Film History It's Showtime ON TELEVISION

When New York hosted the Oscars

Despite the Academy Awards being a celebration of all things Hollywood, New York has actually hosted the Oscar ceremony on more than one occasion. Or rather, they co-hosted the event — from 1953 to 1957 — in a rare and soon abandoned bicoastal ceremony that taxed the mechanics of television’s earliest production crews. There were… Read More


Movin’ On Up: New York City as depicted in the opening themes of 1970s TV shows

In honor of the 100th birthday of television icon Norman Lear (creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times and many, many more) I’ve revised and re-edited this, yes, rather strange round-up originally published in 2013 about New York City and television intros and theme songs. Please play the TV themes as you… Read More

A Most Violent Year ON TELEVISION

‘Only In New York’: PIX11’s new crime doc mini-series — Watch all four episodes here

Greg Young of the Bowery Boys podcast is just one of the many New York City experts and historians to be featured in a new PIX11 four-part mini-series debuting Friday, March 8. (CW affiliate Channel 11) Only in New York chronicles some of the most controversial moments in New York City history, a subway shooting that ignited a racial firestorm,… Read More

Brooklyn History Sports

Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds at Ebbets Field — in the first Major League baseball game ever broadcast on television

Seventy five years ago today, an extraordinary tradition began — televised Major League baseball! The location was appropriately Ebbets Field, one of baseball’s legendary ‘field of dreams’. The home team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, was pitted against the Cincinnati Reds in a key National League match-up. Both teams were quite strong that year, although it was Cincinnati… Read More

Pop Culture

AMC’s ‘Turn’: The next great New York history TV show?

BBC America’s Copper, depicting the grit and crime of 1860s New York, was recently cancelled (although petitions are currently circulating, demanding a Season Three). But the void of history-related television will soon be filled again with Turn, AMC’s Revolutionary War-era drama on George Washington’s spy network, called The Culper Ring.  What do you think? Although… Read More

Bowery Boys

History on television: new Boardwalk Empire, Copper petition, PLUS: Bowery Boys improvements on the way!

Frank and Al Capone, with Nelson Van Alden (played by Michael Shannon), at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works in Cicero, although I suspect this was actually filmed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Courtesy HBO)BOARDWALK EMPIRE: I’ve been up to my regular Sunday Tweet-alongs with historical-based television shows, this time around following the newest season of Boardwalk… Read More

Podcasts Pop Culture

New York City in the Golden Age of Television: Behind the scenes with nine classic TV shows filmed in the city

The Beatles in one of their many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. [source]PODCAST This is the second part of the Bowery Boys TV Mini-Series, covering the years of New York City television production from the late 1940s to the 1960s.  Some of the most classic television shows ever made — and many still around today… Read More

Podcasts Pop Culture

New York City and the birth of the television industry, experimental broadcasts from the city’s greatest landmarks

An illustration from Science & Invention, one of Hugo Gernsback’s many technology journals, demonstrating the possibilities of his ‘telephot’ system. (Courtesy The Verge) PODCAST It’s the beginning of The Bowery Boys Summer TV Mini-Series, three podcasts devoted to New York City’s illustrious history with broadcast television — from Sarnoff to Seinfeld!  In our first show,… Read More


Stay tuned for the Bowery Boys Summer TV Mini-Series! The history of making television in New York City

Above: In 1953, Fran Allison prepares for an NBC production of ‘St. George and the Dragon’, one of the first programs ever broadcast in color.  The NBC studio was at the Colonial Theatre at Broadway and 63rd Street. (Courtesy NBCU Photobank) This summer we’re giving you three new podcasts specifically devoted to New York City… Read More

Julian Fellowes ‘Gilded Age’, New York’s ‘Downton Abbey’: Some suggestions and a few pipe dreams

It’s a different world: Illustrating the difficulty of a New York TV show set in the 1880s, above is a picture of the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The Reservoir is off to the left, where the New York Public Library is today. More on this photo here. Ever since the announcement that… Read More

‘Copper’ aka Five Points, the TV show

I’ve been traveling the last few days and haven’t been able to get a blog posting up about the season finale of ‘Mad Men’, but I promise one within the next couple days.  In the meantime, another television show will take on New York City history later this summer. ‘Copper‘ is a ten-part British production… Read More

Friday Night Fever

Rays of light: Madonna and the music video club, 1984

Girl gone wild: Madonna enjoys the video opulence of Private Eyes with former boyfriend and producer Jellybean Benitez, July 17, 1984 It’s 1984, and the hottest trend in American pop culture is the music video . MTV had debuted a channel of non-stop music videos in 1981, and just three years later, most new pop superstars were… Read More


Pre-Scrooged: The Ghost of New York Christmas specials

A Bill Murray holiday classic is closely linked to a forgotten 1955 teleplay Tracing itself back to one of America’s first television broadcast station, New York’s local WCBS-TV can claim a host of significant achievements, including the first regular broadcasts in color and the first baseball game in color (with the Brooklyn Dodgers, naturally). Their… Read More