Television has changed drastically over the years. What started as the center of family entertainment has become something else. Television started as an idea of adding a visual component to radio. Television was invented in 1927 by Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin. They developed a circuit that transformed a visual image into an electronic signal, which becomes the picture on the screen. This idea was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Television shows, at first, were only on four networks-NBC, CBS, ABC and Dumont (which eventually became the FOX Network.) Family life revolved around the television set. Everyone watched television shows together. Even some of the radio programs wanted to transition into the television industry, such as The Lone Ranger and Guiding Light. Family morals or values were of high priority then and most of the shows were of families, such as Bonanza, I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver, and Davy Crockett. Different programs affected society in the 1960s. Viewers were able to watch coverage of the JFK assignation, the Civil Rights Movement and even the Apollo 11 moon landing. Men were obsessed with sports programs as well as women were addicted to their soap operas. Some programs of the 1960s were The Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, Jeopardy and the Wide World of Sports.
The popular family show, The Wonderful World of Disney, debuted. All shows back then were in black and white. It wasn’t until 1966 that programs were shown in color. The major networks didn’t have to worry about competition until the 1970s, when cable entered the industry. HBO and Showtime were some of the first pay cable channels. Still staying with the family issues, some popular programs during this time were All in the Family, The Brady Bunch, MASH , and Saturday Night Live. The 1980s introduced the CNN network. Millions of people were glued to the TV watching the world. The royal wedding was the most viewed event at that time. Everyone was interested in answering the question “Who Shot JR” on the primetime program Dallas. The 1990s cable expanded and more networks were born which were The History Channel, Sci-Fi, The UPN and The WB. The famous Seinfeld show brought the idea of being single was a good thing. Other shows at this time were Home Improvement, Ellen, and Friends. There were programs that satisfied everyone’s interests. Viewers were amazed as then as to what they actually saw on the television screen.