This Was Television On June 25

1951CBS airs the first color program

It was an hour-long variety show called “Premiere,” and it featured a roster of contemporary personalities such as Ed Sullivan. The broadcast only reached four cities outside New York—Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.—but the experiment established CBS as a pioneer in the burgeoning technology. The only problem? This still being 1951, almost nobody in any of those cities owned a color TV set. 

CBS’s test predated the first nationwide color telecast, the 1954 New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade, by two and a half years. Color TV would not become ubiquitous until the mid-60s, although everyone started to have second thoughts about the whole thing when Craig Sager came along. -A.D.

Today’s BirthdaysAnthony Bourdain, traveling taster (56); Linda Cardellini, Mathlete (37); Phyllis George, trailblazing sportscaster (63); Ricky Gervais, put Slough on the map (51); Angela Kinsey, cat lady (41); June Lockhart, space mom (87); Sidney Lumet, directed like half of the 1950s (d. 2011); Mary Beth Peil, a generation’s Grams (72); Busy Philipps, is our friend (33); Jimmy Walker, insert catchphrase here (63).

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