1954 In Television
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1954 in Television

The year 1954 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events in 1954.

Events

  • January 1 - NBC broadcasts the Rose Parade from Pasadena, California in NTSC color. The broadcast uses a new mobile color TV studio (truck) and the program is carried across the continent on 21 stations. RCA strategically places Color TV sets in public viewing areas such as hotel lobbies because the first sets only become available to the public in the spring.
  • January 3 - RAI launched in Italy.
  • January 10 - CBMT opens in Montreal, making that city the first in Canada to have 2 stations operating. The new station uses the English language, leaving CBFT to continue entirely in French.
  • January 11 - The first weather forecast with an in-vision presenter is televised in the UK.
  • March 28 - WKAQ-TV became the first television station in Puerto Rico.
  • April - The American Broadcasting Company broadcasts the Army-McCarthy hearings live and in their entirety.
  • May 1 - WAPA-TV becomes the second television station in Puerto Rico.
  • May 17-23 - One week (the so-called "Sandrewsveckan" or "Sandrews week") of experimental television broadcasts are aired in Sweden, the first such programs in the country.
  • June 5 - The last new episode of the comic variety program, Your Show of Shows, airs.
  • June 13 - First television in Colombia broadcast.
  • July 5 - First actual news bulletin, News and Newsreel, aired on BBC Television, replacing Television Newsreel.
  • September 11 - The Miss America Beauty Contest airs for the first time on national television in the United States. 27 million viewers watched as Lee Ann Meriwether wins the title. Meriwether would later become a television actress, co-starring in Barnaby Jones (1973-1980).
  • October 2 - The Jimmy Durante Show premieres on NBC (1954-1956).
  • October 29 - Sveriges Radio begins broadcasting TV in Sweden and apart from news and a weather forecast, the first Swedish TV programme is "En skål för televisionen" ("A Toast to Television") led by Lennart Hyland. For the first few months (until spring 1955), Swedish TV is broadcast one evening a week and for about an hour each time.
  • November 3 - Disney's Alice in Wonderland airs on ABC in the United States.
  • November 19 - TMC Monte Carlo launched in Monaco, the first microstate television
  • December 12 - BBC Television broadcasts its famous, and controversial, adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • The Television Act 1954 authorises setting up the infrastructure for British commercial television.
  • The British Academy Television Awards, the most prestigious awards of the British television industry, are first awarded.
  • The RCA CT-100 and Westinghouse 15" color sets hit the market. Neither are big sellers.

Programs/programmes

Series on the air in 1954

Debuts

Ending this year

Date Show Debut
January 11 Of Many Things 1953
February 5 The Comeback Story
February 24 Answers for Americans
March 9 This Is Show Business 1949
March 28 Jukebox Jury 1953
May 11 Judge for Yourself
June 5 Your Show of Shows 1950
June 17 Martin Kane, Private Eye 1949
July 2 The Pride of the Family 1953
Television Newsreel (UK) 1948
August 1 Juvenile Jury 1947
August 2 The Dennis Day Show 1953
August 21 Bank on the Stars
October 10 Author Meets the Critics 1947
November 20 The Paul Winchell Show 1950
December 5 The Martha Wright Show 1954
December 26 Rocky King Detective 1950
December 30 The Mail Story 1947

