Disney's Wonderful World of Color
The advent of color TV in the 1950s was striking to viewers. Families used to imagining color as they watched black-and-white images suddenly found themselves transported into the vibrant, living worlds on their home screens. Color technology was beginning to develop as early as the 1920s, but it took the standardization of the National Television System Committee in the early 1940s to make widespread, affordable color TV a reality [source: National Television System Committee].
The technology was only half the equation, though. Without quality, easily available color broadcasts, home viewers wouldn't have a reason to spend the extra money for color sets to replace their trusty black-and-white models.
Enter Walt Disney. The media mogul embraced color TV and committed to programming for the new technology. Launched in October 1954, Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" was a family-friendly variety program that mixed iconic cartoons, drama and documentary programming with promotional updates on the then-under-construction Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Calif. Viewers welcomed the famous host into their homes, and serial dramas, such as the program's Davy Crockett trilogy, became nationwide marketing successes [source: CBS Entertainment].
Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" ran for 34 seasons, a long-standing record in television history. And along with providing programming that became a trusted institution in American family life, it helped make color the established, accepted standard in TV technology [source: The Internet Movie Database].