Sunday, December 21, 2008

TV Christmas-December 1948

The lovely Mary Hartline of ABC-TV's "Super Circus", aired Sundays at 5PM on WEWS in early 1949.

Channel 5 "Previews" of shows on during the week..While Tele-Vue listed both WEWS and WNBK, just about all TV program and preview ads were bought up by WEWS-TV..WEWS was even placed first in the listings, ahead of WNBK-4..These previews feature "Bill Veeck Reports to the Fans", with Bob Neal as host and Jim Breslin as the director..And Admiral Broadway Revue with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on the old DuMont Network..Interesting how these ads use what today is called "Variety-Speak"..With sayings like "prexy" "sock", "hoofer", "chantoosie" and "terpsical tops"

Cover for March 19-27, 1949 edition of TeleVue Magazine, featuring an early picture of Douglas Edwards in the CBS Newsroom..The "CBS Television News" aired on Channel 5 at 7:30 weeknights

Ad for Tele-Vue, a 1949 TV Listings Magazine published in Cleveland

Paul Hodges, Host of Channel 5's "Dress and Guess" in early 1949

This time I want to feature Television in and around Christmas, 1948 using the Canton Repository. The Pictures above all come from Cleveland Public Library copies of Tele-Vue, from February-March 1949..The Repository, as most papers did at the time, played up radio, as radio was still a major form of entertainment for American Audiences..Television, if listed at all, had maybe a few lines of listings, if that..

Of course, most stations only aired a few hours a day in 1948-49..Usually about 5-11PM..I'd like to share the listings of WNBK-TV 4 and WEWS-TV 5 for December 23-25, 1948..From the Canton Repository:

Thursday, December 23, 1948 (Highlights:Not certain if this is the whole schedule)

6:30 Program Previews
6:35 Animal Story
6:45 Santa Claus
7PM Kukla, Fran and Ollie-NBC
7:30 Christmas Airs
8PM Movie-Beyond Tomorrow (1940)-Public Domain-available on all kinds of discount type DVD's

9:30 Bigelow Show-NBC
10PM Newsreel-NBC

6:30 Santa Claus
7PM Program Previews
7:15 Make Mine Music
8:05 What's It Worth
8:30 Linn Sheldon Show
8:45 Film Short
9PM Cleveland's People-European Christmas Celebration
9:30 March Of Dimes Bowling Tournament

Friday, December 24, 1948

6:30 Program Previews
6:35 Animal Story
7PM Howdy Doody-NBC
7:30 Stop Me If You've Heard This One-NBC
8PM Feature Film

6:30 Santa Claus
7PM Program Previews
7:30 A Present For Santa Claus
7:45 Yuletide Music
8:15 Places Please
8:30 Dress And Guess
9PM Christmas Fantasy

Saturday, December 25, 1948


(Schedule was listed exactly the same as previous night, which would seem unlikely so the following is based on a guess on my part as well as The Complete Directiory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows-Brooks/Marsh-I'll try to find something more accurate in time)

6:30 Program Previews
6:35 To Be Announced
7PM To Be Announced
7:30 Television Screen Magazine-NBC
8PM Saturday Night Jamboree-NBC
9PM Basketball-NBC (From New York-Amateur Games)


3PM Movie-Cry Of The Wolf-Probably followed by Test Pattern
6:30 Christmas Night
6:45 Places Please
7PM The Man On The Street
7:30 Swing Into Sports
8:30 AHL Cleveland Barons Hockey vs. Indianapolis-From the Cleveland Arena..

I think this is very interesting in capturing the entertainment life of Cleveland at this period..


  1. Also interesting to note some of the typos and misspellings in the Tele-Vue item -- they didn't get Sid Caesar's name right, and I suspect the dance team mentioned was actually Marge and Gower Champion, a husband-and-wife pair of dancers who were featured in numerous MGM musicals of the 1950's, perhaps most notably the remake of "Show Boat".
    Question: Wasn't the Admiral Broadway Revue one of those rare TV series broadcast simultaneously on TWO networks? I think some reference books say it was on both DuMont and NBC at the same time.

  2. We got our first TV in 1948 as far as I an tell. Super Circus is one of earliest memories of anything, TV or not. The show as indeed popular with adults. My dad watched it just to see Mary Hartline.

  3. Yes, the "ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE" was simulcast on NBC and DuMont- the reason being WDTV, which had recently signed on as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's only TV station at the time, was owned by DuMont. Until early 1955, any national advertiser who wanted their TV series to air in Pittsburgh HAD to go through DuMont....and they insisted on a simulcast for the "REVUE". This arrangement lasted for six months, until Admiral yanked the show off in June; Sid Caesar later found out that the "REVUE" was TOO successful in selling Admiral's appliances and radio/TV sets. They had to decide whether to build a new factory to handle more orders, or sponsor another season of the "REVUE" (although they DID sponsor "LIGHTS OUT" on NBC's Monday night schedule in the fall of '49).