This chart was used in Senate hearings on television and violence held in October 1954. It shows a day’s television programming in Chicago, and highlights in red the programs with plots centering on crime and criminals. (Here’s another chart using the same color-coding to illustrate programs aired in Washington, D.C., during a sample week.)
These early hearings on TV violence were held during a period of rapid adoption. In 1946, 6,000 homes had television sets; by 1955, TV could be found in one half of American households. While this chart may look humble to us when compared to our endlessly scrolling cable menus, this slate of programming represents a huge growth in entertainment options in a very short time.