Live television is a television production
broadcast in real-time, as events happen, in the present. In a secondary meaning, it may refer to
Streaming television is the digital distribution of television content, such as TV shows, as streaming media delivered over the Internet. Streaming television stands in contrast to dedicated terrestrial television delivered by over-the-air ae ...
over the Internet when content or programming is played continuously (not on demand). For example, the Pluto TV app has two categories for viewing: "Live TV" & "On Demand." On its website, Xfinity
states "Watch TV series and top rated movies live and on demand with Xfinity Stream."
In most cases live programming is not being recorded as it is shown on TV, but rather was not rehearsed or edited and is being shown only as it was recorded prior to being aired. Shows broadcast live include newscast
s, morning shows
, awards shows, sports programs, reality programs and, occasionally, episodes of scripted television series.
Live television was more common until the late 1950s, when
Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) and, more commonly, videocas ...
technology was invented. Because of the prohibitive cost, adoption was slow, and some television shows remained live until the 1970s, such as soap opera
s. To prevent unforeseen issues, live television programs may be delayed
, which allows censors to edit the program. Some programs may be broadcast live in certain time zones and delayed in others.
Types of programs
From the early days of television until about 1958, live television was used heavily, except for filmed programs such as '' I Love Lucy
'' and '' Gunsmoke
Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) and, more commonly, videocas ...
was invented in 1956, it cost $300 per one hour reel ()
meaning it was only very gradually adopted. Some genres, such as soap opera
s, did not completely abandon live broadcasts until the mid-1970s.
In general, a live television program
was more common for broadcasting content produced specifically for commercial television
in the early years of the medium, before technologies such as video tape appeared. As
video tape recorder
A video tape recorder (VTR) is a tape recorder designed to record and playback video and audio material from magnetic tape. The early VTRs were open-reel devices that record on individual reels of 2-inch-wide (5.08 cm) tape. They were ...
s (VTR) became more prevalent, many entertainment programs were recorded and edited before broadcasting rather than being shown live.
As of September 2021, Television network
s provide most live television for morning shows
with television programs such as: '' Good Morning Britain
'', '' BBC Breakfast
'', '' This Morning
'', '' Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel
'', etc. broadcast live in the UK; '' Sunrise
'' live in Australia; ''
''Your Morning'' is a Canadian breakfast television program that is broadcast on CTV and CTV News Channel. It debuted on August 22, 2016 and airs live from 6-9 a.m. in the Eastern Time Zone and simulcast elsewhere in Canada according to local s ...
'' live in Canada; and ''
Today (archaically to-day) may refer to:
* Day of the present, the time that is perceived directly, often called ''now''
* Current era, present
* The current calendar date
Arts, entertainment, and media Films
* ''Today'' (1930 film), a 1930 A ...
'', '' Good Morning America
'', and '' CBS Mornings
'' in the U.S., which air live only in the Eastern Time Zone. The only exceptions are '' CBS Saturday Morning
'' and '' Sunday Today with Willie Geist
'', which air live in the Eastern and Central time zones. Spanish-language morning shows (such as '' Despierta America
'' and '' Un Nuevo Día
''), unlike their English speaking counterparts, air live in across the mainland U.S. except for viewers in the Pacific time zone, which, along with viewers in Hawaii and Alaska, have tape-delayed shows.
A few daytime talk shows in the U.S. broadcast live before a studio audience in select time zones. Shows such as '' Live with Kelly and Ryan
'' and the ''
Wendy Williams Show
''The Wendy Williams Show'' (often shortened to ''Wendy'') is an American syndicated talk show created and hosted by Wendy Williams, and produced by Wendy Williams Productions, along with Perler Productions. The show is distributed by Debmar-Me ...
'' air live in the Eastern time zone only, while shows such as ABC's '' The View
'' air live in the Eastern and Central time zones. '' The Talk
'' on CBS airs live in the Eastern and Central time zones Monday through Thursday. A separate program is taped on Thursday afternoon for airing on Friday. Affiliates in the remaining time zones air these programs on a tape delay
. Most other daytime talk shows and late night programs
are taped before a live studio audience earlier in the day and edited for later broadcast.
Major entertainment events, such as award show
A beauty pageant is a competition that has traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants. Pageants have now evolved to include inner beauty, with criteria covering judging of personality, intelligence, ...
, are often broadcast live in
Prime time or the peak time is the block of broadcast programming taking place during the middle of the evening for a television show. It is mostly targeted towards adults (and sometimes families). It is used by the major television networks to ...
hours based on U.S. East Coast's schedule. In the 21st century,
Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unfamiliar people rather than professional actors. Reality television emerged as a distinct genre in the early ...
franchises began to emerge (such as, in the United States, '' American Idol
'' and ''
Dancing With The Stars
''Dancing with the Stars'' is the name of various international television series based on the format of the British TV series '' Strictly Come Dancing'', which is distributed by BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC. Currently the forma ...
''), where viewers could vote for their favorite acts featured in live performances, but ''American Idol'', as of , is the only reality competition series to have broadcast live in all U.S. territories at the same time.
