Making of the first television show
Sagar Bhagirath

A social media marketer who is expert in strategy formulation and is able to get ROI through Ad campaigns. Has managed more than 50+ clients all over the globe.


The Queen’s Messenger was the first television show ever made. It was written by J. Hartley Manners for the television in the United States.

It was shot using the multi-camera set up by the New York station, WGY Television, and was aired on 11th September at 1.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m., respectively.

Television shows in the recent time have gained tremendous popularity. The 20th century has been monumental in terms of the entertainment progress, as there are numerous satellite channels, broadcasting countless hit shows. But the base was piled up back in the year 1928. The play, Queen’s Messenger was a blood and thunder act that flaunted guns, daggers, and knives.

Without the modern day techniques.

The world was revolutionising and televisions were in its early stages. Huge transmitters had to be set up for one to enjoy the amusement of the moving images. Viewing was still comparatively easy, as all you had to do was avail a transmitter, set up a television, and sit on the couch to be entertained. But what was more difficult was how the shows had to be shot. The first ever show on the T.V had to deal with a hell lot of technical limitations.
The number of actors was comparatively less than they had the number of technicians. The television screens were so small that only actor’s hands or faces were to be seen at a given time. Three cameras set up was used, two for capturing the characters and third for obtaining images of gestures and suitable stage props.

Also read: 10 Interesting Facts About John Lennon You Didn’t Know

The annoying director.

Mortimer Stewart was the director of the first television show ever made. He was called up from the New York City, especially to direct the play. The crew of the Queen’s Messenger was annoyed with the director, as he always had a tendency to call the crew at 4 in the morning for rehearsals.
General Electric’s engineer, E.F.W. Alexanderson was the engineer in charge of the television. He recalled the play as the little dramatic play that wasn’t a great masterpiece of art by any means.

Making of Queens Messenger
Pic: Making of Queens Messenger (Image source:

The struggle was real.

The director stood between the two cameras and the heroine, Isseta Jewel and the hero, Maurice Randall. Then director finely observed the images on a receiver box, and hence, controlled the output of the images. He controlled the images by cutting the images from the camera and fading them in or out, according to the needs. With abundant technical weaknesses, the dream of radio moving pictures was still a distant thought.
Drawbacks were plenty, but the Queen’s Messenger was one of the stepping stones to the modern dramatic programs. It is the sole reason why we now witness entertaining series like the Friends, Sex and the City, Sherlock Holmes, Two and a half men and countless other series.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *