1956 in television
The year 1956 in television involved some significant events.
Below is a list of television-related events during 1956.
- January 25–February 5 – The 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy are the first to be broadcast to an international Audience. The Soviet Union used its technological influence to broadcast the Cortina Winter Games to a western audience, from a communist point of view.
- January 28 – Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on CBS on the program Stage Show, the first of six appearances on the series.
- February 14 – Television broadcasting begins in Azerbaijan which was then the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
- February 17 – The English Midlands becomes the first part of the UK outside London to receive Independent Television (ITV), when the Associated Television Network (as ATV Midlands) begins broadcasting their weekday franchise. The weekend franchise, Associated British Corporation (ABC), begins operation a day later.
- February – U.M. & M. TV Corporation 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 soap operas 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 company demonstrates a videotape recorder at the 1956 NARTB (now National Association of Broadcasters) 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.
- April – US Senator Estes Kefauver holds congressional hearings on the rising rates of juvenile crime and publishes an article in Reader's Digest named "Let's Get Rid of Tele-Violence."
- May 3 – Granada Television begins broadcasting, extending ITV's coverage to Northern England. Associated British Corporation's weekend franchise begins operation 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 launch 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 15 – Gabriel J. Fontana wins a record $64,000 from the Super Bonus Stunt on Beat The Clock.
- 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
- November 3 – The 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for the first time in the USA, by 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 for 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 are first marketed.
- December 31 – Former Game series host Bob Barker makes his national TV debut on the program Truth or Consequences.
- January 3 – Queen for a Day (1956–1964)
- February 10 – My Friend Flicka (1956–1958)
- April 2
- April 26 – The Eddy Arnold Show on America's ABC
- July 6 – Hancock's Half Hour, broadcast by BBC Television (1956–1962)
- July 7 – High Finance, hosted by Dennis James, on CBS (1956)
- July 8 – The drama series Armchair Theatre, produced by ABC Television for the ITV network, begins its long run in the UK (1956–1968)
- September 7 – The Adventures of Jim Bowie on ABC (1956–1958)
- September 8 – Hey, Jeannie! starring Jeannie Carson on CBS (1956–57, then 1958 in syndication)
- September 15 – The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (UK) 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) (1956–57)
- September 18 – Noah's Ark, featuring Paul Burke debuts on NBC (1956–1957)
- September 25 – State Trooper featuring Rod Cameron premieres in syndication (1956–1959)
- September 29 – The Gale Storm Show premieres on CBS (1956–1960)
- October 4 – In the USA
- October 27 – Accent on Strings (1956, Sydney Australia, debuts on the first "official" day of television in Australia)
- October 29 – Fun Farm (1956–1957, first Australian-produced children's television series)
- November 9
- November 15 – TV Channell (1956–1957, Sydney and Melbourne Australia)
- November 26 – The Price Is Right game series premieres (1956–1965).
- December 3 – Sydney Tonight (1956–1959, Sydney Australia)
- Opportunity Knocks on ITV (UK) (1956–1978)
- The Gale Storm Show, Oh! Susanna (1956–1960), featuring Gale Storm, Roy Roberts, and Zazu Pitts
- The Steve Allen Show premieres in the US (1956–1960)
- What the Papers Say on ITV (UK) (1956–present)
Ending this year