Christmas TV – 39, 54 and 66 Years Ago

Here’s a look at network prime time television on Christmas Day back in 1974 (39 years ago), 1959 (54 years ago) and 1947 (66 years ago). Notice the number of repeats in 1974 versus 1959. These days, you don’t see any new programming on Christmas Day in prime time. There just aren’t enough viewers watching television to make it worth airing new episodes.

39 Years Ago – Wednesday, December 25th, 1974

  8:00PM That’s My Mama – “Mama Gets Fractured”
  8:30PM ABC Wednesday Movie of the Week – “My Darling Daughters’ Anniversary” (repeat)
10:00PM Get Christie Love! – “Market for Murder” (repeat)

  8:00PM Tony Orlando and Dawn – “Esther Rolle/Lloyd Bridges”
  9:00PM Cannon – “Voice from the Grave” (repeat)
10:00PM The Manhunter – “Death on the Run” (repeat)

  8:00PM Little House on the Prairie – “Christmas at Plum Creek”
  9:00PM Lucas Tanner – “Merry Gentlemen”
10:00PM Petrocelli – “The Golden Cage” (repeat)

54 Years Ago – Friday, December 25th, 1959

  7:30PM Walt Disney Presents – “Alice in Wonderland” (repeat)
  8:30PM The Man from Blackhawk
  9:00PM 77 Sunset Strip – “The Juke Box Caper”
10:00PM The Detectives – “Masquerade
10:30PM Black Saddle (repeat)

  7:30PM Rawhide (repeat)
  8:30PM Hotel de Paree
  9:00PM Desilu Playhouse – “The Desilu Revue”
10:00PM The Twilight Zone – “What You Need”
10:30PM Person to Person – “France: Jean Pierre Aumont, Marisa Pavan, Claude Terrail”

  7:30PM People Are Funny
  8:00PM Troubleshooter
  8:30PM The Night of Christmas (color)
  9:30PM M Squad – “The Ivy League Bank Robbers”
10:00PM Cavalcade of Sports – “Sports Highlights of 1959”

68 Years Ago – Thursday, December 25th, 1947
(Schedule for Stations Broadcasting in New York City)

WCBS (Channel 2)
  7:30PM Christmas Carols
  7:40PM Film: Santa and the Little Angel
  8:00PM News–Douglas Edwards
  8:15PM Merry Christmasland Exposition, at Grand Central Palace
  8:45PM Basketball, Madison Square Garden

WNBT (Channel 4)
  3:00PM Christmas Program, at St. Alban’s Hospital
  7:50PM News Reports
  8:00PM Christmas Play
  8:30PM Television News
  8:40PM Musical Merry-Go Round
  9:00PM You Are an Artist–John Gnagy
  9:10PM Motion Picture Trailer
  9:15PM Choir
  9:25PM Film: The Second Chorus, with Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard

WABD (Channel 5)
11:00AM Christmas Services, at National Episcopal Cathedral, Washington
  4:00PM Christmas Show, at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington
  5:00PM A Christmas Carol
  6:45PM Walter Compton, News
  7:00PM Small Fry Club
  7:30PM Birthday Party
  8:00PM Champagne and Orchids, with Adrienne
  8:15PM Film: American Home
  8:30PM Charade Quiz

One Reply to “Christmas TV – 39, 54 and 66 Years Ago”

  1. I wonder if “A Christmas Carol” broadcast on WABD was one of the theatrical releases (Maybe the MGM version from 1938?), or an original production.

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