Celebrate Lost TV Day 2023 at Television Obscurities

Today is the third annual Lost TV Day here at Television Obscurities. First celebrated in 2021, the not-a-real-holiday is a dedicated to commemorating lost and missing television programs. Why July 1st? I chose this date because the first authorized TV commercials in the United States aired July 1st, 1941 on WNBT in New York City. It was a historic moment for the TV industry but is a forgotten milestone today.

As part of this year’s Lost TV Day, I’ve put together a new “Lost” TV Case Study, this one focusing on ABC programming aired on Thursday, January 12th, 1961. Look for it later today. I’ve also written about my experience with television audio and whether any of the audio reels in my collection contain “lost” TV content.

You can celebrate Lost TV Day by exploring the TV’s Lost & Found section of Television Obscurities where you can read about preserving television audio, how a pair of TV stations in New York City covered the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the difference between “lost” and “missing” TV programs, and much more.

Here are some of the more notable things I’ve written about lost TV over the years:

Rod Serling’s 1st Produced TV Script Not Lost
Rod Serling provided the story for a September 1950 episode of NBC’s Stars Over Hollywood anthology series. “Grady Everett for the People” may have been his first produced work for television and it is not lost.

Audio Vault: WISH-TV The Big News Final (9/25/1972)
These 14 minutes of audio may be all that survives of a September 1972 newscast on WISH-TV (Channel 8) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

8mm Home Movies and Lost TV
8mm home movies may contain recordings of otherwise lost TV programs. Watch two brief fragments of footage of TV screen found in my family’s 8mm home movies.

Surviving Kyle MacDonnell Programs
Early TV star Kyle MacDonnell made more than 150 appearances on TV between 1948 and 1953 (plus two more in 1959) but fewer than a dozen survive. See a complete list of her surviving programs.

I’ve compiled more than 30 Status Guides that list which episodes of specific TV shows are missing. Here’s a selection:

Here’s a selection of my Tales of Lost TV posts about TV shows or programs missing and presumed lost:

And here are some of my Tales of Recovery posts, which reveal how lost TV programs were found:

Be sure to check back later today for my latest “Lost” TV Case Study and more.

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One Reply to “Celebrate Lost TV Day 2023 at Television Obscurities”

  1. There’s a huge amount of lost episodes of game shows, especially in Canada. Definition ran for 11 years yet there’s only a handful of surviving episodes. Networks never considered them worth keeping.

    You might also be interested in some unsold pilots being posted by “Media Garage” on Youtube.

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