In 1917, on the current site of ABC Television Studios, Vitagraph Studios opened what was, at
the time, the largest studio in the world. The studio quickly attracted silent-era greats such
as Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, and Douglas Fairbanks.
During the late 1940s, ABC bought time on other stations and produced programs on their schedules
to give its own technicians experience in studio production. An early example of this programming
was Play The Game (1946), which was produced by ABC using the DuMont Network facilities.
Just two years later, in 1948, ABC lined up a network of four stations - an amalgam of DuMont and
independent stations - for a series called On The Corner with radio star Henry Morgan. This
show is considered ABC's first "network" program. Later that same year ABC opened its own
New York station and began production on a regular basis.
Less than a year after that, in 1949, ABC acquired Vitagraph Studios and began using its facilities
for television production. The early 50's proved to be a time of growth at ABC, first with the 1953
merger with United Paramount Theatres, then again in 1954 as the network began its historic association
with Walt Disney on the show called Disneyland that eventually became The Wonderful World