This page indexes the individual year in television pages. Each year is annotated with a significant event as a reference point.
1900s – 1920s – 1930s – 1940s – 1950s – 1960s – 1970s – 1980s – 1990s – 2000s – 2010s
- 1930 in television: Baird installs a television at 10 Downing Street, London, the British Prime Minister's residence. On July 14, Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and his family use it to watch the first ever television drama, The Man With the Flower in His Mouth.
- 1931 in television: Allen B. DuMont perfects long-lasting reliable cathode-ray tubes later used for television reception. TV reaches the Soviet Union and France.
- 1932 in television: The BBC starts a regular public television broadcasting service in the UK.
- 1933 in television: The first television revue, Looking In, is broadcast on the BBC.
- 1934 in television: Philo Farnsworth demonstrates a non-mechanical television system. The agreement for joint experimental transmissions by the BBC and John Logie Baird's company comes to an end. First 30 Line Mechanical Television Test Transmissions commence in April in Brisbane Australia conducted by Thomas Elliott and Dr Val McDowall.
- 1935 in television: First TV broadcasts in Germany. The final transmissions of John Logie Baird's 30-line television system are broadcast by the BBC. First TV broadcasts in France on February 13 on Paris PTT Vision.
- 1936 in television: 1936 Summer Olympics broadcast
- 1937 in television: The BBC Television Service broadcasts the world's first televised Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, and the first football match, Arsenal F.C. vs. Arsenal reserves.
- 1938 in television: DuMont manufactures and sells the first all-electronic television sets to the public. Baird gives the first public demonstration of color projection television. The BBC broadcasts the world's first ever television science fiction (R.U.R.), and television crime series (Telecrime).
- 1939 in television: The BBC suspends its television service owing to the outbreak of the Second World War. Broadcasts from 1939 New York World's Fair. Japan is the first Asian country to air television.
- 1950: First broadcast of Broadway Open House, Your Show of Shows, Sua vida me pertence and What's My Line?; Cuba is the first Caribbean country to receive TV; Mexico is the second North American country to receive TV
- 1951: First broadcast of live United States transcontinental television takes place in San Francisco, California from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference. I Love Lucy, See It Now, Dragnet
- 1952: First broadcast of Today (NBC), Astro Boy and Flower Pot Men; Hockey Night in Canada and The Guiding Light move from radio to TV
- 1953: First broadcast of Panorama; the coronation of Elizabeth II is the first of it kind to be broadcast on television
- 1954: First broadcast of The Tonight Show and Face the Nation ; NTSC video standard for color television is introduced
- 1955: First broadcast of The Honeymooners, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Gunsmoke; ITV launches in the UK
- 1956: First broadcast of The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, Playhouse 90, the Eurovision Song Contest and Hancock's Half Hour
- 1957: First broadcast of Cinderella, Leave It to Beaver, Senda prohibida and Carosello; Brazil is the first South American country to receive TV
- 1958: First broadcast of Blue Peter, Quatermass and the Pit and Moonlight Mask; the quiz show scandals wipe out The $64,000 Question and Twenty One
- 1959: First broadcast of The Twilight Zone, Rocky and His Friends and Bonanza;
- 1960: First broadcast of The Andy Griffith Show, The Flintstones, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Coronation Street; American presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debate live on television
- 1961: First broadcast of The Avengers, The Defenders and The Morecambe and Wise Show
- 1962: First broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Steptoe and Son, The Jetsons, University Challenge, Elgar, That Was The Week That Was, The Late Late Show (Ireland) and Sábado Gigante; first satellite television relayed by Telstar
- 1963: First broadcast of General Hospital, The Fugitive, The Outer Limits and Doctor Who
- 1964: First broadcast of Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, Top of the Pops, Match of the Day, Jeopardy! and the Up series. BBC 2 commences broadcasting in the UK. Its first night of transmission is curtailed by a massive power failure.
- 1965: First broadcast of Days of our Lives, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, Till Death Us Do Part, Des chiffres et des lettres, Tomorrow's World, Top of the Pops, The Magic Roundabout and The War Game; Nigeria is the first African country to receive TV
- 1966: First broadcast of Star Trek, Batman, The Monkees, Ultra Series, Cathy Come Home and Mission: Impossible
- 1967: First broadcast of The Carol Burnett Show, The Prisoner, The Phil Donahue Show, Ambassador Magma; PBS launched; PAL and SECAM colour standards introduced in Europe, with BBC2 making the first colour broadcasts
- 1968: First broadcast of 60 Minutes, One Life to Live, Dad's Army, Elvis and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
- 1969: First broadcast of Sesame Street, On the Buses, Nu, pogodi! and Monty Python's Flying Circus; Apollo 11 Moon landing broadcast live worldwide; completion of Fernsehturm Berlin
- 1970: First broadcast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Monday Night Football, All My Children
- 1971: First broadcast of All in the Family, Kamen Rider, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Chespirito, Parkinson
- 1972: First broadcast of M*A*S*H, Mastermind, El Chavo, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Price is Right(on CBS)
- 1973: First broadcast of The Ascent of Man, Moonbase 3, An American Family, Ein Herz und eine Seele, Seventeen Moments of Spring, Last of the Summer Wine and The World at War; large-screen projection color TVs hit the market in the USA
- 1974: First broadcast of Chico and the Man, Derrick, Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, Police Woman, Porridge, Rhoda, The Rockford Files, and Tiswas
