|List of years in television (table)|
| … 1946 . 1947 . 1948 . 1949 . 1950 . 1951 . 1952 …|
1953 1954 1955 -1956- 1957 1958 1959
… 1960 . 1961 . 1962 . 1963 . 1964 . 1965 . 1966 …
In radio: 1953 1954 1955 -1956- 1957 1958 1959
In film: 1953 1954 1955 -1956- 1957 1958 1959
The year 1956 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events in 1956.
- January 28 – Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on CBS on Stage Show, the first of six appearances on the series.
- February 17 – The English Midlands becomes the first part of the UK outside London to receive ITV, when ATV Midlands begins broadcasting their weekday franchise. The weekend franchise, ABC, appears a day later.
- February – U.M.&M. T.V. Corp. acquires the pre-October 1950 Paramount Pictures cartoons and theatrical shorts, except for the Popeye and Superman cartoons.
- April 2 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS as the first half-hour American soap operas. Previously, all soaps had been just fifteen minutes in length.
- April 3 – Elvis Presley appears on The Milton Berle Show.
- April – WNBQ (now WMAQ-TV) in Chicago becomes the first TV station to broadcast all its local programming in color.
- April 14- Ampex demonstrates a videotape recorder at the 1956 NARTB (now NAB) convention in Chicago, Illinois. It was the demonstration of the first practical and commercially successful videotape format known as 2" Quadruplex. The three networks place orders for the recorders.
- May 3 – Granada Television begins broadcasting, extending ITV's coverage to Northern England. ABC's weekend franchise appears two days later.
- May 6 – Elvis Presley appears on The Milton Berle Show.
- May 25 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland. It is primarily a radio program at this stage, as few Europeans can afford TV sets.
- July 1 – Elvis Presley appears on The Steve Allen Show.
- August 6 – Final telecast of the DuMont Network. The US would not have a fourth major network until the birth of the Fox network in 1986.
- September – NBC introduces a still version of its peacock color logo.
- September 4 – Television broadcasting begins in Sweden.
- September 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
- September 16 – TCN-9 Sydney becomes the first Australian TV station to begin regular transmission.
- October 1 – Ernie Kovacs becomes the host for NBC's The Tonight Show on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- October 29 – First use of videotape in network television programming; CBS uses its Ampex VTR to record the evening news, anchored by Douglas Edwards. The tape is then fed to West Coast stations three hours later.
- October 29 – Chet Huntley and David Brinkley take over anchor duties of the NBC evening newscast, which is renamed The Huntley-Brinkley Report.
- November 3 – The 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for the first time in the US, on CBS (the viewing audience was estimated at 45 million people).
- November 5 – The Australian Broadcasting Corporation makes its first TV broadcast from its Sydney studios. It is inaugurated by then-Prime Minister Robert Menzies.
- November 19 – The Australian Broadcasting Corporation begins broadcast in Melbourne. Along with its Sydney counterpart, they air the 1956 Summer Olympics.
- November – The first use of videotape on a network television entertainment program. Jonathan Winters uses videotape and superimposing techniques to be able to play two characters in the same skit for his NBC television show.
- Television broadcasting begins in Spain and Uruguay.
- Black-and-white portable TV sets hit the market.
- December 31 – Former Game Show host Bob Barker makes his national TV debut on Truth or Consequences.
- January 3 – Queen for a Day (1956–1964)
- February 10 – My Friend Flicka (1956–1958)
- April 2 – As the World Turns (1956–2010)
- April 2 – The Edge of Night (1956–1984)
- April 26 – The Eddy Arnold Show on ABC
- July 6 – Hancock's Half Hour on BBC Television (1956–1962)
- July 7 - High Finance, hosted by Dennis James, on CBS (1956)
- September 7 – The Adventures of Jim Bowie premieres on ABC (1956–1958)
- September 8 - Hey, Jeannie! starring Jeannie Carson premieres on CBS (1956-1957; then 1958 in syndication).
- September 15 – The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (UK) debuts on ITV. After being sold to the NBC network in the United States, it later becomes the first British television series ever to be made in colour. (1956–1957)
- September 18 - Noah's Ark, starring Paul Burke debuts on NBC. (1956-1957)
- September 29 – The Gale Storm Show premieres on CBS (1956–1960)
- The drama series Armchair Theatre, produced by ABC Television for the ITV network, begins its long run in the UK (1956–1968).
- October 4 – Playhouse 90 (1956–1961).
