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Top lost television broadcasts: All

Rank Topic Wikipedia views
Oct 21 2010
1 Doctor Who - 108 episodes of this series were destroyed by the BBC: See Doctor Who missing episodes. 25704
2 Various CNN broadcasts (1980-Today) - Although CNN does keep extensive footage and news coverage, copies of programming with original presenter links (i.e. the newsreader) are rarely kept [link] 8240
3 ABC's One Life to Live and All My Children were originally owned by their creator, Agnes Nixon, who chose to archive all episodes. However, early episodes of AMC were saved as black-and-white kinescopes despite being produced and telecast in color. ABC purchased the shows in late 1974; different sources report that Nixon's archive was either lost in a fire or erased. A few black and white kinescopes of both series's early years exist, as well as a few color episodes. ABC began full archiving of these soaps at Nixon's insistence when they expanded from 30 minutes to an hour—AMC in 1977, and OLTL in 1978. 3201
4 The Avengers - All but two episodes of 1961–62 season are lost. 2330
5 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson - Almost all 1962-1972 episodes were erased by NBC. 1099
6 The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990) - The first version of the episode "Kootie Pie Rocks", featuring Milli Vanilli and two Milli Vanilli songs has been apparently taped over for the second, edited version without the Mill Vanilli songs, which appeared in all later syndication plays and DVD releases. A few copies, videotapes made by viewers, can be found online. 398
7 Search for Tomorrow (1951–1982)- Because CBS wiped it thousands of episodes no longer exist. 341
8 Number 96 (TV series) - Most of the black and white episodes were taped over by the Ten Network. 336
9 Beulah (1950–1953) - Only 7 episodes have survived. 265
10 The Goldbergs (1949–1956) - Only the last two seasons survive intact, with the CBS and NBC runs being largely lost. 202
11 Queen for a Day (1956–1964) - Almost every episode of this popular TV series was destroyed. 174
12 Young Talent Time - Almost all early episodes were erased by the Ten Network. 173
13 Countdown - Numerous episodes erased by ABC. 125
14 The Trouble with Tracy (1970–1971) - Rumored to have been almost completely destroyed. 90
15 The Grove Family (1954–1957) - Very little of the UK's first soap opera remains today in the BBC archives. 77
16 Mary Kay and Johnny (1947–1950) - Almost completely destroyed. The show was originally broadcast live and not recorded, but began using kinescopes in 1948. Many episodes from the latter period still existed as late as 1975, but only one complete 1949 episode (in the Paley Media Collection; see their web catalogue) and a few seconds from the show's last few episodes still exist today. 76
17 Mama (1949–1957) - The vast majority of the episodes produced of this series no longer exist. 62
18 Gambit (1972–1976)-More than 1,000 episodes appear to be lost. 61
19 Puttnam's Prairie Emporium (1988–1990) The master tapes were reportedly wiped by CKCK-TV in the early 90s. A single episode (an outtakes and bloopers special), and a few minutes from one other are known to survive. 48
20 Camel News Caravan (1948–1956) - An early news program, most episodes are believed to be lost. 40
21 In Melbourne Tonight (1957–1970) - Hundreds of episodes no longer exist. 40
22 Rocky King, Inside Detective (1950–1955) - Original negatives were dumped into upper New York Bay in the 1970s. 39
23 Hour Glass (1946–1947) - No footage remains of television's first variety show. 38
24 Pinwright's Progress (1946–1947) Aired live and never recorded, only still photographs remain of the world's first situation comedy. 34
25 Starlight (1936–1949) - The first ever variety show transmitted anywhere in the world, and the BBC's first ever programme. The BBC did not have access to means of recording until late 1949, so no footage is known to exist of this show today. 28
26 Mindreaders (1979–1980) - Only around two episodes are known to survive, even though wiping had been largely phased-out by the "Big 3" United States networks at the time. 21
27 Baffle -Only 3 out of 100 episodes still exist 19
28 Faraway Hill (1946) - No footage, stills, or scripts survive from this program, which was the first soap opera aired on American television. 16