Scheduling of live entertainment programming may be complicated in countries that span multiple time zone
s, such as Mexico, Canada and the United States
, where programming is aired live in the easternmost time zones, but may be delayed in order to air in local primetime hours in western markets (although since the last decade, Canada and Mexico have regularly televised all major live events simultaneously across all of their territories).
Historically, live global sports and breaking international news programming are usually broadcast live in all time zones worldwide. Several award show
s began to air live in all time zones worldwide in order to avert the need to avoid "spoilers" via the internet and social media
outlets in the onset of the latter's rise in the late 2000s. For decades, the Academy Awards
have continuously broadcast live in Alaska and both U.S. coasts (and now including Hawaii and American Samoa by the late 2010s), and are later joined by the Golden Globe Awards
since the early 2010s. In recent years, the
Primetime Emmy Awards
The Primetime Emmy Awards, or Primetime Emmys, are part of the extensive range of Emmy Awards for artistic and technical merit for the American television industry. Bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), the Primetime E ...
, Grammy Awards
and Tony Awards
have joined airing live in all U.S. territories.
Some award shows like the
Billboard Music Awards
The ''Billboard'' Music Awards are honors given out annually by ''Billboard'', a publication covering the music business and a music popularity chart. The ''Billboard'' Music Awards show has been held annually since 1990, with the exception of t ...
and the MTV Video Music Awards
have switched annually between delayed and live nationwide telecasts since the mid-2010s as a result of the declining viewership across live event television in the same period.
Most local television station newscast
s are broadcast live in the U.S. as they are an essential medium for providing up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and breaking news stories. Broadcast television networks in the United States typically air their evening newscasts live in the Eastern and Central time zones. A separate "Western Edition" is broadcast to viewers in the
Pacific Time Zone
The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC−08:00 ...
. When a major breaking news event occurs, whether nationally or globally, broadcast television networks will break into regularly scheduled programming and will televise a live " special report
" in all time zones. Local television stations break into regularly scheduled programming in the event of severe weather warnings
or major local breaking news stories that occur within their viewing area.
Cable news outlets (such as CNN
and Fox News Channel
) air continuous live programming during the day, and air rebroadcasts of earlier live shows during the late night hours, except in cases where breaking news
[Shows such as Hannity on the Fox News Channel are pre-recorded the afternoon of its broadcast. However, this show occasionally airs live if breaking news or special events are being covered..]
''PBS NewsHour'' is an American evening television news program broadcast on over 350 PBS member stations. It airs seven nights a week, and is known for its in-depth coverage of issues and current events.
Anchored by Judy Woodruff, the prog ...
'' airs live on PBS stations in the Eastern Time Zone. Sunday morning news programs in the USA such as '' Meet The Press
'' on NBC, '' This Week
'' on ABC, and ''
Fox News Sunday
''Fox News Sunday'' is a Sunday morning talk show that has aired on the broadcast Fox network since 1996, as a presentation of Fox News Channel. It is the only regularly scheduled Fox News program carried on the main Fox broadcast network. Hos ...
'' air live in the Eastern Time Zone (including a limited number of small markets in the Central Time Zone), while ''
CBS Sunday Morning
''CBS News Sunday Morning'' (normally shortened to ''Sunday Morning'' on the program itself since 2009) is an American news magazine television program that has aired on CBS since January 28, 1979. Created by Robert Northshield and original ho ...
'' and '' Face The Nation
'' on CBS air live in the Eastern and Central time zones.
Cable outlets (such as CNN and Fox News Channel) incorporate the word ''LIVE'' in their network logo (also known as a digital on-screen graphic
) when those networks broadcast live content. Some (but not all) sports cable networks will opt to insert the word ''LIVE'' somewhere on the corner of the screen. With the exception of special breaking news reports
and overseas sporting events, broadcast television networks rarely display such a graphic during its live programming. (although NBC did display the word LIVE next to their logo during its Olympic coverage when live content was being broadcast, a practice that was continued by its sister station, NBCSN
, until its closure in 2021.)
[In 2015, NBC began inserting the word ''LIVE'' above its on-air graphic during live telecasts of "Undateable" and "The Wiz", and in 2016, the Golden Globe Awards. However, they do not display the ''LIVE'' graphic during programs such as ''Saturday Night Live'' and the ''NBC Nightly News''. Broadcast networks such as CBS, ABC, PBS, and FOX typically do not display a LIVE graphic during any of their live telecasts.]
Local television station newscasts display time and temperature during their broadcasts, and only display the word LIVE when they air a news report or a live shot
on location. Some networks have begun to insert (in addition to the word LIVE) the local time of where that news report is originating from, particularly when that report is airing live via satellite from overseas.
Sports and other events
As of the current decade, major sporting events
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, contested since 1903 between the champion teams of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The winner of the Wor ...
The Super Bowl is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League (NFL) to determine the league champion. It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2022, the game ...
A world cup is a global sporting competition in which the participant entities – usually international teams or individuals representing their countries – compete for the title of world champion. The event most associated with the concept ...
, NBA Finals
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: link=no, Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a var ...
have been broadcast entirely live in all U.S. territories, encompassing both prime time hours of both U.S. coasts, simultaneous with the live global telecasts of these events in accordance with the official international broadcasters of such games.
