1960 in television

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List of years in television (table)

The year 1960 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1960.

For the American TV schedule, see: 1960–61 United States network television schedule.


  • February 10 – Jack Paar temporarily quits his television program in the United States because his monologue had been edited the night before, in favor of a three-minute news update. Parr walks out to the audience at the beginning of the show, announces that he is quitting, says "There's got to be a better way to make a living," and then walks off the stage. After network executives apologize personally, Parr resumed hosting the program a month later. His first show back starts with the words "As I was saying before I was interrupted...".[1]
  • February and Late August through September - In a first for US Audiences, CBS broadcasts the 1960 Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics, on an exclusive basis, for $60,000. From Squaw Valley, American viewers are treated to 31 hours of coverage, which includes a mix of alpine skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating, and ski jumping. The Winter Olympic broadcast is hosted by Walter Cronkite while a young Jim McKay, who will go on to host ABC's Olympic coverage, does the Rome Games.
  • March 2 - Lucille Ball files for divorce from Desi Arnaz, ending their 20-year marriage and the I Love Lucy franchise on CBS.
  • June 20 – Nan Winton becomes the first national female newsreader on BBC television in the United Kingdom.[2]
  • June 29 – The BBC Television Centre is opened in London.
  • September 24 – After thirteen seasons of entertaining American children, NBC children's show Howdy Doody ends with Clarabell the Clown saying the final two words of the show ("Goodbye Kids") after being assumed to only be mute.
  • September 25 – First Japanese colour television broadcast.
  • September 26 – American presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debate live by television. The candidates behavior and/or appearance during the debate may have altered the outcome of the election. In addition to being the first presidential debates to be televised, the debates also marked the first time "split screen" images were used by a network.
  • October 12 – Inejiro Asanuma, chairman of the Japan Socialist Party, is assassinated by Otoya Yamaguchi using a wakizashi (samurai sword) during a political debate in Tokyo being taped by Japanese television broadcaster NHK.
  • December 9 – The first episode of soap opera Coronation Street, made by Granada Television in Manchester, England, is aired on ITV.[3] Intended as a 13-week pilot and disfavored by critics, it continues to air past its 55th anniversary as Britain's longest running soap.
  • December 31 – Norma Zimmer officially becomes Lawrence Welk's "Champagne Lady" on The Lawrence Welk Show.


  • Frank and Doris Hursley start their soap opera writing career, taking the jobs of joint head writers for the series Search for Tomorrow.
  • Nearly 90% of homes in the United States now have a television set, and over one hundred million television sets are in use worldwide.


Television shows




Date Name Notability
January 4 Julia St. John British actress
January 6 Howie Long former NFL player
February 19 Leslie Ash British actress
February 20 Wendee Lee American voice actress
February 22 Paul Abbott British television writer
February 28 Dorothy Stratten Canadian actress, Playboy model (died 1980).
April 11 Jeremy Clarkson Journalist and Television presenter, Top Gear
April 14 Brad Garrett American actor, Everybody Loves Raymond.
April 23 Valerie Bertinelli American actress
April 24 Paula Yates television presenter (d. 2000).
May 20 Tony Goldwyn American actor and director
August 7 David Duchovny American actor, star of The X-Files.
August 16 Timothy Hutton American actor, writer and producer, star of the 1980 movie Ordinary People.
September 4 Damon Wayans American actor and comedian


  1. "Jack Paar's Water Closet Joke". Censorship & Scandals. TV ACRES. Retrieved 24 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Hill, Jane. "Remembering Nan Winton". About the BBC. BBC. Retrieved 25 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>