29 Snap Judgment (1967–1969)- A game show believed to be completely wiped from the NBC archives. 15
30 Doorway to Fame (1947–1949) - One of the first "talent shows" aired on United States television, Only two episodes survive. 14
31 Dollar a Second (1953–1957) - Only two episodes have survived. 14
32 DuMont Evening News (1954–1955) - No episodes known to survive. 13
33 Opera Cameos (1953–1955) - One of several "cultural" programs aired by the DuMont Television Network as counter-programming, Only eight episodes survive of the 50+ episodes produced. 8
34 It's Alec Templeton Time (1955) - One of the last DuMont series. Though Alec Templeton was a celebrity of some note, no episodes exist of the televised version of his program. 7
35 Newsweek Views the News (1948–1950) - A prime-time public-affairs program featuring editors of Newsweek magazine discussing current events; only two episodes survive. 7
36 Sense and Nonsense (Circa 1954) - Only one episode survives of this WABD series. 6
37 Z Cars (1962–1978) - Half of the episodes of this popular police television series are still missing, although many episodes once believed to be lost were recovered on 16mm film. < 5
38 Cavalcade of Stars - Popular variety series; dozens of episodes were destroyed in the 1970s. < 5
39 With home VCRs being uncommon until the mid 1980s, it is unlikely that lost television episodes exist in the collections of individuals, though this occasionally happens. One well-known example is a clip of John Lennon visiting the announcers' booth during a 1974 Monday Night Football broadcast. ABC lost the footage of this event, but a private collector's copy of the event appears in the Beatles Anthology < 5
40 Crossroads (1964–1988) - More than 80 percent of Associated TeleVision's run was wiped or otherwise lost, although Central Television's run is intact. < 5
41 The BBC wiped many editions of Not Only... But Also, starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore from its archives in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as it did with many other programmes. Cook and Moore had even allegedly offered to pay for the cost of preservation and buy new videotapes so that the old tapes would not need to be reused, but this offer was rejected. Some telerecordings of the black and white episodes survive, but all of the videotaped footage from the colour series was wiped, so that the only surviving colour sketches are on 16mm film inserts. < 5
42 Captain Video (1949–1955) - Almost entire run destroyed after the DuMont Television Network ceased to exist. < 5
43 Sixpenny Corner (1955–1956) - The only soap opera ever made by Associated-Rediffusion, and the first British serial to be broadcast on a non-BBC channel is believed to have been completely destroyed. < 5
44 Barley Charlie - Only 3 of the 13 episodes produced survive. < 5
45 Jul og Grønne Skove (1980) - One of the later examples of lost TV shows, this was a Christmas calendar originally broadcast on Danish television by DR. Half of the 24 episodes were wiped some time in the mid-80's, as were many of DR's productions made prior to 1987, where DR made an agreement with "Statens Mediesamling" to archive all future productions < 5
46 Family Affairs (1949–1950) - Nothing remains of the first family-centered sitcom as none of the six episodes were ever recorded by the BBC. < 5
47 School House (1949) - Only one episode has survived from early 1949 of this DuMont show, featuring Wally Cox (flubbing his lines in a live DuMont TV set commercial) and Arnold Stang with musical performances set in a high school classroom. < 5
48 The Match Game (1962–1969) - Only around 11 episodes survive out of the 1752 episodes produced. < 5
49 The Pinky Lee Show (1954–1955) - Few episodes of this critically-acclaimed TV series have survived. < 5
50 Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (1984–present) - The Season 2 premiere, "The Missing Coach", was filmed, but then replaced with "Thomas, Percy & The Coal". Britt Allcroft said that the plot would be too hard for kids to comprehend. Several production stills, though, still exist in several books. < 5
51 The Madhouse on Castle Street, a 1963 BBC teleplay starring a then-unknown Bob Dylan, is considered lost. It was erased in 1968, and despite attempts by the British Film Institute to recover it, a telerecorded copy has still not been found . < 5

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