Here’s the schedule for WNBT (NBC’s flagship TV station in New York City) for the week starting Sunday, December 21st, 1947. The New York Times published daily listings for television stations in the city, including WNBT, alongside its comprehensive radio listings.
WNBT kicked off its broadcast week with “Embassy Children’s Party,” broadcast from Washington on Sunday (December 21st) afternoon. Another Christmas special, “Christmas Land,” aired at 8PM ET. The third installment of Television Playhouse followed at 8:30PM ET.
On Monday (December 22nd), WNBT aired its regular mix of news, quiz show Americana , film shorts, and boxing.
No programs were scheduled on Tuesday (December 23rd).
WNBT broadcast a variety of Christmas programs on Wednesday (December 24th). All three stations in New York City broadcast coverage of President Truman’s Christmas ceremonies at the White House. Christmas music followed on WNBT. A special Christmas episode of Kraft Television Theatre presented two one-act plays. The 1935 British adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Seymour Hicks aired at 8:30PM ET. The station ended its broadcast day with a Christmas card.
More Christmas-themed programming filled much of the lineup on Thursday (December 25th). WNBT signed on at 3PM ET to broadcast a Christmas program from St. Alban’s Hospital. At 8PM ET, an unidentified CHristmas play aired. A film trailer aired at 8:10PM ET, followed by ten minutes of choir music. The 1940 film Second Chorus, starring Paulette Goddard and Fred Astaire, aired at 9:25PM ET.
On Friday (December 26th), WNBT aired its regular lineup of news, films, and boxing. Another film trailer aired at 8:15PM.
Puppet Theatre aired during the evening on Saturday (December 27th).
January 1st, 2018 Update: Puppet Theatre, renamed Puppet Playhouse prior to its debut, is better known by yet another name: The Howdy Doody Show.
Sunday, December 21st, 1947
4:30PM Embassy Children’s Party, From Washington
8:00PM Christmas Land
8:30PM ANTA Show: The End of the Beginning, with Frank Thomas, Vaughn Taylor
9:10PM Telescreen Magazine
9:30PM News; Hymn
Monday, December 22nd, 1947
8:00PM Television News
8:10PM Americana–Quiz. With John Mason Brown and Guests
8:41PM Film Shorts
8:45PM Boxing, St. Nicholas Arena
Tuesday, December 23rd, 1947
No Programs Scheduled
Wednesday, December 24th, 1947
4:30PM President Truman [at White House Christmas Ceremonies]
5:30PM Christmas Music
6:00PM Views and News
7:15PM News; Music
7:30PM [Kraft Television Theatre] One-Act Plays: Reverie, and the Desert Shall [Rejoice]
8:30PM A Christmas Carol, with Seymour Hicks
9:45PM Christmas Card
Thursday, December 25th, 1947
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-Jon Gnagy
9:10PM Motion Picture Trailer
9:25PM Film: The Second Chorus, with Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard
Friday, December 26th, 1947
1:00PM [Swift] Home Service Club: Tex and Jinx
1:30PM Television Newsreel
7:50PM News Reports
8:00PM Film: Our Lady’s Juggler
8:15PM Motion Picture Trailer
8:20PM Film: The World in Your Home
8:30PM Television Screen Magazine
9:00PM Boxing, Madison Square Garden
Saturday, December 27th, 1947
5:00PM [Puppet Playhouse] Puppet Theatre
Note: Television listings published in newspapers were based on information provided by stations and were subject to change at the last minute. They may not be an accurate representation of what actually aired.
7 Replies to “WNBT Schedule, Week of December 21st, 1947”
“Puppet Theatre” would ended up renamed at the last minute before airtime as “Puppet Playhouse”, and would begin a 13-year run as it’s would later renamed it after the starring player, Howdy Doody, with Buffalo Bob Smith as host!!!
He have to introduced him at the end of the first show from a desk drawer, because the oringial Howdy Doody puppet haven’t been finished yet, but, he will be there in a few weeks after the show begin!!!
I just looked up Howdy Doody on Wikipedia. Thanks for the heads up on how the show began.
Not realizing Puppet Theatre (or Puppet Playhouse) marked the beginning of the Howdy Doody phenomenon is an embarrassing oversight on my part. Thanks for sharing.
Unless you’d just done a huge amount of Howdy Doody research there would be no reason to connect the famous series to a 1947 puppet show, since Howdy was a marionette.
And that weekend of December 25-27 was also the weekend of “The Great Blizzard of 1947”. It started snowing on Christmas Day, and finally stopped the following day. 26.4 inches of snow covered Central Park in New York…..the most since the previous record was set in 1888. A lot of kids who were snowed in, and had TV sets, got their first look at “Howdy Doody”- or rather, his voice coming from a desk drawer, as a puppet hadn’t been created for him, yet (and wouldn’t be until January 1948). Bob Keeshan, then an NBC page, didn’t appear on camera until the second broadcast [January 3, 1948] because HE was snowed in during the blizzard.
Still wait for 1970’s The Silent Force!
TV cameras were so bulky then that WNBT couldn’t send out a camera outside the door of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to show John Cameron Swayze using a yardstick to measure snowfall.