Category: Television

5 Surprising Facts About the History of Television

Around the world, a very small percentage of homes don’t have at least one television. In developed countries, people are almost stunned to find that you don’t have one in the house, even if you don’t use it. The television has come a long way from being a massive and expensive novelty that took up half the living room to a cheap and thin hyper-realistic device that can be mounted to a wall.

In all of those years between, there have been some fascinating things to happen in television history. Let’s take a look at five of the most surprising facts about that history and how they molded TV as we know it.

The First TVs Looked Like Record Players

Before the electronic television was invented in 1927 by Philo Farnsworth, mechanical television had been decades in the making. Essentially, the machine looked like a large radio box hooked up to what looked like a record player attached to a blender. A cone would allow people to look into the ‘televisor’ which displayed pictures using the metal disc which received radio signals. 

At 7.5 frames per second, it was revolutionary for its time, but the electronic version was coming along quite quickly. Though mechanical televisions were quite popular at the start of the television era, they were phased out by 1933 when almost every company and network focused on electric TVs. Not everyone was happy as the mechanical TVs of the time allowed for larger videos, but the difficulty and cost of the mechanical television just ended up being too much.

The First Sporting Event Wasn’t Professional

When we think of television in the modern era, the first thing that networks think about is sports. Most cable companies would be in serious trouble if it weren’t for live sports, and there are endless options for fanatics to get their fix. In the early days of television, though, you had to be incredibly lucky to find a sporting event. While leagues like the English Premier League and National Football League dominate airwaves now, the first sports broadcast wasn’t a professional game.

Instead, the first event was a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton Universities on May 17, 1939. NBC was the network that had the idea of broadcasting the game, and it ended up being a huge hit. Other networks would soon follow suit in the coming years, and sports coverage really ramped up following World War II. Now, events like the Super Bowl dominate the airwaves every year.

The Early Flat Screens Were Extremely Expensive

The flat-screen television of today is the standard, and getting one that’s 42 inches or larger costs nearly nothing these days. That was the opposite case back in the late 1990s when they made their debut. The first flat-screen television was released in 1997 by Fujitsu, and it cost $15,000 and weighed over 40 pounds. For that money, you’d think it was massive, but it was only 42 inches.

The first couple of years saw flat-screen televisions increasing in size, but the prices didn’t come down very much. It wasn’t until major electronics companies started to make them much easier and cheaper, allowing them to phase out CRT televisions. By the late 2000s, the same-sized flat-screen that first broke onto the market would only be around $500, and by the end of the 2010s, you could get one for about $200.

Ads Weren’t Always a Thing

After the invention of the television, it took more than a decade for advertising to sink its claws into the market. Earlier, we mentioned how a college baseball game was the first sports broadcast, but it was on a professional baseball broadcast where the first ad appeared. It was right before the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies squared off on July 1, 1941.

The game was being broadcast on NBC, and just before the first pitch, a 10-second spot for Bulova aired, saying “America runs on Bulova time.” Advertisements these days are injected into every broadcast, and can cost millions for a 30-second spot. However, Bulova paid just $9 for their name to be shown to millions across the United States.

Royals Dominate The Airwaves

When you’re talking about the most-watched broadcasts in television history, there are a few things that have dominated in every country. Sporting events fill up a lot of the most-watched broadcasts, as well as news events like the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, or monumental entertainment moments like Live Aid or Elvis visiting Hawaii.

However, it’s the royal family that has laid claim to some of the most-watched broadcasts in world history. The funeral for Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 took the new number-one spot with over 5 billion viewers worldwide. Other royal family events in the top 20 include the funeral of Princess Diana, Prince Harry’s wedding, and Prince Charles’s wedding.

5 Most Memorable Contestants on Love is Blind

Love Is Blind is an innovative reality show that has changed the way we watch and think about dating shows. The concept of the show is simple: singles, who have never met before, talk to each other over the course of 10 days while in separate pods, only able to see each other after they are engaged. The series has spawned more than its share of memorable contestants, so here are five of the most memorable Love Is Blind contestants. 