- 1975: First broadcast of Baretta, Barney Miller, Fawlty Towers, Good Morning America, Gruntovčani, One Day at a Time, Saturday Night Live, Super Sentai, Space: 1999, The Jeffersons, The Naked Civil Servant, Welcome Back, Kotter, Wheel of Fortune, Wonder Woman; Sony introduces the Betamax home video tape recorder
- 1976: First broadcast of I, Claudius, O Casarão, Loriot and Nuts in May; Video Home System video tape recorders go on sale; completion of CN Tower
- 1977: First broadcast of Abigail's Party, CHiPs, Eight Is Enough, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, Soap, Lou Grant, The Love Boat, Three's Company, and Top Gear
- 1978: First broadcast of An Ordinary Miracle, Abarembo Shogun, Battlestar Galactica, Dallas, Diff'rent Strokes, Fantasy Island, Grange Hill, Matador, Mork & Mindy, Pennies from Heaven, Taxi, and 20/20
- 1979: First broadcast of Benson, Blue Remembered Hills, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, CBS News Sunday Morning, Hart to Hart, Knots Landing, Life on Earth, Los Ricos También Lloran, Real People, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Facts of Life, The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed, The Very Same Munchhausen, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and Trapper John, M.D.; ESPN launched
- 1980: First broadcast of Berlin Alexanderplatz, Nightline, Strumpet City and Yes Minister; Cable News Network launched
- 1981: First broadcast of The Smurfs, Hill Street Blues, Dynasty, Only Fools and Horses and Brideshead Revisited; MTV launched
- 1982: First broadcast of Cheers, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Chiquilladas, Boys from the Blackstuff, Family Ties and St. Elsewhere; Channel 4 launches in the UK
- 1983: First broadcast of Oshin, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, An Englishman Abroad and Blackadder
- 1984: First broadcast of Murder, She Wrote, Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, La piovra, Heimat and The Jewel in the Crown
- 1985: First broadcast of MacGyver, Edge of Darkness, The Oprah Winfrey Show, EastEnders and The Golden Girls; the Discovery Channel is established
- 1986: First broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dragon Ball, Vasko de Gama from Rupcha Village, Casualty, Saint Seiya, The Singing Detective and Pingu; the Fox Broadcasting Company is launched
- 1987: First broadcast of Full House, Thirtysomething, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ramayan, Inspector Morse, Married... with Children and Star Trek: The Next Generation
- 1988: First broadcast of Roseanne, Mystery Science Theater 3000, America's Most Wanted and Mahabharat
- 1989: First broadcast of Baywatch, Seinfeld, Dekalog, Wallace and Gromit, Quantum Leap, Saved by the Bell, COPS, Shining Time Station, and The Simpsons; Eurosport launched
- 1990: First broadcast of Beverly Hills, 90210, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law & Order, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Twin Peaks
- 1991: First broadcast of Home Improvement, Nummer 28, The Julekalender, Æon Flux, Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy
- 1992: First broadcast of The Larry Sanders Show, Gladiators, Cha Cha Cha, Melrose Place, and Absolutely Fabulous; Cartoon Network launched
- 1993: First broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Cracker, The X-Files and Frasier
- 1994: First broadcast of Friends, The Kingdom, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and ER and Gullah Gullah Island
- 1995: First broadcast of Father Ted, NileCity 105,6 and Neon Genesis Evangelion; O. J. Simpson murder trial televised; The History Channel launched
- 1996: First broadcast of Jamais deux sans toi...t, Percy tårar, Detective Conan, The Daily Show and Our Friends in the North; first high-definition television broadcasts; Al Jazeera launched; first DVDs and DVD players go on sale
- 1997: First broadcast of Fóstbræður, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Un gars, une fille, South Park, Alles Kan Beter and I'm Alan Partridge
- 1998: First broadcast of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Will & Grace, Pokemon, Charmed, The Powerpuff Girls, Cowboy Bebop, That '70s Show, Sex and the City, The Royle Family and The King of Queens
- 1999: First broadcast of The Sopranos, SpongeBob SquarePants, Futurama, The West Wing, Big Brother (Netherlands), Yo soy Betty, la fea, Freaks and Geeks, One Piece, Trick and Who Wants to be a Millionaire in America; Bhutan is the last country on Earth to begin regular broadcasts; first digital video recorders released by TiVo
- 2000: First broadcast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, InuYasha, Summer Snow, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Survivor, Jackass and A Town Called Panic
- 2001: First broadcast of 24, Band of Brothers, O Clone, The Secret Life of Us, The Legend of Condor Hero, The Office (UK) and Six Feet Under
- 2002: First broadcast of American Idol, City of Men, Madventures, Firefly, 100 Greatest Britons, Winter Sonata, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and The Wire
- 2003: First broadcast of Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, Dae Jang Geum, All In, Peep Show, Arrested Development, Los Serrano and Naruto
- 2004: First broadcast of Deadwood, Bleach, Desperate Housewives, ¡Anita, no te rajes!, Battlestar Galactica, Hassan and Habibah, Full House, Super Girl, Lost and The X Factor; Euro1080 launches the first high-definition television broadcast
- 2005: First broadcast of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Prison Break, Spiral, Noghtechin, The Closer, Bones, How I Met Your Mother, My Lovely Sam Soon, Jayezeye Bozorg, Sto Para Pente and Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf
- 2006: First broadcast of Türkisch für Anfänger, Planet Earth, Jumong, Heroes,Dexter, Princess Hours, Code Geass and 30 Rock; the Netherlands is the first country to move to digital television; France 24 launched; HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc launched
- 2007: First broadcast of Gurren Lagann, The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, Golden Bride, The Killing and Mad Men; a writers' strike shuts down US scripted programming in November
- 2008: First broadcast of Breaking Bad, Vampire Knight, Generation Kill, Underbelly, El Cartel and Radio Arvyla; first 3D TV broadcasts
- 2009: First broadcast of Modern Family, Glee, and Misfits