The date regarded as the opening day for Australian television, as Sydney’s TCN9 becomes the first station to commence daily program transmission. The new station broadcast for around three hours a night for its first six weeks, ahead of the official opening which took place on 27 October.
Opening night began with a voice-over station identification by John Godson, before host Bruce Gyngell introduced the first program, This Is Television, and greeted viewers: “Good evening, and welcome to television.”
The rest of the night included segments of upcoming shows plus the first episode of game show What’s My Line and imported programs I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best and Robin Hood. The Air Force Show featured news director Mike Ramsden’s interview with an Air Vice-Marshall on what was the last day of Air Force Week, and the night ended with filmed highlights of a ballet performance from the Tivoli Theatre.
The first commercial, aired at 7.29pm, was for Rothman’s cigarettes followed by a 10-second advertisement for Pepsi Cola.
Source: Sunday Telegraph, 16 September 1956
|6PM||6.45pm Test Pattern|
|7PM||7pm This Is Television
7.30 The Johnny O’Connor Show
7.45 The Patti Page Show
|8PM||8pm What’s My Line?
8.30 Douglas Fairbanks Presents
|9PM||9pm The Air Force Show
9.15 Accent On Strings
9.30 I Love Lucy
|10PM||10pm Father Knows Best
10.30 Robin Hood
10.50 Katherine Dunham Dancers