1. Jessica Batten 

Jessica was one of the two main protagonists on Love Is Blind and became a fan favorite for her candidness and willingness to take risks. She has been praised for her vulnerability throughout the season and even though she was unable to find true love during her time on the show, her journey resonated with viewers everywhere. 

2. Mark Cuevas

Mark became a fan favorite for his sincerity and likability and also had his own fair share of struggles on Love Is Blind as he experienced a rollercoaster ride between three different women trying to win his heart. While he had difficulties choosing between Lauren and Amber at first, he eventually found his true love in Amber and ended up marrying her at the end of the series! 

3. Damian Powers

Damian was initially known as “the villain” on Love Is Blind but by the end of his run, he won many viewers over with his authenticity, honesty, and determination to find true love despite all odds being against him. His relationship with Giannina Gibelli was quite tumultuous but it ultimately grew into something beautiful by the end! 

4. Cameron Hamilton

Arguably one of the most beloved contestants in recent memory, Cameron stole fans’ hearts early on with his sincere commitment to finding true love on Love Is Blind. Although it took him some time (and several failed relationships) before finding that special someone; when Cameron finally proposed to Lauren Speed it melted hearts everywhere! 

5. Kelly Chase

Kelly was one of those people who came out from behind their walls and surprised us all! She started off as shy but soon revealed herself as a strong-willed woman who knew what she wanted from life; which included finding true love despite her doubts about dating apps or reality TV shows like Love Is Blind. And although she did not end up finding that person during her stint on this show, she still managed to make a lasting impression on viewers everywhere! 

5 Unrealistic Soap Plotlines From Major TV Shows

One of the things that people love the most about soap operas are the plotlines that, for lack of a better term, just don’t make any sense. Most of the soap plotlines that we see involve romance, especially when it comes to more than two people being involved. Questions about paternity, jilted lovers, divorce, marriage, you name it, there’s a soap opera plotline for just about everything.

Then, there are those plotlines that are just so bizarre that they’re impossible to take seriously. Sometimes, the playbook is completely thrown out the window on these shows so that the writers can shake things up a bit and draw in more viewers. Let’s take a look at five of the most unrealistic soap plotlines from major shows that fans would rather pretend didn’t happen at all.

1. GH Vampires

“General Hospital” isn’t the most realistic show on television, but in terms of soap operas, it’s at least somewhat grounded in reality. That would change once vampires were thrown into the mix in 2013, though. The lead writer, Ron Carlivati, even acknowledged how ridiculous it was that vampires were being introduced to the series for a storyline while also trying to justify it.

“The story does get pretty over-the-top,” Carlivati said. “Yet it’s still rooted in a certain reality. Lucy may be off-kilter but she’s certainly not in Heather Webber territory. Her belief in vampires will be very convincing.” Some fans were into it, especially as the “Twilight” series was incredibly popular at the time, while for others, it was the proverbial nail in the coffin for the long-running soap.

2. DOOL Zombies

Vampires aren’t the only supernatural beings to make their way to the soap opera circuit, as zombies became part of the lore for “Days of Our Lives”. Granted, the zombies were part of a Halloween storyline, but it was still weird to see some old characters come back to life on screen, especially some of the most detestable ones that the series has had.

Characters Nick Fallon, Charlie Dale, and Deimos Kiriakis all became reanimated corpses in the “Days of Our Lives” storyline, and there were some great lines that came from the arc. “You can’t be here, your dead,” was an actual line taken from a character’s reaction to seeing a zombie version of Mike Manning’s character.

3. Vincent/Valerie on Passions

There are a lot of times when “Passions” left people scratching their heads, and one of those times was the long-running plotline of Vincent Clarkson. There was an alter ego for Vincent, too, as he became Valerie Davis in one of the most convoluted story arcs and one of the strangest representations of transgender/intersex people that have been on television.

Vincent was born with the ability to become pregnant and used the Valerie identity to seduce his own father and become pregnant. All of that happened. Thankfully for the writers, the character was actually well-received by viewers and critics, as things could have gone much, much worse with such a sensitive subject. Of course, there was also plenty of criticism toward the show.