Other events that air live all across U.S. territories include multi-network coverage of U.S. presidential and congressional elections, U.S. presidential inaugurations
State of the Union Address
The State of the Union Address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) is an annual message delivered by the president of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress near the beginning of each calendar year on the current condit ...
, presidential news conferences
, Presidential Addresses to the Nation
, the Tournament of Roses Parade
, and funerals of major national or international public and religious figures. Local television stations air live local election coverage and special events, such as large scale parade
s, big city marathons
, funerals of major local public and religious figures, inauguration ceremonies of big city mayors and governors, installation masses of cardinals or bishops in a major Catholic archdiocese, and pep rallies
for a major sports team. In the UK, events such as the State Opening of Parliament
are broadcast live.
Uses of live television
Live television is often used as a device, even in scripted programming to take advantage of these often to great success in terms of attracting viewers. The
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial broadcast television and radio network. The flagship property of the NBC Entertainment division of NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast, its headquarters a ...
live comedy/variety program '' Saturday Night Live
'', for example, has been on that network continuously since 1975 and airs live in the Eastern and Central zones (including the Pacific and Mountain zones beginning 2017 in its transition to its first live season all across the continental U.S. beginning 2018) during the show's season which runs from October though May.
On September 25, 1997, NBC aired two separate live broadcasts (for viewers in both U.S. coasts) of an episode of '' ER
'', which at the time ranked as the most watched episode of any U.S. medical drama
program ever. Many
News broadcasting is the medium of broadcasting various news events and other information via television, radio, or the internet in the field of broadcast journalism. The content is usually either produced locally in a radio studio or televi ...
programs, particularly local news
ones in North America, have also used live television as a device to gain audience
viewers by making their programs appear more exciting. With technologies such as production truck
s, satellite truck
uplinks, a news reporter
can report live "on location" from anywhere where a story is happening in the city. This technique has attracted criticism for its overuse (like minor car accidents which often have no injuries) and resulting tendency to make stories appear more urgent than they actually are.
The unedited nature of live television can pose problems for broadcasters because of the potential for mishaps, such as anchors being interrupted or harassed by bystanders shouting profane phrases.
In 2015, a female
''CityNews'' (corporately styled City''News'') is the title of news and current affairs programming on Rogers Sports & Media's Citytv network in Canada. The newscast division was founded on September 28, 1975 as ''CityPulse'' as a standalone lo ...
journalist confronted a group of young men who had used the phrase; one of them later lost his job after he was identified. Channels often broadcast live programs on a slight delay
(usually on single-digit seconds only) to give them the ability to censor words and images while keeping the broadcast as "live" as possible.
Notable events on live television
Many events have happened on live television broadcasts that are well-remembered, sometimes because they were part of a major breaking news story already, and always because they happened unexpectedly and before audiences of thousands or millions of viewers.
*September 30, 1929 – The BBC
made the world's first television broadcast to British audiences: it is a live transmission.
*September 4, 1951 – The first national live television broadcast in the U.S. took place when President Harry Truman
's speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference
San Francisco, California
San Francisco (; Spanish for " Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California. The city proper is the fourth most populous in California and 17th ...
, was transmitted over
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's largest telecommunications company by revenue and the third largest provider of mobile ...
's transcontinental cable
microwave radio relay
Microwave transmission is the transmission of information by electromagnetic waves with wavelengths in the microwave frequency range of 300MHz to 300GHz(1 m - 1 mm wavelength) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwave signals are normally lim ...
system to broadcast stations in local markets.
* January 14, 1952 – The '' Today Show
'', the first broadcast morning news program in the U.S., premieres. Initially airing live in the Eastern and Central time zones up until 1958, nowadays this program airs live only in the Eastern Time Zone.
*March 30, 1953 – Crown Prince Akihito of Japan
's departure from the
Port of Yokohama
The is operated by the Port and Harbor Bureau of the City of Yokohama in Japan. It opens onto Tokyo Bay. The port is located at a latitude of 35.27–00°N and a longitude of 139.38–46°E. To the south lies the Port of Yokosuka; to the no ...
via the SS ''President Wilson''
to attend the
coronation of Elizabeth II
The coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey in London. She acceded to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952, being proclaimed queen by her privy and execu ...
in the United Kingdom was the first live television news broadcast in Japan.
*June 2, 1953 – the
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also generally refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of ot ...
Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during ...
was the first to be televised live on British television
*July 23, 1962 – the first live transatlantic television broadcast via the Telstar I
*November 25, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy's funeral was broadcast on live TV
. It was seen by perhaps what was the largest viewing audience up to then. It was the first live TV coverage of a Presidential funeral. Kennedy had been assassinated in
Dallas () is the third largest city in Texas and the largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States at 7.5 million people. It is the largest city in and seat of Dallas County wi ...
, three days before, on November 22, 1963. The assassination
itself initiated four days of non-stop live television news coverage seen by millions.
* November 13, 1965 – Critic and author Kenneth Tynan
became the first person to say the word " fuck
" on British television on the live satirical programme '' BBC-3
'' while commenting on censorship during a TV debate.