- October 4 - The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford (1956-1961).
- November 26 – The Price Is Right game show premieres (1956–1965).
- Opportunity Knocks on ITV (UK) (1956–1978).
- The Gale Storm Show, Oh! Susanna (1956–1960), starring Gale Storm, Roy Roberts, and Zazu Pitts
- The Steve Allen Show premieres (1956–1960)
- What the Papers Say on ITV (UK) (1956–present)
listed by starting year
- Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (1946–1960).
- Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947–1957).
- Howdy Doody (1947–1960).
- Kraft Television Theater (1947–1958).
- Meet the Press (1947–present).
- Candid Camera (1948–present).
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1972)
- Bozo the Clown (1949–present).
- Come Dancing (UK) (1949–1995).
- The Voice of Firestone (1949–1963).
- The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–1958).
- The Jack Benny Show (1950–1965).
- Truth or Consequences (1950–1988).
- What's My Line (1950–1967).
- Your Hit Parade (1950–1959).
- Dragnet (1951–1959).
- Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951–present)
- I Love Lucy (1951–1960).
- Love of Life (1951–1980).
- Search for Tomorrow (1951–1986).
- The Roy Rogers Show (1951–1957).
- American Bandstand (1952–1989).
- The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–1966).
- Adventures of Superman (1952–1958)
- The Guiding Light (1952–2009).
- Life is Worth Living (1952–1957).
- The Today Show (1952–present).
- This Is Your Life (US) (1952–1961).
- General Motors Theatre (Can) (1953–1956, 1958–1961)
- Panorama (UK) (1953–present).
- The Good Old Days (UK) (1953–1983).
- Annie Oakley (1954–1957).
- Climax! (1954–1958).
- Disneyland (1954–1958).
- Face the Nation (1954–present).
- The Brighter Day (1954–1962).
- The Grove Family (UK) (1954–1957).
- The Secret Storm (1954–1974).
- The Milton Berle Show (1954–1967).
- Zoo Quest (UK) (1954–1964).
- The Tonight Show (1954–present).
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962).
- Captain Kangaroo (1955–1984).
- Cheyenne (1955–1962).
- Dixon of Dock Green (UK) (1955–1976).
- Gunsmoke (1955–1975).
- Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1959).
- The Lawrence Welk Show (1955–1982).
- Ozark Jubilee (1955–1960).
- This Is Your Life (UK) (1955–1964, 1969–2003).
Ending this yearEdit
- February 27 - The Tony Martin Show (1954-1956).
- June 3 - It's a Great Life (1954-1956).
- June 14 - Stop the Music (1949-1952, 1954-1956)
- September 11 - This Is Show Business (1949-1954; 1956).
- Cisco Kid (1950–1956).
- The Honeymooners (1955–1956).
- It's Always Jan (1955-1956).
- The Jimmy Durante Show (1954-1956).
- Jungle Jim (1955–1956), starring Johnny Weissmuller
- Justice (1954-1956), starring Dane Clark, Gary Merrill, and William Prince.
- Medical Horizons (1955-1956 in prime time), hosted by Don Goddard. The program continued on Sunday afternoons until 1957.
- Wanted (1955-1956), hosted by Walter McGraw
- January 3 – Mel Gibson, actor
- January 7 – David Caruso, actor
- January 9 - Kimberly Beck, actress
- Imelda Staunton, English actress
- January 20 – Bill Maher, actor, comedian, talk-show host
- January 21 – Geena Davis, actress
- February 11 - Catherine Hickland, actress
- February 19 - Kathleen Beller, actress
- March 1 - Tim Daly, actor
- March 7 - Bryan Cranston, actor and director
- March 13 - Dana Delany, actress
- April 3 – Ray Combs, host Family Feud 1988–1994 (d. 1996)
- April 12 – Andy García, Cuban-American actor
- April 18 - Melody Thomas Scott, actress (The Young and the Restless)
- May 17 – Bob Saget, actor (Full House, America's Funniest Home Videos)
- July 1 - Alan Ruck, actor
- July 9 – Tom Hanks, actor
- July 11 - Sela Ward, actress
- July 31 - Michael Biehn, actor
- August 5 – Maureen McCormick, actress (The Brady Bunch)
- August 6 - Stepfanie Kramer, actress (Hunter)
- August 21 – Kim Cattrall, actress (Sex and the City)
- September 20 - Gary Cole, actor
- September 26 - Linda Hamilton, actress
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