"Lost" Programs

Television Programs We're Looking For

The Opening of the World's Fair with David Sarnoff and Franklin D. Roosevelt
(April 20, 1939)
This event marked the beginning of regularly scheduled telecasting, yet little visual record remains of these experimental years through World War II, including the first network program (October 17, 1941), in which a Philadelphia station carried a program originating from New York.

News: 1946–55
Esso Newsreel (NBC); CBS Evening News (CBS); All-Star News (ABC); Camera Headlines (DuMont); Camel News Caravan (NBC)

Texaco Star Theatre
(June–December 1948)
The first six months of this series have been lost, including a competition for the host's spot—which, incidentally, went to a man soon to be known to millions as "Mr. Television," Milton Berle.

Actor's Studio
(1948–50)
We are searching for examples of this live anthology series that featured such students of the legendary acting school as Kim Hunter, Julie Harris, Jessica Tandy, Martin Balsam, and Marlon Brando.

Three to Get Ready (WPTZ, Philadelphia)

(1950–51)
Ernie Kovacs's first television series

NFL Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams vs. Cleveland Browns
(December 23, 1951)
The first network coverage of a National Football League championship game is missing. In fact, many of the most famous televised sporting events are lost, including Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the classic 1958 NFL championship between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts.

CBS Evening News
(November 30, 1956)
This broadcast marked a technological breakthrough: the first network news program recorded on videotape for rebroadcast on the West Coast. We are also looking for other technical milestones, such as the first use of instant replay.

Open End
(1958–66)
Few episodes of this David Susskind series remain. We are particularly interested in: "The Young Giants" (February 1, 1959) with directors Fred Coe, John Frankenheimer, and Sidney Lumet; "Always Leave Them Laughing" (February 14, 1960) with writers Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, and Mel Brooks; and "Television Tempest" (September 25, 1960) with Ernie Kovacs, Rod Serling, and Sheldon Leonard.

The Tonight Show
(October 1, 1962)
Wheeeere's Johnny? The Center has the audio track of this program, on which Groucho Marx can be heard introducing the show's new host, Johnny Carson. No visual record has been found.  

We Need Your Help

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Whether you are an independent collector looking to free up some shelf space, or simply have a question about a film canister, vintage videotape, or audio reel you’ve found in your attic, we encourage you to contact us.

Please try to be as specific as possible and include as much information as you can, including the title and airdate of the program in question, and its condition and format.