Births

Date Name Notability
January 2 Cynthia Sikes Actress (St. Elsewhere)
January 12 Howard Stern Radio and TV personality (America's Got Talent)
January 14 Vernee Watson-Johnson Actress (Welcome Back, Kotter, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
January 19 Katey Sagal Actress and singer (Married... with Children, Futurama)
January 27 Ed Schultz Talk show host and sportscaster
January 29 Oprah Winfrey Actress and talk-show host (The Oprah Winfrey Show)
William Allen Young Actor (Moesha)
February 1 Bill Mumy Actor and musician (Lost in Space)
February 2 Christie Brinkley Model and actress
February 6 David Hart Actor (In the Heat of the Night)
February 15 Matt Groening Creator of The Simpsons and Futurama
February 17 Rene Russo Actress
February 18 John Travolta Actor (Welcome Back, Kotter)
February 20 Anthony Head English actor (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
March 1 Catherine Bach Actress (Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard)
Ron Howard Actor (Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, Richie Cunningham on Happy Days) and director
March 5 Marsha Warfield Actress and comedian (Night Court)
Marla Pennington Actress (Small Wonder)
March 13 Robin Duke Canadian actress and comedian (Saturday Night Live)
March 14 Adrian Zmed Actor (T.J. Hooker)
March 15 Craig Wasson Actor (One Life to Live)
March 17 Lesley-Anne Down Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful)
March 24 Donna Pescow Actress and director (Out of This World, Even Stevens)
Robert Carradine Actor (Lizzie McGuire)
March 29 Dianne Kay Actress (Eight is Enough)
April 10 Peter MacNicol Actor (Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, Numb3rs)
April 21 James Morrison Actor (24)
April 28 John Pankow Actor (Mad About You, Episodes)
April 29 Jerry Seinfeld Actor and comedian (Seinfeld)
April 30 Thom Bray Actor (Riptide)
June 2 Dennis Haysbert Actor (24, The Unit)
June 5 Nancy Stafford Actress (Matlock)
June 12 Ella Joyce Actress (Roc)
June 15 James Belushi Actor (According to Jim)
June 17 Mark Linn-Baker Actor (Larry Appleton on Perfect Strangers)
June 22 Chris Lemmon Actor (Duet)
Freddie Prinze Actor and comedian (Chico and the Man) (d. 1977)
June 24 Richard Newman Voice actor
June 28 Alice Krige Actress
July 2 Wendy Schaal Actress (It's a Living, American Dad!)
July 5 Don Stark Actor (That '70s Show)
July 13 Danitra Vance Actress and comedian (Saturday Night Live) (d. 1994)
July 29 Jeannetta Arnette Actress (Head of the Class)
July 30 Ken Olin Actor, director and producer (thirtysomething, Brothers & Sisters)
August 12 Sam J. Jones Actor
August 23 Marc Vann Actor (Early Edition, Angel, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
September 7 Corbin Bernsen Actor and director (L.A. Law, Psych)
Michael Emerson Actor (Lost, Person of Interest)
September 8 Anne Diamond Television presenter (The Wright Stuff)
September 10 Clark Johnson Actor (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire)
September 21 John Mengatti Actor (The White Shadow)
September 22 Shari Belafonte Actress (Hotel), daughter of Harry Belafonte
September 30 Barry Williams Actor (The Brady Bunch)
October 9 Scott Bakula Actor (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise, NCIS: New Orleans)
October 24 Doug Davidson Actor (The Young and the Restless)
October 26 D. W. Moffett Actor (For Your Love, Friday Night Lights, Switched at Birth)
James Pickens, Jr. Actor (The X-Files, Grey's Anatomy)
October 31 Ken Wahl Actor (Wiseguy)
November 3 Kathy Kinney Actress and comedian (The Drew Carrey Show)
November 12 Rhonda Shear TV personality, actress
November 13 Chris Noth Actor (Law & Order, Sex and the City, The Good Wife)
November 26 Yvonne Hudson Actress (Saturday Night Live)
November 27 Patricia McPherson Actress (Knight Rider)
Kimmy Robertson Actress (Twin Peaks)
November 28 Marty Grabstein Actor (Courage the Cowardly Dog)
December 2 Dan Butler Actor (Frasier)
December 4 Tony Todd Actor and producer
December 20 Michael Badalucco Actor (The Practice)
December 26 Tony Rosato Actor (Saturday Night Live, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World) (d. 2017)
December 28 Denzel Washington Actor (St. Elsewhere)

Deaths

Date Name Age Notability
September 28 Bert Lytell 69 Actor (One Man's Family, 1949-52, 1954)

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