Museum of Broadcast Communications

Museum of Broadcast Communications The MBC is proud to welcome Stay Tuned: Rock on TV to the museum.

Operating as usual


Anita Banerji, Director of Forefront Democracy Initiative, sits down with MBC's Susy Schultz to discus the importance of the Census, what it means for us here in Chicago, and the new option to submit your census form online! Remember, the deadline is next week, and it is vital that everyone is counted! If you haven't yet, fill out your census form here:


EMMY’S RECAP🚨 Last night, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 72nd Emmy Awards live from Los Angeles! It was a star-studded and social-distanced evening. Big winners of the night were “Schitt’s Creek,” which swept the comedy categories, “Succession,” and “Watchmen.” Our own Olivia Jackson, co-host of our weekly Instagram show, “Real/Drama” gave live updates throughout the show! If you don’t have time to watch all three hours of the broadcast, Olivia breaks it down in about 12 minutes!

Chicago TV legend Bill Kurtis turns 80 today... Happy Birthday, Bill!Bill Kurtis originally joined CBS 2 in 1966 as a re...

Chicago TV legend Bill Kurtis turns 80 today... Happy Birthday, Bill!

Bill Kurtis originally joined CBS 2 in 1966 as a reporter, and in 1973 joined Walter Jacobson for an acclaimed and iconic newscast that came to be known as The 10 O’clock News. Kurtis co-anchored CBS 2’s 10 p.m. news with Jacobson and later Linda MacLennan until 1995. He also co-anchored the 6 p.m. news with CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield, Don Craig, Mary Ann Childers and several other local legends until 1996, before returning to anchor the newscast again alongside Jacobson. They returned for an additional two years from 2010-2012. Kurtis has also produced several highly-regarded documentaries for CBS2/WBBM CHICAGO.

Bill is also the host of CNBC's 'American Greed' and hosted a number of A&E crime and news documentary shows, including 'Investigative Reports', 'American Justice', and 'Cold Case Files'. Previously, he anchored The CBS Morning News, and is currently the scorekeeper/announcer for National Public Radio (NPR)'s news comedy/quiz show 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' He also hosts 'Through the Decades', a documentary-style news magazine seen on CBS/Weigel Broadcasting's digital multicast network, Decades syndicated subchannel.

Tonight is television’s biggest night! Will you be watching the 2020 Emmy awards? We will have great content for you all...
Emmys 2020: Where to watch, the nominees and more — CNN

Tonight is television’s biggest night! Will you be watching the 2020 Emmy awards? We will have great content for you all day so you are ready for the big evening! Keep an eye on our twitter and insta (@museumtv) as well for staff takeovers and live updates!

The 2020 Emmy Awards will be like unlike anything we've ever seen. Jimmy Kimmel will host the show from the Staples Center but without a live audience.

TONIGHT IS THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF WGN-TV's 'CREATURE FEATURES'!'Creature Features' was introduced to the Chicago audien...

'Creature Features' was introduced to the Chicago audience on WGN-TV Channel 9 on Saturday, September 19, 1970. Hosted by Carl Greyson, and later Marty McNeeley, the program ran regularly until 1976. The show used the theme music of Henry Mancini's 'Experiment in Terror'. The illustrated ghoul that was used on air and to advertise the series was taken from a still from the lost 1927 silent film 'London After Midnight' starring Lon Chaney, Sr. The last copy of the film known to exist was destroyed in the 1965 MGM vault fire. The premiere episode of ‘Creature Features’ included 'Dracula' and 'She Wolf of London'. The series focused heavily on the Universal horror collection.

From the show’s opening sequence: “Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts, wretched souls and cursed hosts, vampires bite and villains creep, demons scream and shadows sleep. Blood runs cold in every man, fog rolls in and coffins slam, mortals quake and full moon rise, creatures haunt and terrorize"!


THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW TURNS 50!Premiere Date: Saturday, September 19, 1970This legendary show broke ground as charac...

Premiere Date: Saturday, September 19, 1970
This legendary show broke ground as character, Mary Richards, was a single, television news producer at a time when women were mainly depicted as housewives. The show wasn’t explicitly feminist, but there’s no denying that “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” helped change the way women were portrayed on television. The show was also known to offer some of the first opportunities for women to excel in a sitcom's writers' room.

