Time had to say about the play broadcast on Thursday:

“Art and Mrs. Bottle,” the comedy drama to be telecast on Thursday evening, will be presented with the cast of one of the most successful Summer theatre groups in the East, the Surry Theatre, from up Maine way. The cast of the tele-version of Benn W. Levey’s comedy will be the same as that which presented the play a month ago at the Surry Playhouse.

The program will mark the first time since NBC started its public service that an outside group has been brought in intact to televise one of its productions. Donald Davis will direct.

Finally, according to the Internet Movie Database, magician Gali Gali, who was part of the Friday variety hour, would later appear in several episodes of Toast of the Town between 1949 and 1961.

Monday, September 11th, 1939
8-9PM – Edison Day program at the World’s Fair; dramatized highlights from the life of Thomas A. Edison, “City of Light” film.

Tuesday, September 12th, 1939
12PM – Mrs. Ogden Reid, interview; film, “March of Time”; film, “This Changing World”; news.
8:30-9:30PM – Film, “The Bridge of Sighs,” with Onslow Stevens, Dorothy Tree and Jack Larue.

Wednesday, September 13th, 1939
12PM – June Hynd, with Mrs. E. E. Brooke, on “How to Get a Job”; film serial, “The Lost Jungle,” Episode IV; film, “Norwegian Sketches”; George Ross, columnist; news.
2-4PM – An outside telecast, to be announced.

Thursday, September 14th, 1939
12PM – Fashion show; films, “Zion National Park,” “Gateway to the Pacific,” “The Heart of Sweden”; news.
8:30-9:30PM – “Art and Mrs. Bottle,” comedy drama, with Ann Revere, Katherine Emery, Shepperd Strudwick, Dorothy Mathews, Jabez Gray, Thomas Speidel, Helen Wynn and Carl Gose.

Friday, September 15th, 1939
12PM – To be announced; film, “Desert Empire”; newscast.
3-4PM – An outside program, to be announced.
8:30-9:30PM – Variety hour; Gali-Gali, magician, and others.

Saturday, September 16th, 1939
3-4PM – An outside program, to be announced.


“Televiews of Pictures.” New York Times. 10 Sep. 1939: X8.

One Reply to “W2XBS Schedule, Week of September 10th, 1939”

  1. Donald Davis, who directed “Art and Mrs. Bottle”, went on to become a rotating producer with Dorothy Mathews (who also appeared as a supporting player in the “Mrs. Bottle” telecast) of “WESTINGHOUSE STUDIO ONE” for CBS in the early ’50s [they was responsible for Grace Kelly & Dick Foran’s September 1952 drama, “The Kill”].

    More short travelogues and “obscure” films on W2XBS’ schedule, as usual: on Tuesday, “The Bridge of Sighs” (1936), from the defunct Invincible Pictures, starred Onslow Stevens, Dorothy Tree and Jack LaRue {what a cast!}. LaRue was also involved in early TV, as the host/narrator of “LIGHTS OUT” during its first season (1949-’50).

    “The March Of Time” was a well-known radio show, “prepared in cooperation with the editors of TIME magazine” that appeared on NBC’s Blue network at the time, with Westbrook Van Voorhis {“TIME…marches on!”} as narrator, dramatizing the week’s headlines and “sidelights”. The series was popular enough to spawn a monthly theatrical series of two and three reelers [released through 20th Century-Fox], dealing with various subjects, between 1935 and 1951. NBC was able to present one of the “current” editions of “The March Of Time” on September 12th, “This Changing World”.

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