Cultural highlights of 1954
• Nineteen Eighty-Four (BBC, 12 December). Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian novel in the regular Sunday night drama slot (20:35-22:35). The most expensive drama to date, it is repeated the following Thursday—the latter live performance being telerecorded on 35mm film.
• The Grove Family (BBC from 2 April). The first British television soap opera. It runs until 1956.
• BBC Television News and Newsreel (BBC, from 5 July). News.
• Sportsview (BBC, from 8 April). Sports magazine programme.
• Zoo Quest (BBC, from 20 August). Natural history, presented by David Attenborough.
• Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas (BBC Third Programme, Monday 25 January). Sometimes acclaimed as 'radio's greatest script', Thomas's poetic account of a day in Llaregyb was recorded the previous day with Richard Burton in the lead role as First Voice.
• Hancock's Half Hour (BBC, from 2 November). First 16-episode series that led within months to H-H-Hancock (Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, aka The Lad Himself) becoming a phenomenally successful comedian, perhaps the most renowned in British broadcasting history. The final radio programme: 29 December 1959. On television from 1956.
• Disneyland (Walt Disney for ABC, from 27 October). Children's.
• Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter (Walt Disney for ABC, from 15 December). Historical adventure starring Fess Parker in the Disneyland slot; best remembered for its massively successful theme song (a number one hit in the US in March 1955) and coon-tailed cap.
• Father Knows Best (CBS from 3 October). Sitcom starring Robert Young. It runs until 1961.
• Lassie (CBS from 12 September). Dog-hero adventures. Series runs exactly 17 years to the day.
• Miss America (from 11 September). Beauty contest.
• The Morning Show (CBS, from 16 March). Early morning news magazine, hosted by Walter Cronkite, to compete with NBC's Today with Dave Garroway.
• The Secret Storm (CBS, from 1 February). Soap opera. Start of a 20-year run.
• Tonight (NBC, from 27 September). Late night chat show, hosted by Steve Allen, previously broadcast locally in New York. Still on air in 2008 (now with David Letterman).
• Your Show of Shows.
• La Famille Plouffe (CBC, in French and English editions)
• Satyajit Rays first feature film Pather Panchali.
• William Golding: Lord of the Flies.
• J R R Tolkien: Lord of the Rings.