The Museum of Television

Exhibit: Early Television

In 1939, the first television sets became available to American consumers. Only a few decades later, television’s stylistic conventions have become a very familiar, virtually omnipresent part of the American cultural landscape.

But in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the language of television was still being invented. Inspiration came from a variety of sources. Comedy programs such as The Jack Benny Show and The Goldbergs, dramatic anthologies such as Kraft Television Theater, quiz shows such as Name That Tune, and variety programs such as Arthur Godfrey and His Friends borrowed heavily from popular radio formats.

The Jack Benny Show