28 September 2003 | Walloon
Not the first color broadcast
An earlier comment claims that an episode in November 1953 was the first color television broadcast ever. That is not so. The Federal Communications Commission, on Oct. 10, 1950, approved a color television system developed by CBS that was not compatible with existing black and white television sets. However, a court challenge by RCA, which was developing its own color system that was compatible with black and white sets, tied up the inauguration of the CBS color system until a decision for CBS by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1951.
Finally, on June 25, 1951, CBS broadcast a one-hour program in color, called "Premiere", featuring Ed Sullivan and other CBS stars, and carried it on a five-station East Coast CBS-TV hookup.
The episode of "The Colgate Comedy Hour" broadcast in color in November 1953 was actually the network debut of the rival RCA color television system. In December 1953, the FCC formally reversed its earlier decision and approved the RCA system as the color standard for American television.