Where can I find historical broadcast TV schedules?
July 7, 2014 3:01 PM   Subscribe

I've been scouring the internet for a way to pick a certain date and time in modern history and see what was being broadcast at that moment, but so far no luck. Does anybody know of an archive of this information, or any clever ways to repurpose any other existing data?
posted by excitementMD to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Epguides.com has historical grids on this page. That is not a definitive guide to what was on at a specific hour on specific day, but an outline of the fall schedules for each network. From there, you can see the original air dates of specific episodes on the show detail page.
posted by soelo at 3:30 PM on July 7, 2014

If it is a limited number of dates, you can easily look in local newspapers in a libraries ( I guess they probably don't use microfiche anymore do they?)
posted by Megafly at 4:07 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might want to try contacting a reference librarian at the Paley Center for Media. You can search their library database online by month and year, but it only gives you shows that they have in their collection. (For example, July 1970.) So their collection doesn't have video clips of everything, but they might have the schedules someplace.
posted by MsMolly at 5:10 PM on July 7, 2014

Google News Archive will have scans of the TV listings from various newspapers. For example, on Sunday, May 17, 1987 at 8pm on Murder She Wrote, Jessica Fletcher was trying to help out Magnum (framed for murder on an earlier episode of Magnum PI).

It's sometimes difficult to get into the google news archive, but once there (perhaps by searching for a relevant local news item from the time), you can jump around.
posted by pjenks at 5:22 PM on July 7, 2014

Not sure if you're willing to pay for it, but Tribune Media Services sells this data.
posted by odin53 at 7:00 PM on July 7, 2014

If you have access to ProQuest, you can look at the TV listings in those papers.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:04 PM on July 7, 2014

Where are you? A lot of American public libraries have free access to ProQuest if you have a library card (and you don't have to be in a branch to see it).

I would appreciate hearing about similar options for the U.K. I have bought back issues of the Radio Times and TV Times, trying to track down dimly remembered shows from my childhood.
posted by vickyverky at 7:39 PM on July 7, 2014

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