From the Museum of Broadcast Communications' Encyclopedia of Television: The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered on CBS in September 1970 and during its seven-year run became one of the most acclaimed television programs ever produced. The program represented a significant change in the situation comedy, quickly distinguishing itself from typical plot-driven storylines filled with narrative predictability and unchanging characters. As created by the team of James Brooks and Allan Burns, The Mary Tyler Moore Show presented the audience with fully-realized characters who evolved and became more complex throughout their life on the show. Storylines were character-based and the ensemble cast used this approach to develop relationships which changed over time.

The program starred Mary Tyler Moore who had previously achieved success as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. As Mary Richards, a single woman in her thirties, Moore presented a character different from other single TV women of the time. She was not widowed or divorced or seeking a man to support her. Rather, the character had just emerged from a live-in situation with a man whom she had helped through medical school. He left her upon receiving his degree and she relocated to Minneapolis determined to "make it on her own." This now-common concept was rarely depicted on television in the early 1970s, despite some visible successes of the women's movement.

Mary Richards found a job in the newsroom of fictional television station WJM, the lowest rated station in its market, and there she began her life as an independent woman. She found a "family" among her co-workers and her neighbors. Among these were Lou Grant (Ed Asner), the crusty news director, Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), the cynical news writer, Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), the supercilious anchorman, and, later, Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White), the man-hungry "Happy Homemaker." Sharing her apartment house were Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper), Mary's best friend, and Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman), their shallow landlady. This ensemble pushed the situation comedy genre in new directions and provided the show with a fresh feel and look.

The "workplace family," while not new to television sitcoms (Our Miss Brooks and The Gale Storm Show were among earlier incarnations of this sub-genre), was redefined in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Here were characters easily defined by traditional familial qualities--Lou as the father figure, Ted as the problem child, Rhoda as the family confidante, and Mary as the mother/daughter around whom the entire situation revolved. But the special nature of these relationships gave the show its depth and humor. Never static, each character changed in ways previously unseen in the genre. One of the best examples occurred when Lou divorced his wife of many years. His adjustment to the transition from married to divorced middle-aged man provided rich comic moments but also allowed viewers see new depths in the character, to see behind the gruff facade into Lou's vulnerability, to grow closer to him. This type of evolution occurred with all the cast members, providing writers with constantly shifting perspective on the characters. From those perspectives new story lines could be developed and these fresh approaches helped renew a genre grown weary with repetition and familiar techniques.

Similarly, the program set the standard for a new sub-genre of situation comedy: the working woman sitcom. Beginning as a determined but uncertain independent woman, Mary Richards came to represent what has since become a convention in this type of comedy. Unattached and not reliant upon a man, Mary never rejected men as romantic objects or denied her hopes to one day be married. But unlike Rhoda, Mary did not define her life through her search for "Mr. Right." Rather, she dated several men and even spent the night with a few of them (another new development in TV sitcoms). Working-woman sitcoms since, including Kate & Allie and Murphy Brown, owe a debt to Mary Richards.

The program became an anchor of CBS' Saturday night schedule and, along with All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show and The Carol Burnett Show, was part of one of the strongest nights of programming ever presented by a network. From September 1970 until its final airing in September 1977, The Mary Tyler Moore Show was normally among the top 20 shows. It garnered three Emmy Awards as "Outstanding Comedy Series" (in 1975, 1976 and 1977). Moore, Asner, Harper, Knight and White all won Emmy's for their performances and the show's writing and directing were similarly honored several times.

The show was the first from MTM Productions, the company formed by Moore and her husband, Grant Tinker. MTM went on the produce an impressive list of landmark situation comedies and dramas including The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, The White Shadow, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and L.A. Law. The characters from The Mary Tyler Moore Show provided the focus for several successful spin-offs in the 1970s: Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou Grant. The latter was significant in that it represented the successful continuation and transformation of a character across genre lines. In the new show Asner played Grant as a newspaper editor in a serious, hour-long, issue-oriented drama. MTM Productions developed a reputation, begun in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for creating what became known as "quality television," television readily identifiable by its textured, humane and contemporary themes and characters.