* December 24, 1968 – Apollo 8 Genesis reading
during the ninth orbit of the
The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System and the largest and most massive relative to its parent planet, with a diameter about one-quarter that of Earth (comparable to the width ...
* July 20–21, 1969 – Apollo 11
, the first astronauts walking on the Moon after the first manned landing. This event, broadcast live by nearly every television station in operation at the time, was viewed by 125 million viewers in the U.S. (93% of its television audience), and was the first live satellite broadcast in the State of Alaska. It was estimated to have been seen by 600 million viewers worldwide.
* November 7, 1970 – Felix Dennis
, in a group interview on '' The Frost Programme
'', became the first person to say "
''Cunt'' () is a vulgar word for the vulva or vagina. It is used in a variety of ways, including as a term of disparagement. Reflecting national variations, ''cunt'' can be used as a disparaging and obscene term for a woman in the United St ...
" on live TV.
* July 15, 1974 –
Christine "Chris" Chubbuck (August 24, 1944 – July 15, 1974) was an American television news reporter who worked for stations WTOG and WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida. She was the first person to die by suicide on a live television broadca ...
, a television news reporter for station WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, committed suicide on live television by firing a revolver shot into her head.
* June 1, 1980 – CNN is launched as the world's first 24-hour news channel.
*January 28, 1986 – The Challenger explosion
was seen on live TV by millions in the U.S.
*February 9, 1988 – Bank robber Phillip Hutchinson
led police on a terrifying chase in Denver, Colorado
. It was filmed by a news helicopter cameraman in one of the first ever recorded police chases to be featured in the news. The pilot of the news helicopter assisted police by landing directly in front of Hutchinson during his escape and stopped him from fleeing with a hostage in a stolen pickup truck. Hutchinson was then shot dead by police after refusing to surrender and threatening his hostage with a gun. The hostage escaped unharmed, but Hutchinson's death was filmed live by the news cameraman.
* February 5, 1989 – Sky News
is launched as Europe's first 24-hour news channel.
* November 9, 1989 – Live coverage of the abolition of travel restrictions and the opening of the border
to West Berlin
after mass panic and jubilation from East Germans.
* June 17, 1994 – The
O. J. Simpson murder case
''The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson'' was a criminal trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court starting in 1994, in which O. J. Simpson, a former National Football League (NFL) player, broadcaster and actor, was ...
A car chase or vehicle pursuit is the vehicular overland chase of one party by another, involving at least one automobile or other wheeled motor vehicle in pursuit, commonly hot pursuit of suspects by law enforcement. The rise of the automotiv ...
The Ford Bronco is a model line of sport utility vehicles manufactured and marketed by Ford. The first SUV model developed by the company, five generations of the Bronco were sold from the 1966 to 1996 model years. A sixth generation of the mod ...
vehicle containing American football star and murder suspect O. J. Simpson
was broadcast live throughout the U.S., with NBC interrupting its coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals
to do so.
* April 30, 1998 – Daniel V. Jones
, a cancer and HIV-positive patient apparently frustrated with his HMO
coverage, ended a live televised stand-off with police on a Los Angeles freeway by committing suicide, shooting himself in the chin with a shotgun. The event, which took place on a Thursday afternoon, was witnessed by many children whose after-school cartoons had been interrupted in order to broadcast the incident, which originally began as a high-speed pursuit, and led many to criticize Los Angeles television stations' practice of airing police pursuits live.
* September 11, 2001 – At 9:03am Eastern Daylight Time, United Airlines Flight 175
crashed into the south tower of the
World Trade Center
World Trade Centers are sites recognized by the World Trade Centers Association.
World Trade Center may refer to:
* List of World Trade Centers
* World Trade Center (2001–present), a building complex that includes five skyscrapers, a ...
, in front of millions of viewers who were already watching live coverage of the unfolding terrorist attacks
of that day. Major networks had broken into regular programming just minutes earlier with live shots of the twin towers after American Airlines Flight 11
crashed into the north tower at 8:46am.
[At 8:56am ET, all three U.S. broadcast morning shows (Early Show, Today, and Good Morning America) suspended tape delayed broadcasting and went live in all time zones coast to coast.]
Millions of viewers around the world watching live coverage of the attacks saw both buildings collapse
*March 23, 2003 – Sky News
broadcast live coverage of US forces attacking an Iraqi position. Sky reporter David Bowden, embedded with the US Marines, gave a live running commentary on the battle, something viewers had not seen before.
*July 7, 2005 – A live television report on the unfolding situation on the 7 July 2005 London bombings
captured the sound of the Tavistock Square bus explosion at 9:46am British Summer Time.
*July 27, 2007 – Two news helicopters collided in midair
over Phoenix, Arizona
, while covering a police pursuit. One of the helicopters was broadcasting live; viewers heard the collision and a scream before the station cut to the studio.
*September 28, 2012 – 33-year-old Jodon F. Romero committed suicide in a field after he carjacked a vehicle in Phoenix and went on an 80-mile car chase. This was accidentally broadcast on '' Studio B with Shepard Smith
*August 26, 2015 - News reporter Alison Parker and camera man Adam Ward are murdered
on live television by a former coworker during a news report. Shooter Vester Flanagan committed suicide some time later.
* August 1–16, 1936 – The 1936 Summer Olympics
, held in Berlin, Germany, were the first Olympic Games (and sporting event) to have live television coverage. [1
*_March_7,_1955 _–_first_nationwide_live_broadcast_of_7th_Primetime_Emmy_Awards.html" ;"title="25th_Academy_Awards.html" ;"title="
* May 17, 1939 – the first live televised sporting event in the U.S. takes place: a college baseball game between the Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers, was broadcast by NBC from Columbia's Baker Field in New York City. Princeton won that game 8–6.
* March 19, 1953 – first live broadcast of 25th Academy Awards">The Academy Awards.
* March 7, 1955 – first nationwide live broadcast of 7th Primetime Emmy Awards">The Emmy Awards.
* November 30, 1958 – Midway through transmission of the ''Armchair Theatre'' play ''Underground (1958 TV play), Underground'' on the British ITV (TV network), ITV network, actor Gareth Jones (actor), Gareth Jones died off-camera, forcing the cast to improvise the remainder of the broadcast.
* December 7, 1963 – Instant replay is used for the first time during the live transmission of the
The Army–Navy Game is an American college football college rivalry, rivalry game between the Army Black Knights football, Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen footbal ... by its inventor, director Tony Verna.
* February 9, 1964 – The Beatles
The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ... make their 1st appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. This live broadcast on CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc., commonly shortened to CBS, the abbreviation of its former legal name Columbia Broadcasting System, is an American commercial broadcast television and radio network serving as the flagship property of the CBS Entertainme ... drew an estimated 73 million viewers (40% of the American population), the largest audience in the history of American television up to that time.
* April 18, 1966 – The Academy Awards broadcast in color for the first time.
* June 25, 1967 – Our World, the first live international satellite television
Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite orbiting the Earth directly to the viewer's location. The signals are received via an outdoor parabolic antenna com ... production aired, seen by 400 million people in 25 countries worldwide. It closed with The Beatles
The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ... performing a new song: " All You Need Is Love
"All You Need Is Love" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in July 1967. It was written by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The song was Britain's contribution ...", composed by John Lennon for the occasion.
* September 17, 1967 – While The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts o ... performed " Light My Fire" on '' The Ed Sullivan Show'', frontman Jim Morrison used the word "higher" instead of the previously agreed-upon change "better". This resulted in the band being banned from the program.
* November 17, 1968 – A football game (known as the Heidi Game) between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders ran over its allotted time. At the time, NBC was contractually bound to air the children's movie: "Heidi" at 7pm Eastern Time. NBC broke away from the game on the East Coast, after which Oakland scored 2 touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32. This prompted outrage from sports fans, resulting in a change of policy where all televised sports events are now broadcast to its conclusion.
* March 16, 1971 – the first live broadcast of The Grammy Awards.
* March 5, 1975 – Graham Kennedy mimicked a crow call ("faaaaaaark") reminiscent of the word fuck during a hairspray ad on '' The Graham Kennedy Show'' on the Nine Network in Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country b .... He was banned from live TV indefinitely for the stunt. He later parted ways with the network on April 17 after the network took advantage of the pre-taping to delete a speech critical of Senator Doug McClelland (the then Minister for the Media), though Kennedy returned years later.
*October 11, 1975 – First episode of Saturday Night Live broadcast.
* December 1, 1976 – Appearing in a live interview on the Thames Television
Thames Television, commonly simplified to just Thames, was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding areas from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992.
Thames Television bro ... pre- watershed programme ''Today'' as last-minute replacements for fellow EMI artists Queen, the Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years, they were one of the most groundbreaking acts in the history of popular music. They were responsible for ... were interviewed by Bill Grundy to promote their recently released " Anarchy in the U.K.
"Anarchy in the U.K." is a song by English punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band's debut single on 26 November 1976 and was later featured on their album ''Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols''. "Anarchy in th ..." single. During the interview, Steve Jones said the band had "fucking spent" its label advance money and Johnny Rotten
John Joseph Lydon (; born 31 January 1956), also known by his former stage name Johnny Rotten, is an English singer and songwriter. He was the lead singer of the late-1970s punk band the Sex Pistols, which lasted from 1975 until 1978, and agai ... used the word "shit." Pistols guitarist Steve Jones called Grundy a "dirty sod" and a "dirty old man", leading Grundy to goad the band into swearing on live TV, and Jones ended the interview with "you dirty bastard," "you dirty fucker," and "what a fucking rotter". The incident quickly became the subject of media attention, and Grundy was fired by ITV and ''Today'' was cancelled.
* February 20, 1981 – Appearing on the live ABC comedy show '' Fridays'' as guest host, comedian Andy Kaufman
Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman ( ; January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984) was an American entertainer and performance artist. While often called a "comedian", Kaufman preferred to describe himself instead as a "song and dance man". He has sometimes b ... refused to read his lines during the last sketch, to the annoyance of the cast and crew. The situation escalated into a minor brawl, and the network cut off the broadcast. Kaufman later admitted that the fight was planned by him and some of the cast and crew.