4. Talking Dog on One Life to Live

Certain soap operas are susceptible to having really weird plotlines, and “One Life to Live” was certainly one of them. There were time travel storylines during the series, but perhaps the strangest storyline came in the form of a talking dog. A trope that has been satirized ruthlessly on shows like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” became a reality for “One Life to Live”.

Tina Lord’s Shih Tzu David was able to communicate with his owner, as well as toddler Liam. It isn’t just some life lesson-type of stuff that the dog tells the baby, either. Instead, he reveals who the toddler’s real father is, leaving people confused by what was going on during the end of the long-running soap.

5. The Dallas Dream

Nothing is more infuriating for an audience than finding out that the plot that they just invested so much time into was completely thrown out the window. That’s what happened for fans of “Dallas” when there was an entire season that was dedicated to saying goodbye to Patrick Duffy’s character Bobby Ewing.

The character was killed off during the season-long story arc but was found comfortably alive in a shower shortly thereafter. After Duffy negotiated his return to the show, the entire previous season was written as a dream, rendering the entire thing pointless and wasting months of people’s time.

5 Most Memorable Jeopardy Contestants

Since the show has been on the air for so long, Jeopardy! has had countless contestants come through the ranks. The most memorable ones have been the ones that have racked up win after win, while also having a personality to boot. These contestants are able to display their personality more often since they get a daily interview with the host, with some of the more successful contestants running out of things to talk about.

Throughout the history of Jeopardy! there are certain contestants that fans still think about to this day. Here are our picks for the five most memorable Jeopardy! contestants that had the most significant impact on the popular game show.

James Holzhauer

Many people incorrectly assume that Las Vegas resident James Holzhauer had the longest winning streak due to the massive amount of money that he won. However, he actually ranks fourth in consecutive games won with 32, but the way he dominated was unforgettable. In 2019, Holzhauer went on a tear, and the professional gambler would typically lay it all on the line in Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy.

Holzhauer would end up taking every single one of the top 10 spots in the single-game winnings record books and was able to get into six figures on six different occasions. His highest one-day total on Jeopardy! Was an astonishing $131,127, which he accomplished on April 17, 2019, and his total winnings on the show ended up at just under $3 million, good for third place all-time.

Ken Jennings

You can’t tell the story of Jeopardy! without mentioning Ken Jennings, who holds a record that will likely never be broken. In 2004, Jennings went on an insane win streak that caught the world’s attention, and it reached 74 games. No other person in Jeopardy! history has won more than 40 games, showing just how untouchable the record is.

Jennings also has the record for highest winnings in non-tournament play, with a whopping $2,520,700, putting him just ahead of Holzhauer. Jennings, of course, would take part in several tournaments after his insane 74-game run and eventually was named as one of the hosts of Jeopardy! following Alex Trebek’s death.

Austin Rogers

Austin Rogers isn’t in the top 10 in terms of games or money won, but he has a special place in the hearts of Jeopardy! fans around the world. Rogers is a bartender from New York City, and before Holzhauer came along, he had multiple entries in the top ten in terms of most money won in a single game.

Rogers was able to showcase his personality and quickly became a favorite for Alex Trebek. His reactions to getting answers wrong or right were must-see television, and he would end up winning $445,000 thanks to winning a dozen shows.

Brad Rutter

Nobody has been able to take advantage of the tournament structure of Jeopardy! quite like Lancaster, Pennsylvania native Brad Rutter, who earned his spot in the show’s list of all-time greats before there was a cap on the number of games you could win. Rutter won all five of his appearances in the regular season and then won all five tournaments that he took part in.

Rutter was unstoppable, and no human could beat him, with IBM’s artificial intelligence machine Watson being the first to defeat Rutter. Over the course of his Jeopardy! career, Rutter would make $5,053,436, which is number one of all time.

Amy Schneider

In 2022, it looked like Ken Jennings’ amazing streak might come into, well, jeopardy. That’s because engineering manager Amy Schneider from Oakland went on a long streak of 40 games and made headlines as the first transgender person to make the Tournament of Champions. Schneider’s 40 games was good enough to become second all-time, passing Matt Amodio’s 38 games the previous year.