Traits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show have become standard elements of many situation comedies since its airing. Because numerous writers and directors worked at MTM and on this show, then moved on to develop their own productions, its influence is notable in sitcoms such as Taxi, Cheers and Night Court.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was also one of the first sitcoms to bring closure to its story. In its last episode in 1977, the entire WJM news staff, with the exception of the very expendable Ted Baxter, was fired. Mary's neighbors, Rhoda and Phyllis, had departed previously for their own programs. Now the rest of her "family" was being broken up. Ironically, television brought them together and now the vagaries of television were separating them--in the "real" world as well as in their own fictional context. In the final moments Mary, Lou, Murray, Ted, his wife, Georgette, and Sue Ann mass together in a teary group hug and exit. Then Mary turns out the lights in the newsroom for the last time. It was a fitting conclusion to a program which had become very comfortable and very real in ways few other programs ever had.

-Geoff Hammill


Mary Richards..................................... Mary Tyler Moore

Lou Grant ................................................Edward Asner

Ted Baxter ...................................................Ted Knight

Murray Slaughter.................................... Gavin MacLeod

Rhoda Morgenstern (1970-1974)................ Valerie Harper

Phyllis Lindstrom (1970-1975)............... Cloris Leachman

Bess Lindstrom (1970-1974)..................... Lisa Gerritsen

Gordon (Gordy) Howard (1970-1973)............... John Amos

Georgette Franklin Baxter (1973-1977)....... Georgia Engel

Sue Ann Nivens (1973-1977) ........................Betty White

Marie Slaughter (1971-1977) ......................Joyce Bulifant

Edie Grant (1973-1974) ............................Priscilla Morrill

David Baxter (1976-1977)............................. Robbie Rist


James L. Brooks, Alan Burns, Stan Daniels, Ed Weinberger


168 Episodes


September 1970-December 1971 Saturday 9:30-10:00

December 1971-September 1972 Saturday 8:30-9:00

September 1972-October 1976 Saturday 9:00-9:30

November 1976-September 1977 Saturday 8:00-8:30

We are excited to be teaching podcasting to members of the NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) Chicago chap...

We are excited to be teaching podcasting to members of the NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) Chicago chapter! If you are not yet a member, maybe it’s time for you to join? Here’s the link:

What’s happening here? Exhibit Manager Olivia is preparing her “garbage bag gown” for the Emmy’s this weekend! Tune in t...

What’s happening here? Exhibit Manager Olivia is preparing her “garbage bag gown” for the Emmy’s this weekend! Tune in to our Instagram page at 5:30 to see the finished product! If you’d like to make one too, tag us! You may even end up featured on our social media! 😎

TOMORROW AT 5:30: Olivia and Aileen will be live on instagram with their show "Real/Drama." In preparation for the Emmy ...
The 25 Craziest Moments in Award Show History

TOMORROW AT 5:30: Olivia and Aileen will be live on instagram with their show "Real/Drama." In preparation for the Emmy Awards, they'll be talking all about award shows! There has certainly been some real drama on those broadcasts over the years ;)

Also be sure to tune in to learn about a super fun weekend activity that the whole family can take part in! Everything happens tomorrow at 5:30pm on instagram! @museumtv!

The 25 Craziest Moments in Award Show History

Allllllrighty then! Jim Carrey is taking on the part of Joe Biden for the upcoming season of 'Saturday Night Live!' the ...
Jim Carrey to Play Joe Biden on SNL Season 46

Allllllrighty then! Jim Carrey is taking on the part of Joe Biden for the upcoming season of 'Saturday Night Live!' the show comes back October 3, will you be watching?

Lorne Michaels revealed the news in an interview with Vulture.

Happy 85th Birthday to Chicago children's TV legend, Bill Jackson!Here is a bit of Jackson’s history but if you would li...

Happy 85th Birthday to Chicago children's TV legend, Bill Jackson!

Here is a bit of Jackson’s history but if you would like to hear more about this talented man, please listen to this week’s #HappyHalfHour (the video is right here on Facebook) as our Executive Director Susy Schultz talks with the museum’s Curator of Children’s TV Jim Engel. (Engel is Jackson’s number 1 fan!)

This week Engel talks about Jackson and Frasier Thomas, who hosted WGN TV’s “Garfield Goose and Friends,” in the second part of our discussion on the history of children’s TV and Chicago’s vital role in its development.

Thanks to Engel’s influence and care, Jackson’s brilliant puppets are part of the museum’s collection.

Jackson was a staple on television in Chicago for 25 years. His earliest appearance in children's television was in 1960 when he hosted a program for two years in Fort Wayne, Indiana, called the “Popeye and Little Rascals Club.” The show was such a success he moved it to Indianapolis. Later, it was renamed “The Bill Jackson Show,” where he created his most enduring character, Dirty Dragon, based on a friend in Indianapolis.