* April 15, 1984 – Comedian Tommy Cooper
Thomas Frederick Cooper (19 March 1921 – 15 April 1984) was a Welsh prop comedian and magician. As an entertainer, his appearance was large and lumbering at , and he habitually wore a red fez when performing. He served in the British Army ... collapsed and subsequently died of a heart attack in front of millions of viewers on '' Live From Her Majesty's''. The audience carried on laughing thinking it was part of his act, before the programme took a commercial break.
* July 13, 1985 – Live Aid, the first live global concert aired to 1.9 billion viewers in 150 countries worldwide.
* January 4, 1987 – A massive bench-clearing brawl (the so-called Punch-up in Piestany) occurred during the final game of the World Junior Hockey Championships between Canada and the Soviet Union in Piešťany
Piešťany (; german: Pistyan, hu, Pöstyén, pl, Pieszczany , cs, Píšťany ) is a town in Slovakia. It is located in the western part of the country within the Trnava Region and is the seat of its own district. It is the biggest and best kn ..., Czechoslovakia (now located in Slovakia
Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...). After Pavel Kostichkin took a two handed slash at Canada's Theoren Fleury
Theoren Wallace "Theo" Fleury (born June 29, 1968) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, author, and motivational speaker. Fleury played for the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks of ..., the Soviet Union's Evgeny Davydov came off the bench, eventually leading to both benches clearing. The officials walked off the ice and tried shutting off the arena lights, but the brawl lasted for 20 minutes until the International Ice Hockey Federation declared the game null and void. Both teams were ejected from the tournament, and the Soviet team were barred from attending the end-of-tournament dinner.
* October 17, 1989 – Right before Game 3 of The 1989 World Series
The 1989 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1989 season. The 86th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Oakland Athletics and the Na ... between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics (often referred to as the A's) are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The ..., the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred.
* February 18, 2001 - during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, seven-time champion and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt was involved in a crash that resulted in his death.
* February 1, 2004 – During a performance by singers Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson
Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. She is noted for her innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows. Her sound and choreog ... at the Super Bowl XXXVIII half time show, Timberlake pulled off a part of Jackson's leather corset, revealing her right breast covered by a piece of jewelry attached to her nipple. He later described the incident as a " wardrobe malfunction
A wardrobe malfunction is a clothing failure that accidentally or intentionally exposes a person's intimate parts. It is different from deliberate incidents of indecent exposure or public flashing. Justin Timberlake first used the term when apo ...". The incident caused outrage among religious groups and demands for the FCC to crack down on indecency on television and radio. It resulted in broadcast television networks imposing a seven-second delay
In radio and television, broadcast delay is an intentional delay when broadcasting live material, technically referred to as a deferred live. Such a delay may be to prevent mistakes or unacceptable content from being broadcast. Longer delays la ... on all future live programming.
* April 21, 2004 – After commenting on a UEFA Champions League match on ITV1, Ron Atkinson
Ronald Frederick Atkinson (born 18 March 1939), commonly known as "Big Ron" or "Mr. Bojangles", is an English former football player and manager. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was regarded as one of Britain's best-known football pundits.
Ni ... thought that the broadcast had finished. However, although transmission in the UK had finished, he was still on air to various countries in the Middle East and proceeded to say that "... he is what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger" towards Marcel Desailly
Marcel Desailly (born Odenke Abbey; 7 September 1968) is a French former professional footballer, widely considered to be among the greatest centre-backs and defensive midfielders to ever play football. During a successful career at club level, .... He resigned with immediate effect.
* August 20, 2006 – During a live dance performance of "Crazy Love Song" by the female pop trio SeeYa on the Korean television program SBS Inkigayo, a backup dancer who suffered from epilepsy had a seizure in the middle of the song. The performers ignored the interruption and completed the performance normally before and after the dancer was carried off the stage.
* April 14, 2007 – At the conclusion of an AFL match between Fremantle and West Coast on Network Ten, Eagles player Michael Braun concluded his Ross Glenndenning Medal acceptance speech with "Let's have a fucking good year" in front of a TV audience of 550,000 and a crowd of 42,051. Braun was fined $5,500 () by the AFL for the incident.
* February 1, 2015 – Super Bowl XLIX, broadcast live on NBC, became the most watched television program in U.S. history to date garnering an average of 114.4 million viewers. Its half-time show featuring Katy Perry
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality. Known for her influence on modern pop music and her campy style, she has been referred to ... drew a record 118.5 million viewers.
* February 1, 2015 – NBC airs a rare Sunday Super Bowl edition of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon LIVE from the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. AZ. This marks the first time since 1971 that the Tonight Show has aired a live episode.
*December 20, 2015 – Miss Universe host Steve Harvey
Broderick Stephen Harvey Sr. Also aired August 16, 2015. (born January 17, 1957) is an American television host, producer, actor, and comedian. He hosts '' The Steve Harvey Morning Show'', '' Family Feud'', '' Celebrity Family Feud,'' the Miss ... crowned the wrong winner by mistake then crowned the actual winner on live television.
