For the First Time on Television

By Garry Berman


Available at:  For the First Time on Television

What was the very first situation comedy on American television? What was the first police drama? When was the first program broadcast in color? It takes only a moment of pondering such questions to realize how little we really know about the history of the medium that entertains us, informs us, and keeps us company at some point during each day and night. Every generation since the end of World War II has seen television become an integral part of our lives.

However, even the most avid TV viewers are unaware of when, and under what circumstances, each onscreen television milestone has taken place.

For the First time on Television is a history of television presented with a fresh approach, by extensively examining the history of over 100 of television’s “firsts,” ranging from the first person ever to appear on a television screen, to the day the first HDTV screen made its debut, and everything in between. Here you’ll find little-known but fascinating kernels of information regarding the groundbreaking programs, individuals, and events that have become an important part of TV history, and that still affect what we see on television today.

You just might find yourself indulging in these “firsts” the way you’d tread an open bag of potato chips--by discovering how it is nearly impossible to enjoy just one or two without reaching for more.

What they’ve said about For the First Time on Television:

“…A wonderful compendium of all the firsts in the history of the medium, with loads of context that stems from a deep understanding of TV history on the part of the author. There are also lots of photos I’ve never seen before…Written with an intelligent and entertaining voice, Garry Berman has created another outstanding book for classic TV lovers. A great breezy read to take on vacation this summer- you can’t put it down!”

 “This concise, thoroughly researched, and readable volume devotes itself to answering practically any question you could have about pioneering shows, stars, and technical innovations in broadcast history. Topics include sports, news, soap operas, and pretty much everything else the tube has to offer. Events both in front of, and behind, the cameras are covered. Berman is a meticulous researcher who sorts out the facts from the fallacies…

Years ago, the great Groucho Marx (who had quite a successful video career himself) cracked that he found television very education--whenever someone turned it on, he went into the other room and opened a book. If you follow his example, you might try reading For the First Time on Television. There won’t even be any commercial interruptions - buy you will learn about the first-ever TV commercial.” --David C. Tucker, entertainment historian and author

 “Garry Berman examined the history of television with a fresh approach, documenting the historical “firsts” that some of us are aware of but did not know the details behind the story…From the first television program to use a laugh track, the first sitcom shot in front of a live audience, the first television Western, the first prime-time medical drama, the first mini-series… this book is a true geek fest.”--Martin Grams, entertainment historian, producer of the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention



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