What Was the First TV Series Ever?

The first TV series ever was Mary Kay and Johnny. It was a situation comedy aired in the United States.

But did you know who were the first actors in TV series and when the first TV series was aired?

The Shift in How We Watch TV

Since the first appearance of television in 1927, the media has changed the way we spend our free time.

Television has been with us for almost a hundred years, and all these years we have been watching our favourite content from the comfort of our living rooms. 

Television has also contributed to the popularity of Academy Awards. There is an interesting history behind the first Academy Award ever.

The amount of information available has exploded in recent years. We watch our favourite series, movies, documentaries, informative, and sports content across multiple platforms and services.

The market changed drastically over the past decade, and now TV networks broadcast content at our request.

Moreover, the place and time of consuming content have also changed. We can now watch our favourite movies and series on various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops anytime and anywhere.

But it was completely different almost a hundred years ago.

The First TV Series Ever

The first American sitcom series was Mary Kay and Johnny. It aired from 1947 to 1950 broadcast live on the DuMont Television Network. After that, it moved to CBS and then NBC. 

The creators of the series and the first actors in TV series were Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns, a real-life married couple who played fictionalized versions of themselves.

The story follows their day-to-day life in their New York apartment. 

In addition to being the first TV show to feature a bed, Mary Kay and Johnny was also the first to feature a pregnancy.

Mary Kay became pregnant with her husband in real life; after initially trying to hide the pregnancy during the broadcast, they decided to make it a part of the series after all.

Their child, Christopher Sterns, appeared in the series in 1948. He was several weeks old at the time.

The series is crucial for television history and its early attempts in the audience measurement. The pharmaceutical company Anacin sponsored Mary Kay and Johnny.

Its marketing team decided to release an advertisement during the broadcast that offers free pocket mirrors for the first 200 viewers who send them a letter. The company received 9000 requests for mirrors in the end.

As it was a practice back then, most of the first television series was broadcast live. News, shows, dramas, and comedies never ended up on tape.

It was too expensive to record anything. Even if something was recorded on tape, those weren’t TV series. No one in the 1950s thought that one day the series would be sold on DVD and that it could earn extra money.

So, today we don’t have any recorded episode of Mary Kay and Johnny.

Top-Rated TV Series

According to IMDb’s chart, ten top-rated TV series are:

1. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

2. Rick and Morty (2013– )

3. Cosmos (2014)

4. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

5. The Wire (2002–2008)

6. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–2008)

7. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

8. Sherlock (2010– )

9. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009–2012)

10. True Detective (2014– ).

Now you may wonder where are other TY series genres and what was, for instance, the first-ever reality TV show.

The first-ever TV show similar to a reality show was Queen for a Day. It was an American radio and television game show first broadcast in 1945.

Now you may wonder what a game show is and what was the first-ever game show. Let’s explain.

First-Ever Game Show

A game show is a TV, radio, or a stage show where people play a specific game.

It’s usually a type of game that involves solving puzzles and answering questions. It also includes winning prizes. 

The first-ever game show host was Freddie Grisewood, whose Spelling Bee show was transmitted in 1938 and featured a game between contestants and TV stars at the time.

The five top-rated game shows in TV history, according to TVOM are:

1. Jeopardy!

2. The Price Is Right

3. Wheel of Fortune

4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

5. Match Game.

The First SF series Ever

The first SF series ever began in 1938 in Great Britain with a partial adaptation of Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R.

As for the rest of the world, the first SF series on American television was Captain Video and His Video Rangers. It appeared in 1949 and it and was popular with the children.

What’s Your Favorite TV Series?

Do you like to watch TV? What is your favourite TV series?

Now that you know what was the first TV series, head to our page to see when was the first SNL episode ever.