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The Golden Age of Television

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0360
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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American television was all set to roll out in the late 1930s, but its progress was interrupted by the start of World War II. Finally, by the end of the 1940s, NBC and CBS began broadcasting to their East Coast affiliates. They offered viewers a wide variety of programs: situation comedies, vaudeville-style revues, newscasts, and, most impressively, live original dramas. Within a few years, these anthology programs, such as “Kraft Television Theatre” and “Ford Television Theatre,” launched the careers of soon-to-be-famous directors like Arthur Penn and John Frankenheimer, actors like Paul Newman and James Dean, and playwrights like Paddy Chayefsky and Rod Serling.

But by the end of the 1950s, the era of live TV theater was over. So too was having New York City as the center of TV production. Media historian Brian Rose looks at the forces that made this golden age such an intriguing chapter in TV history and why it was so short-lived, including brief examinations of blacklisting and the TV quiz show scandals.

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