Myths about programming 

7 Dec 2005 0 tbs.pm/2262 Article text released under the Creative Commons Attribution license Media copyrighted Report an error in this article

When “Danger Man” returned to ITV as an hour-long series in October 1964, it was retitled “Secret Agent”.

Myth Source: Urban myth, spotted by Joseph Gallant

The hour-long version of “Danger Man” was transmitted in the UK under that title.

It was when they were transmitted on CBS in the United States, beginning in April 1965, that the hour-long episodes were re-titled “Secret Agent”.

The US title may have been changed to avoid confusion with the earlier half-hour series.

At Last The 1948 Show was made by the BBC.

Myth Source: BBC America, spotted by David Boothroyd

Rediffusion’s adastral is spinning in its grave.

Gerry Anderson’s “Stingray” was the first British TV series transmitted in colour.

Myth Source: Urban myth, spotted by Joseph Gallant

When it was first transmitted in the UK in 1964, Stingray was seen in black-and-white.

It would be three years until colour TV came to the UK (1967) on BBC-2 and five years (1969) before colour came to BBC-1 and some ITV regions.

When Lew Grade’s ITC exported “Stingray” to the USA in September of 1965, most American stations that acquired the programme transmitted it in colour.

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot was the first British series made in colour – switching during the second season when sold to NBC.

Doctor Who’s first episode was repeated a week later due to power cuts interrupting the first showing.

Myth Source: Urban myth

The BBC claimed at the time that the episode was repeated due to popular demand and “the interest generated” by the show.

However, some months later, it was revealed that the repeat was due to damaged audience figures on the first showing because of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy less than 24 hours before.

Power cuts did, of course, interrupt the launch of BBC2 five months later.

The Avengers was made by the BBC

Myth Source: Viacom press release

‘The Avengers’ was made by ABC Weekend Television. Not the BBC, and certainly not ATV, no matter what Lew may have suggested.

ITV pioneered ‘Tonight’ and ‘Panorama’, the popular current affairs programmes

Myth Source: The Guardian

The BBC created ‘Tonight’ to fill the ‘Toddlers Truce’. The BBC also created ‘Panorama’, presented by Richard Dimbleby. ITV responded to Panorama with Associated-Rediffusion’s ‘This Week’.

Although BBC-TV and ITN broke into regular programmes on 22 November 1963 to announce that President Kennedy had been shot, the two networks stopped their own coverage shortly thereafter to rebroadcast via satellite non-stop coverage of the assassination

Myth Source: Urban myth

There was no way either network could have done that. At the time, there was no television broadcast satellite in geostationary orbit over the North Atlantic.

Early satellites could broadcast between the US and the UK for only about fifteen minutes at a time once every hour and a half.

ITN’s News at Ten, when it launched in 1967, was the first half-hour news programme in Britain.

Myth Source: ITN

This conveniently forgets BBC-2’s ‘Newsroom’, a half-hour news programme which began in 1964.

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