* January 8, 2016 – '' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
''The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'' is an American late-night news and liberal political satire talk show hosted by Stephen Colbert, which premiered on September 8, 2015. Produced by Spartina Productions and CBS Studios, it is the second it ...'' airs a live episode for the first time in the 23-year history of CBS's late-night franchise.
* July 21, 2016 – Late Night with Seth Meyers airs a live episode for the first time in the 30-year history of NBC's late-night franchise.
* February 26, 2017 – Towards the end of the 89th Academy Awards, the wrong winner for Best Picture was announced on live television before millions of people watching worldwide. A representative for Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), while tweeting a picture of Emma Stone, handed the presenter the wrong envelope. This caused a major embarrassment for AMPAS, and two accountants from PwC were banned from participating in future Academy Awards shows over the incident.
* April 15, 2017 – '' Saturday Night Live'' airs the first coast to coast live episode in the US for the first time in the show's 42-year history.
* April 29, 2018 – '' American Idol'' becomes the first reality competition series in the history of American television to air live coast to coast, allowing for real time voting throughout the mainland United States.
* March 27, 2022 – During the '' 94th Academy Awards'', Will Smith
Willard Carroll Smith II (born September 25, 1968), also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor and rapper. He began his acting career starring as a fictionalized version of himself on the NBC sitcom '' The Fresh ... stormed on stage and slapped Chris Rock
Christopher Julius Rock (born February 7, 1965) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and filmmaker. Known for his work in comic film, television and stage, he has received multiple accolades, including three Grammy Awards for best com ... during his presentation of an award. Smith returned to his seat and shouted profanities at Rock, who had made a questionable joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. While the incident was censored by ABC in the United States, it aired elsewhere.
Live television episodes
Although all programs were once live, the use of video tape means that very few television programs in the modern era have ever attempted such a feat. In the U.S., soap operas including ''
As the World Turns
''As the World Turns'' (often abbreviated as ''ATWT'') is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS for 54 years from April 2, 1956, to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created ''As the World Turns'' as a sister show to her other ...'' and '' The Edge of Night
''The Edge of Night'' is an American television mystery crime drama series and soap opera, created by Irving Vendig and produced by Procter & Gamble Productions.
It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran as a live broadcast on that netw ...'' were broadcast live until 1975.
On rare occasions, a scripted series will do an episode live to attract ratings. In the U.S. and Canada, the episode is occasionally performed twice: once for the east coast which is composed of the Eastern Time Zone and Central Time Zone and again three hours later for the west coast which is composed of the Mountain Time Zone and the Pacific Time Zone
The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC−08:00 ... unless they have Dish Network
DISH Network Corporation (DISH, an acronym for DIgital Sky Highway) is an American television provider and the owner of the direct-broadcast satellite provider Dish, commonly known as Dish Network, and the over-the-top IPTV service, Sling TV. ... or Direct TV who provides the live feed in all states. The most recent scripted series to air all live episodes was '' Undateable'' on NBC during its third season, which aired from October 2015 until January 2016.
Notable examples of shows that have had a live episode include:
*'' Gimme a Break!'' (1985)
* ''Roc'' (The entire second season, 1993)
*'' ER'' (1997) [Performed twice so that viewers in multiple time zones saw a live version]
*'' Coronation Street'' (for its 40th anniversary in 2000, its 50th anniversary in 2010 and ITV's 60th anniversary in 2015)
*'' The Drew Carey Show
''The Drew Carey Show'' is an American television sitcom that aired on American Broadcasting Company, ABC from September 13, 1995 to September 8, 2004. Set in Cleveland, Ohio, the series revolved around the retail office and home life of "everym ...'' (1999, 2000, and 2001)
*'' One Life to Live'' (Went live for an entire week of episodes in May 2002)
*'' The Bill
''The Bill'' is a British police procedural television series, first broadcast on ITV from 16 August 1983 until 31 August 2010. The programme originated from a one-off drama, '' Woodentop'', broadcast in August 1983.
