The television screen is a strangely natural way to view New York City. In fact, even if you’ve never visited New York, your perception of the city most likely stems from NYC TV icons like Bill Cosby, the cast of Friends or Jerry Seinfeld. In fact, television and New York tend to go hand in hand. Ever since NBC started broadcasting its signal here in the 1940’s the city has been dominated by all things related to the small screen.
Television’s presence in New York is fairly obvious. Anyone who’s ever wanted to check out a taping of The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, David Letterman or Saturday Night Live, knows where to find the tapings. But for every Jon Stewart appearance or Tony Soprano reference, there’s a world of strange TV history that lies waiting to be discovered. This is a city, after all, that has been in love with TV from the very beginning, with a history that dates back over 60 years.
Ever wanted your own private screening of a vintage TV classic from the 1940’s? Curious to discover some of the most famous facades and settings in New York City TV history? Don’t touch that dial, this week Undiscovered New York is covering all things TV. Click below to read more.
When you picture the filming of a television show, it often brings to mind a giant studio lot decked with lights. Yet many of New York’s most famous TV moments and vignettes are played out right before our eyes as we walk the city’s many side streets and avenues. Ever wanted to check out the real life homes and businesses from your favorite TV shows?
Make your first stop in New York’s West Village, where 10 Leroy Street is the site of the Cosby family’s famous facade. And who knew Bill Cosby was neighbors with Monica, Joey and Ross? The building used as the apartment building for Friends is just around the corner at the corner of Bedford and Grove. Hungry for more TV locations? Why not stop by Monk’s Diner, site of so many meals on Seinfeld? It’s located at 112th Street and Broadway.
Making TV History
Ever since NBC began the first continuous TV broadcast in 1944, New York has been hooked on the small screen. Yet for all the show’s we’ve come to know and love in recent years, there’s more than 60 years of TV history waiting to be explored. A good place to start is Manhattan’s Paley Center for Media, formerly The Museum of Television and Radio, on 52nd Street. The museum is dedicated to exploring the “cultural, creative and social significance of television.” The way they accomplish this goal is quite a feat – in addition to ongoing exhibitions on some of TV’s greatest moments, visitors are free to explore more than 120,000 archived TV shows, commercials and radio programs at their leisure using individual consoles. It’s an interesting way to explore the evolution and and history of this influential medium.
Although many of our fondest TV memories are behind us, it would be incorrect to assume television is dead. In fact, New York is also a great place to investigate the future of the medium. A good place to start would be the annual New York Television Festival, held each fall. The event was designed to showcase the work of those “creating for the small screen” and as a venue to discuss such topics as the future of advertising, sitcoms and broadcast journalism.