Friday, June 26, 2009

A "Night Of The Living Dead" TV Related Inquiry

One of the things I have always wondered was when George A. Romero's 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD made it's New York TV debut. I first saw it on television in February of 1975 but I have to think it appeared on NY TV before that. I certainly have not stumbled upon a TV Guide ad for the film either. Does anyone know when NIGHT first aired on NY TV and on what channel at what time? Has anyone seen a TV Guide or newspaper TV section ad for the movie? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  1. From what I see in Google News archivings of old New York Times TV listings, the earliest they had of "Night of the Living Dead" turning up on New York television was March 16, 1973, on WABC-TV's late-night "Movie Matinee."

    However, I might add that 1971 and 1972 Times TV listings are not referred to at all online, and it may've been on that station some time within that "lost" period.

  2. Thanks. I figured that it had to have aired before 1975.

  3. If this is of any help, there was an ad for an airing of "Night of the Living Dead" in February 1972 on WABC's then-sister station WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

  4. Interesting. Can we make the assumption that since it played on WABC'S sister station that either it had already or was soon to play on channel 7? Perhaps I should try hunting down some old TV Guides from around that time?

  5. Apparently, WABC and the other ABC O&O's (I presume) acquired a package of films from the company that distributed this around 1971, and "NOTLD" was among that package.

  6. Thanks for the info. That's going to help!

  7. This is fantastic information! I have been trying to pinpoint the exact NYC air dates of 'Night of the Living Dead' and have been coming up empty until reading this blog.

    I first saw the film on WABC when I was 7 or 8 years old and have been obsessed with it ever since. WABC was the only channel in the NYC area to run 'Night of the Living Dead' and the original broadcast that I saw contained a "dramatization" disclaimer on-screen during the TV news reports.

    How do you search the Google News archive for old TV listings? Which distributor offered the syndication package that contained 'Night of the Living Dead'? Thanks in advance for any help.

  8. Anybody remember a show called "Action 73" which aired on WABC Saturday afternoons in 1973.
    It featured bands.

  9. The 1973 date sounds about right for the
    ABC late night premiere of "Night of the
    Living Dead". I did see that presentation
    and later re-runs. Incredibley, that first
    broadcast played the movie uncut with the
    swearing and gore intact. The 16mm print was
    excellent quality, not like the later PD dupes
    that were screened. It was later
    broadcases where they cut some of the gore
    and superimposed "a simulation" during the
    tv newscasts. I actually tried to film some
    of it off the TV set with my Super 8 camera
    back then but wasn't aware of the scan line
    problems. I eventually purchased an uncut Super
    8 sound print of it.

    Richard W. Haines

  10. I recall CBS running the film on a Friday Night, I think it was 1972 IN PRIME TIME. Not many people remember the airing, but I'm pretty sure I saw a TV Guide listing for it.