New Spotlight: Thrills and Chills

This month’s Spotlight shines on Thrills and Chills, a very early television series that premiered on WNBT in New York City in August 1941. Host Doug Allan interviewed adventurers and explorers who showed films of their expeditions. I’ve been researching this series on and off for years but there is frustratingly little information to be found.

Much of what I do know comes from Allan’s 1946 book How to Write for Television (which I reviewed earlier this month). It didn’t have a set time slot, didn’t always air on the same day of the week, and was off the air for months at a time. Television listings in The New York Times unfortunately provide an incomplete broadcast history of the series so I can’t even say how many episodes were produced

Thrills and Chills aired first on WNBT from August 1941 to May 1942 and then on W2XWV/WABD from August 1942 to June 1946. This was long before the kinescope process was introduced so all the episode are lost. The Library of Congress has audio from a number of WNBT programs circa 1941/1942 so it’s possible but unlikely that audio could survive.

I will continue to try to dig up more information about the series. If anyone out there knows anything about it I’ve love to hear from you.

Read the full Spotlight here.

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