Overall, Schneider ranks fourth in terms of money won from regular season games and overall with tournaments included. She pulled in $1,382,800 throughout her regular season wins. “I didn’t want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show,” Schneider said. “I am a trans woman, and I’m proud of that fact, but I’m a lot of other things, too.”

5 Longest Running Soap Operas

One of the best things about a soap opera is that it can last for generations. It’s truly surprising that this happens, too, with so many storylines and characters making their way through the countless episodes that air each year. While some soap operas have met an early exit, there are some that have withstood the test of time and became television staples.

Of those soap operas that have held on the longest, which ones are the longest running in television history? Here’s a look at the five longest running soap operas across the world, all of which date back several decades and may never come to an end.

Coronation Street 

“Coronation Street” holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running soap opera, first airing in December of 1960, and is still going strong today. This British soap opera, created by Tony Warren, takes place in the fictional city of Weatherfield, based on the real city of Salford just outside of Manchester. 

More than 10,700 episodes of this long-running soap opera have been filmed and aired, with three new episodes coming out weekly. “Coronation Street” has become a staple in British homes and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. 


Although this Australian soap opera is no longer releasing new episodes as of July 2022, “Neighbours” stands as the longest-running soap opera in Australian television history. It all began in March of 1985 when Australian television producer and screenwriter Reginald Watson created the “Neighbours” series following the end of his other successful drama series Sons and Daughters. “Neighbours” focuses on the dramatic lives of the residents of Ramsey St., set in the fictional town of Erinsborough, based on the area of Melbourne in Australia. 

General Hospital

“General Hospital” holds the title of the longest running American soap opera in the Guinness Book of World Records, first airing in 1963 and continuing through the present day. The series presented its 15,000th episode in the Summer of 2022, also winning its 15th Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series that same year, making “General Hospital” the soap opera with more Daytime Emmy Award wins than any other. Fun fact, “General Hospital”, like many soap operas, helped launch the careers of lesser-known actors, such as John Stamos and Mark Hamill.   

Days of Our Lives

Created by Ted and Betty Corday, “Days of Our Lives” debuted in 1965 and, as of now, has been renewed until September 2023. The iconic soap opera has aired more than 14,000 episodes over the years and is set in the fictional Illinois town of Salem. Some high-profile fans of the show include Julia Roberts, Thurgood Marshall, and Monica Lewinsky. Roberts and Marshall even made a guest appearance on the soap opera. The show has been nominated for multiple awards, winning four Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series.  

The Young and Restless

Set in the fictional Genoa City in Wisconsin, “The Young and Restless” first aired in March of 1973 and still releases new episodes to this day. Over 12,500 episodes have aired since its debut. The show follows the fictional lives of the powerful and wealthy Newman and Abbott families. The series has earned 11 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series over the years, with a total of 116 Daytime Emmys won in total, out of its 360 nominations. 

The series has been surrounded by controversy in the past due to the show’s openness to touch on the taboo subject matter and the tendency to display heavy sexual content, one of the first soap operas to do so. Although it’s because of that, “The Young and Restless” remains one of the longest-running and most popular American soap operas of all time. 

5 Times TV Shows Had to Replace Their Lead Actor

Television shows that have found commercial success with a specific formula do NOT want to deviate from it. There is a reason that viewers don’t necessarily want to see the characters from Friends launched into space or follow Gilligan and the Skipper for several seasons after their rescue from the island. 

Given this emphasis on sticking to a formula, you can imagine what a nightmare it is for the producers when they lose their lead actor.  Let’s take a look at five of the most notable lead actor replacements in the history of television and see how the showrunners managed.

  1. Two and a Half Men

The series Two and a Half Men fared far worse after the departure of its star Charlie Sheen. Whether he was fired due to creative differences or for, as CBS executives said, his “dangerously self-destructive conduct,” Sheen disappeared and his character, Charlie Harper, was killed off by writers at the end of a tumultuous eighth season. Although the show persisted for another four seasons with Ashton Kutcher starring as Charlie’s impoverished brother, the show never regained the popularity it enjoyed with Sheen.


  1. The Office

Steve Carell stayed on this popular NBC comedy departed into its seventh season, leaving some big shoes to fill. Rather than casting a single actor, the network rotated heavy hitters such as James Spader, Will Ferrell, and Kathy Bates, as the head of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. Despite this stunt casting, The Office slipped in ratings and left the air two seasons later.


