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A Look at the History of Television

A Look at the History of Television

Modern television history began in the late 1940s with the establishment of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) , the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the DuMont Television Network. Early television shows consisted of 15 minute programs that provided news, short comedy/musical skits and children's entertainment that could be viewed on small television screens about five square inches in size. Considered the "Golden Age of Television", the 1950s are mostly remembered for its classic television shows and the invention of the "console" TV set that eventually became a piece of desired furniture in over half of the living rooms in the U.S. Shows like "The Milton Berle Show", "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour (a radio show that found success on television) and "The Colgate Comedy Hour" had millions of families sitting around their TV sets nightly to laugh at the antics of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and "Uncle Miltie". In fact, you can still catch a few timeless 1950s sitcoms still playing the rerun circuit today on your Direct TV system, such as "I Love Lucy", "Leave It To Beaver" and "Father's Knows Best". Many families purchased their first color television set in the 1960s and watched an eclectic variety of programming "in living color". It was the time of silly comedies and we all reluctantly hated to admit that we enjoyed watching those crazy castaways on "Gilligan's Island", the spooky shenanigans of Fred Munster and his family and Dr. Smith frantically crying for "help!" as Will and the Robot rushed to his rescue on "Lost in Space". More serious and realistic in nature, television programming in the 1970s tended to reflect the different attitudes regarding the social upheavals occuring at the time--civil rights, women's rights, the Vietnam War and the counterculture. "All In the Family", "The Jeffersons", "Good Times" and "Maude" were shows that handled controversial subject matter never before seen on television. Emerging from the hit, 1970 film M*A*S*H was the show of the same name, which dealt with the horrors of the Korean War in an intelligent, insightful yet hilarious manner. The popularity of cable television programming in the 1980s caused an explosion in innovative shows that further defined the history of television as a constantly evolving, unpredicatable entity rich in cultural relevance and new perspectives. The 80s are also best remembered as the decade of the music video and MTV, the first television program totally dedicated to music videos. Family shows made a comeback as well, with such classics as "The Cosby Show", "Family Ties" and "Diff'rent Strokes" giving us oft-repeated taglines like "Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis?" and "Look at me when you're lying to me." Watching television has become America’s favorite pastime, enhanced by 21st century technology that includes the ability to record multiple shows simultaneously so that you can watch them later at your convenience with DVR services offered Direct TV.  If you don’t have DirecTV yet visit for special rates for first time subscriptions and the opportunity to pick up HBO for three months free. Never miss out on being a first-hand witness of television’s history-making shows and events by subscribing to Direct TV and taking advantage of the all the great deals they offer on packages that include all your favorite comedy, sports and reality TV shows.

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