Celebrate Lost TV Day 2024 at Television Obscurities

Happy Lost TV Day, television fans. Today is the fourth annual Lost TV Day here at Television Obscurities. First celebrated in 2021, the day is all about commemorating lost and missing television programs. Why did I select 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. This historic moment is a forgotten milestone today.

For this year’s Lost TV Day, I’ve written another “Lost” TV Case Study, this one examining NBC programming on Saturday, April 16th, 1966. I’ve also written an editorial explaining why YouTube is not a way to preserve television programs and footage. And I’ll be sharing two recordings of television audio from programs that may otherwise be lost: a brief excerpt from an October 1970 college football game on KBTV (Channel 9) in Denver, CO and the bulk of a September 1972 news magazine called 30 Minutes on WISH-TV (Channel 8) in Indianapolis, IN.

Meanwhile, you can celebrate Lost TV Day by exploring the TV’s Lost & Found section of Television Obscurities. There you’ll 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.

Over the years, I’ve written extensively about lost television. Here are a few notable posts:

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Episode from August 1964 Recovered and Restored
This partial episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, restored in 2018 from a 2-inch quadruplex videotape, may be the earliest surviving color videotape from the long-running talk show.

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.

Premiere of Kraft Musical Hall Is Now The Earliest Surviving Entertainment Program on Color Videotape
The October 1958 premiere of Kraft Musical Hall on NBC, hosted by Milton Berle, is the earliest surviving entertainment program on color videotape, surpassing “An Evening with Fred Astaire” by a mere nine days.

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.

Also, 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 throughout the day.

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