1937 in television

The year 1937 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1937.

List of years in television (table)
In radio


  • January 19 – BBC Television broadcasts The Underground Murder Mystery by J. Bissell Thomas from its London station, the first play written for television.[1]
  • February 6 – The BBC Television service discontinues the Baird system in favour of the Marconi-EMI 405 lines system.
  • March 9 – Experimental broadcasting from Shabolovka Ulitsa television center, in Moscow (USSR).
  • May – Gilbert Seldes becomes the first television critic, with his Atlantic Monthly magazine article, the "Errors of Television".
  • May 12 – The BBC use their outside broadcast unit for the first time, to televise the coronation of George VI. A fragment of this broadcast is one of the earliest surviving examples of British television – filmed off-screen at home by an engineer with an 8 mm cine camera. A brief section of this footage is used in a programme during the week of the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II, and this latter programme survives in the BBC's archives.
  • May 14 – The BBC broadcasts a thirty-minute excerpt of Twelfth Night, the first known instance of a Shakespeare play televised. Among the cast are Peggy Ashcroft and Greer Garson.
  • May 15 – RCA demonstrates projection television, with images enlarged to 8 by 10 feet, at the Institute of Radio Engineers convention.
  • June 21 – Wimbledon Championships (tennis) first televised by the BBC.
  • July 10 – High definition television with 455 lines is first shown in France at the International Exposition, Paris.
  • September – High definition television broadcasts are sent from a new 30 kW (peak power) transmitter below the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • November 9 – Bell Telephone Laboratories transmits television signal of 800 kHz bandwidth on a coaxial cable laid between New York and Philadelphia.
  • November 11 (Armistice Day) – BBC Television devotes the evening to a broadcast of Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff (1928, set on the Western Front (World War I) in 1918), the first full-length television adaptation of a stage play. Reginald Tate plays the lead, Stanhope, a rôle he has performed extensively in the theatre.[2][3]
  • November 27 – NBC in the United States broadcasts the first of six live teleplays of The Three Garridebs (based closely on Arthur Conan Doyle's story "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs"), the first known television pilot, in which Louis Hector becomes the first actor to play Sherlock Holmes on television.
  • December 31 – By this time, 2,121 television sets have been sold in England.
  • CBS announces their efforts to develop television broadcasts.


Television shows

Series Debut Ended
Picture Page (UK) October 8, 1936 1939
1946 1952
Starlight (UK) November 3, 1936 1939
1946 1949
Theatre Parade (UK) 1936 1938
The Disorderly Room (UK) April 17, 1937 August 20, 1939
For The Children (UK) April 24, 1937 1939
July 7, 1946 1950
Sports Review (UK) April 30, 1937 1939



  1. Fisher, David (2011-12-30). "1937". Chronomedia. Terra Media. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
  2. "Televised Drama; Journey's End". The Times. London. 1937-11-12. p. 14.
  3. Vahimagi, Tise (1994). British Television: An Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press; British Film Institute. p. 8. ISBN 0-19-818336-4.
  4. Genzlinger, Neil (6 December 2019). "Ron Leibman, Tony Winner for 'Angels,' Is Dead at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
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