Today is the second annual Lost TV Day at Television Obscurities, a day dedicated to commemorating lost and missing television programs. I chose July 1st for Lost TV Day because on July 1st, 1941 the first authorized television commercials aired in the United States on WNBT in New York City. This historic moment for the television industry is a forgotten milestone today.
Tales of Lost TV: The 1st Authorized Commercial (1941)
As part of Lost TV Day, I’ll be sharing a few seconds of unidentified television footage from one of my family’s 8mm home movies from 1970. Could it be “lost” television? I’ve also put together a case study examining the status of CBS network programming from Tuesday, October 20, 1964 including Captain Kangaroo, As the World Turns, Art Linkletter’s House Party, The Red Skelton Hour, and The Doctors and The Nurses.
Check out the out the TV’s Lost & Found section of Television Obscurities, where you’ll find an article about preserving television audio and an essay about how TV stations in New York City covered the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.
I’ve compiled more than 30 Status Guides that list which episodes of specific TV shows are missing. Here’s a selection:
- Status of You’re in the Picture/The Jackie Gleason Show
- Status of The Mike Wallace Interview
- Status of Cavalcade of Stars, Season 1
- Status of Mr. I. Magination, Season 1
- Status of Kraft Television Theatre, All Seasons
Here’s a selection of my Tales of Lost TV posts about TV shows or programs missing and presumed lost:
- Tales of Lost TV: Opening of the 1939 New York World’s Fair
- Tales of Lost TV: The Girl in the Bathing Suit
- Tales of Lost TV: Folksay (1944)
- Tales of Lost TV: The Las Vegas Show (1967)
- Tales of Lost TV: NBC’s 1968 On-Air Star Trek Announcement
And here are some of my Tales of Recovery posts, which reveal how lost TV programs were found:
- How “The Petrified Forest” (Producers’ Showcase) Was Recovered
- How the Unaired Gilligan’s Island Pilot Episode Was Recovered
- How “Casino Royale” (Climax!) Was Recovered
- How Most of Super Bowl I Was Recovered
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@tvobscurities) because I’ll be tweeting about Lost TV Day all day long using the hashtags #LostTVDay and #LostTVDay2022.
One Reply to “Celebrate Lost TV Day 2022 at Television Obscurities”
I’ve found that when it comes to fairly modern lost media, at least that which falls in the VCR age, the biggest categories tend to be children’s shows and game shows. Many of these shows do survive, but others are just lost. Nobody ever things to record and save these shows. They just don’t hold value.
There was a recent TV series that talked about Canada’s lost game shows.
I’m sure the same holds true for many US and British shows. Although the amount of lost Canadian TV can be staggering, mostly because they were produced by small companies that disappeared long ago.