Jackson’s work attracted the attention of WBBM-TV in Chicago, which gave him a program in 1965, known variously as “Clown Alley” (weekday version) or “Here Comes Freckles” (Sunday morning version). Jackson played the title character, Freckles the Clown.

Jackson was hired by another Chicago station WFLD, which was looking for a show to air opposite WGN-TV's highly popular Garfield Goose and Friends. Jackson responded in 1968 with a program initially called “Cartoon Town,” but later renamed “The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show.” It was here Jackson, playing the mayor of the cartoon town, reached great heights with characters such as Dirty Dragon, Mother Plumtree, the Old Professor and a town monument called Blob (no relation to the movie) who was made of clay and could, with Jackson's help, assume any form. Jackson wrote and produced the show, performed all of the puppet characters' voices, built and designed the sets and puppets.

The show featured a variety of cartoons, including Underdog. The show was broadcast for five years on WFLD. One month after the show ended, The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show (now set in "Carefree Corners") began a one-year run on WGN. Meanwhile, Jackson began commuting between Chicago and New York, where he produced and hosted another local show. By the fall of 1974, WGN cancelled “The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show.”

Jackson and his puppets next appeared in 1975 in the educationally themed-program “Gigglesnort Hotel,” which brought back most of the Cartoon Town gang. It was produced and broadcast by Chicago's ABC affiliate, WLS-TV. He produced one more show, “Firehouse Follies” using the characters in 1979-1980, then left television to teach at the California Institute of the Arts for 12 years, retiring in 1990.

Make sure to give us a follow over on Instagram: @museumtv! See you online this week!

Make sure to give us a follow over on Instagram: @museumtv! See you online this week!

On a lighter note today... 59 years ago, 'Bozo's Circus' went 'on the air'! The beloved Chicago produced television seri...

On a lighter note today... 59 years ago, 'Bozo's Circus' went 'on the air'! The beloved Chicago produced television series premiered on WGN Television, channel 9 at Noon on Monday Sept. 11, 1961.

If you would like to hear a bit more about Bozo, please listen to our #HappyHalfHour show, from Sept. 8, 2020. Our Executive Director Susy Schultz discusses #BozoCircus and #RayRaynor with the museum’s Children’s Television curator Jim Engel. Catch the video below on our page or clivk here:

Bozo was an internationally licensed franchise in the earlier days of TV, with a variety of different shows using the character in a number of local markets. But Chicago’s Bozo was one of the most enduring and lasted through 2001. Since it was on WGN-TV when it was a super station, it also enjoyed an international audience.

WGN-TV's first incarnation of the show was a live half-hour cartoon showcase titled “Bozo,” hosted by character actor and staff announcer Bob Bell in the title role performing comedy bits between cartoons. It rab weekdays at noon for six-and-a-half months beginning June 20, 1960.

The live show was relaunched in an expanded one-hour format as “Bozo's Circus” that same year, with Bell as Bozo (although he did not perform on the first telecast), host Ned Locke as Ringmaster Ned, a 13-piece orchestra, comedy sketches, circus acts, cartoons, games and prizes all done before a 200+ member studio audience. In the early months of the series, a respected English acrobatic clown, Wimpey (played by Bertram William Hiles) worked on the show, providing some legitimate circus background and performing opposite Bell's Bozo in comedy sketches. Hiles continued to make periodic guest appearances on the show into the mid-1960s.

In October 1961, Don Sandburg joined the show as producer and principal sketch writer, and also appeared as the silent clown Sandy the Tramp, a character partly inspired by Harpo Marx. By November 1961, another eventual Chicago television legend joined the show's cast, actor Ray Rayner, as Oliver O. Oliver, a country bumpkin from Puff Bluff, Kentucky.

Rayner was also hosting WGN-TV's “Dick Tracy Show,” which premiered the same day as Bozo's Circus and later replaced Dick Coughlan as host of “Breakfast with Bugs Bunny,” later retitled “Ray Rayner and His Friends.” WGN musical director Bob Trendler led the WGN Orchestra, or as the audience knew them, the Big Top Band.

Set pieces and costumes from the show can be seen in the 'Chicago School of Television' exhibit at the museum.


360 N State St
Chicago, IL

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 20:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00


(312) 245-8200


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