The programme focused on ...'' (2003 and 2005)
*'' The Daily Show
''The Daily Show'' is an American late-night talk and satirical news television program. It airs each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central with release shortly after on Paramount+. ''The Daily Show'' draws its comedy and satire form fro ...'' (2004, 2008, 2009)
*'' Blue Heelers
''Blue Heelers'' is an Australian Police procedural, police drama series that was produced by Endemol Australia, Southern Star Group and ran for 12 years on the Seven Network, from 1994 to 2006. Although based around the policing of the town, ...'' (2004)
*'' Will & Grace
''Will & Grace'' is an American television sitcom created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan. Set in New York City, the show focuses on the friendship between best friends Will Truman (Eric McCormack), a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler (Debra Mess ...'' (2005 and 2006)
*'' Air Farce Live'' (All episodes from October 2007 – December 2008)
*'' The West Wing'' (2005) - An episode (" The Debate") was presented as a live debate between presidential candidates
*'' Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps'' (2008)
*'' EastEnders'' (Went live for a single episode celebrating its 25th anniversary in February 2010, and an entire week of episodes for its 30th anniversary in February 2015)
*'' 30 Rock'': season five, " Live Show" (2010) and season six, " Live from Studio 6H
"Live from Studio 6H" is the nineteenth episode of the sixth season of the American television comedy series ''30 Rock'', and the 122nd episode overall. It features a return to live broadcasting from the season five episode "Live Show", both o ..." (2012)
*'' Watch What Happens: Live'' (July 2009 to present)
*'' WWE Monday Night RAW '' (January 1993 to present)
*'' WWE SmackDown '' (since 1999, occasional live specials; began airing all live effective July 19, 2016)
*'' Talking Dead
''Talking Dead'' is a live television aftershow in which host Chris Hardwick discusses episodes of the AMC television series '' The Walking Dead'', '' Fear the Walking Dead'' and '' The Walking Dead: World Beyond'' with guests, including celebr ... '' (October 2011 to present)
''Emmerdale'' (known as ''Emmerdale Farm'' until 1989) is a British soap opera that is broadcast on ITV1. The show is set in Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994), a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, ... '' (For its 40th Anniversary)
*'' Undateable '' (went live for an hour long episode,May 5 2015, and went live again for the entire third season, October 2015-January 2016)
*'' The Simpsons
''The Simpsons'' is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, L ... '' (For its twenty-seventh season episode " Simprovised" in May 2016)
*'' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
''The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'' is an American late-night news and liberal political satire talk show hosted by Stephen Colbert, which premiered on September 8, 2015. Produced by Spartina Productions and CBS Studios, it is the second it ... '' (aired 2 weeks of live shows during the Republican and Democratic Conventions on July 18–21 and 25–28, 2016) [Pallotta, Fran]
"Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' to go live during political conventions", 22 June 2016, "CNN", Retrieved 22 July 2016.
*'' inside no. 9'' (Halloween special, October 2018)
Since 2000, there have been a number of special films broadcast live. These include the remakes of ''Fail Safe'' (2000) and ''
The Quatermass Experiment
''The Quatermass Experiment'' is a British science fiction serial broadcast by BBC Television during the summer of 1953 and re-staged by BBC Four in 2005. Set in the near future against the background of a British space programme, it tells th ...'' (2005). Some recent examples of live episodic TV series include shows such as '' Melissa and Joey'' (2010), '' Whitney'' (2011) and '' Undateable'' (2014).
A live television advertisement was shown for the first time in 40 years to celebrate the arrival of the new Honda Accord in the United Kingdom. It was broadcast on Channel Four on 29 May 2008 at 20:10 during a special episode of ''Come Dine With Me''. The ad featured skydivers forming the letters of the word Honda over Spain.
Live television specials
A television special (often TV special, or rarely television spectacular) is a standalone television show which may also temporarily interrupt episodic programming normally scheduled for a given time slot. Some specials provide a full range of ent ...s were telecast during the pre-videotape era. Among the most successful were the 1955 and 1956 telecasts of '' Peter Pan'', a 1954 musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's 1904 play, starring Mary Martin
Mary Virginia Martin (December 1, 1913 – November 3, 1990) was an American actress and singer. A muse of Rodgers and Hammerstein, she originated many leading roles on stage over her career, including Nellie Forbush in '' South Pacific'' (19 ..., and Cyril Ritchard. This was such a hit that the show was restaged and rebroadcast (this time on videotape) with the same two stars and most of the rest of the cast in 1960, and rerun several times after that. The ''Peter Pan'' telecasts marked the first-ever telecasts of a complete Broadway musical with most of its original cast.
On December 5, 2013, NBC
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial broadcast television and radio network. The flagship property of the NBC Entertainment division of NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast, its headquarters a ... broadcast a live television special called '' The Sound of Music Live!'' starring Carrie Underwood. This program aired live in the Eastern and Central time zones, and was the first television musical special to air live on NBC in almost fifty years.
*''No Retakes'', by Sandra Grabman and Wright King. BearManor Media, 2008.
*''Caesar's Hours: My Life in Comedy, with Love and Laughter'', by Sid Caesar with Eddy Friedfeld. Public Affairs, 2003.
*''The Box: An Oral History of Television 1920-1961'', by Jeff Kisseloff. Penguin Books, 1995.
*''The Live Television Generation of Hollywood Film Directors'', by Gorham Kindem. McFarland, 1994.
*''Live Television: The Golden Age of 1946-1958 in New York'', by Frank Sturcken. McFarland, 1990.
*''Golden Age of Television: Notes from the Survivors'', by Max Wilk. Moyer Bell Limited, 1989.
*''Where Have I Been? An Autobiography'', by Sid Caesar with Bill Davidson, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1982.
Event television Event television (sometimes used in verb form as the buzzword "eventize") is a television network marketing concept which arose in the early 2010s and is characterized by a shift in priorities towards enticing audiences to watch programming immediat ...
* Video chat
* Breakfast television
Breakfast television (Europe, Canada, and Australia) or morning show (United States) is a type of news or infotainment television programme that broadcasts live in the morning (typically scheduled between 5:00 and 10:00a.m., or if it is a l ...
* Effects of time zones on North American broadcasting
History of television
History of telecommunications