  1. Northern Exposure

A cult favorite with a big roster of kooky characters, Northern Exposure still couldn’t survive the departure of its main character Joel Fleischman (actor Rob Morrow) halfway into its fifth and final season. The show lasted only 15 episodes with his replacement Phil Capra (actor Paul Provenza).


  1. Bewitched

Although they rarely disappear entirely without explanation, major characters may suddenly appear on-screen played by a different actor. The most famous example of this was the fifth season transition from Dick York to Dick Sargent as Darrin Stephens, the husband of the kindly suburban witch Samantha Stephens in the hit TV show Bewitched. Back problems simply prevented York from continuing in the role. Although executives were nervous, the series survived for three full seasons with Sargent.


  1. Cheers

When Shelley Long left the series Cheers at the end of its fifth season, show runners needed another character to continue the “will they or won’t they” romantic intrigue between her character (Diane Chambers) and Sam Malone (played by Ted Danson). Cue the entrance of actress Kirstie Alley as Sam’s new boss Rebecca Howe. Cheers continued to prosper in the Danson/Alley era, continuing for six seasons. Shelley Long even returned to play Diane again before the show’s end. 

5 Greatest TV Betrayals

A well-orchestrated and shocking betrayal can make a television series memorable and can also create a buzz among its viewers. The following are five such shocking betrayals that had viewers talking and analyzing these shows for days, weeks, and sometimes even years. 

Oh, and just so you don’t think we’re betraying you, we want to warn you that there are many spoilers about to be exposed here. 

Game of Thrones — Daenerys and Jon

In a series riddled with betrayals, it can be very difficult to narrow it down to the worst. But surely the show’s biggest betrayal came when Jon Snow stabbed his lover and aunt Daenerys Targaryen while the two were sharing a passionate kiss. Sadly, Daenerys left the honorable Jon Snow little choice. It was obvious to everyone — especially Jon — that Daenerys had gone off the deep end and that if he didn’t stop her, she would murder thousands of people. 

Sopranos — Tony and Christopher

Christopher was one of Tony’s most trusted soldiers, his potential successor, and also his “nephew.” But Christopher’s drug issues and other factors eventually caused their relationship to become very strained. It was still a shocker, though, when Tony murdered his nephew after a wasted Christopher crashes their car, almost killing them both. The accident coupled with the fact that Tony had big concerns about Christopher turning State’s witness against him were the final straws for the mob boss. Taking advantage of the fact that his nephew was severely injured in the accident, Tony reaches over and pinches Christopher’s nostrils shut until he dies. 

Breaking Bad — Walter and Jesse

Walter and Jesse betrayed each other countless times during Breaking Bad’s five seasons but, arguably, the worst instance was when Walter allowed a neo-Nazi gang to kidnap Jesse. The neo-Nazis then kept Jesse imprisoned in a cage and used him as their slave to cook up Walt’s infamous blue meth to sell. Walt does semi-redeem himself by the end of the series by rescuing Jesse. 

Succession — The Roy Children Versus Their Parents

Loosely based on the Murdoch dynasty, Succession has had more than its fair share of shocking betrayals. But the one that ended season three was a doozy even by this show’s standards. After years of being mentally abused by their father, Logan Roy, three of the Roy children — Kendall, Roman, and Shiv — finally decide to team up together to stop their father from selling their company. But to their dismay, the Roy children soon discover that they have been betrayed by two people who should have been on their side — Shiv’s husband, Tom, and their own mother, Caroline. Tipped off by Tom, Logan was able to convince Caroline to sign over their children’s share in the company to him, which ended Roman’s, Shiv’s, and Kendall’s dreams of taking over the family business. 

Sex and the City — Carrie and Aidan

For many fans, Aidan seemed like the perfect boyfriend for Carrie — kind, loving, sweet, and handsome. And to top it all off, he was ready to commit and even marry her. So, what did Carrie do? She cheats on Aidan with Mr. Big, her ex. Fans of the show were outraged that Carrie had chosen to break Aidan’s heart with the man who had broken her heart.